Sep 30, 2016
Behind The Album: Giuseppe Ottaviani - ALMA
Out today on Black Hole Recordings, Giuseppe Ottaviani’s album ALMA is deeply rooted in his childhood and personal life experiences and showcases a deeper sound. Featuring Paul van Dyk, Kyler England, Christian Burns, Sue McLaren, and Eric Lumiere, ALMA is a 15 track look into moments in Ottaviani’s life. He joined us to celebrate the album and dive deeper into the personal meaning in his story.
Can you discuss your decision to name your album ALMA? How do the tracks on the album reflect this title?
The idea behind this album was to bring the enthusiasm, emotions and spirit of a child into the older age. I’ve been inspired by watching my two little children growing and noticed how music can actually mark a specific moment of their lives. This brought me back to when I was a little kid and remembered all different types of music that I was listening to.
It’s hard to explain since it’s a personal feeling, but there are many melodies and sounds that are strongly related to specific moments of my childhood. Especially with the instrumental tracks like “Primavera,” “Alma” or “Aurora,” if I close my eyes I can actually see and “smell” those moments. Yes, it’s a quite personal album this time.
What do you think ties these tracks together and makes them unified as album tracks?
From a listener’s point of view there might not be a logical link between all these different tracks, it’s not like a compilation where all tracks are packed together to give a smooth flow to the disc. But as I said above, this album is a very personal thing and it’s related to my childhood where I was listening to many types of music.
Almost every track is inspired by a memory that comes from the past when I was watching the world through a child’s eyes. When I started to make the album demos two years ago I decided to make each demo by simply using a piano and some strings to keep things basic. If you listen to those demos you’ll see the coherence of the album, the whole picture.
What was it like working with the various collaborators and vocalists on the album tracks? Any highlights from working with them in the studio?
Unfortunately there was no chance to sit together in the studio with any of them. With the busy schedules we all have, it’s quite hard to make it happen - especially when you have to work on 15 tracks at the same time! I’ve been impressed by Christian Burns though, he delivered the vocals and final lyrics in just a couple of days. It was perfect at the first take which didn’t surprise me, as the song already sounded amazing in its demo form.
Can you pick out three tracks from the album and tell us about the production process that went into them? How did you go from the idea to the final version for these tracks?
I really love “Primavera.” I’ve recorded and posted on Facebook a short video of me testing out a new plugin from NI (Native Instruments) and I came up with that melody. A year later when I decided to make a track out of it, I realized the melody was at 90 BPM and I didn’t want to change the speed and feeling so I made a chillstep kind of track.
“Slow Emotion” is another great example of how live performances do actually shape my music production. I said already a lot about this track, if you Google it you’ll find out more about the official release, but basically it was born as a “DJ tool” track exclusive for my Live 2.0 shows. It’s a 110 BPM production and it’s trance. BPM is not supposed to be a limit for me.
“Alma” is the one that when I close my eyes, I see myself at seven years old taking the bus with my grandpa going to music school. He played a big role in my music education.
How have you been using some of the tracks from the album in your DJ sets? Are there any tracks that you've decided to keep fully under wraps until the album's release?
I didn’t want to play any of the album tracks in my live sets up untill now, I really wanted to make all tracks very exclusive till the release date. I’m making the extended mixes just right now and I’m also working on the OnAir mixes (the more uplifting version) which are the ones that rock my dance floors. Of course I couldn’t resist playing some early mixdowns and testing them, but it happened for just one or two instrumental tracks.
What does the rest of the year look like for you?
Looks bright! I’m bringing ALMA on tour starting this October plus I’m also quite busy with the PureNRG project which is shaping up nicely. Check out www.giuseppeottaviani.com for the latest updates.
Thanks everyone and hope to see you soon on the dance floor.
You can buy or stream your own copy of ALMA on your media of choice.
short link 1001.tl/tpdlhl