Music and Chess: the winning move

In this blog, you know, I sometimes like to write not only “strictly” about Music; share some reflections, in the hope that they will stimulate, as well as for me, also for those who follow me and appreciate my path.

Since I was a teenager I have always had a passion for chess; not that I’m an experienced player, but I find this game stimulating and enriching.

Playing a good game is the synthesis of right moves at the right time.

Knowing how to calculate the correct times, reading, somehow, the opponent’s mind leads you to study the movements with balance, giving the right weight with each step.

In chess there is a very ancient and famous move that takes the name of “Gambetto” (in its various forms, for example the so-called “Gambetto di Donna”).

The move is to temporarily sacrifice a piece of the chessboard to later gain a great position advantage and, consequently, manage the game.

The interesting and instructive thing I would add is this: what may seem like a crazy choice, the sacrifice of a piece, opens up new possibilities and becomes the key to victory.

At this point, probably, the link with music is still not clear.

I find the same attitude of the game of chess very often in composing my pieces; as for a good game like that also in music, the balance factor is one of the most determining things, in my opinion.

I often found myself, writing my songs, wondering if a part was the right one, if it actually transferred the idea I had in mind or if, on the contrary, it was too unbalanced, redundant and eager to amaze rather than communicate.

In these cases the best choice has always proved to be to take something away; sacrificing a piece of the song, which weighed down its expressive power, made me realize how important it was to choose only the essential things without having to “prove” anything if not to let the notes become, as much as possible, the natural translation of my message.

Here I see the analogy between the sacrifice of a piece in the game of chess with the ability to put aside the many superstructures in the composition to go to the heart of musical language and gain an immense advantage: the ability to communicate with music.

These questions accompany me every time a new song takes shape and the answers are always in progress and perfectible.

I conclude this reflection with a third and final element linked to our actuality.

We are living this strange time of global pandemic.

The desire, fair and understandable, that I mostly hear is to return to normality; I ask myself: are we really sure we want to return to our normal life? Isn’t this normality made up of wrong priorities and unsustainable lifestyles that has brought us here?

My fear is that after the forced “stop” of these months, our goal is simply to put the pieces back exactly as they were before without changing anything and without asking a few questions: is our lifestyle correct, the management of the time, how do we live, how do we build houses? Is the consideration of the culture we have right now, its role right? Can we only go in the direction of a world that we want to grow indefinitely or do we need to take steps backwards that prove to be an advancement, instead, of the well-being of the soul and the perception of beauty?

Many questions, each with their own personal answer.

Perhaps from music, as from chess, we can learn to give up a “piece” of our life to gain something that appears less tangible but no less essential for this.

Good music everyone!!!

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