2019 is the year of Leonardo Da Vinci, the great Italian master that during his life has studied many different fields of study. Surely the Tuscan scholar is majorly known due to his inventions, for how he developed many sciences and for his paintings. However, Leonardo was also a musician and in order to enhance this usually forgotten aspect of his persona, Milano Genius has decided to tribute the master, during his year, with a concert named La Musica di Leonardo, Ispirazioni al Genio. Leonardo was not an ordinary composer, he aimed to express his thoughts in a new way and so he created his famous Rebus where notes merge with words becoming one new and unique thing. Thanks to La Musica di Leonardo we wish to honor the memory of the greatest Genius that ever lived.

The concert was produced by ASG-Produzioni alongside with Fondazione Paolina Brugnatelli, where on 19th of June it was held inside a Japanese exhibition where the artists Makoto Codice Bianco and Kazuto Takegami honored Da Vinci’s Genius with their operas. Milano Genius 2019 produced by Italian Cultural Institute in Osaka in collaboration with ASG-Produzioni, is a project patronized by both municipalities of the twin cities of Milan and Osaka and it always wishes to enhance the collaboration between different cultures. In order to better understand our initiative, we interviewed the ones that made possible La Musica di Leonardo: the lute player Maurizio Piantelli and the Mezzo-Soprano Valentina Volpe Andreazza.

To Maurizio Piantelli: Leonardo, during his research on the music field, often dwelt on the concept of The Figuration of Invisible and, like him, your performance aims to research the unknown. How you made that possible?

Leonardo saw music as an important subject to study, surely not significant as figurative arts, but he didn’t despise it at all. Indeed, he played the lyre and even started singing. The reason behind the creation of those Musical Rebus was probably the fact that Leonardo was amused by the idea of using a nontraditional writing. The Figuration of Invisible means music itself since is not possible to see it: the exact opposite of figurative arts. The reconstruction of the Rebus is left to the musician and in this case, we followed the work done by Massimo Lonardi.

To Valentina Volpe Andreazza: Leonardo’s musical legacy certainly cannot be defined as ordinary. If I ask you to compare the experience to portray and adapt Da Vinci’s Rebus with some of your past exhibitions like Euphonia and Fushikaden, how will you express yourself?

I am intrigued by everything that, thanks to its originality, is able to create a dialogue between different elements and subjects. Indeed, Euphonia is the reinterpretation of the Anthem of Joy in an European and Renaissance key due to the #rEUnaissance feeling that Luca Jahier, President of the CESE, has spread through all Europe. Instead, Fushikaden is a different, but equally beautiful, project born two years ago from an idea of Paolo Cacciato for ASG-Produzioni. During this unique exhibition I had the privilege to interpret traditional Japaneses arias in the original language, a duty that I took with the higher respect possible. Melodies can create strong connections and synergies, but more importantly they can bond people together even without words. Music is empathy, a magical key needed to open the locked doors of our emotions in order to interact with others. Life is a Rebus and through music’s interpretation we can try to solve it.

To Valentina Volpe Andreazza: La Musica di Leonardo is played inside a Japanese art exhibition created as a tribute to the master’s Genius. Do you believe that the East World is capable to express an homage to a Western artist of such relevance?

Every time there is a pure desire of knowledge lead by humbleness, inspiration, joy and admiration; every time our actions are made to preserve and enhance everything that is good and pleasing: only then barriers cease to exist and become possible to honor the Greatest Master of Human History. The Genius behind an idea is indeed its capability to be embraced, even as a role model, by other cultures.