Tag Archives: Gianluca

A BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR GIANLUCA — THE LONG ROAD FROM IDEA TO COMPLETION — PART I

Happy 19th Birthday
Happy 19th Birthday

My acquaintance with Il Volo’s 3 young men began when catching a PBS special in  June of 2013.

At first glance of the boys, my heart belonged to Piero immediately.  His eyes looked right through you as if he could actually see into your heart and mind to capture your thoughts and emotions as as making you thing he was singing only to you.  His voice just soars and your heart along with it.  He is a tease though, but so subtle that you almost miss it unless you are paying attention.  Piero does things for shock value.  The selfie he shared showing off what exercising had done for his abs comes to mind.  And then there is his backside.  Much has been made of it, but for myself I find that it is perfect, so round, so firm, so fully packed!

And then aaaah, Ignazio.  If you remember the “Dennis the Menace” movie with Walter Matheau, Dennis’ eyes would always twinkle as he was getting ready to do something he shouldn’t.  This to me is Ignazio, the little boy inside the man’s body always looking for the outrageous to entertain  and surprise you.  And then he sings in that beautifully clear tenor voice taking you on a trip to the heavens  His smile, including dimples, just mesmerizes you.

Lastly Gianluca whose style, beauty, and elegance are beyond belief.  And yet, there seems to be a reserve about him that almost seems like a lack of self confidence until he starts to sing.  That warm, full baritone just  fills you with heat and brings you to heights you could never imagine.  His habit of standing or walking with his hands in his pockets, or when been interviewed with his arms placed so as to almost hug himself, makes me believe that there is a well hidden shyness to him.  A piece of himself he is uncomfortable sharing.

As some of you know by now I am an avid cross stitcher.  I stitch pre-made patterns and little bon mot from cross stitch magazines when I want to stitch but don’t have time to do a full project.   It is these minis that gave me the basis for Gianluca’s gift.  I thought I would stitch several minis reflecting his interests and personality as we Il Volovers have come to know.

In planning the design I began by listing what I knew about Gianluca with some certainty.  The I thought about what else I would like to include that I wasn’t sure was defined,  going to whom I consider to be the source of all confirmable information, Marie Crider, I asked her the questions for which I needed answers to enable me to complete the desin.  she contacted me and asked i she could share my email with the WordPress bloggers in an effort to get more input for me.  Of course I agreed.  In all there were over a dozen responses.  Thank you ladies!

Then I sat down in my girl cave and began looking through my cross stitch magazines, leaflets and patters for appropriate minis, alphabets etc.  I began with the heading which of would be HAPPY 19 BIRTHDAY.  I found a banner pattern in one of my leaflets and thought it would be perfect or the background for Happy Birthday  So I stitched it in dark blue, Gianluca’s favorite color  When I stitched the letters in a pale blue ovet top the banner stitching I was very unhappy with the way it looked.  Being the perfectionist I am, nothing would do but take out all the stitching and change the heading to block letters in variegated blues.  Much better.  In addition I added the Italian and Spanish versions of Happy Birthday above and in each corner.

Gianluca is an Aquarian.  For those of you who are acquainted with the Zodiac know that this is the water bearer sign.  Noting would do but to find a water bearer symbol in all my resource materials.  Find symbols I did, but not one was the right size the right perspective or just right.  The alternate to the water bearer symbol is a set of two parallel wavy lines.  This was the symbol I used.

I was able to find the traits of an Aquarian, the flower,  the jewel  and their meanings on the internet.  The flower and the jewel meanings were rather obtuse so I left them out.  I was however amazed that the traits listed fit Gianluca to a tee.  I took a dozen or so and stitched them around the Aquarian sign

One of the traits of the Aquarian is the love of family.  And we all know Gianluca loves his family.  This was difficult to represent.   All the ‘people’ designs I was able to find were either too large, too cartoonish, or of a much different era and unusable.  So to be creative,  I stitched a frame with the outlines of Dad, Ernie, and Mom within it.

I wanted to work in the image of the cat that one particular tweeter uses in many sayings he converts to apply to Gianluca.  I thought that the cat was representing the fact that Gianluca likes cat, wrong.  As the tweeter advised me Gianluca is the cat.   Also added his initials GG as with the 140 character limit we generally use this to designate Gianluca to save on space.

The center of the design is IL VOLO with their catch phrase 3 voices one soul directly underneath, with Baritone under that.  Without Il Volo we would never have heard of Gianluca or Piero or Ignazio and thought that the name was an integral part of the boys.

There are three things that all three of the boys enjoy, Sushi, Soccer, and cars.  Sushi pattern was non existent, and what I stitched did not resemble anything edible, let alone Sushi, so out it went and I removed it.  Soccer, now that was easy.  There are literally dozens of representations of Soccer and its gear.  I chose one with a soccer ball and the word soccer in block letters.  The choice of a car should have been a walk in the park, but not so.  There were so many to chose from and having no idea of what Gianluca drove I was forced to omit a car.   It wasn’t until later that I found out Gianluca didn’t have his drivers license yet.

The balance of the design shows the musical side of Gianluca.  Some of the songs he likes and singers he admires are stitched around a musical chart and staff with the word MUSIC, another musical chart with a microphone superimposed on it, and lastly a piano was included representing the instrument he plays.

There were two unique ideas received as a result of Marie’s blog asking for additional information that I was able to incorporate into the design.  The first  was to include something of the region or town that Gianluca is from.  I was able to find a flag of Abruzzo which I stitched into the design and of course, the flag of Italy.  The other was to include some type of a beach scene to show Gianluca’s love of the beach and water.  Also to incorporate some beach equipment in triplicate showing room for all the boys of Il Volo.

Just a couple of days later I got a new cross stitch magazine that had the perfect mini.  It was labeled “sea, sand and sun” and had a beach lounger in the center.  I added two more loungers to accommodate Piero and Ignazio.

The final piece of the design included a tribute to his elegance in fashion and classy nature.  These ideas were represented by a tuxedo, his blue suit, his white hat, and new sunglasses.

Having set an internal shipping date of 2/4/2014 which allowed 8 days for the trip from my home to Italy, I was out of time and had to frame the design myself.  As usually happens the design came out in a non standard size for purchased frames so the addition of a border was required.  Not having regular matting product, nor the ability to cut to size, I took some dark blue cross stitch fabric and made borders myself.  Not ideal, but not bad either.  To have had it done professionally would have taken another 7 days that I just didn’t have.

Follow the journey to delivery in THE LONG ROAD FROM COMPLETION TO DELIVERY — A BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR GIANLUCA PART II

THE MUSICAL ROAD TRAVELED

This will not be my normal random thoughts running all together for a change.

Doing a lot of introspective thinking lately, I delved into my memory to see if I could remember where I was first introduced to music and by whom.

Surprise, surprise, it was my grandfather who was the first one to introduce me to music in the form of opera and classic concerto pieces, Bach, Brahms, etc.  Granddad was a first generation American of German extraction.  This was the music that he had been brought up on.  I thought the music was fine, but as the operas were not in English, and there was no visual presentation, I was hard put at 10 to figure out was going on.  The classical pieces were reserved for “quiet time” before dinner and a mandatory attention to listening versus talking was strongly enforced.  I did mention he was German?

I segued into my love for musicals because my grandmother loved  musicals, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Kiss Me Kate, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, at first available on 33 1/3 LP, then later made into movies.  TV was still in its growing stage then and these movies were favorites of housewives.   I know Mimi always did her ironing while they were on.  Other fabulous voices of the time were that of Nelson Eddy, Howard Keel and Dennis Day.  Piero’s range and resonance reminds me of Nelson Eddy.  The projection, the power, the passion are there in both mens voices.  Dennis Day was a tenor very reminiscent of Ignazio today.  He had such a clear tone, soft or strong as needed, just like Ignazio.

At home Glen Miller, Harry James, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Montevoni were played often.  Dance music all.  My parents grew up with this music while in the service and continued with it after the war was over. Once a month my parents hosted a “dance party” and invited their friends.  Soon the addition of Bobby Vinton, Chubby Checker, and the south of the border sounds added to the dance cards along with the “twist” and “calypso”.  This was a happening group of parents.

About this time I started to branch out on my own to the singers of the ’50’s and into the ’60’s.  My idol at that time was Ricky Nelson.  I had all his records, 45’s and/or 33 1/3.  Knew all the words and could sing along without a miss. He was the Gianluca of my day.  Photoplay and other star magazines at the time were followed religiously for any and all information on the teen idols.  Twitter and Face Book meet those media needs today. Ricky was also easy to follow since he appeared weekly on a family sitcom, The Ozzie Nelson show.  Gianluca reminds me a lot of Ricky in that they both have the eyes and smile that invites you in to go along with their smooth velvet tones and sigh.  Other groups who have held their measure in their song writing if not their singing were Neil Diamond, Paul Anka, Barry Manilow, and the Beach Boys.  There were so many good duos, trios, and groups;  The Righteous Brothers, Four Seasons, Fabian,  Everly Brothers and of course ELVIS, I could go on and on.

Next came the BRITISH INVASION in the form of 4 guys from Liverpool, THE BEATLES.  My first introduction to them was  after a 12 hour bus ride home from school for the weekend.  My sister decided to listen to her most recent album purchase at a volume approaching hearing loss and I actually fell out of bed.  It was a while before I warmed up to their music.  But eventually I became a quasi-follower as well.

With marriage also came the addition of Chet Atkins, inarguably one of the best “pickers”, to my music world.  Also added were many classical pieces.  You see Doug was a very talented guitar player and at one time could have played piano in concert had life not gotten in his way.  Family then, as today, comes first, the individual second.

Peter, Paul, and Mary and John Denver were among the ballad singers working their way into the music world.  Woman’s lib worked its way into the music I listened to as well.  Helen Reddy and her “Woman hear me roar”, was one of the songs I still remember to this day.

I seemed to take a hiatus from new music for awhile, working, raising kids, creating my own home.  I did keep up with the music I loved by listening to the various musical variety shows that populated the TV during the ’70’s and ’80’s.  Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra were right there are the top, and also appealing to my nostalgia gene, the Happy Days TV show.  My kids thought that the show was “old fashioned”, but enjoyed the “Fonz” and the music.  As my kids approached teen age, their music was added to the mix I was used to.  Heavy metal was the new sound…and sound it did.  More “sound and fury, signifying nothing”.

Fortunately their tastes changed and evolved, though my son still prefers, if not heavy metal, something that sounds nearly as ‘unique’.  I have hope for him though as his daughter is slowly broadening his tastes. She is a member of her school choir and Treble Trouble group.  She also attends School of Rock which requires on stage participation.

And I continued my hiatus from new music happy and content with the favorites that I had.  We then started watching PBS on a semi regular basis catching many shows featuring music and melodies from our era until one night we happened to catch the first PBS special of Il Volo.  I was reborn and accepted Pop Opera and Il Volo as my new addiction.  That very first night I went to my computer and ordered everything on Amazon that was available at the time.  As new CD/DVD’s become available I get them.  First thing everyday I check twitter for the newest photos and you tubes that may have come in over night.

Recently Ignazio tweeted about the poster where the fans had said Il Volo had changed their lives, he replied that we fans had changed Il Volo’s lives.  I can attest to that.  Discovering Il Volo I changed and began tweeting, Face Book, blogging, and learning Spanish.  Always inquisitive, I wanted to be able to read those reviews that are coming in from Latin America and South America.  Actually interacting with people whether I know them or not, by exchanging and comparing views.  Il Volo has literally saved me from terminal boredom and the loss of major brain power.  THANK YOU GUYS, LOVE YA FOREVER.

I can’t see ever letting go of the wonder that is Il Volo.  I am theirs for life!