Letizia Cesarini, better known as Maria Antonietta, he answers the phone from Senigallia, even though right now he would like to be anywhere else that radiates heat. “It’s snow cold outside. Living on the sea, the humidity that rises from the water is terrifying », says the happy and enthusiastic singer to have returned, after five years, to her first love: music. After the experience as a program host Sacred beauty – Stories of saints and relics on the world of sacred art on Sky Arte and the debut in fiction with the novel Seven unforgivable girlsedited by Rizzoli, Maria Antonietta returns, in fact, to the lyrics and melodies with Goodbye, her new single made for Warner, a song dedicated to those she herself calls ghosts and from which it is necessary to distance oneself in order to look ahead and try to build a future.
The video of Goodbye it’s very warm and colourful: what inspired you?
«The aesthetics of the early nineties, the one that winked at punk, baby-dolls, super sugary graphics: it’s a type of contrast that has always attracted me».
Does she feel sugary?
«I am very sentimental, which contrasts with the other part of me, the more cutting and radical one. It’s a conflict that leaves people confused because when you’re conflicted towards yourself, you’re also conflicted outside of yourself. It’s not easy to define and capture yourself, but that’s what I like: not being able to pigeonhole others intrigues me».
The “absent ones” of which he speaks in Goodbye they certainly don’t get caught. Who I am?
«The people who come and go throughout our lives, who are there a moment before and then disappear as if by magic. At some point the moment comes when you have to go to the beginning to proceed further: to go towards the future, you have to let go. Writing this song was my way of forgiving myself, of letting myself go to the hardest challenges ever. It is obvious, however, that whoever has left your life continues to have a certain power: the song, in this sense, is almost an exorcism».
What helps you let go?
«Having other passions besides music: reading, art and, above all, poetry. Apart from this, I’ve recently started studying tarot cards: I’m a very rational person but, approaching this art, I’ve realized that they give free rein to my most intuitive part. When I feel overloaded, I sit there, with the cards, and understand my inner dynamics better. It’s a very liberating army, which my therapist supported me.”
What prompted such a rational girl to throw herself on tarot cards?
«I’ve always had an obsession with controlling my life and everything that happens: an illusion that makes you lose so much energy. It was a coincidence that I came across tarot cards and an open and curious therapist».
Was she a control freak even as a child?
“I remember being very in control of myself at school: I never cried. Even when I hurt my knee in the park and waited to get home to let go. There’s always been that strength.”
Does control also pass through abstaining from alcohol?
“I’ve never crossed certain thresholds: I like to drink and smoke, enjoy the tours, the convivial moments, but I’ve never reached a point where I wasn’t present to myself”.
What did he want to be when he grew up?
«The writer: the first love was not music, but poetry. In first grade I immediately fell in love with reading and I started writing poems: when I succeeded, I felt a sense of absolute wonder because making something of mine exist with words gave me a priceless feeling that nothing else could give me» .
Did he let others read those poems?
«No, they were part of my inner world, which was highly developed but armored. Music, in this, was therapeutic because it helped me overcome the shyness that is still part of my character, bringing the words out of my armored safe».
What is your relationship with loneliness today?
«I love it, it’s a dimension that gives me satisfaction because it allows me to do things that I couldn’t do with others. It is a contemplative dimension: I love going to abbeys and hermitages, being a great lover of the Middle Ages. Those trips and those walks help me find my center. After being around people for a while, I need to recharge.”
So boredom doesn’t scare you?
«It is the fundamental ingredient of every life because it stimulates you to develop a strategy: when you are bombarded with inputs and opportunities it is beautiful, but sometimes you lose your centre. When, on the other hand, you get bored you are forced to find it again at any cost. As a child I lived in a very isolated countryside and spent the endless afternoons alone: a large part of my identity was born there, in those afternoons. Boredom is a fundamental driving force, it all comes down to how you process it».
The problem is that today we are very afraid of getting bored: don’t you think?
«We mistakenly think that if a day is not productive it is less valid, but life is one and time, whether we like it or not, is also made up of boredom».
When does music fit into all this?
«In eighth grade, when I discovered the first female punk bands that addressed taboo subjects such as a girl’s sexuality, her desires, violence and abuse: as a shy girl passionate about poetry, crossing this type of music was a powerful experience that led me to get involved writing songs to try to bring out that energy that was compressed inside me».
Did he share those songs or not?
«No, they remained in a small cassette recorder, but they were the starting points for some songs that I wrote later».
What was the fear that kept her from sharing poems first and songs second?
«Not feeling up to it has been a great constant in my life, but now I’ve improved. Plus I was terrified of letting others down, something I made peace with on my last record, let you down, when I said that we grow up when we feel we can afford to disappoint others while remaining true to ourselves».
Five years have passed since that album: did you experience your comeback with more adrenaline or more fear?
“Adrenaline. I’ve done many things in these years, but I’m happy to be back to this, to my most liberating dimension. Music is a language to be shared, and I missed it so much».
Did you also miss the audience?
«You build a relationship with the listeners, there is an exchange, and it’s nice when you understand that people continue to love you because in that moment they feel that you are sharing what you hold dear. Music brings people together and eliminates distances».
Do you have any dreams?
«Going to Jerusalem: I had organized some time ago, but then everything fell through. I wanted to go there with my partner who does the same job as me, but perhaps there is something unconscious that prevents me from leaving».
Why Jerusalem in particular?
“Both for art and because I’m passionate about theology: I have a great curiosity about God, and Jerusalem is a mythological place, a sacred city for many religions that has a power and an energy that I would like to feel”.
Do you consider yourself a spiritual person?
«Wanting to understand more was the reason why I attended theology courses: God is the only one who can really afford not to be logical and defined, and this attracts me a lot. In general, everything that cannot be understood attracts me. As someone said: the thing that distinguishes faith from supine and passive adherence is doubt: spirituality lies in bringing up a question, and in not taking almost anything for granted».
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Source: Vanity Fair
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