Luca Longobardi transforms music into immersive art

The good performance of this type of shows revolves around the right balance between images, sound and space. It is the people, the audience, that are the fourth element of the show. Like this Luca Longobardi takes us to the heart of immersive art. To give an example of the value of this way of interpreting art today Immersive Van Gogh is the most popular entertainment show in North America with 3.5 million tickets sold, effectively surpassing Taylor Swift and Pink’s tour sales.

When did your love of music turn to the immersive?

It happened about ten years ago when Massimiliano Siccardi involved me in a first opera that we worked in 2012 in Provence in a bauxite quarry: original music for a short immersive show and from there a relationship of esteem was born and I tried to understand what it meant to manage an immersive show situation and also to understand who is the spectator who chooses to participate.
Do you think that these two years that we have lived have developed the sensitivity to enter an artistic world which is yours?

I say yes to my heart because people have finally found the time for slow listening. I noticed that at first they tagged the name and then geotagged themselves to say that they were out of the house, that there are places where you can be the protagonist of a show.
Why Van Gogh and Klimt?

And in February Frida arrives. A trilogy to represent the contemporaneity of art with almost contemporary artists. Everyone has put the person in front of art. You know them before you even see the work. At Klimt’s exhibition, which I saw recently, you take your breath away and you understand that his life is that picture, they have a correspondence between real life and the experience that goes into the work.
What remains of the Calabrian pianist and composer?

All. I owe so much to being born in a small town and to the foresight of a family that allowed me to become a pianist and artist. The small country develops the imagination.
I think the most difficult element is balance: how do you look for it?

A research that must never end, especially if you do experimentation, you have to redose everything every time. I have always thought about music in an orchestral way, then the language evolves and I went from classical to contemporary noise.
Do you think Italy is ready for visual music?

In a certain environment, music goes beyond the image, music can fix the sensation of the image in the stomach. The memory is rekindled with each listening.
Among the artists you “involve” are Edith Piaf and David Bowie: what other inspirations do you have?

What a collective memory can create is a large audience participating in an immersive show. The original music is the glue but then I need known pieces and I use a different language to highlight the musical aspect compared to the text. There is a reasoned thought in the choice.
Do you know the reality of contemporary dance?

When I was at the San Carlo in Naples I came into contact with the greats of dance, for me it is a great inspiration because the contemporary choreographer also thinks of light design, costumes, choreography: he is a multimedia artist.
What project are you working on?

Closed Frida, there are a couple of other immersive programs planned. One belongs to Italy, the other deals with an unusual topic for immersive situations. Then there will be a record which is a compositional study on the Baroque era.
As soon as the situation normalizes will you bring your immersive shows to Italy? Is there an Italian artist who could become the protagonist of one of your shows?

There have been experiments similar to the ones we deal with but the feeling is that the market has been a bit burned. For us, the immersive work is a new work, it is not a digital presentation of an artist’s works. If there was the possibility I would do something about young guys from Fabio Viale and Iginio De Luca.
What do you expect for Christmas and do you foresee a gift perhaps out of the chorus for your fans?

I hope it will be a peaceful break for everyone after a complex year. I’ll make small videos with a Christmas song, electronic cover: it could be Star of the sky with the granular piano and pedal.