Gisèle Grima writes:

Caro zio,

Hanging on the wall above the piano in my music room are immaculate pencil drawings of Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Debussy. Commissioned by family members as a wedding gift, this quartet of drawings carries more than a musical significance. I like to think of them as a precious memory of the artist who invested his time in bringing them to life. That artist was Salvatore Mousù, a gentleman I proudly call my uncle.

My dear uncle Salvatore was such a special man who was uniquely enchanted by all things beautiful in life. Many of those who knew him most likely shared some mutual connection to cultural interests but this in no way limited his capacity to get to know new people from all walks of life.

A passionate historian, a gifted and humble visual artist, a music lover, a cultural connoisseur and a spiritual human, are only but a few of the lifetime roles that the jovial Salvatore occupied throughout his life. Multilingual and effortless in his sharing of knowledge, he enjoyed the casual conversation with any individual and would frequently inject a touch of humour, a strong attribute to his light-hearted nature.

A generous, kind and simple man, Salvatore possessed an abundance of energy and passion towards anything artistic.

Locally, Salvatore was a widely respected all-rounded cultural aficionado. His contribution towards the cultural heritage scene was exceptional, an interest that he genuinely cared for with such a natural sense of grace. An active leader and tour guide with Din l-Art Ħelwa for a number of years, he felt indebted to impart his extensive knowledge on cultural traditions and the aesthetic beauty of architecture and he did this with utmost commitment.

Salvatore’s penchant for classical music, particularly Italian opera and Neapolitan song, was also a source of excitement, the seeds of which were sown in his childhood years. He was incredibly fascinated by the close connection between the lives of composers and their musical output. He would confidently speak about music with such admiration and respected those musicians who are there to keep this affinity of his alive.

Salvatore was a musically educated guide and despite his insistence on me playing Chopin more, he never undermined the appreciation towards other musical works he came across. Always intrigued by the transcendental nature of music, we would speak at length sharing our views on how music powerfully affects the individual.

To me, he was not just an uncle but an important inspirational figure who shaped my thoughts on how I viewed and performed music. His vast knowledge on classical music works was compelling and always seemed to bring to him a sense of reassurance in life.

But his talents and gifts were still larger than this. Throughout his life, Salvatore the artist produced some of the most astounding works of art and craftsmanship which he humbly enjoyed in his own home. This in itself is testament to an artistic demeanour that was honest and pure.

While Salvatore has left a void in many peoples’ lives, he equally filled those lives with a spiritual love that will surely be remembered. Rest in peace carissimo zio.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us