The secular knowledge of organ building art, handed down from one generation to another, found its home in a workshop in a small town in the island of Sardinia. Beyond the artisanal process, an invisible and unstoppable movement seems to be hidden: the research for the original breath of nature, that for the ancient Greeks (Πνεúμα) was also the spirit.
Runtime:17 minutes 44 seconds
Completion Date:June 1, 2021
Country of Origin:Italy
Country of Filming:Italy
Lago Film FestRevine Lago
July 23, 2021
October 20, 2021
Alberto Diana (Sardinia, 1989) attended a Master’s in Creative documentary at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, after graduating in humanities from the University of Cagliari. He has been assistant director for Jose Luis Guerin’s Academy of Muses.
His previous short documentaries have been screened at several international film festivals. His last feature documentary Red Mud was selected in competition at the 37th edition of Torino Film Festival.
He is a member of the selection committee of Festival dei Popoli and IsReal (Nuoro, Italy).
He is developing the script for the fiction feature film Intra Montes.
The project of Pneuma began due to the fascination for a place: the workshop of the organ builders in Segariu, Sardinia. Since I entered for the first time, I felt the sensation of finding myself in a space extraordinarily alive: the flow of an unstoppable and primordial energy seemed to circulate between the woods, the pipes and the other sections of the instrument; the pages of an ancient volume, resting on a wooden lectern in the back room, revealed the mathematical, scientific and philosophical knowledge that still today inspires the work of the Palmas family.
My aim with the film was to capture the invisible process of work, which in this case takes form in music as a sort of miraculous union between human techniques and ingenuity and the elements of nature. In a certain sense, the organ builder, like the luthier, is the first musician who, with his art and his technical knowledge, places himself at the disposal of nature to approach, through physical and mechanical procedures, a sort of auditive cosmogony of universe.
The principles of pneumatic regulates the functioning of the pipe organ. The same word reveals in its etymology a mystical origin: in the ancient Greek Πνεúμα (pnèuma) is the noun that indicates not only the breath of the wind, but also the vital breath, the spirit that animates human beings, nature and the universe.
This breath survives in Giuseppe, 89 years old organ builder that still works there, a true embodiment of this original spirit: this film is also an homage to him.