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Who is Anna Voig: the interview (part 1)

Data di pubblicazione 15/06/2018

And here we are with Giovanna in art Anna Voig: Wonder woman 2.0? You do so many things. Photo exhibitions, photo shoots, music, the teaching of philosophy, how do you live this multipotentiality?

Hi everyone! Wonderwoman do you say? Mmmh... Maybe more than Wonderwoman, I see myself as Sheila of the Cat's Eyes group, do you know? She stole, as a team, with her sisters, to get back in possession of the works of art stolen to her father ... Like her, I try to steal ... But only some emotions of the people who listen to me. Also because my father has no works of art to redeem!

Anyway, Sheila or not, I've always been attracted to art, in all its forms and declinations, ever since I danced alone in my living room since I was little, maybe more than 3 years old - especially when nobody watched me - listening to the only CDs my father had, as well as some vinyl records of classical music. I remember that with Vivaldi's Four Seasons I was very thrilled... Thank God there was a carpet on the ground...!

In those years (3 to 6) I was sent to dance, piano and tennis lessons ... Then, given my physical characteristics developed soon, I chose to continue only with the sport, managing to play for the national juniors of tennis, with whom, until 18, I traveled a lot. I had the chance to visit new places and come across different cultures, always accompanied by a friend of the heart, who never left me...

During the long journeys, in fact, it was always music that amplified my moods, it charged me and helped me to overcome moments of discouragement, since I lived far away from my family. Music also helped me with school, I "used" to learn English, memorizing the lyrics of the songs I liked the most, with the vocabulary in hand. It was fun because then I could put into practice what I learned directly with the other foreign kids and in the end I had very good grades in the report!

It was the period of the boom of the boy-bands, Spice Girls, BackStreet Boys etc., but I preferred to listen to Anggun or the Evanescence, in the same room where I danced with Vivaldi as a little girl.

I liked (and still do) Anggun in a particular way, especially when there were those parts of the song in which she sang in her mother tongue, Indonesian. I tried to reproduce those words of which I knew neither their meaning nor how they were written, listening carefully to the sound they had... I liked to light some incense sticks in those moments... Before my father returned from work however, because he was bothered by the smell of perfumed smoke...

Anyway, the monthly pocket money from when I was little was entirely used to buy CDs, always if I kept good grades at school, of course!

After this wonderful sporting period, which taught me so much, I dedicated myself to university studies, up to the specialist degree in public and business communication at the State University of Milan, ending with a thesis on photography and its ability to build reality, which earned me praise.

During the period of study in Milan, to be a little more independent I worked as a model for several photo shoots but, I enjoyed more being on the other side of the camera .... So I deepened my study of photography with postgraduate specialization courses and, periodically, I organize photographic exhibitions to share my shots with the public.

The last exhibition was in Tuscany, I tried to bring an unusual look, a bit dreamy and enchanted, of the places I visited. I leave you the link of the photos of the exhibition, for those who are curious:

I'm thinking about a future exhibition, even if the last teaching commitments leave me less time to organize and above all to find the right inspiration... The right "enchantment".

The philosophy teacher, with a certain sex appeal, who lays herself bare in the music field. How do your students see you? 

Ahahah! These first teaching experiences are leaving me with a very good feeling.

At first, I don't deny, it was quite traumatic... I had very different memories of the school and of the teacher/pupil relationship. Now it has changed and not a little. Now these young people are justified a bit of everything even at a bureaucratic level, in a game to the bottom that I do not find very sensible for their growth and education ... But beyond this personal consideration, I am happy to have been able to convey serenity and motivation to the boys, to such an extend that as soon as they see me they run to and embrace me and ask me about their grades, and telling me how they are doing.

I teach 9th and 10th grade, so I have 14/15 years old. One day a student came to me all euphoric and even a little embarrassed, wondering if I was that Anna Voig who had seen on the social, "the singer with those beautiful photos" (cit.). They found all about me in a few days!

As a special ed teacher, I am almost always in the classroom together with the teacher, so the students see in me a sort of middle figure, a libit friend and a bit teacher. I think that being a singer helps me to be closer to the guys. I see that they are curious about me and this allows me to have a privileged channel of communication with them. 

Singing, how did you get there? What does singing teach that philosophy does not? 

Singing is a passion that has been latent in me since childhood. I can say that my first singing "teacher" was Mango. I loved his songs and tried to remember them as well as I could. I was a little girl, but I was so moved by his lyrics that I always considered them to be poems put into music. 

Then I became passionate about other artists, of course, but they have always been not very popular artists... For example Giuni Russo, Leonard Cohen, Enya, Sonique, Des'ree ... Singing helpes me to free me from my (many) insecurities, going to move those deep emotions that are essential for our well-being, even if you are afraid, just like me, to let them out. Singing is like a therapy of the soul, it's my trusted psychologist.

I sing mainly for myself, to give body to the emotions I feel in a given moment. I then convince myself to sing for the audience only if I am sure I have a good level of performance and content ... Out of respect for the listener, out of respect for me and especially out of respect for the Art .... I have extreme reverence towards Art, I would never forgive myself to do something that can even just ridicule its meaning... I believe that Art is of extreme importance for the well-being of the human soul and is something for which we are all responsible. Today, unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer artistic opportunities that give sensations of well-being and emotional satisfaction, in all fields of expression.

Philosophers or philosophies in which you can find parts of your thought? 

What I teach is called Communication theory and technique, which also includes philosophy in some schools. However, it is rare to be able to teach one's subject right away... However this year I supported the humanities, unfortunately I could not talk about pure philosophy very much, also because I have very few hours a week... In any case one of my favourite exponents remains Adorno, especially in his writings about morals and aesthetics.

We may not notice it, but when we are surrounded by beautiful things, our well-being grows! It is as if the codes of beauty have the power to release positive energy that has beneficial effects on our psycho-physical balance. Do you have in mind the Golden Section or Fibonacci rule? Well, I do not think it is by chance that Nature has worked in that direction. It is for this reason that I believe it is fundamental to preserve and stimulate our own aesthetic culture, which takes into account above all the emotions we feel when we have to choose what to fill our lives with. I am referring to our behavioural choices, our linguistic/verbal choices, the objects we use, the music we listen to, the art we buy (when we buy it)... Are we sure that all we choose is really what we want and what makes us feel good with ourselves? Or are we losing this ability, passively accepting all the content that other wills, external to us, give us? This is an essential point on which each of us should ask ourselves, because it is the junction for our own happiness, the profound one, not the disposable one.

We are losing our essence, moving more and more towards an identity for representation, delegated to others ... Others that, by force of things, will make us only standard consumer individuals, extremely labelable, but absolutely devoid of identity and uniqueness of their own.

Together with the essence, we are unconsciously losing the ability to express our beauty, especially through our gestures and attitudes, in the things we do every day. We have somehow lost the ability to generate harmony with our actions and this certainly does not help to express beauty. I underline the importance of the verb EXPRESS, not exhibit. There is a huge semantic difference.

If it were up to me, I would make an entire teaching unit only on Adorno, even though he is not really an author for 9th and 6th graders ... He was also a musicologist... How could I not be fascinated by him!

I've always looked at musicians as magical beings and, for me, some really are. I admire them greatly. I would like in the near future to be able to play an instrument well too, for now I can "play" only through my voice.

What does the Mediterranean have that does not have the Anglo-Saxon culture and vice versa? 

Well, in general, from what is my experience in recent years at least, I noticed that here (in Italy) there is a little more approximation, more randomness ... I explain myself: in Anglo-Saxon culture I see greater coordination in order to achieve a specific goal, even when there is not much raw material to work on... With us, however, I have the feeling that it is the opposite ... We are not able to "exploit" the talents (many, I believe) that we have.

It seems to me like things here happen by chance and, when they don't happen by chance, like when they are strongly sponsored by the so-called mainstream, the same things always happen... Except for some rare exceptions clearly.

Probably this can also derive from the fact that we are not yet good at working in team for a common project, something that instead in Anglo-Saxon culture is very well developed. We are not very efficient because everyone thinks they can do everything themselves. It's a real pity because doing so tends to flatten the whole scene, continuing to perpetrate a model that is lowering our expressive potential. 

What is the music you listened to before, and what is the music you listen to now? 

As mentioned earlier, my first contact with sound energy came with classical music that I listened to both at home and at the dance school during my lessons. As I grew up I started to listen to everything, without closing in on a single genre. I followed the instinct and the sensations, the state of mind. That's what I still do today.

I know that probably many will turn their noses up, because usually having a specific kind of reference makes them more cool and "professional", makes them more self-confident, more framing. You can also describe yourself better and you already know which environments you belong to, or fit better...

To label myself within a single genre, on the other hand, for me means nothing more than self-limitation, and in the long run this only leads to boredom, depression and dissatisfaction. Who knows if it is also due to this that the consumption of psychotropic drugs has increased so much, especially among young people, a period in which there are so many emotional facets ...

I remember very well my first time in a music store to buy CDs. I was 12 years old, I bought Elton John and Aqua... I evidently already had different moods to satisfy! ????

At my maternal grandmother's house there was always the radio on, the one in the shape of a cube. It was nice to hear her humming, she gave me serenity. Then there was my uncle Mimmo, who was for me like a second father, passionate among other things about music. In the many and long journeys in the car with him you could listen to Baglioni, Villa, Caruso, Count ... Nannini, Battiato and Vanoni in more recent times... He was one of the first to realize that I liked to sing and that I had a certain attitude... And it was he who convinced me to cultivate this singing path, doing it only a short time ago, in a way I couldn't help but consider.

I listened and listen to everything, I also like Indian sacred music very much... with those low and low sounds that make the whole inside of my body vibrate... a bit like an ecstasy... How do you get rid of it, I wonder? There is a piece that I listen to in total contemplation before starting a vocal training session ... it's called "La Sposa" by Giuni Russo, live version ... It's like entering into a dimension that goes beyond reality ... It succeeds in putting me in touch with a part of me that has no space in normalcy, I become aware of my potential through those notes... If something magical still exists in today's world, I'm convinced that this can only be music.

In the last period the artists I listen most are Lana del Rey, Melody Gardot, Rachael Yamagata, Tracy Chapman, Leonard Cohen, Gerolamo Sacco, Olivia Sellerio, in addition to those already mentioned above. 

What is E Tu about?

"E Tu" is my first record track, it contains most of the deepest emotions, those that normally I have difficulty to express because I always try to make no one weigh anything even if this, sometimes, is like a boomerang that ends up hurting me.

Unfortunately there is this false belief that whoever never asks for help, whoever is reserved, is a being who doesn't need a hand... So he can be left to himself... So much so that he can do everything on his own! That's why “mi arrangio, stringo i pugni di più” ("I get my act together, I punch more")... I try to enthuse myself for what makes me happy. Not to mention how you emphasize this difficulty when you are looking nice ... In this case, in addition to what has just been said, there are also the subtle envies of those who dwell only on the superficiality of what they see without looking ...

The fact of always having a smile does not mean to be always happy, it means only to relieve others of their own sufferings. It's about love for one's neighbor, but it's not understood, on the contrary, it tends to ask for more.

Through this piece it is as if I wanted to communicate that I also need to feed my dreams, my enthusiasm, "le speranze che ho tra le mani e che mi sorridono" (the hopes that I have in my hands and that smile) ... I want to become aware of what I am, dispelling that fog that often kept me away from the horizons of my happiness.

Music is the courage I lack and through this piece I try to free myself to go ... “oltre il buio” (beyond the darkness).




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