rivista anarchica
anno 41 n. 359
febbraio 2011

Walks of life

by Alessio Lega


... Singer and company

Another part is that possible?

“Another world is possible" supported the most famous slogan of the movement which had its largest exhibition in the tragic event of July 2001 in Genoa. In a decade later, I remain convinced that "this world" is impossible. But it seems more difficult than ever to share the real substance of that other world "as possible. "
The bitter our moral victory, the justness of the criticism that, from a libertarian point of view, we have always moved to scientific socialism and Marxism in its many incarnations, I do not console the desolate landscape that surrounds us. Who sings, who writes, who tries to think hard to communicate with this and with that anger that feels even grow around.
I try to sing anarchy, and I have the impression I am holding the key, but could not find the door.
I watch with growing horror the violence of power that shatters people on the street (Federico Aldrovandi, to make an example), prisons (Stefano Cucchi), in restraint of psychiatric beds (Franco Mastrogiovanni). Fascism and all its corollary racist Holocaust deniers, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitism manifests itself unveiled: No more the sad figure who, in cahoots with the secret services, laid bombs stragista, dreamed hypothesis coup, and then fell protected and hidden in the state sewers, but the way I see more than a few brown shirts and shaved heads, and several green shirts and Celtic delirium.
I will sing to life to fight this, but it is difficult to tune the guitar to the extreme fragmentation of views. The hymns that promise a sortie collective, a redemption, a catharsis of no more than convince anyone, perhaps even those who sing them. Today it is more than ever necessary to witness individual stories of individuals. Today I feel the need for a storyteller. If the memory is my help from that source that touches drink to advance in the future by looking at the reality.

Cicciu Busacca

Cicciu Busacca

Cicciu Busacca by Paternò (CT) is widely remembered as one of the greatest storytellers of 900, perhaps the greatest because he learned to face confrontation with a great tradition, burned by the new times, television, the crowds, the music sets everywhere, squares dispossessed folk art and the freedom to meet and deal with history.
Cicciu Busacca by Paternò there survives today through a few fragments, which - at present - is also difficult to put together: a few rustling records, few images, almost no movie (unless some television archive is not open, revealing unknown treasures). However, its expressive power is such that leaps out from too little or nothing to him to transmit it.
Cicciu Busacca from Paterno was born in 1926 and died in 1989 near Milan, has faced - in the course of his life - the many difficulties of joining a profession that fascinated him: the stories singer. It was a job for poor people. Poverty not just a job but a profession of trouble. They did, in principle, the blind, the crippled, the lame ... even Orazio Strano - Cicciu recognized by the great master, another great innovator of tradition - had lower limbs paralyzed by rheumatoid arthritis was incurred in military service, yet mules, or on an old table adapted to the truck, toured Sicily, Calabria, Apulia.
The storyteller before Busacca used to collect alms. Just look at the eyes of unequal Cicciu, agitated by the flame of an invincible pride, to understand that the rise in poverty was for him a medal, but that never would be lowered to beg anybody. Therefore he abolished the saucer and filled squares. The proceeds were secured from the sale of self-produced cassettes and disks.
"I am a storyteller: before me there was Orazio Strano, who was to be a storyteller! And before him there was another one that I remember as a child. Perhaps listening to them I managed to be the storyteller, perhaps because I had it in the blood, because I had so much anger against the bosses. In fact my stories against the bosses, against so many priests, against the mob as a child I have always sucked the blood, so I vented so. I did it with passion, I did. "So says a precious interview Cicciu in the early '80s. The storyteller then maybe he felt defeated by the television?
"I do not think. I can say, although maybe you can think of that chat, if there is anyone today who can be of interest to squares, a square every night, though free, no noise of machines and with nothing and without the gentlemen ... what I call the cops: sergeants, police station ... if they give me permission I am able to earn more than they earn Celentano - I'm not kidding - by selling the cassettes with my ballads! "
It was an ancient craft and regulated by mysterious processes of communication. The singers arrived in the square, fit the bill with pictures painted for the story (sort of comic book with no writing) and a rudimentary amplification system. The songs were long: half an hour, an hour, played on the same melody, and alternated recited verses and sung verses. The simple gesture, one hand clutching the guitar, the other to cut through the air and fall back on the ropes. The power of the gaze that captures the crowd and vague. A kind of grin in the snout from which a paste of voice and shelling, with the same truth in speech as in the singing: sometimes you think that there is striking difference in professional singers when they speak and when they sing.
The verses written perhaps by a great popular poet Ignazio Buttitta which are interspersed with comments as they improvised the story goes "... listen because there is to hear!"
And then an emotion always totally true and completely dominated. I told Paolo Ciarchi - who had the fortune to know and work with Cicciu - that when executed Lu trenu di lu suli, a heartbreaking story of immigration that ended in Marcinelle tragedy mining, Busacca was crying real tears and wiped his eyes blatantly with his handkerchief. One day, not having with him his handkerchief, he refused to run it.
Cicciu Busacca by Paterno, over time, with his carved cheekbones and mouth, look at us and teaches us how to sing without frills, because the story is the only important thing and nothing can distract us from the reality of a narrative.
Cicciu Busacca by Paterno knew how to renew his job, just before an ultra modern loneliness wanted the power to expropriate him, tells us that when the songs do not report the usual stale facts of blood and honor, but spread out to a tragedy that the collective dimensions, speak of this.
As the story of Turi Scordu of Mazzarino, sulfur miner went to work and die in Belgium. As Salvatore Carnevale, the union leader murdered by the Mafia. As the moral tale of billionaire trying to buy even death to the sound of billions. What remains today of the storyteller? Very little, one might say, the "heirs" of the kind that are accredited are still operating - Nonò Solomon, Franco Trincale, Tano Avanzato and someone else - they are precious witnesses, but live their personal artistic adventure in a certain isolation.
It is not nostalgia that we can speak of a character urgent and topical as Cicciu Busacca. He must instead turn to question his parable, to search his example what is the way to sing the reality, to defeat the power of mass communication through a comparison of most human experiences.

The narrative as an instrument to fight

Today we see the narrative as a tool to raise political and social debate in film, theater, literature, comics. The narrative as a mirror, as a microscope, such as magic lanterns and flares in the darkness of our confusion. Everywhere narrative... except in the music!
Experiencing a new springtime of the literary formula that mixes investigation book, fiction, journalism, political essay and historical document. It is a genre that Italy has a noble father and unsurpassed Stajano Corado, whose books often become known to their fate, but of which (perhaps) only today captures the flow together: "The subversive", "A bourgeois hero "," lost homelands ", to name a few, are open books, which are addressed to the reader and to the citizens, promote a sense of participation, stimulating outrage and thirst for truth. The last great "City of plague spreaders" is a compendium that draws a line between a lot of stories in Milan. Starting from the process of Manzoni’s memory Gian Giacomo Mora, the "infector" cruelly and unjustly sentenced in 1630, unravel many of the events of injustice, murder and madness go unpunished Brigades, which is contrary to the cleaning of the working memory, more and more denied by loss of dignity in the workplace.
Today, the books by Roberto Saviano, Marco Rovelli, Daniele Bianchessi are evident in continuity with the work of Stajano. Perhaps it is no accident - and this is new - all three of these authors do not content themselves with writing, but also seek ways performances, street theater and television audiences, to communicate their research.
The narrative theater along a parallel track, with artists such as Marco Paolini and Ascanio Celestini, in their monologues that blend the literary realism to a sometimes cruel at times poetic, surreal and reminiscent of stained popular. The basic intention here is not far from the craft of the storyteller.
The comics still try to promote its own final exit from the confines of childhood reading in which it was decided to relegate it for too many years, through the proposition of Graphic Novel, novels for images that now occupy most of the bookshelves. A publishing house which offers only the yellow beak narratives to focus images on the news stories or biographies.
In the face of this awakening editorial and theatrical, the very popular music seems to have lost any narrative vocation. Closed in the three-minute songs or pointless solos in all the same, the musicians of our time are afraid of the word, because the word compromise. The word is music, words and sounds, but the word requires adherence to which is not only formal. Who uses the words must compromise with their meaning. We ask a commitment to storytelling and a penalty which is hard bound. The storyteller plays its full role, the secondment it is granted. For this is a necessary job.

To Cicciu Busacca from Paterno we ask to assist us with the guitar, with pictures and stories to sing with his always present, to hear what you have to listen and see what there is to see how his great-grandfather was Homer, who maybe it was blind, but he sang his time better than us that we no longer know where to look.

Alessio Lega