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Rosita Piritore: A Musician's View from Italy

Rosita Piritore is a LunART 2020 Call-For-Scores Winner. Here is a little view of her life in the past eight months.

Ciao Rosita! Come stai?

Ciao Leslie, sto bene! Spero anche tu!

Che bello! Sono felice di parlare con te!

Sono felicissima anch’io di parlare con i miei amici del LunART Festival!

Where do you live?

Parma, in Emiglia Romagna.

What has quarantine life been like for you?

Italy was the first nation after China to suffer the consequences of covid-19 emergency

and the country has gone through several stages, including the unavoidable lockdown. After dramatic months we were finally in a recovery phase, although we still had to be very careful. We had a slow re-opening and fortunately the Toscanini Next Orchestra, which I’m a part of, was one of the first to play live concerts.

I work and study in Parma so I have been using the opportunity to concentrate on my activities.

Many of the infections were generated by the mass movements from north to south, and it was discouraged to travel for several months. This summer, the cases were low so I was able to see my family in Sicily, a small province called Palma di Montechiaro, a small province in Agrigento.

What have you done for comfort?

I truly love to cook, but I didn’t have much time to do it before the pandemic. During quarantine

I’ve been able to cook peacefully. I think that has been the best “comfort”!

I love to cook as well! What do you make best?

Pizza and arancine! Arancine is a very common Sicilian dish. They are deep fried rice balls, filled with cheese and ragú.

Have you written or produced new music or has that been difficult?

Personally, it wasn’t difficult to produce music. Generally, my mind always tends to be at work to accomplish the goals that I set myself. During quarantine I’ve had more time that I have ever had to dedicate myself to my projects; among the most significant things I completed an electroacoustic work entitled “Quotidiano”, processing it also audiovisually, and I finished the orchestration of the piano piece “Grovigli”. But, after a while, I began to notice the effects of quarantine on my vision of music. Let’s say that probably if it hadn’t been there I would have produced different things, not better, not worse, just different.

The first day that you could go out, how did it feel, where did you go, who did you see?

The first day I was able to go out, I went to a big park quite near my house for a walk

with a dear friend. I will always remember the first coffee at the bar after a long time, which

is an Italian classic. Amazing sensations, I missed it!

You said that you’ve had a chance to perform with the Toscanini Next Orchestra, what was that like?

With the Toscanini Next Orchestra I took part in the Aemilia tour from mid-June to

August 8th and playing in 26 concerts through September with other productions. The different formations were concerts with the complete orchestra (a maximum of 23 elements) - other concerts were reduced to a quartet, quintet and a soloist. I played in different cities: Cesena, Reggio-Emilia, Ravenna, Faenza, etc., and also in charming and characteristic small towns. The repertoire ranged from classical to film music with several arrangements written especially for the occasion including some of my own arrangements. It was exciting to play again for the live audience and not through technological filters, my feeling was that I never wanted it to stop!

Obviously, this happened with all the necessary precautions. Going on the stage it was compulsory to always wear a mask and it was taken off when you were in the position to play, always paying attention to the social distancing. The concerts took place always outdoors, except for cases of bad weather. The seats for the audience were limited and by reservation, the capacity where I played was almost halved at each place. Certainly, these aren’t the conditions to which we are accustomed, but now I think that like other activities we need to find these compromises to resume making live music. I wish that the number of concerts around the world can increase as soon as possible, we all need it!

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