The Unedited
Free space for free expression in English & Italian
Edited by Carlo Pelanda
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PLAYING BACH

I need to relax and play the music of Johann Sebastian Bach on the piano. It has been installed, on my special request, a silent mechanism. Just to watch out the reaction of my neighbours. Germans are quite sensible to any loud and their scarce artistic feelings would let them judge my tunes as much annoying as the sound produced by a drill. John Cage would have perhaps agreed, but the locals wouldn't have ever condoned him an applause. If not for the importance of silence in his works. 4′33″ could be adopted as a motivational anthem by most single ladies living in small block of flats, devoted to call the police as soon as they perceive a perturbation in the air.
To me it sounds to be back in the DDR, where to keep your mouth shut was the best way to survive. The good subjects were also well prone to inform the KGB for any slight inconvenience, perhaps relying on fake witnesses. Especially if, by their delation, any small advantage could have been obtained. By those who have celebrated their birthday at home and stayed awake till 11 pm, those who have hanged a paint on Sunday and used a nail to fix it to the wall. Even by someone who has parked his or her car and didn't use it for around a month. That is the favourite move of the German socialist sycophants. They scratch the bumper of their vehicle and look for a partner ready to accuse the owner of another car to have provoked the damage. The latter should prove himself innocent and, unless he has got any prove that the car has not been used in the designated timeframe, he must pay a good amount. Both to the supposed damaged party, and to the government. The institutions have moreover found a valuable way to drain out value from private property, by fixing the fines according to the personal income. Usually the outcoming is proper of a joke. For the aforementioned scratch wouldn't be rare to have to pay a fine amounting up to 50 times the costs to restore the auto body. That is actually never repaired, but soon used again for the same purpose, although with a different plate.
I am however much more sensible to old plates, played on recent versions of old gramophones. According to some connoisseur, they reproduce a gentler sound than the one coming from a CD or a digital file. I have got the feeling it is just a matter of being accustomed to. For most of us, digital music is something we have got the habit to listen to since we were teenagers, perhaps a little bit earlier. Decades of LPs consuming has definitely influenced the ear of our fathers, up until my generation. I am quite sure it will be rare to find any of those vinyl fan among anybody who is just ten years younger than me.
Propaganda and mass education have the same effect. In this case the admirers of the old technologies appear under a total different light than the Long Plays gentlemen. They are almost despised as nostalgic fascists in the west or scrubby and preposterous last standing members of the Party in the east. In a fashionable and conservative land like only the Italian Peninsula could be, the allurement of the past has managed to give the power back to the latter form of Homo Politicus. On the other side of the Berlin Wall, it has just inspired a couple of film producers who have found out a way to make money out of the ludicrous side of the soviet propaganda.
Bach did not rely on any ideology for his works. His composition reflects the pure logic of mathematics, with which the human beings have acquired the habit to describe the world. Though there are scarce alternatives to such rules, whose simplicity and effectiveness make them so relaxing and inspiring for an honest and independent mind.


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By Matteo F. M. Sommaruga