Music is the soft blanket that can calm you on tempestuous days and transport you to happier times. ‘Meridiem’, a composition by Italian violinist Giovanna Ferrara, offers that same calming, empowering effect. The song, chosen by the Italian forum General States of Women to represent the women of the world at Expo 2020 Dubai, is a journey into resilience.
“Meridiem is the light that every person should follow to realise [her potential], to find the strength to overcome every obstacle, both physical and internal,” explains Ferrara.
The General States of Women is participating in the Women in Business Act project at Expo 2020 Dubai and they reached out to Ferrara for the song, she adds. And it’s an exciting ask. “I am very honoured by this choice, my life has always been full of beautiful emotions but I have never been as excited as now. My song ‘Meridiem’ is a message to all women, it invites everyone to find the strength to overcome every obstacle, affirm their rights, their role in their personal life and professional; to give yourself the opportunity to be happy and realise your dreams and desires, to be reborn.”
The video is also an ode to Italy and the region of Sicily, “its monuments, its sea”, says Ferrara. “The video [shows] the indescribable beauties of the Archaeological Park of Selinunte, Cave di Cusa, and Pantelleria, the largest archaeological area in Europe, where myth, legend, history and culture come together,” she says.
With a project this huge, there are bound to be hurdles and Ferrara recounts the trouble she had on the eve of her video shoot. “There were some difficulties when shooting the video - the most serious was that the director and the cameramen and [some others told us] a few hours before the shoot that they had contracted COVID-19. Despite the desperation of not having immediately available substitutes, my remaining staff and I only had six hours to find replacements. Moreover, the shooting could not be postponed; first, because we had obtained all the authorisations from the public bodies by May 17 (Italian State Railways, Prefect of Palermo Municipality, Sicilian Region, Carabinieri, Police) and to redo the whole process, it would have been a tiring undertaking. Moreover, there were the costs already incurred to consider; they could not be recovered. Thankfully, I had the strength not to break down, like the protagonist of the Meridiem video. This is thanks to both the experience in the field, the inner strength and the skills acquired at university.
"At 4am, an hour before the shooting we found the director Raimondo Mancuso and for the editing Andrea Schimmenti, who read the script. At 5am in the morning we were all at the Foro Italico in Palermo to shoot the video.”
But the hard work has been worth it, she affirms, saying: “As ambassador of the cities of women, nominated by the States General of Women, I would like to continue my social commitment in support of the women of the world, create and implement cultural project activities that marry the rights of women and their rebirth, in line with what His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai once, said: 'The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it and execute it. It isn't something you await, but rather create'."
Strength and resilience may come from within – but a calming song may just help quicken the tempo.