It’s a contradiction in the first place according to the virtuous italian jazz pianist Stefano Bollani. To talk about music.

I met him at Teatro Poliziano in Montepulciano more than a year ago for this exact purpose, to talk about music. He was about to go on stage with his partner: actor and dancer Valentina Cenni in a piece they co-wrote and for which he composed the music “The Dada Queen”. A performance full of words about being imprisoned by words and by the concepts we create with them.

The play is a surreal story about a queen who abdicate the throne to find a freedom beyond the role she has been given by others. Driven by an equal amount of passion and anxiety she sets out to liberate herself from the thoughts that have defined and restrained her to have a limited perspective on her own life.

Stefano Bollani plays a music teacher who listens to all her words but who himself speaks only through music. The queen gradually lets her confining thoughts dissolve and in listening to the music she finds the freedom to create a new life for herself.

-Music speaks directly to the heart, says Bollani during our interview. It makes something in the body vibrate, without having to pass through the brain first. Music is a direct way to go into something. It’s a deep communication. So actually for me it’s easier to be free when I am playing my music than when I’m living my life.

Hear Bollani talk more about the relationship between music and life in this videoclip from our interview:

My article can be read in Danish here: 

Pianisten Stefano Bollani på scenen som skuespiller

Still photo from the performance above is by Margherita Cenni. 

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