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One of the most important moments of my education was without a doubt the day when Luigi Nono showed me the details of the hanging model that Antonio Gaudi drafted for the construction of the church of Colonia Güell. Luigi Nono spoke of overcoming the written word, revising oral traditions, a new way of approaching the material directly and cooperating with musicians (as the great architect worked with a small group of Catalan stonemasons). Finally, he also explained Gaudi’s anti-academic attitude to the creative process, similar to Nono’s own in the years before his death.
Last semester, I gave a series of seminars at the ESMUC as a visiting professor, and I started and ended the series with precisely this theme. With my students, I saw the mysterious church of Colonia Güell for the first time, with an intense rush of feeling. Even today, the church is a manifestation of a unique thought experiment and a universal example that Catalonia sets to the world.