It was ten years ago, I was on stage at the Elfo Puccini theater in Milan, conducting for the first time an orchestra wearing jeans instead of black tie. The idea? Break the codes, starting with the dress code. A first step in an exciting artistic, human and intellectual adventure that continues today.
Only by questioning them can we understand the implications of our habits. But that of the classic ritual turned out to be much more fundamental than I imagined when I gave the first interviews.
I really thought then that it would only change the relationship with the public, make it more fluid and immediate. But I could'nt imagine the impact on the musicians themselves. How the attachment to the ritual was ingrained in the minds of many colleagues, how much the "mystery" was cherished. How this very ritual was the symptom of a world too often (even if not always, of course) haughty, and which cultivated its detachment from society with passion, erected it in value, used as a bulwark against the question: what good can I do in our current world?
Today I definitely feel less alone: the codes have evolved, and automatically also the desires of more intrepid fellow artists to rub shoulders with other musical worlds. Because changing clothes meant changing groups, changing the way you see things. Open up to others, relativize dogmas.
In ten years, many have understood this, and are courageously opening their eyes to the world. Personally, these ten years have meant 3 books, a television program and a season to present opera, 7 productions from the Lab (www.jeans-music.com), an opening to electronic music and a return to composition, and lately a festival and a season.
What a great birthday for my JeansMusic Lab :-)