A VERY BUSY AGENDA AT SONAR 2015 FOR OLIVER THOMAS JOHNSON AKA DORIAN CONCEPT. THE SELF-TAUGHT MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST ARTIST FROM AUSTRIA HAS ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED BY MIXING THE WORLD OF MUSIC PRODUCTION WITH THE ONE OF INSTRUMENTAL IMPROVISATION THAT COMBINES PIANO, ELECTRIC BASS AND SOPRANO SAXOPHONE. DORIAN CONCEPT STARTED TO PRODUCE MUSIC IN HIS LATE TEEN WHILE STUDYING MULTI-MEDIA ART. FEW YEARS LATER HE WAS PERFORMING AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL WITH THE CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA. HERE’S MORE ABOUT THIS TALENTED ARTIST
Ciao Oliver, nice to meet you and thanks for your time, we know you had a very busy schedule this Sonar!
Happy we me made it, thanks for your patience!
We would like to start this short interview asking you about your approach in terms of music collaboration?
I am generally very open to collaboration. The way i work with a keyboard makes it easy and it’s something i want to focus more and more in the future. There’s a is a young swiss producer and musician that is a good friend of mine and i hope we can do something together soon. That’s the next project i have in mind but very open to other new opportunities.
How is your writing process?
It depends. Sometimes i stay in the studio one month and i am not able to produce anything. It’s all about consistency, so definitely i don’t have a fixed working rhythm. I am now in my thirties and it’s almost 10 years that i work in music so i can handle my creative moments pretty well. Any spare time is used to work on music.
Vienna. Did the city become relevant in terms of music and entertainment?
There’s a kind of renaissance happening, in terms of music. It feels there’s very much going on and sometimes is not even easy to catch. Compared to 10 years ago that you had just artists like iconic Kruder & Dorfmeister, it’s nice to have new things coming. There’s no so much of a barrier between your imagination and your output as it used to be.
Does art influence your way to do music?
When i was a child the first thing i was always doing was drawing so now it try to keep that approach. This means that art can inspire my music and like to go frequently to museum and exhibitions to get inspired. For example the cover of my last album was one of my drawings. It’s a great combination of visual and still images. I really appreciate abstract art.
Why the choice of this stage name: Dorian Concept, it’s very curious
It’s kind of a tribute to where I was at the age of 15. I was practicing the Dorian Mode (a musical scale of minor notes) and had a file named “DorianConcept.wav” saved on my computer. It started from there. A sign.
What about you at Sonar
It’s funny because i’ve been attending the festival with 3 years’s gap, so in 2009, 2012 and 2015 and i like to see how the festival has changed. It has been growing in terms of numbers, changing location, but keeping a great quality in terms of artists and music. It’s incredible how they do it, they are very strong also on the technological side with all conference side. And i see so many festival trying to imitate Sonar, but with no success.
Photos by Fabrizio Consoli