RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW ITALIAN ARTIST GIARDINI OORT
Hiya Andrea, thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you? I realized that music was truly my calling when, as a listener, I experienced it on a profound level. The impact of certain songs resonated so deeply within me that I felt an overwhelming desire to create and write my own compositions. It was at that moment I decided to embark on the journey of studying and playing music.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
My name is Andrea – Andy – Para, and my musical journey began in the early 2000s when I became part of an ethnic music workshop led by drummer/percussionist Marco Zanotti. This experience led to significant artistic projects and collaborations with renowned artists such as Patrizia Laquidara, Ivete Sousa, and Sal Rosselli.
My passion found a structured outlet as I continued my studies with Davide Bernaro, expanding my knowledge of Latin American music in particular. I dedicated time to learning instrumental techniques and the cultural nuances of Brazilian music, studying, practicing, and sweating over drums and percussion until 2010 under Maestro Bernaro’s guidance.
During this time, I actively collaborated on various musical projects, most notably Sleepwalker’s Station. I participated in European music festivals, theatrical productions, and contributed to recording 7 albums with the band. I officially joined SWS in 2005.
I completed my studies at the Jazz School in Cesena between 2009 and 2011, attending seminars with Maestro Gianluca Nanni that focused on swing/jazz and its applications in ensemble and beyond.
My musical taste spans various genres, with a particular fondness for downtempo, ambient, electronica, and grunge. My goal is to apply my knowledge of ethnic and Latin music in unexpected contexts, creating enveloping and complete sounds influenced by new concepts and instrumentation.
I play congas, cajon, bongos, udu, djembe, surdo, and have expanded my toolkit to include handpan drum, log drum, synth instruments, MIDI, pads, and drum machines. International experiences, curiosity, breaking preconceptions, and the pursuit of original music motivate and inspire me, especially in collaboration with singer-songwriter projects.
Today, I am an active member of Sleepwalker’s Station (singer-songwriter) and Arva Vacua (alongside Emilio Albertoni and Francesco Cellini, with a powerful background, including collaborations with notable bands like After Hours). I also collaborate on various projects, including the latest work by Emanuele Presta (singer-songwriter).
My solo project ‘Giardini Oort’ was born less than a year ago with the aim of giving life and voice to a collection of songs I’ve developed over several years, alongside new compositions written almost spontaneously.
The main goal of ‘Giardini Oort’ is to create an engaging and almost meditative listening experience for the audience. This music reflects my artistic vision, a journey through sounds that invite introspection and emotional connection. I hope that those who delve into my music will find space for a deep and meaningful engagement.
What was life like for you before music?
For me, and I believe for many other musicians as well, there has always been this sense of incompleteness, inadequacy, or not being perfectly suited to everyday life. This feeling of discomfort, if not kept in check, can lead to strange or harmful outcomes.
Personally, music helps me tremendously in expressing emotions and bringing out both the positive and negative aspects within me. For this reason, there cannot be a life ‘before music,’ as my earliest memories, dating back to my childhood, are intertwined with musical compositions.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
There isn’t a particular song that led me onto the music path. As a child, I used to hear records from ABBA, Pink Floyd, Lucio Dalla, Lucio Battisti, Premiata Forneria Marconi, and the sounds of early synthesizers. The diverse range of music and the unique qualities of each artist collectively influenced my musical journey from an early age
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
I do not perceive myself as part of the concept of the music “industry”. I already find it challenging to associate the notion of industry with that of art. In my perspective, music is a form of self-expression.
While attempting to release one’s music does require adapting to market needs, I feel rather on the borderline, essentially independent. The record label, Lagnofono Factory, was created as an independent label precisely to avoid ‘industrial’ obligations. It was established by myself, Emilio Albertoni, and Francesco Cellini, who are not only fellow musicians but also friends with whom I collaborate most regularly.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
The most significant lesson I’ve learned, though not necessarily from a traditional ‘music industry’ figure, is to always have a business card, a CD, a QR code, or anything that can provide a reference when you meet someone interested in accessing your music. While I can’t precisely label the bearer of this lesson as a ‘music industry member,’ I find this advice particularly practical.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
I am modest, a decent musician, and above all, very young.
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
If I could wish for one thing to aid my career, it would be the opportunity to reach a wider audience and share my music with more listeners.
While I value independence and artistic freedom, having the chance to connect with a broader community would allow my music to resonate with a diverse audience and, hopefully, make a more significant impact.
I aspire for my music to bring a sense of peace, and the ability to find serenity, meditate, and let go of the stress of daily life, even if just for a few minutes.
I’ve received messages from listeners confirming this impact, and it brings me immense joy. It motivates me to continue writing new pieces that can offer moments of tranquillity and reflection.
Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….
Unfortunately, nowadays, it’s impossible to be entirely free from these fears. The fear of others’ judgment is a very relevant topic, with the most significant impact observed on young people and newer generations in a very present and concerning way.
The world of social media has brought many advantages, including rapid and widespread communication.
However, it also comes with several flaws that I find challenging to overcome, such as cancel culture, serial debunking, serial conspiracy theories, and so on. At times, I feel that we are part of a mega herd intentionally and politically divided into two factions, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ (which are always the others).
I hope that we will gain awareness to spontaneously break free from these dynamics as soon as possible.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?
No, for the reasons I wrote in the previous answer.
What was the worst experience on stage?
The worst experience on stage was during the sound check when everything suddenly stopped working. There was no possibility of reactivating the audio system, and we didn’t have a backup setup. We ended up doing our performance in the club entirely unplugged.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
Well, something that might surprise people about me is that every morning before dawn, both in summer and winter, I engage in outdoor workouts in my backyard for about 1 hour. I associate physical activity with meditation and study, finding the necessary time and silence only in the early morning.
I often wake up at 5 am. I could also mention that some of my best inspirations for my music have always come early in the morning, sometimes during my workout or meditation sessions.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
As an artist, what sets me apart is the fusion of my diverse musical influences and the atmospheric elements in my compositions. The combination of dark, ambient soundscapes with industrial undertones creates a unique sonic experience.
Moreover, I intertwine my music with thought-provoking themes, drawing inspiration from philosophical concepts.
For example, the last song is inspired by the dichotomy between human nature and artificial intelligence. This blend not only defines my distinctive sound but also aims to immerse listeners in a contemplative journey.
Additionally, my commitment to early morning routines, blending physical activity with meditation, serves as a source of inspiration that reflects in the emotive depth of my compositions, adding another layer to what makes my artistic expression stand out.
I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” These words, spoken by the brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking, have been a profound source of inspiration for this song.
To convey this message, our music draws from a variety of styles, combining elements of dark electronic, industrial, and cinematic soundscapes.
The fusion of these styles allows us to create a sonic landscape that mirrors the tension and uncertainty surrounding the future of humanity in the age of AI.
What was the recording process like?
The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” These words, spoken by the brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking, have been a profound source of inspiration for this song.
To convey this message, our music draws from a variety of styles, combining elements of dark electronic, industrial, and cinematic soundscapes. The fusion of these styles allows us to create a sonic landscape that mirrors the tension and uncertainty surrounding the future of humanity in the age of AI.
In the studio, while recording our latest track “Human,” we engaged in discussions that delved deep into the theme. Conversations among ourselves led us to reflect on the words spoken by Agent Smith to Morpheus in the film “The Matrix”:
“I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply until every natural resource is consumed.
The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer on this planet. You are a plague, and we are the cure.”
These powerful words, echoing through our discussions, further shaped the narrative and depth of our song, emphasizing the urgent need for reflection on the impact of our actions on the world and the potential consequences of unchecked technological advancement.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
The most significant learning curve in crafting the new tunes was mastering the intricate use of synthesizers, drum machines, and samplers. While immensely enjoyable, these tools proved to be quite complex.
The exploration of sonic possibilities, modulation techniques, and the integration of electronic elements required a dedicated effort to understand and harness their full potential. However, the journey into this electronic realm has been rewarding, opening up new dimensions in our music and allowing us to sculpt a unique sonic identity for our compositions.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
While I believe the finished work is sound, it’s essential to note that I faced unexpected challenges during the production process. Due to the recent flood that impacted our region in May, my usual studio space became temporarily inaccessible.
As a result, I had to navigate these unforeseen circumstances by recording the music outside my usual creative environment.
While I adapted to the situation, I look forward to the full restoration of my studio, where I can resume work in my familiar and comfortable creative space.
This experience has highlighted the importance of having a resilient and adaptable approach to the creative process, even in the face of unexpected obstacles.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
The upcoming track we are working on is inspired by the difficulty we all face in accepting changes. Each of us resides in our own comfort zone and often struggles profoundly when confronted with life’s inevitable changes.
The new track will be titled ‘Feil Makt Vertigo,’ a blend of Norwegian and Spanish that essentially visualizes the sensation of vertigo accompanying the loss of ‘control’ triggered by a sudden change.
Many of us spend our lives wanting to control everything—every situation, process, or person around us—believing we can effectively and efficiently exert this control.
This perception is flawed; none of us can truly control all the events that surround us. This realization prompts reflection, and I hope our music provides a moment for contemplation.