lunedì 30 novembre 2020

Valerie. When I “met” Amy Winehouse. Ep I


This is a true story. it shows that the Magic of Life moves in a thousand mysterious, inscrutable ways and that is highly vain and foolish to speculate strategies in order to achieve something in particular, when, in the field of the pure Spirit, we not only have everything, but we are Everything. Always and forever.

The story also goes to show how the Dimensions we call Life and Death are but two rooms in the same building, amplifying and giving deep meaning to each other, in a relationship that only our total unpreparedness for subtle perceptions forces us to interpret with terror.

If you are reading these lines it means that this is the time for you to welcome this message, otherwise you would not be here now.

And it also means that you are grandly loved and seen.

Light and Energy to you,


It’s July 2011.

People only talk about a young English singer, who died at 27, named Amy Winehouse.

When the news spreads, I find myself sprawled on the sofa of a beautiful resort in Puglia - Italy, in full holiday mood, lazily scrolling my mobile screen. I read of this incredible voice, forever extinguished in her sleep by a fatal mixture of strong drinks. The media circus is on fire, with the usual images of flowers, candles and rows of

heartbroken fans in front of her house.  I personally only approximately know her as one of those weird characters, super pumped by media, just MTV stuff.

I remember thinking something like: "she had it coming" or something like that.

A moment of cynicism which I would have regretted bitterly, after a few weeks, almost like Saint Peter at the

triple crowing of the cock.

And that "rooster" was about to crow loudly, splitting my life - as a man and as a musician - in two.

I grew up in a peaceful, perfect family, full of love and harmony.

I was thirty at that time, an employee but also a passionate musician who had been since adolescence

keen on live music, recording sessions, communication and so on.

Like everyone, I followed a healthy ambition, I wanted to “crush it”, to break through. I would daydream about gigs, San Remo Festival and the like.

"Life is one!" "You only live once!" These used to be my mantras.

That summer, however, I was about to be transported to a completely different dimension, in which I would have understood in an unequivocal and disarming way that we live on infinite planes of existence, that the linearity of time is a mere perspective illusion and that what we call “death” is not the annihilation of life, but infact, its glorious explosion.

End of Ep. I

Valerio Mattei

Nov. 2020

mercoledì 25 novembre 2020

Valerie. When I “met” Amy Winehouse. Ep III

January 2014

One evening, long after these facts, someone wrote me in a chat that Amy's mom, Miss Janis, is on Twitter and likes to interact with her daughter's many fans who contact her. «Why don't you send your song to her?» Again that feeling of being thrown out of time, again that "Why don't you come on over, Valerie?" It's a moment. I choose the wisest words possible, trying at all costs to safeguard the purity of my intention and of this incredible epiphany from any possible suspicion of looting and mythomania. So the most important tweet of my life so far was sent.

I don't think it has been more than five minutes. My phone vibrates. The notification is there. It says: "Angels are singing lullabies [quoting the last verse of my song]. Wonderful, thanks. Janis".

Those few words were making sense for whole months of what I had begun to think was sheer madness. 

But it wasn't over.

After a few days, Miss Janis invites me to London for tea, in order to know my story. 

By “fate" (now I know it was pure synchrony) I had already booked a flight to London, to celebrate the 30th birthday of my brotherly friend Alessandro, who had moved for some time to the city of the Big Ben. Everything synced up. Life was really teaching me that nothing can be forced. What has the strength to happen also has a reason to happen.

True Magic deserves to be awaited because it can repay you for a lot of work, disorientation and questions, overnight.

And that night (one of the most beautiful and unforgettable ones of my life, of course) I find myself being driven across London in the back seat of a luxurious black car, with a driver, like I was a “James Bond” of the Eternal.

As I get in front of this pub, I see Miss Janis and her partner from the window, already sitting at the table. It is a series of indescribable moments and emotions, yet I will try to give an idea. We say goodbye, I sit down and I begin to tell everything from the beginning, feeling a sense of relief growing in me, a birth, a huge energy that had to be unloaded to the ground, through my person and my story.

As I told the whole story, everything became clear: Amy wanted to go back to her mother, make her understand that her energetic essence was alive, eternal and indestructible. And she wanted the world that the same goes for everyone and everything. Again I perceived myself as a simple and unconscious channel, acted by the Spirit (or Soul, or God or Light or "Frank" or "Mary" or whatever name you prefer ...). I was sunk in a sense of the highest respect and reverence, both for the immense pain of the person in front of me, and for the concatenation of inconceivable sensations, events, synchronicities, places and people that after a long time came to open up like a wonderful flower in front of my eyes.

As we were leaving the place (after a sandwich and a beer that I have not even touched, the way my guts were twisted), Mrs. Janis and her partner ask me, very naturally, what plans I had for the next day. I feel a slight dizziness and said that I was absolutely free (of course!). They invited me again, this time at their place, to see Amy's awards (which, just to say, were the Grammy Awards, the Oscar of pop-rock music...) and to play Amy's guitar, (!!!). At that moment, again, that "why don't you come on over ... Valerie" quote resounded in me; I felt the true Magic sparkling in my whole Being and lighting up the whole of London.

The next afternoon, I would enter that house where Amy herself, through that song with my name, had been attracting me for some time now.

Only an image can convey the idea of that moment.

The living room, a photo of Amy in a frame placed on the TV cabinet (a "family" photo, not a poster or a commercial photo. I assure you that it is an incredible emotion to perceive this difference from inside the dining room of the person in the photo…. in front of her mother).

Under that photo… a copy of my album, which I had brought to Janis the night before.

My cd under her photo. Just that cd that without this episode now perhaps would still be in the realm of Ideas. The circle was complete. The Spirit had used me to shine a light in the darkness of that heartbreaking story. To testify to that family and to anyone who reads this story (also documented in the video of my song "Amy") that what we call "death" (and that human beings has always seemed to bask sadistically to dress with a cloying and unpleasant imaginary of objective correlatives and attitudes which further exacerbate the pain without in any way reflecting the actual state of reality) is simply a change of energy state.

It is a switch, through which the Energy that we are and our mind - of which we have not yet known all the devastating potential - are released from the limits of a necessarily limited perception, and open up like a fan, blossom like a rose in the inconceivable dimension of the Whole, where we manage to be in every time, in every place and next to anyone, always.

Thinking that my existence could have served to put me in a position to witness this splendid reality and to act as a bridge between a mother on Earth and a daughter in Heaven, after a tragedy like that, it's something that still gives me chills everywhere.

The disarming humanity of Mrs. Janis always accompanies me.

Every now and then I send her a short greeting message and shortly after she kindly greets me back.

Of course, for her and her lovely life companion, I am… Valerie.

The End

Valerio Mattei 

Rome, November 2020

Valerie. Il mio “incontro” con Amy Winehouse. Ep II

 Agosto 2011

Ampiamente rientrato dalle ferie, sto facendo stretching a casa, dopo l’ufficio. Saranno le 18.30. All’improvviso nella mia mente zampilla dal nulla la musica di Back to black di Amy, forse l’unica che conoscevo un filo meglio, del suo repertorio. Non riesco a resistere, mi siedo al piano, trovo gli accordi. 

«He left no time to regret…» nel giro di poco la padroneggio abbastanza bene. «Ma... aspetta un attimo… - mi dico interrompendo bruscamente di suonare - che mi metto a fare… le cover della Winehouse?» Da interprete maschile infatti, non è molto usuale affrontare repertori femminili, per un fatto di testi, vocalità, registri ecc.…Ma soprattutto volevo davvero mettermi a confronto con una voce del genere? Falso problema. Qualcosa aveva già iniziato a cantare attraverso di me, che io fossi d’accordo o meno. La mia voce suonava diversa, la mia gola si muoveva diversamente, in modo quasi automatico. Come se un gigantesco file di aggiornamento fosse stato scaricato da chissà quale server remoto. Non era questione di imitare, ero sempre io con la mia voce, ma c’era una forte sfumatura in più, c’era qualcuno che cantava in me, e mi pregava di non fermarmi, di non fare resistenza, di lasciarmi andare senza paura. Ero solo un canale. Si fece buio, dimenticai quasi di cenare, niente, dovevo continuare. Nel giro di poco imparai diversi altri brani, e da quel momento studiai tutto ciò che trovavo su questa donna, spesso piangendo e chiedendomi sbigottito come fosse possibile struggersi di nostalgia per qualcuno che hai incontrato – si fa per dire – solo dopo la sua morte. Come puoi sentirti francamente avvilito e triste per una persona che non hai mai incrociato neanche artisticamente? Torno a dire: non ero un fan, non conoscevo quella donna (di nuovo San Pietro…)

Un giorno in ufficio, il mio collega Ewan (“casualmente” di origini inglesi) mi suggerisce di imparare anche Valerie, altro brano molto celebre di Amy, anche se in realtà è una cover dell’originale scritto e inciso da una band chiamata Zutons. È carino, agevole, ok lo imparo. Sto davanti a You Tube a studiare accordi, parole ecc. Poi, in un istante che ricorderò per sempre, lei guarda la telecamera e canta: «Why don’t you come on over, Valerie?» 

Il tempo si ferma, la mia mente razionale si congela. 

Sembra uscire dallo schermo, è materia viva.

Spiego a parole ciò che in quel millesimo di secondo mi ha colpito tutto insieme, come un unico pacchetto di informazioni, con la potenza, la velocità e la luminosità di un fulmine: “Why don’t you come on over” è traducibile con “perché non torni a casa” o anche “perché non vieni da me”. Il senso è quello.

E per quanto riguarda “Valerie”…leggete il mio nome alla fine di questo articolo e…benvenuti nella multidimensionalità.

Inizia da allora una simbiosi mistica. Parlo con lei mentalmente e a voce alta quando sono da solo, la sento, è una presenza vera, pulsante, reale.

Questa elettricità che sento dentro mi scuote anche da un periodo di inerzia artistica in cui mi ero ormai arreso alla routine lavorativa, accantonando le mie idee sine die.

Emergono nuove collaborazioni, idee, spunti, risorse economiche, mi rimetto in moto, stento a riconoscermi, e tutto senza avere la minima idea di cosa stia accadendo.

Dopo due anni il mio primo album sarebbe stato una realtà. 

In questo disco c’è un brano, intitolato appunto “Amy”, che pochi mesi dopo la sua pubblicazione avrebbe finalmente dato un senso enorme a tutto questo.

Fine Ep II

Valerio Mattei

Novembre 2020

Valerie. When I “met” Amy Winehouse. Ep II

It’s August 2011

Back from my vacation, I am doing stretching at home, after the office. It’s about 6.30 pm. All of a sudden in my mind the music of Amy's Back to black gushes out of nowhere, perhaps the only one I knew a little better in her repertoire. I can't resist, I sit at the piano and “find” some chords.

«He left no time to regret…» within a little while I mastered the song quite well. "But...wait a moment ... - I say to myself, as I abruptly stop playing – what am I planning to do ... a tribute to Amy Winehouse?" As a male interpreter, in fact, it is not very usual to perform “female-singer” repertoires. But, most of all… did I really want to compare with a voice like that? False issue. Something had already started singing through me, whether I agreed or not. My voice started to sound different, my throat moved differently, almost automatically. Such as if a huge update file was being downloaded from who knows what remote server. It wasn't a matter of imitating someone, it was always me with my voice, but there was a strong one extra nuance, there was someone singing in me, and begging me not to stop, not to resist, to let myself go without fear. I was just a channel. 

It got dark, I almost forgot to have dinner, there was nothing I could do about it, I had to continue. Within a short time I learned several others passages, and from that moment on, I studied everything I found about this woman, often crying and wondering in amazement how it was possible to yearn for someone you met - so to speak - only after his death. How can you feel frankly dejected and sad for a person you've never met even artistically?

As I said before infact: I was not a fan, I did not know that woman (again Saint Peter…)

One day in the office, my colleague Ewan ("casually" of English origin) suggests me to also learn “Valerie”, another very famous song by Amy, even if it was actually a cover of the original one, written and recorded by a band called The Zutons. It was nice and easy, so I went for it.

Now imagine I'm in front of YouTube watching Amy’s video and studying chords, lyrics, etc. Then, in an instant that I will always remember, Amy looks at the camera and sings: «Why don't you come on over, Valerie?»

Time stops, my rational mind freezes.

She seems to come out of the screen, it all become a real living thing.

I’ll try to explain in words what in that precious millisecond struck me altogether, like a single package of information, with the power, speed and brightness of the lightning.

«Why don't you come on over» carries a meaning like: "why don't you come home" or "why don't you come to me ”. That is the main sense of that verse.

And as for “Valerie”… read my name at the end of this article and… welcome to multidimensionality.

Since then a mystical symbiosis began. I started to talk to her mentally and out loud when I am alone, I feel it, it is a real, pulsating, real presence.

This electricity that I feel inside also shakes me from a period of artistic inertia in which I had then surrendered to the work routine, putting my ideas aside indefinitely.

New collaborations, ideas, economic resources emerge, I get back on my feet. I can hardly recognize myself, and all without having the slightest idea of what was happening.

After two years from then, my first album would have been a reality.

In this record there is a song, entitled "Amy", which a few months after its release would finally have given enormous meaning to all this.

End of Ep II

Valerio Mattei

November 2020

Valerie. Il mio “incontro” con Amy Winehouse. Ep I

Questa che segue è una storia vera.

La storia di come la Magia della Vita si muove in mille modi misteriosi e imperscrutabili e di come io ho imparato sulla mia pelle quanto sia vano e folle elucubrare strategie per ottenere qualcosa in particolare, quando, sul piano del puro Spirito, non solo abbiamo tutto, ma siamo Tutto. Da sempre e per sempre.

È anche il racconto di come e quanto le Dimensioni che chiamiamo Vita e Morte non siano che due stanze dello stesso edificio, l’una amplificazione e senso profondo dell’altra, in una relazione che solo la nostra totale impreparazione alle percezioni sottili ci costringe a interpretare con terrore.

Se stai leggendo queste righe significa che questo è il momento per te di accogliere questo messaggio, altrimenti non saresti qui, ora.

È anche il segno che, a prescindere dalle circostanze, sei sempre oggetto di grande amore e di incessante supporto. Prova ad accoglierli.

Luce ed Energia a te,


Luglio 2011

In giro non si fa altro che parlare di una giovane cantante inglese, morta a 27 anni, tale Amy Winehouse.

Quando si diffonde la notizia mi trovo spaparanzato sul divanetto di un bel resort pugliese, in pieno assetto vacanziero, a scrollare pigramente lo schermo del mio cellulare.

Leggo di questa voce incredibile, spenta per sempre nel sonno da una fatale miscela di super alcolici. Il circo mediatico si attiva, con le solite immagini di fiori, candele e file di fans affranti davanti alla sua casa.

Personalmente non la conosco, se non come uno di quei personaggi super pompati, roba da MTV.

Ricordo di aver pensato qualcosa tipo “se l’è cercata” o quasi. Un momento di cinismo di cui mi sarei pentito amaramente, dopo qualche settimana, quasi come San Pietro al triplice canto del gallo.

E quel “gallo” stava per cantare forte, spaccando in due la mia vita di uomo e di musicista.

Sono cresciuto in una famiglia serena, perfetta, piena di amore e armonia.

Diplomato al Liceo Classico e laureato in Scienze della Comunicazione, a quei tempi ero un trentenne, impiegato ma anche appassionato musicista che fin dall’adolescenza si era diviso tra musica dal vivo, sedute di registrazione, comunicazione a tutto tondo e così via., 

Seguivo come tutti una sana ambizione, volevo farcela, sfondare.

Sognavo concerti, San Remo, il Primo Maggio e così via. 

Perché…. “la vita è una!” e perché “si campa una volta sola!” 

Quell’estate invece, stavo per essere trasportato su una dimensione completamente diversa, in cui avrei compreso in maniera inequivocabile e disarmante che viviamo su infiniti piani di esistenza, che la linearità del tempo è una mera illusione prospettica e che ciò che chiamiamo morte non è l’annullamento della vita, ma la sua esplosione gloriosa.

Fine Ep I

Valerio Mattei

Roma, Novembre 2020