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Dec 2, 2015

Luigi Tozzi: Of Metaphors and Mythology

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One can not deny the actual effervescence of a specific and meticulous Techno aesthetics of Mediterranean influences. Defined by warm percussions and aerial soundscapes, this sound represents a new wave of Italian artists. It is in this scattered scene that the young producer Luigi Tozzi subtlety made his place. Taking his inspirations in cinema and mythology, he timidly shared his approach to music. 

Engraving by Gustave Doré
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Being a cinephile, what is the film or the scene that would illustrate better the ideas behind your music?

I always try to communicate a strong visual impression when I produce my music. This is why I pay attention to textures and “organic” sounds. Still, it’s hard to visualize only a few scenes that sum up the ideas behind my music.

Nevertheless, two very different titles come to mind: John Ford’s The Searchers (1956) and Le Grand Bleu (1988) from Luc Besson. This is probably linked to the strong presence of nature in both movies, but also because of the extensive palette of emotions they deal with.
Besson’s movie deals with two concepts that I’m passionate about: diving and apnea. Apnea was the basic idea behind my record Deep Blue and it’s also the concept of the album that I have been creating during the last months. On the other hand, John Ford is a very important reference for me. I think he’s an absolute master with a strong understanding of what is important in cinema. I love all of his movies especially The Grapes of Wrath and Stagecoach.

Did the Roman Church influence your musical aesthetic? Do you believe in anything?

The Roman Church is obviously such a pervasive institution here in Italy that it somehow manages to influence us all. It still has a big influence from both the social and political perspectives. However, I don’t think that the church has any kind of influence on my musical aesthetics. This may be due to the fact that I didn’t receive a catholic education. The few times that I spent in churches, they were Protestant.

Do you think the Techno movement reflects a spiritual quest in response to the loss of religion?

I do think that the techno movement has something to do with rituals and religion, yes. For example, in the way that it responds to the desire for catharsis and purification, and also the escape from everyday life. Another important aspect is the need for aggregation, the feeling of being part of something bigger. There are some negative aspects that result from this link, like the process of mythologizing some artists. This can lead to a loss of focus from what is the most important in the end: the music itself.

You said having the impression that the current socio-political situation in Italy has an influence on a generation of local producers and artists. What are the links to be made between the slow rhythms and delicate atmospheres of Italian Techno and the actual context of the country?

This is a very subjective matter and I don’t feel I hold any general truth about it. What I said was that every artist brings their own cultural moment and socio-political conditions into the music they create. This is something that I can picture very clearly when I listen to Italian and Swedish artists, for example.

Your EP Dryad refers to mythology, do you have a particular fascination for a divinity?

Yes the Myrmidon EP [Dynamic Reflection], Wadjet [Hypnus] and also Calipso [Outis] are centered on the theme of mythology.
It’s something that has fascinated me for a long time. However, I wouldn’t say that these are topics that I studied a lot, or in which I have a deep knowledge. I simply like some of the stories and believe that the abstraction from reality through metaphoric characters can, paradoxically, produce an accurate analysis of very concrete facts of life.

If the focus point is turned to the beauty of the intention rather than the formal beauty; what is the necessity for you to express yourself through this medium and what are the ideas that you wish to transmit?

I’d say that intention and form are two necessary and inseparable parts of the artistic process. I try to focus equally on the form and the substance of what I create. I think this leads to accomplished pieces that are complete and can easily communicate something to the listener. Still, in this field there are exceptions and these factors can be separated: it’s possible to start a composition with a purely technical purpose and experiment. In that case, the focus is turned to the form only. And the opposite can happen too. For me it’s necessary to investigate and express myself by making music in order to be able to share some feelings and emotions with the listener. I won’t point out the ideas that I want to transmit because it’s something that is in constant evolution. It’s also important that people have different perspectives on what they listen to.

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