My dear friend Monica, who happens to hold a PhD in Art History, has invited me to join her for Jazz at Le Murate (The Walled). Le Murate was originally built in 1424 as a convent for Benedictine nuns. In 1807-14, it briefly housed Napoleons finance department, in 1845 it was converted into a prison and finally in 1998 Italian architect Renzo Piano reinvented its use into the main centre of art and contemporary music in Florence. I highly recommend bringing an Art Historian to your next event in Italy!!
Arriving as the sun is setting over Florence. We rest on the concrete benches in the courtyard prior to the doors opening and study the divergent crowd gathered for tonight’s performance.
The historical impact of countless nuns, solders, and prisoners who would have rested on this very spot in the centuries prior, stirs our fertile imaginations. The infinite life stories infused into this stone edifice produces a rush of respect for the generations of voices hushed by the irreverent progress of time.
Taking our places near the back of the room, we find ourselves entertained not only by the musicians on stage we are captivated by the spectators gathered around us. Neither performance disappoints.
Humans are interesting creatures viewed outside their natural habitat. Living in a foreign country is similar to a scientist observing subjects in an uncontrolled lab experiment. Leaving the comfort of our homes we open ourselves up to the sights, sounds and experiences our world expresses. It’s up to us how we respond those interactions. Do we savour the experience or do we judge with critical eyes and ears? Tonight my Jazzy Monica and I are saturated by the richness of the evening, grateful for this time together and the lyrical freshness of our combined laughter and the pleasing sounds suffused by the characters gathered in this ancient room.
If you had one night of entertainment at your disposal, who would you share it with and where would you go?