Having changed electronic music’s live performance game once, 2020 saw Giuseppe Ottaviani primed to do it again.
Using his Live 2.0’s ‘studio-in-a-suitcase’, the last few years have seen the Italian create the music (ultimately destined for his 2019-released ‘Evolver’ album) in-club, real time. Into the new decade, he’s upped Live’s tech game again, advancing it to give the musician near limitless control over each & every sound he delivers.
We spoke to Giuseppe about everything LIVE 3.0, and why Paul van Dyk is his biggest inspiration.
T.H.E – Hi Giuseppe! Welcome to T.H.E – Music Essentials. How has 2020 kicked off for you?
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Hey guys, happy 2020. I had a great start of the new decade indeed with lots of new music and the launch of my upgraded Live 3.0 show.
T.H.E – Your live performance has become quite popular over the last few months. What made you kick-start the “LIVE” initiative?
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Well the live thing it’s not something new to me as I’ve been playing live since 2002 and never been a DJ. I mean, I used to be a DJ in the late 90’s when the turntables were still a great thing but then I’ve never been sold on CDJs so I jumped over those and started my professional career as a Live act rather than a DJ.
T.H.E – Did you feel that the way DJing is currently, it has kind of become monotonous, and hence decided to make it more interesting with LIVE?
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Well I can tell you that DJing hasn’t been challenging for me since the demise of turntables/beat-mixing, etc. With the launch of V3 of my Live shows I really only just started “DJing” because I can’t bring the Live setup to every show and I had to find a way to keep playing. Now when I say “DJing” I still don’t use CDJs but I like to bring my laptop with a midi controller and a mixer so that I can be way more creative than just mix a track after the other.
T.H.E – How did you go about planning it? The kind of equipment that you wanted to use, planning your sets accordingly, etc?
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Well, first thing you want to see what technology has to offer and some research for new equipment is something that takes some time. I also needed to figure out what exactly I wanted to do with all that equipment and explore all the possibilities trying to make it easy and intuitive on stage for a better and fun performance. Keeping the “technology fault-stress” as low as possible is very important. Of course things can go wrong anyway but I had to find the best way to minimize it and keep my setup stable and reliable. Last but not least, the new setup had to be reasonably portable so it had to fit into a normal size suitcase that I can easily check-in at the airport without going for the oversize belt. That means that the factory that built the whole setup had to stress a bit keeping the measures and weights that were within the airlines limits. Lots of work behind it but it turned out perfectly. Next thing is the music, which of course needs some preparation as well. Since the Live 3.0 is exclusive to a few selected big shows where I usually play for 1h of 1h30 max I have to plan and pack all the music I want to perform within that time. But that’s OK, I’m kind of used to that now!
T.H.E – Planning it would have taken a substantial amount of time. Who did you source inspiration from, within or outside the genre?
Giuseppe Ottaviani – When I still was at the very beginning of my career I was watching those videos from Trance Energy in The Netherlands from Rank 1 Live and Mike Push Live and I always thought that was what I really wanted to do. I have a classical piano education so bringing keyboards on stage it would be a logical step for me and so I decided to be a Live act creating my own music and performing it live at gigs.
T.H.E – You debuted it at ASOT 950, how was the experience?
Giuseppe Ottaviani – I couldn’t have asked for a better launch of my 3.0 and closing the ASOT main stage it was the perfect slot for me. Well you know, some pressure and stress being the very first time I was bringing it on stage it was inevitable but everything went great although few things need to be improved and I’m already working on it and looking forward to the next performances at Dreamstate Europe and EDC Las Vegas.
T.H.E – Given that you have performed live so many times, do you still feel nervous before getting on the stage? How do you deal with it given that there is no margin for error?
Giuseppe Ottaviani – I’m usually not really nervous because experience taught me to always have a plan B, C and eventually a plan D so that in case of equipment failure I can carry on with the show in other ways. Of course technology is beautiful, when it works, but tech failures as well as my personal mistakes are part of the game and honestly I don’t mind because at the end of the day it’s a live performance and it’s ok if things don’t sound completely perfect.
T.H.E – What does touring look like for this year, for LIVE 3.0?
Giuseppe Ottaviani – As I said before I’m trying to keep the 3.0 exclusive to selected shows, first because it is something special and it requires lots of work and secondly because it’s logistically impossible to set it up everywhere. That’s why I have introduced the DJ option this year so I can carry on with all the shows I want, and honestly people seem to be loving the DJ sets too.
T.H.E – Lastly, can you share some artists that have influenced/inspired you and the reasons they’ve done so?
Giuseppe Ottaviani – As I said in many interviews my biggest inspiration it’s always been Paul van Dyk and he’s also the one who introduced me to the music business. These days I’m getting influenced by basically everyone. I like to listen other genres and grab bits and pieces here and there bringing those very different elements into my personal style in order to always give something new and fresh but without losing my identity. I think this is also how music evolves in general.