Twelve by Franco Cavalleri
Twelve songs picked among the many I love. Twelve stories to tell about this love. Short, because life runs fast. Because songs play short. In four minutes, the average length in time of a song, singers must concentrate their stories, their feelings. Their vision of life and love.
Some of the songs I picked last longer, allow for longer storytelling. The songs I picked mostly come from the 1980s and 1990s: The Queen, the Rolling Stones, the Pink Floyd. Also, the Dire Straits, the Foreigner. Jimmy Buffet, of course, as I mentioned before. It’s classical rock. Old as they are in age, for sure they are up to date in feelings and situations, in their storytelling. Love, of course, but also Life, its harshness, its problems: work, money, equal rights, respect, sustainability, in terms of both nature and fellow humans, the future. Songs without age. Songs good for all ages.
I tried to respect the rhythms, the feelings, the atmospheres in the original songs and their lyrics. After all, it is these rhythms and feelings, these atmospheres that hit my soul and inspired my writing. Did I succeed? I hope I did! I leave the readers free to judge and tell.
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I was born and raised in one of the world’s most beautiful lands, Italy, and in one of the world’s most known areas, Lake Como, famous for its beauty ever since the 1600s and maybe earlier. The country of beauty, a place of beauty. The sense of beauty, the beauty of life, of landscape and nature, of arts and architecture, is rooted deep into my heart and mind. I look and search for beauty every single day. Beauty without sharing is nothing. Sharing calls for interaction. I look for interactions with people, too: I interact and communicate by eyes and face, words, paper. Objects, as well, or arts and architecture. Images: I am also a photographer and a video maker, though not at a professional level, for sure. All means are valid when looking for interactions.
A collection of short stories inspired by songs, Twelve was born out of the feelings and the images that those songs draw in my mind and my soul, in my heart. Music is excellent, in meeting people and making new friends. As Mick Hucknall, the frontman of The Simply Red, once told me, when I met him at an event in Piedmont, Italy, music is everywhere. Music is natural. It is in animals, flowers, and plants. Music is in the air. Music speaks to everyone, no matter where there are from, the language they speak. Music will even survive humans. I love music, am fond of music. In Twelve, I tried to translate my love for music into words. I mean, part of my love for music, for in these short stories I concentrated on rock, and country-rock, but as a matter of fact, I love all of music, no matter the styles, the origin, the instruments, the sounds.
The US, Oregon, Salem, that is where I met rock, too. An encounter that has changed my tastes in music, and possibly my life, as well. That does not mean I put aside Italian traditional music, not at all. As I said before, music is a means for communicating, just as words, images, photographs, icons, faces, whatever. I am fond of all styles of music, ancient to modern, rock, soul, jazz, classical, opera, Celtic, you name it, I love it. And I love words, so I wanted to turn into words the feelings, the images, that some of the songs I love the most inspired in my mind and my heart.
Some of the stories in my book, indeed, are rooted in those months in Oregon: it is then I went to my first concert. I was raised in a small town in Northern Italy, far from anything grand. Once in Salem, I went to a Jimmy Buffet’s concert at the sports arena in Portland, where the Trailblazers play. I had never been to such an event before. I had never seen so many people altogether. You could fit my home town four of five times, in there. I fell in love with Jimmy’s music at once!