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.

10 Comments »

  1. i’m very sad for Gianluigi.i knew he was sick. i love his music as i love your music. a greeting to you Robert. massimo from Brescia,Italy.

    Comment by MASSIMO OGGIANO — April 14, 2013 @ 3:08 am

  2. I’m shocked. We have never met in person, but i’m a long time listener of Stefano Musso and Gianluigi as well as you Robert. As i do often, i was searching for info about new releases from him and Umbra. I’m deeply sad to find this post instead. Some weeks ago i decided to do an only italian ambient mix dedicated to Umbra/Hic Sunt Leones/Sempiterna etc, and i was preparing it these days. It will be dedicated to Gianluigi. He was a truly great artist and will be missed so much.

    Regards from Rome,
    Christian

    Comment by Christian — April 15, 2013 @ 10:10 am

  3. He was one of my favorite ambient artists. He will be missed. :(

    Comment by Aaron H. — April 19, 2013 @ 11:53 pm

  4. so sad to hear of the passing of such great talent anywhere,but to hear the passing of such an influence on the ambient scene is a tragic loss to say the least,carry on in the good work for Stefano & for us.

    Comment by steve coe — April 21, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

  5. Even though I knew it was inevitable I was saddened to hear of Gigi’s passing. I was fortunate enough to have several email conversations with him in the last year.

    He was an exceptionally talented artist and was always generous with his time even as he got more unwell.

    He has left us with a large body of work that we can cherish his memory for many years to come

    Comment by Kevan Townsend — April 23, 2013 @ 4:19 am

  6. R.I.P. I got to know just recently his works and I was deeply impressed by his genius.
    What a world…

    Comment by Robert Krzyzanowski — May 12, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

  7. This is sad news indeed. I just started properly getting into his music a few months ago, and some of it has served as atmospheric inspiration for my story writing and my own music.
    I hope that his legacy will continue to live on for many years to come.

    Comment by Anthony Bloxham — May 25, 2013 @ 2:46 am

  8. I just found out this news. I didn’t know Gianluigi personally, but his music has been such a part of my life over the last decade I’m really at a loss. Best wishes to his family. He will be so missed.

    Comment by Dave Kajganich — May 25, 2013 @ 3:00 am

  9. So sad. I knew him only by his music and by his pseudonym, I did not know his background or his story. Thank you for memorializing him so tenderly here. His music took me through many restless evenings when I first moved back to the East Coast. Grateful for the gifts he gave us…sorrowful he is gone.

    Comment by Erika A — July 25, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

  10. I entered the ambient gate through Steve Roach’s music and I am now immersing in the vast sonic treasures of Rich, Obmana, Musso, Corbacho and the genius Oophoi. There is something deeply spiritual, transcendent and peaceful about Oophoi’s recordings. I feel sadness and loss when such an artist leaves his body behind on this tortured planet … thank God we have his recordings. My Oophoi collection is barely getting started as there is so much treasure to gather. Blessings to this beautiful musical creator!

    Comment by Ronny L. — July 29, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

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