Rufus Wainwright is still working hard in lockdown, despite cancelled tour dates and a delayed album release.
Every morning he takes to his piano at home in Los Angeles for what he has coined his “Robe Recitals” or “Quarantunes”, where he performs a track from his extensive back catalogue, in a dressing gown, on Instagram.
“Even before this pandemic, I would practise every morning in my bathrobe,” smiled Wainwright, speaking before a session earlier this month, adding that the robe was a necessary addition.
“Before I was married and had a child, I would practise naked back in the good old days, hungover and naked at the piano.”
Wainwright’s husband Jorn Weisbrodt films the musician’s daily performances and posts them to Instagram.
The videos include dedications to friends like Marianne Faithfull, who was recently released from the hospital after a coronavirus diagnosis.
View this post on Instagram
Hi everyone! Welcome to Day 37 of #Quarantunes, our #MusicalEverydays #RobeRecitals series. Happy #EarthDay! One of the positive outcomes of our enforced distancing has been seeing a decrease in pollution and a higher urban air quality. It is a shame that took circumstances such as these to bring some of the beauty back to nature. I hope that once this is all over we can come to a happy compromise with Mother Nature so that we all can continue to flourish together and not one at the expense of the other. Today’s song is: Zebulon! This is a very pensive and meditative song. I ask that you give it your full attention, breathe deeply and center yourself. Consider it a break from scrolling social media, make it a moment of reprieve. Stay safe, #StayHome and stay healthy. We’ll see you again tomorrow for our next #SongADay. ❤️🌎
They also feature stories about Wainwright’s older songs or the meanings behind the lyrics of unreleased tracks.
The singer says he is relishing the opportunity to practise and “work out some of the kinks in certain songs” and to invite audiences into an intimate space.
“One of the great joys of being a musician is being alone and playing songs and losing touch with reality and time and so forth,” he said. “I get to now go through that experience with an audience of man.”
Wainwright’s ninth album, Unfollow The Rules, has had its release date pushed back to July 10, and the singer says he is very grateful that his fans understand the delay.
“I haven’t made a pop record for over seven years, so we want to do this right,” he said.
In the meantime, the Robe Recitals will continue. On April 24, Wainwright plans to release Alone Time, a single from the forthcoming album which he says is “a perfect title for this day and age”.