Gigi Masin on the simple sound that triggered a creative recalibration
In the early 80s, the synth was very much in fashion. At the time, I was working with theatres and national television [networks] to record and [score] all of their dramas. We used tape reels and mixers to create contemporary music. But it was the simple sound of the synth that made me understand that you can work with subtraction and not too many instruments. I feel I can do something more intimate, more personal. This was what made me think in a different way.
In Italy, synths were very expensive. But it’s not about the money, it’s about the sound. Something unexpected that can capture your intuition or fantasies. It’s something that you don’t search for – it happens in a moment, in a click, and can change your life. Maybe you’ve thought about a long path that can take you to the point that you want to arrive at. But [it’s about] the improvised epiphanies; a book, a sound, a person or a place that turns your life upside down.
I grew up in a time when we had a lot of great music [coming] from the UK. You know, the Who, Zeppelin, all that stuff. But I was more into the folk scene and [artists] like John Martyn and Nick Drake. I love that simple guitar – simple feelings and a voice was perfect for me. For many people, simplicity is not good. People love complex ideas and music, or maybe a track with 20 instruments. But simplicity is when you are in front of a mirror and see yourself. In the mirror, there are no lies, no mask. It’s nice that a simple synth can [help you] understand that you can do music and express yourself without using other records or technicians. You can express your own poetry.
Vahinè is out now via Language of Sound