“My parents simply didn’t understand why I’d love to study music. They believed to study music or to become a musician or composer was a silly idea…I had to find my own way and it wasn’t so easy.”
The words of the Venetian composer, musician, producer, and polymath Gigi Masin ring true in the ears of those young and old, past present and future, who want to be creative but feel restrained by family and society. Always an innovator, Gigi’s first experiments in the late 1970s were sound collages made while working for theatres in Venice, working with tape loops, field recordings, and turntablism. Experimenting with tape allowed him to discover a new language to express himself, more than in his original ambitions to be a guitarist and violinist, looked down upon by his parents. It was difficult to find a local audience for these works, culminating in the release of his debut album Wind in 1987.
Underappreciated on its release, Wind soon gained a cult following among late night radio listeners, hearing these gentle echoes of the Venetian landscape, reflecting a personal outlook on Venice from a native son; a rare artifact in a world where the platonic Venice can be heard and seen from artists the world over, but images and sounds of the actual Venice are harder to come by. Gigi is a rare exception. Released for free, Gigi never expected much to come of it. His 1989 joint album for Sub Rosa with This Heat’s Charles Hayward, Les Nouvelles Musiques Du Chambre, took on a life of its own when his track Clouds was sampled by Björk, To Rococo Rot, Nujabes, Black Eyed Peas, and Post Malone – but Gigi remained in obscurity.
This has changed since then: With more international tour dates, upcoming collaborations, an upcoming album of new material, and a continuous refusal to be pigeonholed as ambient, new age, Balearic, modern classical, or whatever you wish to call him, Gigi Masin continues to be one of the most quietly innovative and singular artists in the scene. Not wanting to rest on his laurels and remain tethered to past triumphs, he remains facing forward, doing things “in the same way I did in the past, when nobody cared”.
Thursday, October 20
Doors: 7.30 pm / Start: 8 pm