Real Holy Folks Show You This

" 'Breathe in joy and breathe out joy,' Sufi Sam said — the best teaching I was ever given. Real holy folks show you this; you see and feel it. They are not singing or conducting or composing, they are breathing in joy and breathing out joy. Honeysuckle breath without the honeysuckle."
— W. A. Mathieu in The Musical Life

My Life Changed After Encountering the Music of Enzo Avitabile

Jonathan Demme will be remembered for his films Philadelphia, Something Wild, and Silence of the Lambs. But he is also a sensitive and creative documentary filmmaker: his last one was Neil Young: Heart of Gold. Demme loves music and is enchanted by the wonders it works on our bodies, minds, and souls. He has noted the genesis of this documentary: "I was listening to a radio program while driving across the George Washington Bridge in New York six years ago, when I first encountered the music of Enzo Avitabile, and my life changed."

Meet an Extraordinary Neopolitan Musician, Composer, and Singer

"If you are whole in your sound, your wholeness does not stop with your skin. Sound is sympathetic. The sound of your body is sympathetic with other bodies. All around the globe, incantations for peace as well as cries of outrage are heard and felt. Joining your voice to the voices of others lifts it up to a great circle of sympathetic vibration."
— W. A. Mathieu in The Musical Life

Enzo Avitabile lives in Naples, Italy and loves music. He is a multi-musician and composer who works in many genres and plays many special instruments. In this compelling documentary, Jonathan Demme salutes the spiritual wholeness and vitality of Enzo Avitabile whose enthusiasm for who he is and what he does is endearing. As a regular meditative practice, Avitabile begins the day with Maestro Pergolesi. No wonder he comes to a place of peace where he can sing and join his voice with the voices of others around the world who are sympathetic to the large number of suffering and poor children who live and die in pain.

The Integrity of Enzo Avitabile's Voice Centers Everyone

"The more of yourself you put into your sound the more of you will be in the circle. When you find your integrity in your voice, when it is real for you, your one centered sound centers everyone. The more you tune it, the more it tunes the world. In one clear tone there is that much sanity."
— W. A. Mathieu in The Musical Life

Enzo Avitabile has worked with James Brown and Tina Turner but his deepest pleasure and fulfillment is jamming with 12 world class musicians who gather in a Baroque church to perform his music. Avitabile's energy and collaborative skills seem to center all of these guest musicians so they can bring out their best as they tune the world together.

A Master of Improvisation Becomes a Spiritual Tutor

"Music makes an altar out of our ears. A single struck tone, a note blown from a flute, can flush the body with goodness."
— W. A. Mathieu in The Musical Life

Enzo Avitabile, a double cornea transplant recipient, sees things very clearly. He is awed by the wonderful ways in which Western and Eastern cultures can weave new musical forms together that stir the soul. He is a master of improvisation who is able to go with the flow and tap into the magic of the moment. He tutors us in the art of finding the spiritual in the mundane and in discovering prayer everywhere.

Watch Enzo Avitabile Music Life and let your ears become an altar. You will be amazed by what happens as a result of this spiritual exercise.

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