When ordinary and extraordinary meet: the music of aun no kokyu (阿吽の呼吸)

There is a Japanese saying, aun no kokyu (阿吽の呼吸), which is used to describe an incredible level of harmony, for instance when you listen to an orchestra playing together with a definite level of alchemy. The etymology of this saying is very complex. Experts say that it directly refers to the Japanese religious feeling and their cosmogony. Somehow, by saying that words, they say something like: “this harmony I feel recalls me the harmony of the breath of the world from its beginning to its end”.

Recently we’ve been invited to a concert that Chiara and Giovanni Bertoglio offered to celebrate their parents’wedding anniversary, playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Bach’s Magnificat.

These talented siblings have impressing technical skills, an incredible professional curriculum -despite their young age- and a huge list of heterogeneous publications, spanning from classical CDs, books of poems, musicology, theology, spirituality, etc.

Yet, this is the tangible and visible part of the iceberg and this is what usually people notice when listening to their art. A noticeable part which is usually overwhelming what people are able not only to understand but obviously to do in their lives.

The hidden part is what makes the magic happen.

And it is a submerged part of very ordinary lives of two young individuals who were able to express their not common talents thanks to strong values, a serene and joyful spirituality, a very grounded discipline and the capability to be open to others’ needs.

When we, ordinary people, meet talented guys…We very often think they are not like us -and this is true: everyone of us has his or her own talent and we are not asked to be clones. But talented people have two eyes, a nose, two legs, 24 hours a day…Like us.

So, where does this capability to do extraordinary performances come from?

If I had to say in a single word: openness. Chiara as well her brother Giovanni said “yes” to the opportunities their family gave them to develop their artistic skills. They discovered and still discover the taste of answering “yes” and taking an opportunity.

So it is not a kind of passivity -rather an evolutionary path that makes possible things to happen. And this led Chiara to her degree and her PhDs (yes, more than one…) and Giovanni to award his degree in Physics, becoming an excellent software architect and -according to his wife- a good husband.

The path that leads to excellence is made by daily discipline. Of course, this could be sometimes hard, but they managed to overcome the hurdles that every path has by opening to others.

A lot of volunteering local activities benefit from their pro bono concerts and there are many many people that can say they find always a kind word from them, a solution to their problems, a smile after a personal storm, time to play and smile with friends, to take care of a child…

If you insert a Mozart’s music sheet into an electronic keyboard, you’ll have surely a perfect output. With no magic inside.

If you let emerge the hidden part of yourself, including the scars; if you let your story show up, there is where the magic begins.

Like a tree, whose roots grow up in the dark obscurity of the ground to let the branches prosper and flowers blossom, our life is made of a daily, obscure, sometimes heavy, list of activities that enables us to contribute to increase the harmony, the truth in this world.

And let the music and the beauty emanate like a charming scent.

 

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