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The Sound of Passion
Stories of Audacity

To get to your destination you can just move, but to travel is much more. A travel is a way to live new emotions, or to awaken the ones forgotten. Travelling is crossing the world with the desire to be amazed, realizing that you are living, discovering every time the sound of passion, the power of nature and the thrill of exploration.

Maserati addressed a writer and a photographer in order to express these emotions, thorough their arts.

The first stop of this journey is the majestic and fickle territory of the mountain. Here you can discover how the storytellers and the Ski World Champion Giorgio Rocca lived this adventure. Discover together with them THE SOUND OF PASSION.

THE PLACE

THE PLACE

Imagine a valley that ceases to sway because in four kilometres there’s a dam and a border. It’s the valley before you with its’ finis terrae attitude that proudly evokes ancient trade crossings, and lodging houses.

The Sound of Passion

The place
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Imagine a valley that ceases to sway because in four kilometres there’s a dam and a border. It’s the valley before you with its’ finis terrae attitude that proudly evokes ancient trade crossings, and lodging houses. Above you the mountains are swollen with snow higher than a man. Piz Bernina, Piz Quattervals, Piz Murtaröl, Scima da Saoseo - their crests draw an irascible line beyond which there’s a Prussian blue sky, the blue of deep space, air being thin up here. 

If you bring your gaze back to the ground, you see a road that sways with the same frequency of the valley. Perhaps for this reason it’s called Valley Road. There should be another kind of blue to the right, one with the green tones of Lake Livigno, and indeed there is, only it’s buried beneath a blanket of snow that also covers a layer of ice. On your left, stone walls protect the road on which entire mountains rest. Moving beneath them, what is visible becomes film, the landscape becomes alive.

So, let’s sum it up: mountains outside, a frontier before you, an iced lake on your right, a road beneath you, a car around you.

I’m just a whispering voice, you on the other hand, are living this.

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THE SOUND

THE SOUND

Now that you’re living, you can stop imagining. Listen. Don’t go too far: listen to the near space surrounding you. The car’s cockpit enveloping you is the safe womb of a wild animal.

The Sound of Passion

The sound
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Now that you’re living, you can stop imagining. Listen. Don’t go too far: listen to the near space surrounding you. The car’s cockpit enveloping you is the safe womb of a wild animal. Inside there is no instability nor danger, even if it’s a place launched into space, chasing prey which today is just this experience. 

But don’t mistake stillness with silence. Listen more carefully, especially when closer to a curve. Eight valves increase their rotational speed as a crescendo makes its way from deep visceral tones, until it growls to higher sharp tones that turn this sound into the result of rationality: the wild animal suddenly transforms into perfection of technology, its sound studied in every detail, the platonic growl of high engine revolutions.

The curve obstructs a view then opens the next; everything is reachable in this skillfully combined cathedral of elements that escort your hands, your body (you are momentum) and your hearing, towards a straightstretch that calls the wild animal. And the wild animal responds. The valves increase their revolutions once again and a slight pressure on your chest invites you to lean into your seat. Now shift your gaze to the mountains: they look like earth’s fingers pointing the direction. Upwards. 

Outside, the wild animal howls for you and lets you feel its scratch, but inside you also enjoy this luxury: probing the superhuman limit between absolute silence and a war cry.

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THE ALTITUDE

THE ALTITUDE

When you step on it, untouched snow compresses with a soft crackle; the sound too is subjected to unpolluted things; the empty space contracts. But let’s go further than sound, let’s feel the body.

The Sound of Passion

The altitude
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When you step on it, untouched snow compresses with a soft crackle; the sound too is subjected to unpolluted things; the empty space contracts. But let’s go further than sound, let’s feel the body. You’re climbing up the mountain stretch that takes you to the track, and the air is fresh and dry and doesn’t enter your lips sharply. Instead, at every breath you taste the sun. The complex glucose molecules break down and your effort is revitalized, each step is the measurement of distance that is being covered. You are energy, you are alive.

Beneath the tracks that your footprints created, a road follows cutting through the back of the mountain you’re climbing: you look at it and see nothing, you listen to it and hear nothing. You resume walking, your eyes closed, the darkness is orange tinted, the skin of your face a tray for the sun and the only sound is still that of the dry and fragrant snow pressed under your feet.

Then, like an instrument following an aria in a duet, an outburst of strings twirls and then settles. A powerful flutter, nervous, yet perfectly in control, like the acrobatics of a hornet. Your pace speeds up because you know what this sound is, its origin and its elegant fury: before, you were inside it.

The strings burst again, with the same bend and the same fervor but at a higher volume. This is the moment you open your eyes and turn: you catch sight of the high proud nose of a car spanning a hairpin turn. The driver travels along the millimetric balance between control and freedom. Thanks to the engine, the centripetal and the centrifugal forces there is no danger but rather an opportunity: whoever’s driving can indulge in turning the steering wheel counterintuitively in the opposite direction. Forty-centimeter tires surf on the snow smoothing it like a paintbrush would with white tempera. The driver is one with the movements, a coefficient between the amounts of emptiness and fullness that nature arranged for the landscape. Being one. This is how one should connect with a force so reactive to seem alive, a wild animal or a hurricane that rushes past you leaving a sound which physics calls the doppler effect.

It will arrive at the top before you, but you too must vent the horses inside you.

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THE PEAK

THE PEAK

At the top, the view changes. The engine rests, your heartbeat slows down, your gaze opens: you rest your feet on the line that you followed from the beginning of the trip, the line that separates white from blue.

The Sound of Passion

The peak
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At the top, the view changes. The engine rests, your heartbeat slows down, your gaze opens: you rest your feet on the line that you followed from the beginning of the trip, the line that separates white from blue. How far it seemed before; but Man yearns for change.

You’ve arrived at the top to witness what is about to happen. There’s just you, while my words help you see. The Alps’ crown stretches all around you and the white Levante’s trident completes the scenery like a portrait that Man yields to the power of stone. Besides the now still car, motionless like a wild animal ready to run, is a man you’ve seen many times but never met. You saw him skid on snow, exploit gravity, race in super-Gs just like Ulysses escaping from a cyclops he’d told his name was Nobody. And here, in this alpine scenery at an altitude of 2400 meters on a February day in 2021, Nobody becomes the synthesis of artfulness and intelligence, instinct, strength and ambition. The Maserati Levante Trofeo and Giorgio Rocca, 2006 Slalom World Champion, bring all this to life: let the show begin.

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THE DUEL

THE DUEL

Drivers and skiers speak the same language. Semantically or physically, there’s no difference in how they face the slope they’re about to cover.

The Sound of Passion

The duel
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Drivers and skiers speak the same language. Semantically or physically, there’s no difference in how they face the slope they’re about to cover. They smile, imitating the curve’s movement: in the end, skis and engine are just different ways to access speed, to expand the thrill of feeling alive. 

Driver and skier stop talking and the sound of air alone fills the landscape. Like the quiet before a war, or a courtship. A duel under the high sun. 

Now follow me to the side, let’s let Giorgio Rocca latch on his ski boots and the driver buckle himself in the car. Follow me to the side where a snowcat is waiting: you’re about to witness the dance from the very heart of the movement. 

The engine roars, Rocca shuts his helmet: hang on tight and forget about my voice. 

A skier’s trigger is gravity, that of a Levante is a V8 engine with 580 horsepower. But the way they use energy and unleash beauty is made of the same things: the right trajectory, the perfection of forces that tame inertia and change the course of things. After the starting line, the valley floor appears to be moving towards you at a growing speed, but while Rocca increases his speed and the Levante its engine revolutions, you feel the breeze through your hair become wind and that wind becomes a blizzard. The landscape so white and the sky so clear you can see the world tilt.

Man and car descend the mountain one next to the other as if it were a poem written in snow, a poem that speaks about ligaments and steering, quadriceps and valves, life and technology talking to one another, imitating and seducing one another. You’re there, in the middle of that poem, like an explorer who will go down in history for having witnessed a once in a lifetime show: a man on snow and a car that can play like a man, a dialogue between illegitimate gods, made of blood and gasoline, of iron and flesh, of vents and breath. The snowcat chases the fireworks of crystals shot in the sky at every turn, and the balance you feel comes from the synchrony of perfect movements.

Everything lasts less than a minute, but whoever said perfection is by nature brief was right: it’s intense and man cannot bear such power for long. Not even a World Champion can, nor you, with your eyes filled with such beauty. A car could, but a car without a man is like a heart without beat.

When you get off the snowcat, you turn and look up to where your trip started. You read the poem you just wrote, you feel it’s complete.

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THE WAY BACK

THE WAY BACK

Livigno is a stone’s throw away, you’ll go back to fetch your things and leave that corner of the world that resembles a cluster of white cold pollen come from the North.

The Sound of Passion

The way back
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Livigno is a stone’s throw away, you’ll go back to fetch your things and leave that corner of the world that resembles a cluster of white cold pollen come from the North. You’ll go back to leave the World Champion to his daily routine and ski lessons, to leave a car that allowed you to experience a balance created of wildness and beauty. You’ll leave a poem written on a snow-covered slope, where the snow is higher than a man. 

You hear a music nearby, a DJ is translating all the sounds you heard elevated between snow and sky and man and car, into musical notes.

There’s one last thing left to see: what other elements could be so hospitable to both man and car to become a land for their dance and poetry. But there’s still time. You never stop travelling.

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PERFORMANCE CHARGED

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