INTERVIEW: Joao Ceser presents Orto.brz [51beats]

“Orto.brz” is a hymn to the agriculture of Brianza. Joao was born in Mezzago, the origin of the renowned “pink asparagus”, a unique delicacy that Joao transformed into the opening theme of the IDM house “Asparago Rosa Di Mezzago”. Then we have the "white potato" from Oreno, which dates back to the 19th century by local historians. Hypnotic voices and crisp acid sounds characterize “Patata Bianca di Oreno”, another pearl of Joao Ceser. Of course, both the pink asparagus and the white potato are usually celebrated in Brianza with well-known parties.

We have had the pleasure of speaking with Joao and this has been the result.

What was the first thing that attracted you to the world of electronic music?

The necessity of doing music alone and also the 80’s, the era when I was born, the golden age of synthesizers.

Do you remember any album or concert that has changed everything?

Yes, the first cassette that I made my parents buy me. It was “Venezia 2000” by Rondò Veneziano, a beautiful modern take of symphonic music with an amazing cover artwork of a futuristic Piazza San Marco (Venezia) with bots on a boat (it was actually a gondola but I liked the joke..)

Since you got into this professionally, what did you miss the most nationally, internationally and on the contrary, what helped you the most to grow, even to believe in yourself?

Honestly I’m just doing what I want to do, maybe the goal is, as Yoda said to Luke: “Do. Or not do. There is no try.” I’m keeping on doing my music.

How is the music scene living in your city with this murky pandemic situation?

It’s a mess, like everywhere. I’m also an event organizer and I have to live by the day, trusting in the authority to lead us back to normality.

What are your favorite places to hang out in the city?

My home, most definitely. I luckily live near a park (Parco del Molgora), a very quiet and peaceful one with my beloved girlfriend, cats and dog. As George Clooney said in a very popular commercial (at least, here in Italy it is!) “What else?”

Have you had time to focus on making music, spending time with your family, or planning future projects?

Of course! This is what I’m living for.

How was your last project born? / What do you want to convey in this work? What is the concept behind?

My last project is the “Orto.brz” EP that is part of a bigger one: BRZ. This project is a tribute to Brianza, the land where I’m actually living, and that I love. Talking with people around my age I noticed that a lot of them are in conflict with their native places and feel the need to move away and for me this is a sad thing. I think that sometimes people just try to escape their problems by physically moving away, but if you stayed you could see the beauty and probably also understand what the real problem is. So, with this project, I want to emphasize the aspects of the territory that I most love and help people connect with their roots.

As for your studio, what is your setup currently made of?

Of course a computer and a sound-card (as DAW I’m using Ableton Live), a modular synthesis system, a Vermona drum machine, a Microfreak by Arturia and some midi controllers. If you are interested here is a link to my modular rack on ModularGrid:

What's the one team you'll never get rid of, no matter what?

My family

What would you say is the definition of your sound?

Electronic music, I know that this is very generic but it is what it is. Sometimes something techno-ish comes out, sometimes it’s something more experimental, but the matrix is always electronic.

What was the last record store you visited and what did you get out there?

I really don’t remember. Since the digital revolution I use to listen to files, anyway I have a huge collection of metal / hard core, jazz, soul, R&B and electronic records.