We are in Padua, very close to “Prato della Valle” square but far enough to seem in a small Veneto village surrounded by greenery and its silence. A three-story house with all the charm of a garden of aromatic herbs and large aloes, free to grow spontaneously around an imposing pine, which stands out in the center of the lawn like a marble column.
Francesco offers us a coffee and we begin our morning together.
Self-built instruments, toms, cymbals, Tibetan bells, bamboo pipes: everything that can transmit a sound through percussion is here. The rehearsal room is welcoming, bright and well-finished. We immediately understand that this is his “house”.
Francesco sits down and begins to drum his fingers: it is his first approach to the instruments, delicate as caresses to seduce them to obtain that sound he is looking for. From here on it is a crescendo of sonority, a climax in the making. Each beat chases the other, inspired by the previous one. Pure improvisation, as it is in his style.
It’s a beautiful day and we take a short cigarette/phone break in his garden. I decide to follow him in the sunlight, to chat and take some spontaneous photos. And it is precisely spontaneity that distinguishes Francesco, with a kind and always respectful manner.
He walks up to his plants and begins to pick up some twigs. One aroma at a time, he goes to compose a small bouquet of green perfumes and hands it to me as a gift. Luigia herb, helichrysum, lavender and sage. “I use Luigia herb in my car, I often take a few twigs and hang them for his perfume” he tells us.
Back in the room, all the instruments are mixed, cymbals of all kinds and a Mokugyo (a type of oriental wooden drum) are placed on each tom and snare drum. The sticks are transformed becoming long and metallic: a recovery of meters redesigned by him.
We can only be carried away by this mixture of different vibrations and contacts, from metal to wood, from wood to leather, and from leather to metal.
A session that can be extended indefinitely because it is capable of expanding space and time: it is the same sensory dimension as the last time, when Francesco participated in the Kimono Day performance in our Atelier together with the master calligrapher Carlo Buffa.
We don’t notice it, but time has flown and it’s time to go.
We go and hang our sprig of Luigia grass in the car, as recommended.
And we are already surrounded by its scent.
Discover the Blunmers
Carlo Buffa for BLU’N ME
The calligrapher of the oriental discipline shodō Carlo Buffa welcomes us to his studio in Padua. Discover the story of the new BLUNMER.