When I wrote the post on Pino Sciola’s singing stones, I received many messages from readers asking me to post a video of it in order to give an idea of what kind of sound what we think of as dead matter was releasing. Understandably, I’d say, as you don’t see many people making music out of seemingly silent rocks.
So the other day I went back to San Sperate, colorful town in southern Sardinia, and let the artist take me to another dimension, the dimension where we can connect to Planet Earth through its sounds, the dimension where you have the impression stones are alive. “While using the oxyhydrogen flame to heat and cut the stone, I saw a red fluid coming out of it, it was its blood. Basalt is a volcanic stone, and it was going back to its lava origins, it gave me the willies.”
Pino Sciola is, undoubtedly, one of Sardinia’s best secrets (not-so-secret, one could argue), and by all means one of our regional prides.
He’s known all over the world, and if you have the chance to talk to him you’ll understand why. His art involves a fascinating holistic approach that embraces all aspects of a single phenomenon. With him, stones become alive, show their philosophical importance, allow us to linger and enjoy yet another sound of nature, and tell us a thing or two about the universe.
Different languages, disciplines, yet-to-discover natural laws, all meet and gather in the realm Sciola has created in his open-air museum, which is “overwhelming in the evening, when the sun sets beyond the skyline”, according to its king.
Defining Sciola merely a sculptor would be limiting towards both his art and his stones.
If for only a minute we think over the meaning of discovering and listening to the sound hidden, somehow withheld, inside these stones, a voice that potentially could reveal new aspects of our most remote past to us, up to how the planet was created and what happened prior to humanity, we would see Sciola’s sounding stones as the means for uncovering a bottomless treasure trove. If limestone is fossilized water, what can a piece of this material tell us about its own creation? It’s almost as if the earth wants to talk to us and finally it’s managing to through Sciola’s hands.
Probably because I’m a native of Sardinia, I like it that the art through which the universe is revealing itself comes from the same land. And again probably because I’m from this island, I’m little surprised. Our thousand-year-old stone tradition, the magnetic fields around Giants’ Tombs, ancient stone buildings, the 8,000 stone towers scattered around the whole territory are the evidence that Sardinia has always had a special relation with stones.
Pino Sciola has given us a new dimension regarding sculpture, to the extent that we can enjoy his otherwise only-visual creations also with our eyes closed. By listening to stone’s otherworldly sound we have the impression of being hearing the planet’s inner voice and the different elements interacting with each other, with our past, present and future blending together.
The first time I met Sciola I asked him when was the exact moment he realized stones could release music and he told me he didn’t know how to answer the question. He’s right, it’s a spontaneous process everybody should go through in order to catch up with a reconnection with the earth, something we have lost somewhere during evolution.
Sometimes I feel that although we, humans, are natural beings, we don’t lead a very natural life, we don’t “earth”, we don’t walk barefoot in parks and countryside as often as we are supposed to in order to absorb the planet’s energy, feel relaxed and be connected with our genuine habitat. Entering Sciola’s open-air museum (you guessed it, he was walking barefoot), I had the impression that it was the first achievement towards this togetherness, a sort of intermediary step.
I’m aware that the video is a bit long, 7 minutes, but I didn’t want to cut too much because I felt like sharing as much as I could of this visceral sound. Enjoy it all, you might discover new elements nobody has perceived yet..