intro by Kris Upjohn, interview
by Jennifer Warner
Get ready to be wooed with a fusion of chilled
out electronica and organic violin playing. Lucky for you, this
effort extends well beyond the purview of mere novelty, moving quickly
from hooking you in with the strings/electronica to securing your
attention with wonderfully arranged and masterfully performed revamps
of classical and modern classics.
Their self-titled new album has a handful of originals, along with
reworkings of Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Paganini, Saint-Saens and Bach
in a new and delicious format. More contemporary folks such as Mike
Oldfield (represented by a reworking of "Tubular Bell"),
the wonderful Jean Michel Jarre and famed film composer John Williams
find themselves emerging from an interpretive chrysalis. Even "Axel
F," made famous by Beverly Hills Cop pops up here in a new
version called "Frogger" (a reference to the fad of Crazy
Frog videos, one of which featured an electronic dance rendition
of "Axel F"). Deviations Project is an exciting and important
release, showcasing the talents of renowned producer Dave Williams
and international violin virtuoso Oliver Lewis.
We had the chance to speak to both of the masterminds behind this
project via email for this interview!
How did you get involved with electronic music, given your
classical background and career?
O. By accident! I was invited to make a guest appearance in the
show Spirit of the Dance at Wembley Stadium, all the music for which
was written by Dave. So that's where it all kicked off... and here
we are today!
Had you ever heard anyone combine violin and electronic elements
O. It's totally new and exciting. We are fusing the old and the
new together and as a result our album is appealing to an unbelievably
wide range of people: hard core ravers, classical music fanatics,
cool kids on the block... everybody!
What kind of software and hardware do you have in your studio?
D. Masses of stuff ‚ too many to mention here but we use a system called Soundscape to record the Violin. Itís a stand alone hard disc recording system that keeps the PC free for all the soft synths. Occasionally I use an old JV 2080 - an XV 5080 and an Emu Ultra 4XT sampler for more orchestral timbres. My favourite software is Stylus RMX ‚ for most of the percussion and it all ends up on Cubase.
What kind of violin did you use for the Deviations Project
O. Two amazing violins made over 250 years ago, a Stradivarius
and Guarnerius. These old instruments have a sound like the human
Describe the recording process the two of you go through when
recording a song:
O. You mean if we're taking a piece of dusty classical music and
giving it a kick up the posteria into the 21st century? First we'll
decide on the best key for the lead line to work perfectly on the
violin. This is important as different keys have different feelings
and moods. Then Dave unleashes his mind boggling musical powers
and concocts a ravishing electronic musical canvas, onto which we
throw the final ingredient, the Stradivarius!
Where do you imagine that people would listen to your music?
O. We get people writing in to our MySpace (www.myspace.com/deviations)
telling us where they listen to our music... the car, the bath,
the bedroom... enough said!
What keeps you inspired to keep playing and making music?
O. Life of course. Music's a language that reaches everybody no
matter what age, religion or nationality... And we want to communicate
D. Yeah ‚ What he said!
Where do each of you live right now and why there?
O. I live in a converted dogbiscuit factory in London... it's a great big soundproof box, ideal for fiddling all night long without disturbing a soul!
D. And I live in an old 18th Century Barn in Robin Hood country.
Are you married/gir'friends/significant others?
O. Well I was dating a beautiful girl who was a chef in a top London
restaurant... but her last omelette wasn't too good and I let her
know about it... So current status is single!
D. Dave ‚ significant other!
What do you like to do for fun when youíre not working?
O. Waterskiing, reading, running; I'm a bit of a movie fan too,
I enjoy a good thriller or sci fi! Oh and I LOVE to dance, freestyle,
I find it lets the demons out!
D. Movies + XBOX 360 - end of!
Were you ravers when you were younger, or have you ever been
to a rave?
O. I'm still young and will always be young! And I'm still a raver!
I once went to an open air Techno festival in the Czech Republic...
2000 people dancing all night in an empty swimming pool from 9 at
night til breakfast the following morning... very liberating.
D. Yes and No ‚ Is it like a tea dance?
Do you think youíd play at a rave if invited?
D. Er... Oh go on then :)
Have you performed live together yet?
O. Well when we record we treat it like a performance and I think that helps to make the music more exciting. We also performed some of our music as guest artists of the singer Elaine Paige on her recent UK tour. She was lovely, and she really loved our music.
D. We've also done some unplugged stuff ‚ particularly the Carmen
- just fiddle and acoustic guitar ‚ you had to take your shoes off
and rave on tip toes very quietly!
Anything else youíd like to say?
Just a bit of shameless promotion... our album DEVIATIONS PROJECT is now out
on iTunes, and also in Barnes and Noble, and on www.amazon.com too!
Thanks so much!!
O: Nice talking with you.