After having been on tour for two years to promote our debut album She Owl, at the end of a marvellous European tour that took us to Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy with 17 gigs, we chose a special, magical place to end a chapter of our story, and begin a new one with the second album.
Most wolfpacks are found on the Maritime Alps, the place where from my window I saw the sun setting during my whole childhood. Mountains that I have explored, climbed, sometimes only in my imagination, mountains from which stories, fables, legends were born over the centuries. Knowing that the wolves have returned to their environment, to my homeplace, it’s important. I imagine them at night, watching over, searching the woods where I walked in my youth, racing in the snow; and that wild presence is a certainty I hold on to: “Perhaps I will never see a free wolf in its natural environment, but it is important for me to know that they exist” (Anonymous). I share this feeling and it is with me every day.
In January 2015 we visited the Centro Uomini e Lupi – Entracque, in Valle Gesso, for the first time. I read our notes again: “We wait for the wolves holding our breath, on the look out. It seems a bit too warm to be winter. Suddenly I feel something stirring, I hear something racing on the leaves. Here comes the wolf: great, fierce, thick coat, winter dress, gilded by sunlight. The wolf stops for a while and sees me. All ears, all eyes on me. An intense look that I will never forget. The wolf saw me. Few people have this way of looking at us the first time we meet them, some catch a glimpse of us, then move past us. Somehow, walking on our roads, it is difficult to understand if we really exist: so many people pass through us like ghosts, as if we were ghosts. We are alone among hundreds of faces and see that they are vacant, that they make us invisible. The wolf runs again. I would like to run away with him. He has seen me, I have seen him.
I have always been fascinated by wolves. I have never believed to the fables about the ‘bad’ wolf, or to the people who encourage their extinction. Modernity and technology advice us to avoid fables, to stay away from the world-between-worlds, to escape the world of instinct, of dreams and intuition. Yet, as Clarissa P. Estés notices, “When we assert intuition, we are as a starry night: we fix the world with hundreds of eyes” (Women Who Run with the Wolves, 1992).
When I hear that a wolf has been killed, I think that lots of people keep telling us their own fables, using those tales to kill. The society around us is, in turn, a tale that we keep telling ourselves, from dawn till dark, but that soon will have to change or disappear, like an easily forgotten dream. What we have been doing to the wolves, is what we keep doing to ourselves at the same time: unable to live together with our wild sides, we hold them chained up in the dark, treating them like a sort of illness. I imagine the wolf’s trail, less than one hundred years ago, through open fields, woods not yet marked by paths. The wild space around us is disappearing, and so is the wild space inside us.
“The world needs the feeling of unexplored horizons, of the wild spaces’ mysteries. It needs a place where the wolves appear at the border of the woods, as soon as it is growing dark, because an environment that generates a wolf, is healthy, strong, perfect.” G. Weeden
June 2015, a short time before recording the new album, we play at Centro Uomini e Lupi, where five wolves are hosted at present, some waiting to return to their packs, others not wild enough to survive in their natural environment. It is a full moon night and we all feel on the road between the forest and the village.