Warm thoughts, cold days...

          Lately, my mornings have involved shoveling snow, throwing sand, spreading salt and commiserating  with the mailman over yet another  dire prediction made by  the tv-weathermen.  I have to wonder: how is it possible that a few short weeks ago, I was  in Sicily, where it was unseasonably warm for mid-November?  While I was visiting, Michele Termine from TeleRadioSciacca interviewed me at the Casa Planeta in Menfi.  Here is the interview which  took place in the midst of the installation, Discorsi Dendros, by Pyka-Leone.  I hope it takes your mind off of the snow!


Here is the English transcript of the interview:

Michele Termine, TeleRadioSciacca : How was your passion for Sicilian music ( folk music) born?


Michela Musolino: When I was a baby, this dialect, the Sicilian dialect, was the first sound I heard in my house because - I am the grand-daughter of immigrants - and my ( family) spoke in dialect to codify their conversations so we kids wouldn’t be able to understand anything.  I was always curious and it was this curiosity always pushed me forward, to study these things, to inform myself,  and also because at home, there was always a bit of music and I understood that this was not the music that was in everybody else’s homes, the homes of the other children I knew.   With age, I always had...I don’t know, could I say,  a, ‘predilection’?


MT:  Yes, predilection.


MM:   I like it. I  like this music.  I was always...attracted?


MT:    Yes, attracted 


MM:   Attracted to this music. It was something that developed naturally. it’s not that  one day I just decided to follow this path


MT:     I see, you live in America, in New York. 


MM:   Yes! This music grabbed me!


MT:   There you are, yes, that’s the really strange thing, because either  to  live and work in New York, or in America, in general, how do they live, (coming into contact) with this music which originated from depths of the Sicilian tradition. 


MM:   Yes, because these songs have so many emotions. They show so many emotions and they are emotions which the entire world  can understand. All of us share  these strong emotions and when I sing, it’s easy to show these emotions. Before I sing a song, I explain also a little of its ‘story’. Every song has a history, either the history of the area from  which it came, the history of the song or the story of the people who sang this song. But with these stories, I can bring forth these emotions from the public and we share these feelings so for that reason of course these is interest in this music! These are emotions which every can understand.


MT:  Listen, in a certain sense another important aspect is through this music, we  convey Sicily, In fact, I once called you the “Ambassador of Sicily”  There you have this story.  How do Americans see Sicily?  



MM:  They really appreciate Sicily. There are so many Americans, even if they do not have roots in Sicily, they adore Sicily.  I try to do my part, the few things I  can do, because for me, Sicily has given me everything.

MT:  We say that you are of Sicilian origins.

MM: Yes!  And for that reason, everything I feel, every emotion, every idea I have, I understand they have their origins in ancient times, with my kin who lived before me. It's their strength which pushes me forward, no? And I try to help Sicily in a way, in any way I can.