Many remember the roar before the shock, at 4.03 am on May 20, 2012. The first of the series that shocked Emilia ten years ago. The earthquake remains a deep wound that created a before and after for the people who live in these territories between Modena, Ferrara, Reggio Emilia. Some hit that May 20, others more with the shock of 29, at 9 in the morning. In the national memory, however, the image of the Modenesi tower, crumbled in Finale Emilia and never rebuilt, or of the church of San Francesco in Mirandola, with the facade still propped up and behind the void, remain.
The president of the Republic Sergio Mattarella will be in Emilia for the 10th anniversary of the earthquake and has decided to visit a reality that for everyone symbolizes rebirth and tenacity, the Frulli rollers band. A crew of dozens of children, able-bodied and with disabilities, who play different percussions built with their hands from recycled materials. To the sound of pots, plastic bins and washing machine baskets they will welcome President Mattarella in the new headquarters in the former Finale Emilia bus station.
There Frulli Rollers Station is a project that upgrades an abandoned space, transforming it into a place open to the whole community, with a professional recording room, spaces for labor inclusion workshops, and even a bar with kitchen where children with disabilities will work. The inauguration with the President will be an opportunity to kick off the week of events of the Generative Festivalwhich with concerts, workshops, exhibitions, book presentations, wants to metaphorically fill the void between the two main tremors of the earthquake, those of 20 and 29 May 2012.
«On the evening of May 19th we had a concert in the elementary school of Finale Emilia, around midnight we brought all the instruments back to the music school. The 4 o’clock shock destroyed both of them, ”he recalls Federico Alberghini, founder and director of the Rulli Frulli band. Indeed, Federico is much more. Starting from a small marching band in 2010, he has managed to create in recent years a model of inclusion even studied by universities. The new headquarters is the goal of an entire community that has been busy around this experimental band of drummers in striped shirts.
“In the months after the earthquake the band was like the Pied Piper, they continued to play under a big top and attracted children and teenagers, keeping them busy in those days without school and, for many, homeless”, remembers Giulia Foroni, mother of a member of the Frulli Rollers. In fact, Federico points out, in a few weeks the Rulli Frulli have doubled, reaching now about 70 musicians, apart from a group for the little ones, the Whisk Rollers. In the years following the earthquake they lived experiences that they would never have believed possible, from the meeting with Pope Francis to being on the stage of the May 1st concert, up to the TV performance with Mika.
Now they are ready to present their eighth self-produced album, Extravagant, even crazier than the previous ones, says Federico. Yes, because the Rulli Frulli first of all make music. And they do it well. So much so that over time various professionals approached them to collaborate (the texts by Extravagant are curated by Tommaso Cerasuolo, singer of Disturbance, written together with older kids). No one resists the rhythm of a well-played drum and this is part of the magnetic force of the Rulli Frulli, who have collected nearly two hundred concerts throughout Italy. This is not the only thing that makes Federico proud of them: «Do you know when I realized I had created a real band? They had invited us to Sanremo, but there was no room for everyone on the Ariston stage. Only twenty members had to be chosen. I summoned everyone, in a circle, explained the situation and got the boys to vote. Result of the vote: either all or none. And we didn’t get on the most prestigious stage in Italy, because we couldn’t all be together“.
In these days at Finale there was trepidation for the arrival of Sergio Mattarella, but also for the first concert again in front of the home audience, Saturday 21, as told by Alberto Brambilla, president of the parents’ association. Frulli Lab rollers: «This band was much more than a group to play with for my son Filippo. For children like him with Down syndrome, when school ends, the opportunity to socialize continuously with peers also ends. Today he is 26 years old and still plays in the Rulli, but above all he participates in the carpentry workshop which employs young people with disabilities and pushes them to test themselves in a working context, however protected “. Filippo has not forgotten the roar of the tremors, says his father, so much so that he no longer wanted to sleep in the room where the bookcase collapsed that night. Maybe it’s not really possible to forget the noise of the earthquake, but the Rulli Frulli band tries to play those memories louder.
Source: Vanity Fair