We were supposed to meet one hour before the concert, at the vermouth bar. I had received the invitation from a friend through Facebook. Soon, some other people came and sat with me at the same table.
That’s how Luca Longobardi’s #HCSeries usually starts: when a group of twenty strangers meet in this small and cozy bar, dear to the artist, in the pedestrian area of Via del Pigneto, in Rome. The group turned into an audience by the simple fact of sharing the wait for the music, winds up exchanging opinions, drinking and reading short stories written by the musician himself. It seems like he wrote them in order to start building among the audience a sense of familiarity, that will grow even stronger once inside the intimacy of the house.
At eight o’clock, we are given the address and we walk the short distance between the bar and the house. The apartment door opens and there’s Michele Rutigliano, the other owner of the house, who invites us in. Michele is an interior designer and he thoroughly decorated this 1925 apartment in the middle of the pedestrian area. Guided by the music and by a suffused lightning, we enter the living room, where Luca greets us playing the piano. Behind him, on the table, there are glasses, beverages, and a playbill.
Luca explains the only rule of the House Concert: make ourselves at home. And doing it is very easy, when you relax and follow the music, ranging from original pieces, which are the majority, to pieces belonging to classical repertoire. It’s a delicate, harmonious succession of sound worlds, where respect for classical composers never turns into subordination; on the contrary, it gives a passionate interpretation of their works, that blends with Luca’s refined music. The piano is the real star: it’s an old Scholze upright piano that Luca owns since he was a child; he plays it along with analog synthesizers, tape recorders, pedals and even an old projector’s noise. The timbric hallmark of the whole honors the originality of the compositions; every piece tells a unique story and conveys peculiar emotions, whose importance in the artist’s life is always very clear (for example, the sweet lullaby written for the birth of his nephew, or the piece inspired by the L’Aquila earthquake, considerably more tragic).
In the intimacy of the concert, you realize you are inside a little Wunderkammer, a treasure chest where even the smallest detail has its own aesthetic value. As a matter of fact, each House Concert hosts the works of a different painter, photographer or designer that ultimately become an integral part of the synesthetic experience lived by the audience. The music excites the ears, the artworks seduce the eyes. The senses merge and the viewers/listeners find themselves to be not so strangers anymore, while discovering that the essence of each artwork is in itself a path towards knowledge. And that for it to exist a prior meeting is needed.