For Gianluigi Gasparetti, “Oöphoi”

I learned that Gianluigi Gasparetti passed away early today. He was battling cancer for the last few years, perhaps a bit ironic, as he was a lung endoscopic surgeon, and saw inside plenty of smokers with lung cancer in his career. We knew him as Gigi, and he published perhaps the best journal of ambient music in any language, named “Deep Listenings” after the phrase coined by composer Pauline Oliveros.

Back in 1999, Dixie and I went to Italy on our honeymoon, and with Stefano Musso we visited Gigi and his wife in their lovely 300 year old farmhouse on a hill above the plains of Umbria. We felt their immense hospitality, and their love for this quiet music we make. The following year, I returned to Umbria to play a concert that Gigi sponsored at his house, with 20 deep listeners who came from all over Italy. That concert is documented in my “Live Archive” volume “Due Acque” which means “two waters” in Italian, named after the convergence of rivers in view from their house, and the house itself.

Gigi always claimed he was not a “musician” but he was so inspired by sound that he started recording under the pseudonym “Oöphoi”, with deep drones inspired by artists like Klaus Wiese. Under this name he released quite a few works, all with an uncompromising depth and purity.

I had not spoken with Gigi in the last several years. I learned he was ill from common friends. Paul Vnuk spoke of him when we saw each other at NAMM this January. It was clear he was very ill and staying to himself lately.

Gigi – we will miss your passion, your focus, your intelligence, your clarity, your creativity, your generosity and warm hospitality. Peace to you, my friend.