What does hope and unity mean to you? August Storcx Stories, looks at the arts and culture as a means of enlightenment and joy. We will be talking to the Super Soprano Laura Baldassari who graced her neighbours with her operatic tones from her apartment window during lockdown Italy. We explore the highs and lows of the first half 2020 and what are our take away positives can be. Take a dive into Storcx Guide to find your inner creative with all gifts arty and uplifting! Happy Reading, Love Storcx xx
So now that we are past half way into 2020 and most of us are thinking that this year cannot end quickly enough, we cannot escape the fact that we are slowly embarking on a new post Covid life. This will bring so many different things to so many of us. Some people may have lost loved ones, jobs or business, or indeed changed business models to mould to the market demand and new social distancing rules. As we adapt we must reflect. What lessons have we learned? What positives can we take from the last few months? Did anything good come out of it and what can we do differently going forward? We all must have felt a pang of warmth and unity when we heard from across the Mediterranean that the operatic tones of super soprano Laura Baldassari had suddenly graced her neighbours’ windows in hard hit Covid Italy during their incredibly rigorous 4 month lockdown, brining hope and solidarity to the deflated and scared. Imagine the joy on the children’s faces as they heard an operatic songbird for the first time from their kitchen window, during such a difficult time. This moment of unity and pure passion for life and music warmed the hearts of even the most critical and hardened of us. For this reason, this edition of Storcx Stories we are delighted to have the sensational and inspirational Laura Baldassari talk to us about lockdown in Italy, what brings her hope and how she sees the future.
With this we must think what can evoke happiness in these times, without the traditional means of art and entertainment to keep us busy with theatres, museums, exhibitions and restaurants closed; what can we do to keep the arts alive and find our inner Laura and inner culture enthusiast? With the Storcx Guide to Art & Culture in Summer 2020 we can remind ourselves of all the beauty we have the power to create, even if we can’t physically go and see it elsewhere.
Remember to always make gifting ethical, memorable and easy by using Storcx, which allows you and your friends to find that perfect gift for someone that the purse strings may not allow you to do alone. With smart tracking and cute reminders to those who may have forgotten to pay STORCX is the only gifting solution that saves time and waste! Storcxit
Singer and Desinger
YOU ARE ONE TO ADMIRE WITH SO MANY TALENTS, DO YOU COME FROM A MUSICAL OR ARTISTIC FAMILY?
I always feel the urgency to be many things at one time, and I have never wanted to be defined in a certain category but everything I do aims to the beauty of the mystery. Using different tools, which have a strong relevance to my origin.
The multi-disciplinary approach has always strongly characterised me, combined with the obsession to realise an idea or a suggestion, having many possibility which has lead me to dedicate my time to numerous disciplines – which seems to be far from each other.
My mother is a painter and a decorator, my dad is a musician. I lived closely to them and, as a consequence, an alphabet started to build in me, through which I began to read the reality and to give shape to my thought.
I started to think that we don’t need to be afraid to show our uniqueness: what makes us different from the others embodies our main strength, a rare superpower on which we can rely on in every situation.
ITALY WAS THE FIRST COUNTRY TO BE HIT HARD BY THE CORONAVIRUS AND DURING LOCKDOWN YOU GAVE THE PEOPLE A PERFORMANCE TO REMEMBER DURING THE MUSIC FLASH MOB. WAS THIS A PLANNED EVENT AND WHAT INSPIRED THIS?
I live in Milan, in the Navigli neighborhood, one of the most – at least, used to be – crowded place in Milan, where a lot of artists and musicians live.
After the first dazing days, each of us, from our homes, are thinking of another way to share the creativity, to get close to each other but keeping the distance, to feel like a vibrant and essential part in such a pivotal moment that is radically changing our habits.
I heard about the flash mob the night before on facebook, because some of my friends reposted it. I thought it was a really nice idea and I started to think about what would have been the best song to represent this crazy time. So, I decided to share the information with my contacts also.
The day after at 6 o’clock I heard that “the city awaked”: in few minutes a ghost town has turned into an unexpected theater. I went to the window and started singing. “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Rinaldo by Handel. We were so close one to each other, different people with different musical instrument part of the same “core”, apart but still together.
In the end, it was a simple act but at the same time a way for our country to show that we are still able tospread beauty, vital energy and a unique “sense of unity”.
WHAT A FANTASTIC THING TO DO! SINCE THIS EVENT HAS THERE BEEN ANY OTHER CORONAVIRUS INSPIRATIONS?
For sure, this is a very important opportunity to imagine our future, to understand what we really need, to see what we are and where we are going. We need to reinvent ourself, to rethink our behavior, from how we are treating this planet and our precious environment and resources, to the idea that we don’t have everything under our control. I think that we have to find the courage to become stronger: it is a big opportunity for all of us to change together.
THERE HAS BEEN SO MUCH SADNESS AND LOSS FROM COVID, WHAT DO YOU DO TO KEEP POSITIVE?
I lived this time as an opportunity to enjoy my family, to spend quality time with my six year old daughter, she is a volcano of energies! I’m teaching her “O mio bambino caro” and now then she wants to sing at the windows too.
I also tried to dedicate myself to what makes me feel good, and it’s incredible how during the lockdown, in a such a tough time, I felt to be free, like when I was a child, experiencing every emotion to its fullest, and experience the passing of time in a different way.
YOUR VOICE IS INCREDIBLE HAS SINGING ALWAYS BEEN ON THE CARDS? DID YOU HAVE TO DO A LOT TRAINING?
I always sung, since I was a child, from my sofa imitating pop stars from MTV, and I started performing at school parties with my band. Then one day in the car with my mom, I was around 18 years old, we heard on the radio a live performance from Wagner Bayreuth festival. I will never forget that powerful, sculptural voice that literally dazzled me. In that moment, I realised that I wanted to take my voice to another level, it was a self-imposed challenge to push my body to overcome its limits.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOUR DESIGN COMPANY WITH YOUR HUSBAND?
Atelier Biagetti was founded by Alberto Biagetti. In order to concentrate independently on interdisciplinary experimentation, crossing the boundaries between art, architecture, design and film with particular attention to the shifting roles of the physical and virtual worlds.
I started to collaborate with him thanks an exhibition curated by Gabi Scardi at Galleria Riccardo Crespi in Milan, in which our personal works was showed together, and we understood that our works together generated an incredible combination. A new energy was born.
From that moment we started to imagine a new way to work around and with objects, including installations and performances, starting from the idea that every obsession can became an incredible inspiration.
Our work aims to construct an immersive environment full of hints and clues in which the objects that inhabit the space become actors in a possible scene, questioning the space surrounding them and the habits related to it. The objects become devices that suggest new ways of interacting with both physical and psychological space; they trigger short-circuits and undermine the dynamics associated with the collective memory.
YOU HAVE DONE SOME INCREDIBLE AND INSTALLATIONS, PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT THEM…
It is a way to challenge the system, keeping in mind that every place can be like a movie set.
In our work, the theatrical element has become more and more fundamental, because we start from the concept that it is more interesting what happens around the objects rather than the objects themselves.
If in the past the designer’s role was to solve problems, to find the perfect equilibrium between form and function, today all the technical “problems” have already been solved so design is now free to address much more complex problems. We used the communicative ability of these scenarios and the objects within them to address some of contemporary society’s most evident obsessions – and to create an immersive environment in which our perceptions, our expectations are subverted.
WHICH WAS YOUR FAVOURITE OR MOST OUTLANDISH ART INSTALLATION?
In 2015 we started working on our Trilogy Project, Money Sex and Body Building curated by Maria Cristina Didero, a three shows project, which explores the most common and known obsessions in the contemporary society.
Body Building, the first episode, examined power and beauty through the seemingly skin-deep subject of the human body and No Sex addressed human psychology in the Freudian sense through the first basic element – sex, then God explored our relationships with materialism – with what money actually is, our physical relationship with it, the desires and aspirations it provokes in us and the power that we attribute to it – many believe that money has the power to actually bring happiness, for example. From what we have observed from the society we live in, these three subjects are certainly three of the most popular obsessions – whether we like it or not and that is exactly why we chose them.
We used Money, Sex and Beauty to talk about desires, expectations, illusions and obsessions of contemporary society. We started with the body and the idea of “beauty” as it is the most immediate and the most seemingly superficial of the three topics. We then “penetrated” the body and moved onto the psyche and looked at human psychology in the Freudian sense with No Sex and finally we moved onto something that is idolized, almost worshipped, in contemporary society – money.
ADDING TO YOUR MANY TALENTS IS YOUR FURNITURE. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE AND WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE COLLABORATION?
Anemona Table per Louis Vuitton \ Objets Nomades. With this project, Louis Vuitton presented us with the challenge and opportunity of exploring an extremely contemporary topic, which allows us once again to take inspiration from the world around us to create new levels of interaction with and through an object that can tell us many stories.
Right from the beginning we wanted to create an “experiential object” that suggested the idea of a journey more psychologically than physically. We did not want to create a portable object – on the contrary, we wanted it to be the object itself to transport us to far off places.
So, we thought about the domestic object par excellence – a great big table. The table is an object that brings people together, whether they be members of a large family or people meeting for the first time. It is a convivial object that inspires the telling of stories and sharing of tales and which, for us, marks the beginning of our journey.
For the first series of tables we chose leather, a soft, flexible material that is sensual to the touch and invites immediate human interaction. It is also the undisputed symbol of Louis Vuitton’s luxury craftsmanship and so it just had to be our first choice.
We have also discovered that behind this colossal brand there is a team of passionate people who know exactly what they want to do and how to interact with artists and designers to get the very best results.
IF SO CAN YOU GIVE US ANY HINTS AS TO WHAT YOU WILL DO?
We are working on “Body Building Part 2”. We love the idea to work on our project, imagining it like a series: each part of the story is related to the previous one, introducing new exciting elements; in this case, “Body Building Part 2” will be our first conscious project using exclusively Vegan leather.
HOW DO YOU KEEP BUSY?
I have a sort of daily routine. I use to start early in the morning at 6AM with a “Moka” coffee, half an hour of exercises to train my muscles and my breath, and this two things together gives me a lot of energy throughout the day.
If I am in Milan, I use to work on scores until lunch, then in the afternoon I meet my pianist to work on specific project related to concert performance until 3PM. Then, I use to start working at the Atelier, where I love to spend part of the day. The Atelier is an extension of our house, so at the end everything is connected.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT ?
A Lipstick on 😉
Poesie by Mariangela Gualtieri
DO YOU HAVE A NEW HOBBY SINCE LOCKDOWN?
During the lockdown I launched the “opera housewife” videos series, singing and Cooking, or singing during a Gym session, we did this because a lot of Magazine and IG profiles stared to ask contents from the lockdown, and I felt in love with this idea of an Operatic Housewife that never stop.
WHAT IS THE BEST GIFT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
A ring designed by my husband, which was on my finger when I woke up.
Sit back, relax and feed your inner creative from the comfort of your home with our guide to all things arty & cultural.
As we try and embrace nature, the arts, and all things that evoke positive emotions and uplifting thoughts, we thought this gift edit would focus on arty and creative gifts. What is a greater gift than giving someone the tools to create and try something new.
Remember Keep Life Simple – #storcxit