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“Angelo Gilardino Trimegistus

Mrco Tullio Giordana
Angelo e Marco Tullio Giordana.jpg

Living so far apart, it would not have been easy to remain assiduous if we had not cultivated an almost daily exchange of letters, sometimes with two or three emails a day when we discovered something about which it was too important to know how the other thought.

As a teenager it is quite easy for completely selfless friendship to ignite like a fire based on common affinities and propensities. If anything, it becomes difficult to preserve these furious friendships, tearing them away from the passing years and the turning points in life that push away even those who have sworn eternal loyalty (the caesura of death as a boy is almost impossible to imagine).

Impossible then to make friends in the same way when you become adults. More often they are relationships born from work, even important ones, even emotionally involving. But it's difficult to let yourself be taken as it happened when you were young, having the almost physical need for daily contact, or rather 24/7 as they say today in scurrilous jargon. 

This was exactly what had happened with Angelo: to become friends like two bad boys in high school who could be moved in front of a painting by Bacon and immediately afterwards be pleased at having hit a window with a slingshot. We were therefore companions of an imaginary school that pre-existed us and that created the foundations of ever new curiosities, even if it happened, not even infrequently, that we didn't think at all in the same way.

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On the other hand, very young, it was precisely the secret services that had approached him to enlist him and thus ensure the contribution of an intelligence that would have been able to bear fruit there too. 

He enjoyed recalling that episode and imagining a career entirely within the "false beards" even if he could never have lent himself to blackmail and provocations. Although he had little esteem for politics and our ruling classes, he did not doubt the values on which our community is founded nor the personal responsibility of the individual, socratically respectful of the law even when it is unjust or inadequate. 

Finally, it remains to be said that a non-dogmatic or formal faith has always accompanied him in every difficulty, making him see in them the sign of a predestination and a transcendence that he has always known how to welcome and accept.  This is perhaps what I miss most about him because I'm completely devoid of it.

I, who was holding an extinguished torch in my hand, seeing the light of his, felt comforted.

In remembering Angelo Gilardino and our unfortunately brief friendship, I forced myself not to indulge in regret even though this is the sentiment that clings to me every time I think of him. There are too many moments in which the instinct would be to write or call him, it was so frequent   before   the habit   by   feel   also   for   things   minimal,   even   ridiculous.   

Anyone who knew him knows how humor, indeed a truly contagious hilarity, was one of his inextricable characteristics from the rest of the qualities, I am speaking of the human ones, not so much of the musical ones, given that my inadequacy to follow him could just make me turn to him with admiration, certainly not with a brotherhood of disciplines. 

We began dating, first in the form of letters, then with the habit of exchanging mutual visits, in March 2013, therefore exactly ten years ago.

In this decade I can say that I have "taken advantage" without restraint of his availability and the generosity with which he bestowed his immense knowledge as a disposable void, given that I would never have been able to make good use of it as a student or in any case I am someone who could have put it into practice. I think I reciprocated in a very insufficient way with what I knew of my profession or of the arts that both of us loved: painting first of all, immediately followed by poetry and literature. 


Of these emails, which I keep religiously but which I would hesitate to make public due to the harshness of many of his and mine judgments, one thing always struck me: the elegance of the style, the superb use of Italian   and   the   ease   with   which   it was   quickly   seized   of   main   foreign languages   (gift   evidently   of   family   given   that   the   brother   Sergio,   linguist   and   writer, masters the Germanic languages, Slavic, Russian, Spanish , Neo-Hellenic and Hebrew, as well as obviously the English and French spoken during his long stay in Canada), a culture which, despite Gilardino himself defining it as "self-taught", went very deep and never had anything amateurish or overheard. I consider some of the books he recommended to me precious, as well as some philosophers, including my favorite Pavel Aleksandrovič  Florensky, who have since become indispensable traveling companions. 


There was also a lot of talk about cinema, as was to be expected, and Angelo proved to be very interested, as well as the artistic aspect and the figure of legendary directors and actors, in the anamnesis of the production mechanisms, having well understood how everything was in rapid evolution after the appearance and rapid affirmation of the network and its new idols, perhaps finding rhymes with what also happens in the musical world: the risk of uniformity and a taste slave to fashions. But on this  I believe that musicians can say better than me and with more competence and authority.

We shared a passion for lutherie, to which Gilardino gave precious studies; many were the guitars found and studied together. I am immensely sorry not to have created a book, for which we had already collected a lot of material, an extension of his research on Italian violin making.  He jokingly called  “Spectre” my archive built over years of  solitary study crossing data from different sources and testimonies (and images) among the most disparate, just like the archive of a secret service. 

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