Behind The Scenes: IKITAN - Twenty-Twenty Live at Forte Geremia (Music Video)

What can we say about the creative process behind "Twenty-Twenty Live at Forte Geremia"?

It all started very low-profile: after releasing our debut “Twenty-Twenty” on 20th November 2020, and being still unable to play live, we thought: let’s do something and show the band is active. So the initial plan was to do a live on Facebook or Instagram from our studio and just play chunks of the whole song. Just for the sake of doing something, really, getting ready for a concert, and showing another side of the band’s life. And most importantly - show the band playing live.

Then as it always happens one thing leads to the other, one of us has a crazy idea and the other two add fuel to the fire… It was the end of January when we started envisioning this project… So the first major change was that we decided to play the whole thing, and not just parts of it anymore, in an outdoor setting, and make it our first live concert.

Being winter, one of the coolest things would have been to do so in the snow (luckily and with hindsight, this didn’t happen)! We’re fans of the whole desert rock scene, so generator parties and the likes have had an impact, even visually, on us. The idea was, on one hand, to tribute that concept, and on the other hand, to play the whole song, as we never did before, showing the band in an amazing setting in the wild. Also, we saw the video Yawning Man did (Live at the Giant Rock) and it was an inspiration too, of course.

On top of that, Genoa, our city, is perfectly placed between sea and mountains. The city itself is kind of between two of the major mountain chains in Italy (Alps and Apennines), so when you talk about nature and the wild… it’s the mountain that you’re thinking about. And so we did: the video was shot on top of an old fort (there’s dozens in the mountains behind the cities here in Liguria: not surprisingly, they were used to control the sea from enemies) and, even though it was not shot on the exact point of the fort we wanted as it was too windy, we’re extremely pleased with the end result. Forte Geremia is officially the first live concert of IKITAN, a live concert which speaks of its times: there’s no audience and it’s only available on the Internet.

A side-note: "Twenty-Twenty" was extremely well received by the press and fans, we didn't expect that! So we wanted to celebrate this little big achievement too, in a way.

The filming of the video itself was pretty straightforward as we just had to play the song and our amazing friends from Squeasy Film were doing the shots with 4-5 cameras (and drones), even though, as with all the projects with a set date and deadline, there were some challenging moments.

First of all, when we decided to go to Forte Geremia, Italy was still in what we refer to as the “red zone”: you couldn’t leave your municipality unless for health, work, etc. These restrictions were waived just days before we actually went up on the mountain, something which of course was decided weeks before, otherwise… we might have had to make something up to make it happen anyway, there was no plan B.

Secondly, weather played a big role too. Masone, the municipality where Forte Geremia is located, is known for being a place where rain never stops, so all in all we’ve been very lucky to just have wind and cold weather all day long, and not a single drop of rain. Nevertheless, the moment we jumped off the car we thought “ok, do we really have to stand this weather all day long, with as low as 5°C?!”... and so we did eventually. We’ve never appreciated the comfort of four walls around you like the day we came down from that mountain!

Thirdly, we did get the permission to do everything legally, and even got lunch in the mountain refuge that the Forte hosts (it’s a frequent stop for hikers and nature-lovers, and you might spot some in the video too… ), but once you book the time of so many people (video makers, sound engineers and the likes)... you really have to make it happen on that day, and that’s it. You don’t get many chances, also considering the completely uncertain situation we were in back then due to COVID restrictions and this kind of stuff. So it was a “now or never” thing. (as said, no plan B).

Lastly, the Forte had nothing in it, just electricity. So we had to cater for the whole thing ourselves. Luckily we own all of our instruments and PA, and Luca is also a sound engineer, so he took care of all aspects of the outdoor gig from start to finish, making sure we could recreate the sound we had in mind in an outdoor setting where we could rely on ourselves only. Big thanks to Stefano Gualtieri who was behind the mixer when we recorded the song on the day.

Once we prepared everything, we started filming straight after lunch, where the light is more suitable for it, and we played the whole song a few times whilst being recorded from 4-5 different angles and cameras (including drones, of course).

The post-production of the video took a few weeks and we’ve left the music as natural as it was when we played it at Forte Geremia: we really wanted this to be our first live concert, and not a video clip. So you’ll likely hear some “mistakes” too, but that’s what would happen at a concert too, right? This video is a natural and faithful representation of what you can expect from IKITAN at a concert.

As said, once we agreed on doing a “proper” live video of us playing in the wild, the inspiration came from “Live at the Giant Rock” by Yawning Man. There’s no desert around us, and a “similar” place, in our area, could be found at Forte Geremia, the 819 asl old military fort that’s just one hour from Genoa.

The location was already used for a shooting by our filmmaker friends Squeasy Film, who were responsible for filming the band playing, so this whole thing kind of matched with the idea we had in mind.

There are references with the cover of the Twenty-Twenty EP too, in a way: it’s a rocky scenery and we’re on top of a mountain, and there’s a mountain on the cover too, and IKITAN is the alleged god of the sound of the stones for the Aztecs, so it all matches really.

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