I first spoke with Luca in 2019 when he had just released his album White sky, Small leaves, Blue hands. You can check that out here and grab some presets. I’m excited that Luca is back now with two exciting projects: a soundtrack for the movie About Us and an immersive art experience. Start reading below to learn more and also grab up a new preset Luca has been using.
Let’s first talk about your new soundtrack coming out for the movie About Us.
It is a very classic soundtrack, written mainly for piano and strings with the use of electronics to shape the color of the overall sound. But it’s an important soundtrack for storytelling purposes. The movie talks about a young couple who revisit the location where they spent their honeymoon eight years earlier, in an effort to rekindle their troubled marriage. We watch as they navigate the beauty and the pain of love, culminating in a final heartbreaking as truths are revealed. It is a movie full of dialogues where often the focus of the scene is only on the two protagonists. Music is almost a third actor who accompanies them in their story, in their discovery, in their facing the truth.
Listen to the first single from About Us soundtrack on Spotify.
Listen to the first single from About Us soundtrack on Bandcamp.
Pre-save the About Us soundtrack.
I read that producer and writer Ross McCall reached out to you after seeing you perform and asked you to do the soundtrack. What was that like for you?
Actually it was Stefan Schwartz, the director, who discovered my music in 2014 in Carrières de Lumierès, a bauxite quarry in Provence where I curated the soundtracks of the immersive shows produced by Culturespace for about eight years. A few years later, together with Ross who, as you said, is the producer and writer of the film, they contacted me to offer me the writing, which I immediately accepted after reading the script.
How did you start the process of deciding how you would approach the soundtrack?
I had recently released my vinyl album Plume, where for the first time, I used the upright piano with felt along with the Strymon BigSky. It was immediately clear to us that that timbre, that color would be perfect to accompany the story of Ryan and Claudia.
In fact, the soundtrack consists of 80% compositions for piano or piano and strings. The rest is written and recorded with a Sequential Prophet-6 always coupled with the BigSky.
Please tell us about how you used BigSky with your upright piano?
It is not just a way to give an ambience to the sound but a way to build a well defined color. All my production from 2017 to mid-2020 features this pedal. I always say that BigSky has allowed me to find my voice through my felt piano.
Did you have a favorite preset you used, and if so can you share it with us?
Of course! It is very simple but effective. With these parameters it is the dynamics of what you play that, filtered by the preset, create each time the right flow for the musical phrasing.
Download the preset here.
I also saw you got a NightSky recently and have been using that with your some of your synths. How have you been incorporating NightSky into your music lately?
The Nightsky is perfect for that production of mine, more generative and ambient, with which I have been experimenting for almost a year now. I bought it mainly because I was intrigued by the sequencer but then, studying it, I started using it in a completely different way. There are a couple of presets I made that, as happened for the BigSky, have become a must to filter complex sounds in minimalist lines.
Please tell us about your project Immersive Van Gogh. It looks amazing!!
Thank you! I’ve been composing and curating the soundtracks for immersive shows for about 10 years. My work is kind of complex because it puts together tasks that are of a music supervisor, a recording and sound engineer, a music editor and a performer.
After an eight-year collaboration with a French production company, I started a new chapter with the Canadian company Lighthouse Immersive and Massimiliano Siccardi, with whom I signed the soundtracks of 15 shows in Europe.
Immersive Van Gogh was our first show for them and since it opened in Toronto in July it has been a big hit despite the complex period and restrictions of anti-covid measures.
A few days ago we opened in Chicago and will soon open in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and all three locations are already sold out, a sign that there is a real need to return to enjoying art in person.
You can find out more about Luca Longobardi at:
I am a big fan of Luca Longobardi. I think he is one of the best pianists in today’s music scene. He has been on my favorite artists list for years and he continues to impress me with his new projects, albums, and collaborations. His latest album BigSky is an excellent addition to his discography which includes collaborations with other great musicians such as Tim Berne (The Bad Plus), Daniele Luppi (Roberto Fonseca & Paco Peña) and others.