Canale Milva

Com’è bello far l’amore da Trieste in giù #1

Con la partecipazione di: Ambra Viviani Daria Blum Ghalas Charara Guendalina Cerruti Marta Margnetti Nastasia Meyrat
Curata da: Giada Olivotto & Camilla Paolino
In onda da: estate 2021


Dear listeners, welcome to the third episode of CANALE MILVA: the web-radio that since the summer of 2020 explores the format of the sound exhibition, always taking as a starting point some gems of the Italian music, chosen by Giada Olivotto and Camilla Paolino to spark a collective reflection with visual artists invited for the occasion.

Today, with this third sound exhibition, we inaugurate a new column that we have entitled “Com è bello far l’amore da Trieste in giù.” As you may have guessed, this new column is dedicated to the famous song “Tanti Auguri,” sung by Italian singer Raffaella Carrà (or La Raffa Nazionale), as well as by many of us: alone in the car, or at the top of our lungs at the end of the night. The song, accompanied by frills and its “official” dance, gives us a series of unforgettable verses, which we will now listen to together. TANTI AUGURI! 

⋆。°✩ Raffaella Carrà, “Tanti Auguri,” 1978 ✩°。⋆

As Giada said, we have just listened to some verses of “Tanti Auguri,” which seem to allude to the question of sexual liberation and, in particular, to the liberation of womxn’s sexuality: an ongoing debate gaining public attention over the two decades preceding the composition and release of this song (first published in 1978). We are speaking of a historical moment that saw at last the emergence of new ways of thinking and representing womxn’s bodies, sexuality, desire, and pleasure, beyond the more traditional and normative socio-cultural models. Such a moment inaugurated an important reflection that is still ongoing at present.

Yes, as Camilla says, in Italy, from the 1960s onwards, the question of pleasure is discussed more and more openly: it is an endless field of reflection to be explored through different and infinite approaches, without elitism, without prudery, without exclusions. There are many connections between music and the culture of liberation of womxn’s sexuality. For example, while in the USA Betty Dawson is committed to creating political groups and spreading information about women’s masturbation, in Italy we have Gianna Nannini who publishes the album “California” (with Statue of Liberty with vibrator in hand on the cover), where we find the single “America”: a symbol of emancipation for the new generations.

⋆。°✩ Gianna Nannini, “America,” 1979 ✩°。⋆

We have just listened to the voice of the great Gianna Nannini (not without a bit of nostalgia). Through the column “Com’è bello far l’amore da Trieste in giù” we would like to stimulate a reflection on women’s sexuality and its liberation in a rather peculiar moment as regards sex: a moment in which encounters, human contact and sex are in many places impracticable, as they are prevented or hindered in any way. In fact, it is now more than a year that the health restrictions in place in Italy, as in other countries around the world, have made this type of exchange and involvement particularly difficult to take place. And we are not talking only and exclusively about confinements and lockdowns: in many countries, indeed, a series of rules and/or advice have been introduced, to provide a set of safety guidelines to be followed while having sexual intercourses.

In the state of New York, for example, the health department has issued recommendations (accompanied by a comprehensive guide) that open with the question “But can you have sex?” This document seems to suggest that the State does not limit itself to informing, but somehow regulates the citizens’ freedom regarding their bodies and pleasure. In Italy, on the other hand, various sets of directives have been spread, first and foremost: “contact should be as limited as possible.”  Long story short, it seems that sex, nowadays, it is safer and easier to do on your own, while casual/free/new/outdoors relationships are drastically reduced and, in part, translated into what we can define as “remote sexuality.” It is as if the pandemic has brought back and consolidated through its health regulations some traditional norms whereby only couples formed pre-pandemic are allowed the comfort of intimacy, thus reinforcing an old and limping system that we know well and from which we have been trying to free ourselves since the 1960s.

Let’s not forget, then, the precious advices of Ornella Vanoni in her famous song “Rossetto e cioccolato,” or the intimate and wonderful thought of Patty Pravo:

⋆。°✩ Ornella Vanoni, “Rossetto e cioccolato,” 1995 ✩°。⋆

⋆。°✩ Patty Pravo, “Pensiero stupendo,” 1978 ✩°。⋆

We have just listened to the unmistakable voices of Ornella Vanoni and Patty Pravo talking about sexuality, or alluding to it. The question of sexuality remains in fact a delicate and complex one, today more than ever considering the obligatory distance between the bodies we mentioned before. But we want to talk about it anyway.

So, for this new episode on CANALE MILVA, inspired by the words of women such as Carrà, Vanoni, Pravo and many others, we decided to involve Italian artist Guendalina Cerruti, in collaboration with Swiss artist Daria Blum, Lebanese artist Ghalas Charara, Swiss artists Marta Margnetti and Nastasia Meyrat, and Italian artist Ambra Viviani, inviting them to reflect on the problematic of women’s sexuality, now and then, through their artistic practices. In response, they told us about love and love-making, along with asparagus, pigeons, sulfuric acid, and whatnot, through a series of new sound pieces, produced for the occasion and interspersed with a kind of refrain that sounds more like interference: an infiltration in the form of a jingle produced by Ghalas Charara, oscillating between two positionings that are crucial to love-making, that are consent and refusal. And she goes:

“Why is the word yes so brief?

It should be the longest, the hardest,

so that you could not decide in an instant to say it,

so that upon reflection you could stop in the middle of saying it” (ref. 1)

After this introduction to our new column “Com’è bello far l’amore da Trieste giù,” let’s listen to the proposals of today’s invited artists. Our line-up begins with “Asparagus Twenty 9 Teen,” a song by artists Guendalina Cerruti and Daria Blum that traces three different phases of a bitter-sweet intimate relationship, first recalling the memories of a first date, then evoking the pain of physical separation due to the pandemic conditions, and concluding with a climax of discussions about asparagus. 

The second sound piece presented today is “Confessioni al buio” (confessions in the dark) by artist Marta Margnetti. Marta has prepared for us an intimate confession that comes together as a set of elisions taking the form of a sequence of silences, or moments of reflection and hesitation. During this sound piece you can hear breaths, sighs, and even moanings. It is a collection of sounds that at times resemble that of an orgasm. Marta tells us that, for her, these sounds are like dust: they are the residues or scraps of a larger environment which, when observed closely, reveal an equally complex microcosm.

We will then continue our listening with “Love Machines” by the artist Nastasia Meyrat, a sound piece that swings between the idea of love and the act of making love and that denounces the instrumentalization of the work of love and care within a capitalist and patriarchal system, but that at the same time contemplates possible forms of emancipation from it. Everything revolves around the figure of the pigeon: a multiform creature, a hybrid between communication/espionage/rescue technology, and a species considered a pest or a vector of disease. Or, conversely, a companion species, as Haraway puts it. Articulating the discourse around this figure, Nastasia proposes us to reflect on sexuality, on the one hand disrupting the more normative structures that support it, on the other calling for a possible multi-species declination of it. 

And finally, let us be carried away by the notes of “Sulfuric Acid,” a song written and performed by the voice of the artist Ambra Viviani, like an erotic-love roller coaster or a carousel of sexuality and intimacy. A clue to follow this listening is given to us directly by Ambra, who writes: “Quoting Anastacia and her very trendy pink glasses that still weren’t powerful enough to allow her to see the world through them: ‘I’m sick and tired of always being sick and tired.’” With this quote we leave you to your listening.

⋆。°✩ Guendalina Cerruti + Daria Blum, “Asparagus Twenty 9 Teen,” 5m25s ✩°。⋆

⋆。°✩ Marta Margnetti, “Confessioni al buio,” 3m24s ✩°。⋆

⋆。°✩ Nastasia Meyrat, “Love Machines,” 7m47s ✩°。⋆

⋆。°✩ Ambra Viviani in collaboration with Marco Guglielmetti (Minne de Curtis) and Matteo Simonin (Blind Animals), “Sulfuric Acid,” 3m19s ✩°。⋆

⋆。°✩ with infiltrations by ghalas charara ✩°。⋆

We would like to thank all the artists and their collaborators who contributed to the realization of the third episode of CANALE MILVA and inaugurated the new column “Com’è bello far l’amore da Trieste in giù.” We would also like to thank Lumpen Station once again for the hospitality and the newborn association Magica Opalini for supporting our sound project. Finally, we are happy to thank our supporters: Pro Helvetia, FSRC, and ProLitteris, who generously support us in the production of the annual programming of CANALE MILVA. 

Please find below further references and biographical information.

Closing song: ⋆。°✩ Raffaella Carrà, “Tanti Auguri,” 1978 ✩°。⋆