Sign up for the THINK newsletter

You have been successfully added to our newsletter.

Get fresh opinions, sharp analyses and powerful essays delivered to your inbox.

Andrea Bocelli We use music to say things we could never say with words

I hope that my life can offer others a reason to think and to learn something new.

Andrea Bocelli performs during the Champions League final opening ceremony on May 28, 2016 in Milan.Shaun Botterill / Getty Images file
Get the Think newsletter.

As told to THINK editor Meredith Bennett-Smith, edited and condensed for clarity.

Growing up, I never considered music to be an element of “help.” But I do believe that life is a gift, and it must be lived as a gift from the beginning until the very end.

Music is part of me — I feel like it’s always been a part of me — and it's an element that makes up who I am. Everywhere I go, my music comes with me. But it’s also very important that I be able to share it with others. I want my music to live with others, just as it lives with me.

Music is just so powerful, on so many levels. I feel that power, and I believe in it. Indeed, generally speaking, I believe in the power of art. Music is art, after all. And in this context, art, to me, it’s like an occult form of magic — that’s how powerful I feel it is. It’s like a special language; we use it to say things that we could perhaps never say using words.

Art, to me, it’s like an occult form of magic — that’s how powerful I feel it is.

Art, to me, it’s like an occult form of magic — that’s how powerful I feel it is.

And this goes very much hand in hand with a quote from the 18th century German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Leibniz, who said that music is a sort of hidden arithmetic exercise of the soul. It is an occult exercise that cannot account for itself. And I think what he meant by that was, music has such a strong power over the soul that the soul doesn’t even have the capacity sometimes to measure it.

All of which is to say, I believe music is incredibly powerful.

I was introduced to music relatively early in life, something which is depicted in my memoir “The Music of Silence,” and the new movie now based off of that book. This period of my life is important because I believe that everything we learn, we basically learn when we are very young, when we are children.

When we age, we dive deeper and deeper into topics that we first learned about as kids. And as a result, a child has to be given as many opportunities as possible, so that he or she can explore everything that life has to offer. Then the child can better understand what he or she is most suited for, and is most passionate about. And if they have a special talent, ideally that is discovered as well.

 Andrea Bocelli performs during Celebrity Fight Night in Italy on September 8, 2017 in Rome. Jonathan Leibson / Getty Images for Celebrity Fight file

Hopefully, when people watch “The Music of Silence” they will — first of all — enjoy it. I hope that it serves to lighten their spirits. But I also hope that my story can provide an opportunity for reflection.

I believe that my life, but also any life for that matter, can actually offer a reason to think and to learn something new. We can always learn something from someone else's life. And we should always be looking for opportunities to grow and learn from the power of each others’ stories.

Italian singer, songwriter and record producer Andrea Bocelli has performed for four U.S. presidents, three Popes, the British Royal Family and many Prime Ministers. He created the Andrea Bocelli Foundation in 2011 with the mission to empower people and communities.

"The Music of Silence" premiered on Feb. 2, 2018.

Get the Think newsletter.
Get the Think newsletter.

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making a better place.