Vittorio Cosma spoke about his latest musical project, Deproducers, which blends science together with music, in the final talk of Land Flag: From Waste to New Materials, the series of talks held during Pitti Uomo, in a new space at the Fortezza called Reflections, which was moderated by Angela Rui.
Deproducers is a project born from the dialogue between highly experienced musicians with the most diversified musical backgrounds: Cosma, a pianist and composer, is a figure of reference in easy listening music; Riccardo Sinigallia, producer (Tiromancino, Max Gazzè, and Niccolò Fabi) and singer-songwriter, has followed the last 30 years of evolution in original music; Gianni Maroccolo, founder of Litfiba, is an innovator in the field of independent rock music; and Max Casacci, founder and member of Subsonica, gave life to something of a cultural revolution in Turin.
Thanks to Cosma, the four musicians found themselves living together for a brief period of time in a recording studio in the Pavese countryside. Although they worked very well together, the “fuel” needed to write new music was missing; an inspiration, which they managed to find in an impartial and indisputable theme like science. Although they first tried incorporating recordings of astronauts and scientists into their music, they almost immediately felt the need to collaborate with experts.
A “DJ of the universe”, manipulating the channel controls of a mixer that includes the settings of “dawn”, “sunset”, and “the movement of the stars”, Cosma first met astrophysicist Fabio Peri during his visit to the Civic Planetarium 'U. Hoepli' in Milan. After meeting the rest of the band, Peri became the frontman of Planetario, the first series of concerts/conferences on the wonders and mysteries of the cosmos. In addition to Peri, the quartet also collaborated with the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA for the project’s images, and Marino Capitano for its graphics, elements that helped harmoniously bind the music together with the lyrics.
In Botanica, the second chapter of Deproducers produced in collaboration with Aboca, neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso instead recounted the secret life of plants and spoke of the importance of biodiversity. The tour of these performances arrived all the way to the northernmost inhabited islands of the planet, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, where they performed to celebrate the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a seed bank hosting the world’s largest collection of seed varieties to protect them from the threat of extinction.
In collaboration with AIRC, the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research, and together with Telmo Pievani, philosopher and evolutionist, the quartet created DNA, which traces the story of biological evolution, from the birth of the very first cells, to the appearance of Homo sapiens up to the new discoveries of genetic research in the fight against cancer.
Deproducers is accordingly a project that combines the emotion of music with the rationality of science. The public’s praise for these performances, which are a hybrid between concert and conference, demonstrates how complex scientific concepts and theories can be explained and transmitted through music to a genuinely diverse audience – adults, youths, the elderly, right up to school-aged children. In other words, it demonstrates how music in combination with scientific lingo is genuinely capable of speaking a language that can be understood by everyone.