Adorinan Barbosa, composer, singer and actor, the true foundation of the identity of São Paulo, fills his famous sambas with expressions taken from the Italian spoken by the millions of our emigrants who arrived like him in southeastern Brazil.
In his famous “Italian Samba” he sings like this: “Gioconda, my little one / go to brincare in the sea at the bottom / but be careful with the tubarone”.
The Italianization of the word tubarão (shark) in tubarone, with an almost childishly surreal sound, speaks to us instead of an infinite story, both ancient and urgently topical, perhaps the very essence of humanity. That of the masses of men who move around the world and in doing so (paraphrasing Erri De Luca) move the world.
Today’s narrative on emigration, dramatically flattened by the terrible contingency of the phenomenon, tends to linger on the more immediate, visible aspects and little on what this mass of people on the move brings with it. It is not the contents of the iconic cardboard suitcases dragged by our grandparents who left for “Merica”, nor the contents of the small backpacks that we see worn by those who come to us today that we are thinking about, but the heaviest and most precious baggage that all bring with them: images translated into words and held together in grammatical structures that highlight visions of the world, psychologies, codes of conduct, in short, a language that defines us, forms us, makes us what we are, supports our thoughts, the imagination and affections, so much so that it is not we who possess it, but she who is the Mother.
Charlemagne, who spoke many, including Arabic, said that knowing a second language is equivalent to having a second soul.
For this reason, the trio starting from the strong biographical fact that unites us and which refers to the close contact with Brazil, musical and beyond, after the works Correnteza, on the music of Jobim, and Agreste, on the music of the Brazilian “interior”, proposes a new repertoire centered on the double-stranded relationship that historically binds Italy to Brazil. Songs of the great historical and contemporary Italian-Brazilians, translations of Italian songs into Portuguese and vice versa and songs of Italian emigration represent the heart of the work.
The intent is strictly autobiographical. Cristina lived for years in Rio de Janeiro where she began her musical career, Gabriele has been collaborating for two decades with great Brazilian musicians and has spent a lot of time with them both in Europe and in Brazil, Roberto in Natal, in the Brazilian north-east he lived until at the age of majority, before moving to Italy. We were the first to learn to be careful with the big tube on our skin, which like the Colombre of Buzzati’s memory, is neither more nor less than the revelation of our second soul