Massimiliano Di Carlo created the Fontefina Festival, with his cultural association Alberi Di Maggio. After Fontefina’s first edition in 2018, in this interview, he shares what Fontefina is all about.
Katie: I am here with Massimiliano Di Carlo. Can you tell me about the Fontefina Festival.
Massimiliano: Fontefina Festival?
Massimiliano: Fontefina Festival was these last two days a great experience. To share music, to share love, the pleasure of meeting people and culture. To improvise music in the traditional way, to dance with traditional dancing, to meet researchers, international researchers and then, yes, international researchers like Tran Quang Hai and Bach Yen that come from Vietnam. Tran Quang Hai is the son of Tran Van Khe, one of the most important ethnomusicologists in the world, and they are performing Vietnamese music and researching experimental voice and traditions. So they met the Italian anthropologists, the Italian researchers and the local players, like improvisers of poetry, improvisers of dancing, of instruments like the accordion or drum or bagpipe and they, we, shared all these elements together in these two days, even having workshops and working in the field in the morning where we cut the wheat together with the old people that taught us how to cut the wheat, how to manage the collective work and in the night we danced together, we played after the concert where there were many many many performers and actors too, like Francesca Camilla D’Amico who is researching about the traditional theatre, the oral transmission of theatre that we have in our local culture.
Katie: What made you create this festival?
Massimiliano: I created this festival because basically I need to share this knowledge with people because it is research that I have been doing for many years and now is the moment to share these elements of the culture that are almost disappearing from daily life. So I need, and I think that we need to share these kind of social rituals with music, with spontaneity in the execution. So this is the main reason, the need that I think we have. And the feedback from the people confirmed to me that really we need this kind of spontaneity and we can build it again, connecting the social texture and playing again in life this kind of music that has not disappeared. We can study it, we can learn it like something new but that is very ancient.
Katie: So Fontefina Festival is about the very small place where you come from. It is very local, very inside this place, but what do you think about the rest of the world. You had many guests from many parts of the world.
Massimiliano: Piane di Morro is the name of the village where I was born and where I grew up. Then I went away from this village for many years, studying music, playing music with orchestras and experimental music groups and some in Germany, in France and in the North of Italy. And so I, in this last twelve years, I have built my network of knowledge, of people and this first edition of Fontefina is like the first result of these connections putting them together and creating a new format of festival where each one from different countries gives the contribution to build, to give value to the local culture because the local culture can be shared when people from outside give to it importance, so the local people feel that they are still important. It is important to be considered. So they give more importance to their own culture that in these last years after the second world war has been falling down because there is the idea that we have to be international or globalised in a way, and it is important to be international but knowing well our own culture, our own roots that give us substance, stability to be open to the world.
Katie: Thank you.