The song Clouds of oxygen was written and sung by 20 young patients within the Youth Project, who worked on the task from February to November 2013 under the guidance of Faso, the bassist of Italian rock band Elio e le Storie Tese, assisted by the vocalist Paola Folli (four months planning, two months in the recording room, then the final production phase and finally the launch of the song with an event).
The lyrics of the song began as a puzzle of phrases, images, memories, fears and hopes, which the patients wrote, together or on their own, and were then merged, all working together with the crucial support of the professional musician.
One of the crucial phrases of the song, that all the young patients on the project feel theirs, is:
“The best feeling of all is knowing you have a future and that it’s in your hands.” Matteo explains: “Up until yesterday there was a future in my life. It might have been vague, but still it was outlined: finish high school, university, work, travel, build my future step by step. Suddenly all this loses its definition, the future is the end of the first cycle, the moment I get out of toxicity, the day I can go home”.
Song and videoclip
The story of Clouds of Oxygen is told in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Oncology:
Ferrari A, Veneroni L, Clerici CA, Casanova M, Chiaravalli S, Magni C, Luksch R, Terenziani M, Spreafico F, Polastri D, Meazza C, Catania S, Schiavello E, Biassoni V, Podda M, Bergamaschi L, Puma N, Moscheo C, Gotti G, Massimino M. Clouds of Oxygen: adolescents with cancer tell their story in music. J Clin Oncol 33(2):218-221, 2015