Interview Gio Montoya

Gio Montoya is a designer and Adjunct Professor of interactive and visual design in the United States.

Could you please introduce yourself?

I want to first thank you for allowing me to be part of this project. I go by Gio, my full name is Giovanni. As a designer, I love every single expression of creativity we can produce. I now have the chance to teach my students the amazing world of interactive and visual design as an Adjunct Professor. United States is my home town.

Is there a sound dear to your heart? Could you tell us about it?

My mom baked an amazing cheesecake. She used an old mixer. After coming back from school, I heard this sound that enlightened my senses. I knew, by sunset, I was going to get awarded with a great slice of cheesecake and a cup of hot cocoa. It was heaven for me when I heard the mixer sound. Actually it still resonates in my head, as brings me great memories from my childhood.

Is there a sound that brings back memories of your childhood?

Definitely, the sound of a Honda cafe motorcycle. Back in the 80s in my teenage time, I heard this sound and stuck in my head up to now. This sound revolved my town when this bike hit the road. It was a time when I enjoyed honest friendship, simplicity, and pure feelings with my friends. So whenever I hear it, brings me the coolest memories.

Which certain disappearing sound should be preserved?

Because of an increase in population, cities have grown with skyscrapers and the city noise. As a kid, I lived in a city where I was able to hear the sound of the wind. It was a very particular sound like whistling, creating different sound tones at reverberating through the trees. I miss it so much, now is just a noise of factories or cars rattling.

How important are sounds to you in your everyday life?

Sounds inspire on me creativity as my mind can fly all over. I can see clearly the solutions I am looking for. Sounds are so vital in my life as I go out for an hour or so, ride my bicycle to get inspired. I take with me my notebook to convert what I hear into tangible ideas.

Could you describe the soundscape of your daily work as a designer?

We are endlessly stuck to our technology, we check emails and messages every day, now sound has become in my life as a therapy. There is a small park around my home, if I feel cluttered, I have found my way to be free, just sitting on the grass for as long as I want, and concentrating on the surrounded sound. The river flowing, the wind blowing, stepping on the grass, or simply listening to birds chirping while I play some jazz or 80’s music.

Have you sensed a transformation of sounds over time?

Of course, sound has evolved over the years due to technologies and fast life. I remember the sound of my first Mac back in my school time or the oven in my grandma’s home. It was natural, pure, solemn. Now sound is amalgamated, too canny, less recognizable. Sound nowadays is quite the same every where we go, smartphones, computers, etc. A few years ago sound was more unique and depurated with no attachments.

Should sound be preserved? Why?

Without sounds there is no life, no inspiration or motivation. Sound is a crucial element to our existence. A world with no sound can turn into an unanimated place. On every stage of our existence, sound encourages us to expand our relation with the world we live in. Every decade, every century have peculiar sounds that evoke specific moments will last forever in our minds. Sound must be preserved otherwise, a world with no sound would be boring, steady, or simply without energy, since sound is energy that boosts up our feelings. A note apart: The sound of an engine reeving, is actually the best well-preserved sound ever.

Is there a sound you would not preserve? Why?

Every sound shakes multiple emotions and touches our senses deeply, like Kandinsky wanted to demonstrated with his Synesthesia theory. Every sound is essential, no matter how good o bad could be. Maybe this is a cliché, but bomb or gun sounds should not exist.

Gio Montoya, Lynchburg, VA. USA , 15th August 2020


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