His name is Jacopo Mastrangelo. With his electric guitar, he brought life back to one of Rome's most iconic squares: Piazza Navona.
His music broke the silence dominating the streets of Rome since the Italian government's March 12 decree calling for a total lockdown. Since then, Italians have been stuck at home, allowed to go out only for essential needs.
“I wanted to transmit a message of hope to all Italians, to tell them to resist. I ask them to do what they have to, to stay at home now. Though I prefer to say, to stay united despite the separation.”
Italians fend off boredom with music. Since the start of the lockdown, they would arrange times to sing popular songs or their national anthem from their windows. Songs most commonly heard are by Italian artists, and Jacopo explains why.
“We want Italian music to make us feel like Italians and to make us feel united. We've played everything from Puccini and Verdi to Ennio Morricone and Pino Daniele. I play Italian songs that are for orchestra, especially the ones that go well with electric guitar, which replaces the violin part.”
Italy went from this... to this, in a matter of days. In the streets of one of the tourism capitals of the world, there is only silence. That's why initiatives like Jacopo's help bring hope. His music shows that despite social restrictions, there is always a way to go out into the streets. He shows that true freedom doesn't depend on physical limits but on what each person carries on the inside.
Translation: Claudia Torres