A contemporary jazz band, Niogi performs original pieces using a combination of acoustic instruments and synths. The band members mix harmonic and rhythmic influences taken from classical, jazz, and world music. The music of Niogi expresses a unique interest in cutting-edge synths programming and other electronic means of expression. Niogi has performed at renowned international festivals such as Ingolstaedter Jazztage Festival in Germany and Jazz Bliss Festival in Myanmar, and was featured as one of the highlights in the jazz program of Israel Festival 2014.
1) What or who inspired you to want to be an artist?
Ever since we can remember, both of us always had a strong reaction to music; we both started to play at a very early age. I (Omri) played a wind instrument, the recorder, which later led to saxophones and electric wind instrument (EWI). Guy played a toy accordion at the age of three, his first keyboard instrument; today he plays piano and synthesizers. About a year after working together we discovered that both of us had a life changing moment after listening to Israeli composer Yoni Rechter’s first solo album Intentions. The emotional journey on whcih each song on this album takes you is incredible. That shared love of richness in term of detailed composition is something that is very deep in the DNA of our band Niogi.
2) What was your creative journey that has brought you to where you are in your career today?
As much as we invested serious time in playing and recording different styles of music and researching classical music, Jazz and improvisation in general have always been a very important part in both our musical life. That being said, composing and designing sounds for our band is often a mysterious thing, which doesn’t always necessarily have to do with high level of musicianship, but more with dreaming and intuition.
3) What do you need as an artist today?
As an artist you need time to get into a visionary mode and work on your art, and so it’s best to live in an environment that will encourage you to create and search for your own personal voice.
4) What creative project are you working on now?
Right now we are in the process of finalizing our compositions and the sound-design (combination of synthesizers and acoustic instruments) for Niogi’s debut album, to be released in the beginning of 2015.
5) Where do you see yourself and your career in 10 years?
Performing all over the world with our own music, playing with musicians that we love, and creating meaningful personal projects.
6) What does it mean to you to be an Israeli artist?
We grew up on Israeli music, and it influences our compositions in a mostly subconscious and intuitive way. We especially like the Western side of Israeli music, mainly artists like Matti Caspi, Yoni Rechter, Shem-Tov Levi, and Shalom Chanoch.
7) What does it mean to you to have an organization like the America-Israel Cultural Foundation supporting Israeli culture in the past 75 years? It takes a lot of time and money to work seriously on your art. The support of AICF allow artists to focus on their creation while paying for their studies. It contributes to the general feeling that Israel promotes and funds the arts.