Italy was the second country to be ravaged by the novel coronavirus disrupting and threatening life, economics and the freedoms perhaps we took for granted. While encamped at his house near Rome on the coast close to the Tyrrhenian Sea that is part of the Mediterranean basin, forward-thinking multimedia jazz artist Paolo Rustichelli began contemplating life after quarantine while surrounded by ancient Etruscan temple ruins. His vision created the sensual aural and visual feast titled “Hot,” the new single and video. He intends the project to serve as a charm to ward off COVID-19.
“‘Hot’ is a musical hymn implying the take back of our freedom from quarantine as we enter a summer of regeneration from our present burden with coronavirus. Reading between the lines in Europe and what happened in China, I composed a liberating song in March to celebrate regaining health and freedom from the threat and oppression caused by the virus. You can think of this song as a ‘spell’ or a charm to regain our health after a period of self-quarantine, thinking also that in ancient times, charms or spells were generally sung with the aid of musical instruments. ‘Hot’ is dedicated to a new summer of spiritual and physical regeneration,” said Rustichelli who composed, produced and performed the track using electronic plug-ins.
“Social distancing will enhance the ability of the single artist to work from home as I’ve done throughout my whole career. Gone are the days of thousands of people working on an album. This situation has the advantage to reveal a more honest and true picture of the artist’s creative vision and ability as they are forced to create alone without the cooperative input of others,” said Rustichelli, who has collaborated on his previous recordings with Miles Davis, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Andy Summers and Jill Jones.
“Online technology made possible making concerts from remote locations available to the whole world. That is why I stopped playing live many years ago, strongly believing in the extraordinary possibilities of making home concerts or videos to replace live concerts and showcase the artist from home. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders will enhance the endless creative possibilities of the internet that otherwise never would have been possible. Technology makes it possible for artists to still be seen and create new content even during quarantine. This will become more important in the years to come when most likely our freedom to move throughout the world is likely to arise again due to pandemic concerns. The present pandemia shows us how fragile our freedom is and how easily we could be forced to shut down again. But with digital technology and the internet, we are still able to communicate ‘live’ and continue being creative without the mega concerts of the past. It’s an invaluable opportunity that I recognized many years ago when I took a different route than many mainstream artists.”
Rustichelli embraces this extraordinary time and is excited about the possibilities.