It seems strange that electronic music made on computers could be born at outdoor festivals and inspired by the wonders of nature, but that’s exactly the way Opiou’s music has evolved. Maybe that’s why it’s so interesting – the dichotomy of man and nature, illustrated through mind-bending sounds.
Music Feeds: Hey there. So how do we pronounce that name? And what does it mean? Where did it come from?
Opiuo: “Oh-pee-oh”. So many people ask this little question, and the word actually has no meaning whatsoever. After a blistering sunrise long ago, someone decided to yell it out in a mistake to get my attention. I liked how it sounded, so adapted it into my musical world. It’s been with me for 12 or so years.
MF: And your real name is…?
OP: Oscar Davey-Wraight
MF: What’s the perfect venue for your music?
OP: Outdoors, giant cliffs surrounding, so you are perched above the world, never ending view of the planet, with a perfectly tuned soundsystem, complete with aerial acrobats, dance troops, unbelievable lighting, fire and set design… Yeah, that sound tight!
MF: Failing that, how should it be listened to ideally at home?
OP: A clear, bass heavy, and perfectly loud system. With of course your favourite beverage in hand, and the comfiest shoes possible.
MF: What kind of imagery would you match to your music?
OP: Psychedelically coloured, funked out robotic toys from the future, with soft + squishy bits morphing into transforming cubes all over, bouncing through a vortex of shape and colour.
MF: Where do you play in Melbourne? What’s your ideal crowd?
OP: Mostly at outdoor festivals these days, like Rainbow Serpent and Shine On Festival, but occasionally we put on shows at The Hifi Bar and Roxanne Parlour. My favourite style of crowd is one that listens to the music, as well as boogies their heart out. It’s quite easy to tell when a crowd will go nuts to anything at all, and much more rewarding when you know they are there paying attention to your every move, reacting larger, and appreciating the live elements every second of the way.
MF: Where would you love to play?
OP: I always wanted to play on an island in the tropics. Seems to be something that is about to happen for me though now, with shows in Hawaii coming up!
MF: Do you feel like you’ve developed a finely-tuned ear for the intricacies of sounds? Even in day to day life?
OP: I do actually. I often morph into sounds and hear complete tunes rocking out inside them. The rumble and occasional peak of noise in the city constantly evolves into musical madness for me…
MF: What software do you use?
OP: I compose in Logic Pro, and perform with Albelton Live.
MF: When did you first decide to go into electronic music and how did you get started?
OP: I stumbled into it 11 or 12 years ago at a festival called The Gathering in NZ. I was always surrounded by outdoor festivals from a very young age, and this helped me hear it early on. I started collecting music, and had the opportunity to play a couple of festivals through friends and family. Once I thought I understood it enough, I bought a laptop and started playing around with bits and pieces, then it just slowly evolved into what it is today. A full time quest throughout the world. I love it and I’m super lucky to be able to do it!
MF: Your music works a lot with samples … how do you choose what samples to work with?
OP: It’s a spate of the moment thing. I just charge through my collection and if something sticks out, I throw it in and see if it works. Mostly though, if a sample is the main part of a track, I chose it before starting the song, and I build the song around it. I guess it varies every time.
MF: Do you work with live vocalists or musicians at all? Is there anything you’d want to work with?
OP: I play live at special shows with live musos and vocalists. I love the vibe more people bring on stage, and I want to do it more and more! I’m actually building this very idea at the moment. It’s a ton of work to make it flow perfectly, but I know it’ll be worth every second of planning and practice.
MF: What’s your number one rule?
OP: HAVE FUN.
Opiuo will be launching his Squiggle EP at Oxford Art Factory this Friday 29th July