Matera 2019

Materadio, the Radio3 festival, flooded the streets of Matera for three days  from the 21st to the 23rd of September  with plays, concerts and meetings  all having a common theme as a starting point –the relationship between “Global and Local”, the subtopic of “Reflections and Connections”, which is also one of the five themes contained in the Candidacy Bid-Book for Matera 2019.

An exceptional concert with a group of great artists launched Materadio’s8th edition on September 21st with Luigi Cinque on the sax, Antonello Salis on the accordion, Agostino  Cortese doing voice and bass drum and Pasquale Scarano doing voice and guitars. Somewhere in between folk and electronic music, their entire performance was devoted to the great Maestro Antonio Infantino, an unforgettable poet, musician and interpreter of the sentiment characterizing Southern Italy.

The Radio3 broadcast continued with “Fahrenheit”, a programme devoted to books and ideas with Pulitzer prize-winner Jhumpa Lahiri and Tahar Ben Jelloun pondering on the key words of this edition of Materadio, that is “global” and “local”. These concepts were approached from a cosmopolitical viewpoint of open-mindedness and acceptance of cultural differences throughout the Materadio weekend. This dialectic confrontation also found expression in the afro-beat sound of Seun Kuti, the son of the legendary Fela Kuti and when local musicians of the Ljp Big Band directed by Dino Plasmati performed with the world-famous jazz star Bobby Watson. And then again the theme was dealt with in the exchanges during the RaiRadio3 programme  “Tutta l’umanità ne parla”, broadcast live from Piazza San Francesco in Matera. There, architect Pietro Laureano, author Laura Boella and Strega prize-winner Nicola Lagioia discussed the subject of the relationship between globalization and local identity with ironic overtones, embodying the ideas of personalities of the past, namely Lévi Strauss, Hannah Arendt and Robinson Crusoe. Their discussion full of paradoxes and cross-overs touched on topical themes such as mass tourism in Matera as well as travel as an opportunity for personal growth.

“Global and Local” were also to be found in Max Gazzè’s project which brought together the sound of a symphony orchestra and that of a synthesizer in a first-ever concert performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatory of Music of Matera, the D’Ambrosio Brass Orchestra of Montescaglioso and the Great Brass Orchestra of Grottole that joined forces  on the evening of Friday the 21st in the Park around Tramontano Castle.

As for the plays on  Radio3, taking turns on the stage of Materadio were some of the best-loved actors of the Italian scene –Anna Foglietta acted out the second chapter of “Storie dal Decamerone” (Stories from the Decameron), an original play by Michele Santeramo who took Bocaccio’s work as a starting point to tell a dramatic story from the present day. Silvio Orlando, on the other hand, took  us into the pages of the novel La vita davanti a sé (The Life before Us) by Romain Gary with unlikely love stories and lives turned upside down. Nicola Lagioia, one of the voices of the programme “Pagina 3”, which reviews the newspaper pages devoted to culture on Radio3, imagined a tale made up of eight parts taking place in Lucania and Argentina performed by the actor Tommaso Ragno in a guiding thread linking Materadio to Music Design, with original compositions by Mater Elettrica, the school of electronic and applied music which belongs to Matera’s Conservatory of Music.

On saturday the R.Gervasio Auditorium was animated by a performance of the great pianist Roberto Cominati, acclaimed for his stylistically “mimetic” pianismin prestigious musical institutions known the world over such as the La Scala Opera House, the San Carlo Theatre, the La Fenice Theatre and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence May Music Festival). “Fahrenheit”, a Raodio3 afternoon programme devoted to books and ideas, hosted Nadia Terranova and Nicola Lagioia in remembrance of the writer Alessandro Leogrande, while in the first part of the broadcast, the writer Gianrico Carofiglio reflected on the responsibility that must be taken for what is written and said, not only in politics but also in everyday life.

In “Hollywood Party”, actor Valerio Mastrandrea and film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf engaged the audience in a wide-ranging conversation about cinema, culture and contemporary art, full of curiosities, taking the audience off the set course.This programme was preceded by Radio3 Scienza with two exceptional women – the astrophysicist Sandra Savaglio and the mathematician Sara Lucente who, in dealing with landscape geometry described Matera as the world’s most “fractal” city. The broadcast was followed by a concert with Greta Panettieri, one of the most eclectic voices on the international scene.

The last day of Materadio began with the notes of Bach in a performance by the violinist Francesco D’Orazio, was followed by Davide Enia, the protagonist of a monologue entitled “Scene dalla frontiera – l’abisso” (Scenes from the border –the abyss) and came to a close with Moni Ovadia’s performance of  “Senza confini: ebrei e zingari” ( Without borders – Jews and Gypsies).

In the Materadio Village set up with temporary structures created by the Open Design School School, Materadio guests met the public for book signings and meetings alongside the presentation of projects jointly produced as part of the cultural programme, all supported by the work of volunteers for Matera 2019.

Materadio’s ample off-programme began at Palazzo Lanfranchi on September 19th with the inauguration of the exhibition “10 Photographers for 10 Museums” showing photographs by Michele Battilomo, Luca Centola, Alfredo Chiarappa, Mario Cresci, Federica Danzi, Francesco La Centra, Cosmo Laera, Pierangelo Laterza, Francesco Radino e Angela Rosati and curated by Polo Museale della Basilicata (Museums of Basilicata Syndicate). On Thursday 20th , producer Claudio Trotta from Milan,who in the course of his career has worked with the world’s top most musicians from Sting, David Bowie, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Kiss and most notably Bruce Springsteen, presented his latest book No Pasta No Show at the Materadio Village. MateradioOff came to an end on Sunday 23rd, first with two showings of the film “The Fabulous Tricker– on the Road with Antonio Infantino”,  made in cooperation with the Lucana Film Commission, all sold out at Cinema Piccolo. This was followed by “Matera Encounters – Ljp Big Band meets Bobby Watson” whose evening performance exhilarated the audience in Piazza San Francesco.

Once again this year Materadio has proved to be an important event and a useful opportunity to observe and understand how Matera is preparing for its historic appointment with 2019, after having accompanied the city for the past 8 years on a journey where culture is the mainstay for civil, economic and social change.