“Octopus® is a complex electro-acoustic system (currently unique worldwide), which enables the performer to play several guitars contemporaneously using both hands and feet. It all started when I was working in the theatre with the amazing Italian actor (and my menthor) Umberto Fabi. He once asked me to work on some music by The Doors for a play inspired to Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I then started looking for a way to perform on different guitars on the stage without making noises or movements that would have distracted the audience from the magic enchantment of theatre, while I was passing from one guitar to another.”
“I then found a way to move closer to each other the guitars on the stage (acoustic, electric, and classical guitar), and to perform on them alternatively, without any interruption in the flow of sound. There was born a prototype of the Octopus®: an electro-acoustic system where pedals, wires and amps, together with the guitars, create an instrument whose weight is over 500 pounds, and which allows the performer to play with both his hands, feet, and even with his mouth.”
The Octopus was born from a creative and artisan work, though scientifically realized thanks to contributions by technicians, luthiers, and the help of a designer and engineer from the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.
Octopus® is a very complex system which allows a single performer to play several guitar contemporaneously using both hands and feet, thanks to a very specific executive technique based on the principles of echo and resonance. There is no direct intervention of machines, computers or pre-recorded material during the performance. All you can hear is played and processed live by the performer. To do such thing, the performer uses over 200 controls in real time.
Octopus®’ peculiarity is in how the audio chain is managed, in other words how the signals go. All this has been possible combining pre-existing components with new parts, specifically created.
The use of the Octopus® requires extreme discipline in the performer, besides a very accurate preparation.