Many people knew Chris personally or through his music. Here are some testimonies rendered by some of the many musicians, music critics, teachers, friends and colleagues after his untimely death.
He was an exceptional boy: one of those extremely rare young men who give you some hope that this world, though it’s so compromised, may yet move forward, may yet improve. I loved him, and I delighted in his relation with music, his passion and mine
His was a sunny, enthusiastic personality, and in him talent was combined with a maturity way beyond his biological age.
Giancarlo Susanna, the musical reviewer
It is impossible to say what would have happened to Christian Cappelluti if death had not taken him away from us at such a young age. Perhaps he would have been able to achieve the success in the music world to which he seemed to be destined so clearly. Perhaps he would have followed the fate of so many talented artists, held in great esteem by the experts and largely unknown to the public at large. The only thing that a critic can do is analyze as objectively as possible what Christian has left us, a series of songs that bear witness to a constant growth, from his very promising attempts to his last and more mature recordings. Christian’s writing, as confirmed by him, was not confined to the melody, the text and a simple harmony. Rather, it provided for a true arrangement, with specific parts for each instrument. “(…) when I least expect it, the verse or refrain of a song that I have never heard appears in my mind. The part of the song that comes to me through my inspiration is always completely arranged and has vocals. Usually, it’s not that difficult for me to develop a whole song from that fragment”. The increasingly widespread use of technology, what is defined as home recording, is a method that over the past few years has contributed to changing the “sound” of pop music. Christian had already experimented with it, but it seemed rather aimed at providing arrangement indications to the musicians he wanted to involve in his projects.
Christian would definitely have made life difficult to those who for whatever reason might have wanted to change what he had . We can only make assumptions on how he would have been able to manage a completely independent project, following the autarchical rules of the so-called “lo-fi”. Would he have become another Beck, capable of using both “lo-fi” as well as more traditional methods? Perhaps, considering the passion that guided him along the difficult road of musical creativity. His talent was certainly natural, as demonstrated by the songs he wrote, but it was also something which he had cultivated with stubbornness and determination, in the belief – which he also expressed – that the language of music was the one most suitable for him.
“Music is definitely the form of art through which I can best express myself and writing songs is the most gratifying experience I have ever had”.
Making known the songs that Christian left us, enabling other artists to render them according to his style and allowing other talents to study and emerge following his example, seems to us the best way to prevent his voice from being lost completely, or from remaining the legacy of only a fortunate few.
Red Canzian of The Pooh
Chris was absolutely a genius in the musical field, and he also stood out for his really rare depth of thought and sentiment. I could compare him to a romantic poet of the nineteenth century, while in his extraordinary ability to create new melodies which gripped the hearer, I even found myself associating him one day with John Lennon
Sheila Davis – Teacher, consultant, journalist and president of Songwriter Critique
Christian was a very special young man with so many admirable qualities, above and beyond his obvious musical talents. He had not only a natural charm and grace, but a deep generosity of spirit and kindness of heart.
Prof. Peter Kairoff – Professor of Music at Wake Forest University
His music was well-crafted and more creative than many pop singers, he had an especially keen ear for harmony. He had the talent, drive, and resources to make it happen.
I’ve known Chris for several years, and his music ear is very impressive. Not only does he have a perfect pitch – immediately recognizing, recalling, or singing any individual note – but he is also able to quickly transcribe even the most complex harmonies and progressions.
David Lucas Burge – Hawaii – Perfect Pitch Training Course Professor
I’ve known Chris for several years, and his music ear is very impressive. Not only does he have Perfect Pitch – immediately recognizing, recalling, or singing any individual note – but he is also able to quickly transcribe even the most complex harmonies and progressions.
William S. Hamilton, Dean of College – Wake Forest University
Although Christian’s life was very short, it was fuller and more meaningful than the lives of many who live to be 100. He added original ideas to my life, and to the lives of hundred of our students.
David Isbister, Professor of Business at the Wake Forest University
Christian was a man with big dreams and strong ambitions.
He was also a person who had the motivation and talent to make them come true. His death is a real loss to the world as well as to those who knew him.
S. Douglas Beets – Professor at School of Business and Accountancy – Wake Forest University
He quickly proved himself to be one of the best and brightest students I have known in my 15 years of teaching. Always questioning, always genuinely enthusiastic about learning, he had a pure thirst for knowledge that I have rarely witnessed.
I consider Christian to be the type of student that professors truly experience joy in teaching.
Francesco Mocci – Professor of Philosophy at the Istituto Massimo, Rome
In looking back I remember past traces, their line overtakes me, like when Christian asked me questions not because he wanted to know the answer, but to make sure that the conclusion he had reached on his own was the right one.
His friend Marta
Christian was a genius, a creative being, an artist, but especially a friend. A friend who has left a trace in my life: a sign of love, friendship and life, an example that will continue to be an inspiration for me. His strong personality, his zest for life, his determination always overwhelmed me. From the very moment I met him, I knew he was someone out of the ordinary. A complex individual, with lots of interests, constantly evolving from a human and cultural point of view. He was gifted with a rare sensitivity, a sensitivity which gave him an extraordinary ability to communicate.
Christian would look you in the eyes and read into your very soul; to me this was his greatest quality.
“True friends don’t need to see each other all the time… They communicate with their soul!”, he would say to me. His extreme sensitivity necessarily caused him to be creative, an artist. To Christian, the language of music was the language of his choice, also in its religious dimension; he had a real passion for gospels.
In his mind, there was always something that he had to capture at all costs to give it shape in a musical creation. With his music, he felt as if his body was weightless and as if everything followed him, also bodiless.
Christian loved the idea that music was a sudden, strong and creative gift; he felt it running inside him in its completed form, all he had to do was remember and write it.
He deducted himself, looked at himself transparently, he loved intelligence.
Always seeking new interests, hungry for knowledge, an indefatigable perfectionist, he adored dialogue; he would produce accurate literary passages, as if in a arpeggio.
This is Christian: an extraordinary being who made me discover the value of pure, free and contemplative friendship. His success was my success, his conquests were my own.
Still today, Christian and I continue to dialogue and communicate through our souls, just like he taught me.
Fabio Ciliberti, his bass player friend
The falling star
Where, where have you gone?
You’ve never been so far from here
Tell me, are you alone?
Is there a god within?
Here all of your dreams
are still waiting for you
and all of your friends
can’t beleive it’s true
Can you here me my friend?
Since you’re gone my heart’s in a mess
give me a reason my friend
cos I can’t understand
I remember you where on the air
everyday, on the phone
you’re gonna be no more
And now I can see the rain
falling down on me
and you, high in the sky
Can you hear me my friend?
Is there a shinig light with you?
Can you tell me my friend
Cos I miss your voice in the air
Can you hear me my friend?
Is there a shining star in you?
Can you tell me my friend
was it you?
Was it you in the night
falling from the sky
when we screamed and we cried
our last goodbye
His school fellow Gian Filippo Cameli
I leaf through the pages of this book
And again I think of you
It is a book of artists, mad but honest,
who do what they please
believe me, it would have been perfect
to blossom there like a rose.
I know, you’ve said it so many times
That living is worthwhile only for that.
And now that you have immensity and all the lights before you,
sing, sing again
the only audience that can understand you
tell me, tell us softly
that I won’t miss that madness.
Coming to grips with your mysticism
has often made me reflect
searching, understanding, becoming a man has been easier
and in this August night I stop
to salute your star
on this night of falling stars that look like tears
but you smile to me.
Look at my wet verses, they are only for us
Sing, sing louder,
make me feel that I am far
your ingenuous surprise reminds me
that the artist is here.
Massimo, a childhood friend
nothing in the world could have been less predictable than what is happening at this very moment, writing you while you are no longer with us. But your physical loss will never erase the huge mark that you have left forever in all of us, who never succeeded in keeping up with you, you who were so different and going so fast, while we were mere spectators of something much greater than us, as most things you did. I liked the ways you dealt with others, they way you looked inside them and not outside, as so often happens. This made it easy, if not inevitable, to become friends with you after meeting you, and leaves a memory that lives on inside us, a trace that will never disappear, along with the other very few things that have greatly affected and reawakened our sensitivity with equal intensity. The image I have of you is a man constantly running, who is able to follow his passions completely, without compromises. I would like this, in addition to misfortune, to be the explanation for what happened. You were constantly setting new goals for yourself, while being happy to live in the present, surrounding yourself with things that you liked and that at the same time nourished your curiosity and your desire to constantly learn something new. This, I think, is the truest image; it is the one I always have before me and I want to continue to cherish.
Tom, an american friend
Christian was a light child and of course the early dawn attracted him to her and blessed him with many thoughts and illuminations. I am not sure of the particulars of this passing and maybe will learn later in his works.
Sorry it has taken me so long to respond but just received your letter days ago and have taken sometime, to reflect on him and his actions. Christian had depth and consentiation which few people are blessed with.
If he believed in something, you can be sure he thought it out and when he decided to act, did so with determination and much effort.
We exchanged ideas of many sorts, his knowledge was extensive and complete for his years.
He was a true friend and was completely devoted to his mother and dad, I miss him and know he is on a journey that will continue to benefit mankind and this planet.
Please give my best to his dad and although we only understand in part now, Christian accomplished much in his short time with us.
Thanks from Emma
My wonderful Christian
Thank you for having drawn us closer to God.
Now you are here
In heaven and you protect us.
You were too perfect and pure to be on earth.
THANK YOU for the goodness you shared with us all
Thank you God for having sent him to us,
thank you Franco and Adriana for having created such a lovely being.
Christian, we will love you for our whole lives.
Alexander, un poeta per caso
Mi sei venuto in mente qualche settimana fa in un contesto triste ma sono felice di averti ripensato.
Sei sempre stato un ragazzo dolcissimo che riusciva a sancire la diversità morale con il suo cuore. Hai lasciato una coscienza profonda nei paradigmi umani che circondavano i tuoi amici.
Eri dotato di una grande intelligenza ed avevi il dono di avere una immensa gioia nei tuoi occhi.
Ti ringrazio per avermi consigliato di andare (o meglio ritornare) negli States, molta della fortuna che ho avuto dipende anche da te.
Sicuramente ricorderai l’ex piccolo Franz, ora studia architettura ma è felice. Vive con la ragazza (che lo mantiene) e si vogliono molto bene. Due giorni fa gli ho detto “Ti ricordi Chris”?? Lui mi ha risposto che i sogni si ricordano per sempre.
Io sono equally weighted within Rome and Los Angeles e faccio l’imprenditore nel settore televisivo. Di arte me n’è rimasta molto poca ma qualche volta mi rimetto a dipingere. Ho dei grandi problemi familiari ma sono molto felice perché la vita è una gemma di speranza.
Ti voglio bene Chris, ci saremo visti poche volte ma il tuo ricordo mi ha dato nell’esistenza la forza di non piegarmi mai a nulla e di sognare sempre, cercando di raggiungere i miei obiettivi.
Avevi dei valori forti e solidi e spero che avrai un occhio benevolo su di me da lassù.
Dicevi sempre che le mie poesie erano incomprensibili e quindi te ne mando una che ti farà sorridere perché penserai che Alex è diventato matto:
Le luci sulla strada sono come i sogni, si avvicinano adagio e quando arrivano
tornano ad andarsene.
Nella profondità dei nostri desideri e speranze, sta la nostra muta conoscenza di ciò che è oltre la vita;
E come i semi sognano sotto la neve, il nostro cuore sogna la vita.
confidate nei sogni, poiché in essi si cela la porta dell’eternità
Solo se berrete al fiume del silenzio, potrete davvero cantare.
E quando la terra esigerà il vostro corpo vivrete lo stesso , forse diversamente ma mai senza petali. Quando vai per le strade nessuno ti riconosce. Nessuno vede la tua corona di cristallo, nessuno guarda il tappeto d’oro rosso
che calpesti dove passi, la gente guarda i tuoi occhi che aprono gli androni di quello che siamo.
La stessa notte che sbianca gli stessi alberi. Noi, quelli d’allora, già non siamo gli stessi.
Io non sogno più molto, è vero, ma quanto ho sognato.
La mia voce cercava il vento per arrivare alle tue orecchie.
La tua voce, amicizia, i tuoi occhi infiniti.
Non esiste l’oblio perché nulla finisce
la mia anima non si rassegna d’averti perso, perché tu sei ancora qui con noi
Il sale azzurro di un bambino sulla ghiaia, la felicità di vivere una vita che è sempre stupenda anche quando il dolore cerca di rubarti la tenerezza
Open your hands and dream, See you at the crossroads Bro.
Ti voglio bene
The poem of an anonymous friend
The fragile chords fly in this afternoon’s air
grey as the clouds covering the world
green like the fields crowding your mind.
Bluebird’s wings are your rhimes, they let you fly, so high
over the earth’s peaks, to behold the life of far away places.
The joy of a moment has run away
and now the echo of your poetry lingers
for ever carved in the stone of our memory.
A dawn’s light, the rock of the hearth, a wind’s breath
that touches the branches of our souls.
Deep greens and blues are the colours of your music,
the everlasting gift you’ve left in your friends hearts.