Andrea Noce makes music under many guises, but as Eva Geist it is pushed into a particularly adventurous and mesmeric electronic realm. A DJ, producer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, the discography of the Calabrian-born and Berlin-residing alter ego nomadically roams across outsider synth galaxies and deep electronic enchantment. We spoke with her via email ahead of her performance at The Tower festival to find out more about her singular sound.
Tell us a bit about your musical background – what did you grow up listening to, and how did you begin to learn music?
I started to learn music when I was a little girl. But before that I remember that music was very related to car traveling. My father loved to drive us and had a selection of his favorite Italian songwriter, De Andre’, De Gregori, Guccini, Renato Zero, Amedeo Minghi, Lucio Battisti. From time to time my sister and I had the privilege to play some of the playlists that we recorded at home with our cassette player and included Madonna, Micheal Jackson and lots of 90s club classics. Our parents hated it. I always ended up falling asleep listening to those tracks. I still get a deep feeling of relaxation when I listen to them.
What was behind the decision to buy your first synthesiser? Were there any particular synth artists who were a big inspiration for you?
In the early 2000s I started to play with my friend Manuel Cascone (Steve Pepe) in a band called Laser Tag. My instrument was a Gem organ plugged into a Lesley Farfisa. It was fun for a while but then I started to feel very limited in the selection of sounds and had some ideas in mind. My first synth was a Virtual Analog of the Virus series. Noise music, synth pop and new wave were some of the electronic genres that influenced me the most. A very impressive experience that I recall was Pan Sonic’s live set at Rome Auditorio della Musica. That concert opened to me a window to experimentation and analog sound.
You’ve made music under your real name and groups like As Longitude and le ROSE – why did you decide to start producing as Eva Geist? Is there a difference in your approach to musical production as Eva Geist compared to your other projects?
Eva Geist comes after le Rose and before As Longitude. It was actually after a live set that I met Laura (Ondula) again and that we basically started to speak about a collaboration. When le Rose was over I had in me an incredible anxiety, the need to channel a music that has always been in my mind. Making music with other artists will always be an important part of my production; I always give my best in those circumstances because I am good at organizing and finalizing the creative energy of a jam session. But at the same time, I needed a place for myself, a place for meditation and inner view. A place where music works almost as therapy and refuge.
Your music has a particular transcendental, dreamlike quality to it, and in a previous interview you described your music as a “door to the spiritual world.” In what ways does your outlook on life and existence, or perhaps spirituality, shape the way you approach and make music – if at all?
Many told me that I am a storyteller. The story is maybe the one of the spiritual journey. I don’t know exactly, but what I hope is to create soul to soul connections with the people that I meet through my music.
Can you tell us about your approach to making your recent LP Desfãn, with its impressive list of synthesisers, drum machines etc.?
Desfãn is a 2 years work. I had the possibility to use lots of gear and decided to work with a more studio production approach. I did almost all by myself, layering track after track, processing and mixing. It was a workshop with myself. Also on the emotional level.
The ocean is quite an immediate theme when you pick up the physical record: it’s in the underwater cover designed by Maria Torres, and in the accompanying statement of “To the Ionian Sea” in the album descriptor. Can you tell us a bit about this?
It took me long to see and accept my nature. I’m a Mediterranean girl threw up in the nordic continental reality (haha). But seriously, you appreciate your origin only after taking the right distance from it. I never knew before how much I miss the sea, the sky and the smells of my native landscape. And I never knew that my music has a strong Italian touch. I wanted to pay tribute to this rediscovery.
Can you tell us about your set-up for live performances? What kind of journey do you like to take crowds on?
My live set is quite atmospheric and brings people slowly into a collage of different soundscapes. Made to move and to dream :)
What’s the future looking like for Eva Geist? Are there any exciting projects which you’re currently working on?
I am about to release a new EP for the Spanish label Hivern Discs. A track I recorded with my friend Isabel aka Epsilove is going to be on Invisible-inc next compilation, and Laura and I are finalizing As Longitude’s new EP for Neubau. These days I am also planning to mix some home recordings I made a few months ago with my friend and muse Jonida Prifti. Lots of things, and as always I don’t know where to start from!