Event Sun Sep. 25, 2022, 7 pm

TENDER BUTTONS - Concert by Massimo Giuntoli

The concert will take place at the finissage of the exhibition

Musician and composer Massimo Guintoli has set to music the famous book Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein from 1914. His concert will close the exhibition "that other world, the world of the teapot. tenderness, a model".

“The idea of venturing into a musical interpretation of poetic texts began about ten years ago, with a selection of poems by Beat Generation authors. The result was a full-bodied project, which included poems by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Creeley, Diane Di Prima, Norman Mailer, Denise Levertov, Michael McClure. They were therefore readings "of my rebellious youth", most of which collected in the famous "Poetry of the Last Americans", edited by Fernanda Pivano. So, the curiosity towards Gertrude Stein's "experimental" texts came as a reflex, within my interest more and more in American poetry (starting with Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson of course, as of both them I composed music on a first very limited choice of works) . Also in this case, (as for the authors mentioned so far) "interpretation in a musical key" means giving life to real "songs", albeit with a less regular form than the standard structure and development that characterizes the common idea of "song". And, particularly in the case of Stein, it would perhaps be more correct to speak of lieder, albeit in a contemporary "frontier" meaning, that is, on the borderline between different genres and styles. Particularly in Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein relentlessly investigates the relationship between word and object (or place, or action), questioning the autonomous value of both the object described and the word that identifies it. For my part, I wonder, not only in reference to this work or to Stein's works, about the relationship between poetry and reality; between poetic abstraction and everyday life, understood as the objectivity, or the inevitability of what each of us has to face in everyday life. It is however important to specify that "my Tender Buttons" is in fact a purely musical work. Or in any case markedly more musical than literary, even if developed from a poetic text. The text that suggested its genesis is therefore, to a large extent, also a "pre-text", basically intended to give life to music."

Massimo Guintoli


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