Name: Giorgia Angiuli
Occupation: DJ, producer, live performer, improviser
Current Release: Giorgia Angiuli is currently working on her second album, the follow-up to 2018's In a Pink Bubble. To ease the waiting, you can listen to her latest EP Love The Noise, a collaboration with Lithuanian artist Gardens of God on United.
Recommendations: “You are the placebo” by J. Dispenza, a lovely book to discover our great inner potential; we can heal ourselves with meditation and awareness.
“Nighthawks” by Hopper, a book that reflects very well our mood of loneliness and fear. (I also released an EP inspired by this painting, titled “Nighthawks.”)
If you enjoyed this interview with Giorgia Angiuli, the best place to start diving deeper into her intimate and passionate world is probably her Youtube account, because it features her inimitable live performances. She does also has a personal website which will take you to all of her other social media profiles.
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I grew up in a family of musicians so music was our first language at home .
I composed my very first song when I was 10 years old. Writing music has always been a natural need for me. I studied classical guitar but I got many different influences and I played new metal, rock and electronic music. I love all music.
For most artists, originality is preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you: How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice?
Everything happened in a spontaneous way, as a natural evolution. I am a very curious person and I think I will never stop learning and studying. So, every time I learn something new or I have a special emotional experience, I change as human being and my music changes. too.
I feel myself in constant evolution and transformation, so I don’t want to have limits.
How do you feel your sense of identity influences your creativity?
I think that keeping your own identity is the most important thing in an artistic career and, after many years, I am finally learning how incredibly important the concept of authenticity is: being myself is the most fluffing part of my job. My music is exactly the mirror of my emotions and intentions.
What were your main creative challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
My artistic path doesn’t seem for me like a challenge. I see it more as a light path where I can discover different shadings day by day.
As creative goals and technical abilities change, so does the need for different tools of expression, be it instruments, software tools or recording equipment. Can you describe this path for you, starting from your first studio/first instrument? What motivated some of the choices you made in terms of instruments/tools/equipment over the years?
I started making electronic music with a very cheap sound card and Ableton Live. Then I bought my first analogue synth. It was the yellow Mopho and I loved the idea of touching real knobs instead of working with virtual software. I built my first studio with a good acoustic treatment and the amazing Genelec monitors just 2 years ago and it changed my life in terms of production.
I think the best thing should be to invest money in making a good studio treatment, then buying equipment. When you can have a good listen you can create better (because wearing headphones for long time can be very dangerous). At the moment I have different analogue synths but I started to use also many vst. For example, I really love the Arturia plugins - they sound really warm.
Have there been technologies or instruments which have profoundly changed or even questioned the way you make music?
The moog sub37 has become a must in all my tracks. Also, my new microphone, the Neuman tlm 103, and as I mentioned before, of course, having a treatment in the studio and good monitors.
Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?
Before Covid I didn’t do many collaborations. But then I felt the feeling of loneliness and I did interesting collaborations in the last months. Using dropbox and sharing the Ableton project, updating it step by step from each studio. For example, I will soon release new music with my friends Boston 168.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please. Do you have a fixed schedule? How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
I don’t have fixed schedule but I create music and I practise sound meditation every single day. I am also doing walks in the nature. It helps me a lot to slow down my thoughts.
Can you talk about a breakthrough work, event or performance in your career? Why does it feel special to you? When, why and how did you start working on it, what were some of the motivations and ideas behind it?
In the last months I started the most revolutionary step in my career, I am developing a device but I can’t still talk about it. I spent all the past months in studying scientific books and I am working on a project related to neuroscience (neuroplasticity) and sounds. I can’t wait to finish this big project and to share it with you.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?
I can’t be creative and inspired if I don’t feel in love. You can breath love also from many little things, for example walking and noticing a new flower on the street or getting a sweet smile from a stranger. I am a very romantic and dreamy person and I love all the little details that life offers us every day. For me it is really important to stay open and to be ready to listen to all the messages that the universe wants to give us.
We are made of emotions but sometimes we close ourselves to protect ourselves. Let’s stay open (laughs). Music can help us a lot on this mission.
Music and sounds can heal, but they can also hurt. Do you personally have experiences with either or both of these? Where do you personally see the biggest need and potential for music as a tool for healing?
Music is a powerful language and sound has always been considered a direct link between humanity and the divine. It is considered the oldest form of healing, it is scientifically proven that music heals.
It can hurt only when it brings sad memories but it is all about our point of view, where our attention goes our energy flows … Let it hurt, let it heal - and then let it go.
There is a fine line between cultural exchange and appropriation. What are your thoughts on the limits of copying, using cultural signs and symbols and the cultural/social/gender specificity of art?
This is a very complicated and interesting question (laughs).
Art is the space of freedom and, at the same time, as Aristotele wrote “art is mimesis (imitation of nature). I would say that art is always a mirror of society and every artist filters reality with her eyes and intentions. With good intentions we can change the world make it a lovely, colourful place for living. It is impossible for me to consider art as an isolated box. It interacts with all cultural and political signs.
Our sense of hearing shares intriguing connections to other senses. From your experience, what are some of the most inspiring overlaps between different senses - and what do they tell us about the way our senses work?
Music to me has always been a handsome multi-dimensional container. Ever since I was a kid, when I listen to music, I imagine immediately specific and vivid colours. It works the other way round, too. I mean, If I see yellow I will hear a specific harmonic key. This happens to me also with art and paintings.
For example, when I look at “The Sunflowers” by Van Googh, I clearly hear in my head “Four Seasons” by Vivaldi (my Mum used to listen to classical music every day).
In the last few months, I started to read several books on neuroscience and I understood that there is nothing wrong in having this perception. It is a physiological phenomenon dependent on the integrity of certain areas of the cortex and the connection between them. One person in every 2,000 has synaesthesia.
Actually it is not easy at all to explain this experience to other people. But I learned that we should not be afraid to be ourselves at the fullest.
Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feed back into everyday life, take on a social and political role and lead to more engagement. Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?
At this complicated time we all are struggling with social distancing and I decided to use my art as a hope language. I also opened a label and I called it United, sharing concepts with my followers and asking them to be part of it, opening the doors to everyone. I only sing very few lyrics in my songs, but I select the words with a lot of attention. These short sentences resonate in me as mantras and I want to share positive and hopeful messages. It is lovely to get messages from my fans, they often write me that my music made them feel less depressed and you can’t imagine how happy I feel when I read these comments. This is exactly what I want to achieve with my art.
What can music express about life and death which words alone may not?
This is a beautiful question. Music is a guide for our mood and helps us to balance our emotions. I love this quote by Alphonse de Lamartine “Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.”