Luca Longobardi – The Ruggine Project

Luca Longobardi
– the Ruggine Project

Within nanoseconds of meeting Luca Longobardi for the first time, I felt as if I had taken some amazing curative and enlightening drug. I was attending the opening night of an art exhibition by the excruciatingly talented visual artist Fabio Timpanaro, and his work for this exhibition was his interpretation of the television series Twin Peaks, through its symbolism and themes. As I have lived long enough to have been obsessed with Twin Peaks when it first came out in 1990, I was very curious to see how Fabio had chosen to visualize these concepts. When I arrived, he was kind enough to give me a tour of the show and as we walked, we chatted about each of his stunning pieces. While moving through the gallery, I could not help but kinda lose my mind at how the music wafting through the space ideally complimented his work, and how deeply effective it was in creating the quirky/unnerving atmosphere that was Twin Peaks. At one point I had to stop and ask Fabio, “What IS this music? It’s just…perfection….” I expected him to name someone I had never heard of, which he did, but I did not expect him to say, “and he’s right outside. You have to meet him. Let me introduce you.”

Luca Longobardi, seen here on the left. I hadn't met him yet, but I knew I was going to like him.
Luca Longobardi, seen here on the left. I hadn’t met him yet when I took this picture…but I knew I was going to like him.

It was then that I was presented to Luca, and my first impression of him was that he was a very handsome gentleman with a chic, aesthetic style, and that he also radiated an almost overwhelmingly incredible amount of positive energy. Making the introductions, Fabio told Luca that I had been intrigued by his music in the gallery and asked him if he would explain to me a bit about how the piece came into being. Luca turned, looked me in the eyes, and I immediately felt as if I was meeting some magical woodland creature. It wasn’t just his eyes that sparkled, it was his entire being. And for the next few minutes he patiently explained his process and the auditory symbolism within the work, while I stood there not really saying much at all, just listening and feeling really, really happy, awed by this man’s talent and passion for what he does.

From a performance at Nero Gallery, Rome, Italy - November 2017 - photo by TMLipp
From a performance at Nero Gallery, Rome, Italy – November 2017

I saw him again a few times over the next few months at other exhibitions, and whenever he saw me he always made me feel so welcome, as if we had known each other for a very long time. Personally, this was much appreciated on my part, since moving to Rome two years before, I can’t say as I had always felt particularly welcome. That’s not Rome’s fault, but my own capricious Destiny seemed to delight in toying with me from time to time after our move to the Eternal City. But every time I ran into this extraordinary musician, I seemed to forget about all that and just get completely, and blissfully, lost in his work, be it at an exhibition of art or one of his “secret location” concerts. (Below is just a snippet of one of those performances, where for this piece, he is accompanied by an old movie projector.)

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