From Chopin to Radiohead—the composer on her broad range of influences and her romantic, dreamy take on techno
Toys are not exclusively for kids, according to Italian producer and composer Giorgia Angiuli. Although she grew up as a classically trained musician, Angiuli’s style integrates techno beats with a pop sound and trickle of house influence. Pairing her dynamic musical production with children’s toys, Angiuli brings a unique performance to the electronic music scene. Currently on her North American tour and playing the Cityfox Halloween festival in New York this weekend, Angiuli shared some of her artistic insight, inspiration, and creative direction with Document.
Document—As a classically trained musician, how did you get into electronic music?
Giorgia Angiuli—I was a big fan of Radiohead and was heavily influenced by Kid A, their first album with an electronic touch. Then I started listening to some other artists like Apparat, Autechre, Murcof and started to love electronic music, then came the production.
Document—Do you see any differences or similarities between electronic music culture in Italy versus in North America?
Giorgia—What I like about North America is that the live performance scene, with different music styles, is very strong. It gives me the feeling that the music scene in the US is more hybrid than in other parts of the world. In Italy, if you go to a techno venue, the crowd is made up of 90% techno lovers, and it’s a very young crowd with mostly 18 to 22-year-old boys. Here in North America it’s really different; the crowds are more diverse, and people from different musical backgrounds seem to be more open-minded when going to a club.
Document—Who are some artists you look to for inspiration?
Giorgia—I love so many artists. Björk is an artist that I really respect and like. Also many Nordic artists like Mum, Sigur Rós. I could make a long list of artists that influenced my style; they all belong to different genres: Chopin, Bach, Arvo Pärt, Apparat, Moderat, Radiohead, Murcof, Fever Ray, to name a few.
Document—Your performance technique is really interesting in that it integrates multiple instruments along with synths, your own vocals, and most uniquely, your collection of children’s toys. Can you tell us a little bit more about the toys and what they represent in your work?
Giorgia—I have always collected toys, and it’s natural for me to bring them to my live set. I love seeing the crowd’s expression when I start playing a toy during my live set; I like their smile. Even if my music is becoming more dark, I always love to smile or make the crowd smile.
Document—What was the thought process behind your recent EP You Shine?
Giorgia—The first time I played ‘You Shine’ live was in Brazil, and I was playing in a stadium in São Paulo before Dubfire for Warung On Tour.
I felt a strong emotion, and the people loved it. So when I went back into the studio, I decided to finish the arrangement and release it. Then I created the second track of the EP, ‘Take Me Back.’ The ‘You Shine’ lyrics: ‘Every time you think you’re lost, you shine,’ is a positive message about the light that is always inside of us and guides us along our paths. Sometimes we only see black all around us but nature gives us a strong and deep light that never leaves us on our own. The music came out from this thought as a natural process.
Document—What do you hope listeners take away when they hear your mixes?
Giorgia—When I play and see the people in front of me closing their eyes, I feel happy and connected. Music has a strong power to be able to unify people and take listeners far away to other places… I would define my techno as romantic and dreamy.
Document—Moving forward, are there any projects you’re working on and excited to share?
Giorgia—I’m looking very forward to 2020, it’ll be an important year with a new album on the way. It’s still a work in progress so I can’t tell you more except for exciting times ahead!