Livestream review: Giulia Millanta, “Conversations with a Ghost”
Now that music has shifted to home-quarantine livestreams from closed down venues, I will be reviewing livestream concerts. I will focus on livestreams series and ongoing online gigs so my readers can follow the artists I write about after the particular livestream is over.
Giulia Millanta, an Italian-born, US-based, blues-oriented singer/songwriter, livestreams her Cocoon Show on Facebook Live every Thursday afternoon at 3 pm Central from her home in Austin, Texas. The stream that I watched was from her living room; she has done others from her kitchen because the acoustics are a bit better for her – the guitar is a little too forward in the living room, but either location is great. The sound is excellent, the lighting is quite good, and there have not been any itinerant dogs, cats, children or baskets of laundry in the background (not always a bad thing).
She sang the entire Conversations with a Ghost album plus a new song not available anywhere else. The audience of 1.27k viewers were very appreciative and talkative with her and with each other. Although they hailed from at least 4 countries – the US, Italy, Canada and Mexico – many knew each other and the mood in the comments panel was ebullient- not bad for a quarantine concert.
Conversation with a Ghost was released in 2018 to high acclaim, the same year her recording of Piero Ciampi’s song “Tu no” was awarded the Doc’s Blues Award as BluesWoman of 2018 by Severn Fm Radio. The album was produced by Millanta and Gabriel Rhodes and recorded live with some of the best musicians in Austin including Glenn Fukunaga on bass and Dony Wynn on drums. They both have also become her steady band members but were not on the livestream. Millanta sang alone, accompanying herself on multiple guitars. The songs hold up very well without a band and backing vocals or studio microphones and mixers.
Millanta has released six albums and toured the USA and internationally until the quarantine. She is an excellent guitarist, which added to the pleasure of joining the livestream. She also plays ukulele and sings in four languages and is quite willing to do so if requested in advance by a livestream viewer ( or maybe even during the livestream, if the instruments are available).
Throughout the livestream, Millanta maintained close, intimate touch with the audience, keeping an eye on the computer screen while she sang, acknowledging comments and claps, and saying hi to friends and family as they came on. She also prefaced songs, flashing her million-dollar smile for the (cell?) camera, as she told personal stories and gave the backstories of many of the songs.
She closed the livestream with a new song, “The Space In between,” and a personal observation that the quarantine has a silver lining for her, the time to go inward,” to be my best friend”. It is great to be able to be with one of our best friends every Thursday at 3 pm CT. Tune in and put a tip in her Paypal or Venmo virtual tip jar.
Giulia Millanta livestreams every Thursday at 3 pm CT on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/703217663820075/
Watch a video of the Spaces in Between from her livestream at https://youtu.be/gKDbHPE58sk
You can request your favorite song and send a tip at
Venmo: @cricketmusic or PayPal: Info@giuliamillanta.com
Follow her at https://www.facebook.com/giulia.millanta/