Federico Chiesa is a synth enthusiast, an educator and a self-described nerd, who works under the moniker Oora. He says "I love touching my instruments, I love to share with others what I know and I’m always eager to learn new things. Oora is a church of analog sequencing."
Here's our chat with Federico:
Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?
This album I made with a single Moog instrument, called The Subharmicon
How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?
I fully produce my tracks. I am also creating daily content about creativity and music.
How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?
I started playing guitar at age 10. I hated it initially, because my teacher wanted me to play fusion jazz. Then I discovered Nirvana, and everything changed. I grew up with Grunge, then toured with a stoner rock metal band, now I compose electronic music ranging from ambient to techno.
Can you name any factors you feel majorly influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?
The death of Kurt Cobain in 94 was the call to arms of many of my generations in Italy. For a long time he was my hero. Growing up I kept listening to rock music, but never had a strong role model. I now listen to many different kind of music,
I am more interested in instrumental only. If I would take an electronic hero I'd choose Aphex Twin, both for the music and the attitude towards the industry.
Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?
I believe that most of the frustration I faced came from comparing myself to other artists. Indulging in that usually creates doubts and anxiety. I had to fully embrace my voice to get confident and comfortable in what I do. Being an educator also
helps me learn from other people, having lots of daily word exchanges: that is an invaluable tool to realize how important it is to cherish our personality,
Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?
I am obsessed with the Vermona Perfourmer MK2, it became my main instrument and voice. Beside that I have many instruments that I keep rotating to keep creativity and fun always fueled. I could not live without the Elektron Octatrack.
Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?
As mentioned before, don't compare to others. Learn from them, copy from them, but don't aspire to become them. The earlier you find your personal voice, the easier it will be to pursue your calling.
How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?
Working in a home studio, headphones are one of the most important piece of kit. I've relied on LCD-2 for a few years now and I never had a single thought about trying other models. I use them both in recording and mixing.
Do you have any additional comments or stories you want to share?
Every time I publish a video wearing my LCDs, the majority of questions I receive is "what are those cans?"
How have your Audeze headphones affected your work?
To be honest, I got interested in the LCD after seeing Hannes Bieger using them. I think he had LCD-3s and advised me to buy those. I was not yet in the position to invest that much, so I decided to go with LCD-2, and since then I'm happy as I’ve never been before with a pair of headphones. I have also to say that the look of your wooden cans is incredible and is a pleasure to just have them around. I am now really confident mixing with them and would not change with anything else (except upgrading with other Audeze stuff :D ).