Dionisaf aka Dionis Afonichev, from the United States, is a composer, ambient producer, multi-instrumentalist, and sound hunter who combines modular and granular synthesizers, electric guitar, field recordings, and non-musical sounds and noises in his music, which takes on the quality of musicality when combined with other elements of the composition. He is an exceptional artist who defies conventions and pushes boundaries in the world of music by recording nature sounds from various parts of the United States and incorporating them into tracks, as he has done with his project “Dreamland,” a 12-track album that showcases the five primary elements of nature: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. “Dreamland,” released on November 18th, last year, has developed a sound that is completely his own and is truly one of a kind, taking listeners on a voyage through the varied and lovely sounds of nature. After listening to this incredibly varied blend of sounds, we at Songweb were truly submerged and thus linked with Dionisaf on “Dreamland” from the other side of the globe. Continue reading to enjoy the interview.
Songweb: Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind your album Dreamland?
Dionisaf: Nature has always inspired me. I have been using field recordings for a long time in my various tracks, for example, I have an album completely dedicated to the soundscapes of New York – New York Environments. This time I wanted to make an album using only the natural sounds of water, fire, wind, birds, etc.
Songweb: How do you approach the creative process when creating new works of art?
Dionisaf: It always happens differently, depending on what I want to get. Sometimes I improvise, and there are many videos of my sets on my YouTube channel. Sometimes I collect various field recordings and recordings of musical instruments that I find in the houses of my friends or even just different interesting sounds, and then I mix tracks with them in my home studio. Sometimes I hear music in my sleep and then try to reproduce it. Sometimes I do music notation and then look for performers to play it, but I do this less and less because I am fascinated by modern technologies that allow me to make music from the most unusual combinations of sounds without involving outside musicians.
Songweb: Can you share with us a particularly memorable moment during the making of the Dreamland project?
Dionisaf: Of course, the most fascinating moments are when I record some interesting soundscapes on the recorder and understand that this is already music, the main thing is not to spoil it when arranging. For example, I was really excited when I recorded the voices of sea lions in San Diego for the La Jolla track. Nature is incredibly musical in itself. And when I listen to this album again and again, I certainly remember how I made these or those field recordings.
Songweb: What message or emotion do you hope to convey through your art?
Dionisaf: I want people to be more careful about wildlife, stop killing animals, and learn to be happy just by enjoying simple natural things. My work is naturalistic and experimental in many ways, so I also feel like an explorer, and music is a kind of experimental science for me.
Songweb: Can you describe how you incorporate your personal experiences into your work?
Dionisaf: Any creativity is a relay of experience, but more importantly, art helps to comprehend this experience, getting to know oneself in this way. For me, my whole life is an art object. We ourselves choose to live in a boring routine or create art. You can do the same things, but with a different attitude. Cooking is also music. A walk in the park, a conversation with a friend, cleaning the house – it can all be art, it all depends on our perception.
Songweb: How does your latest project differ from previous works you’ve created?
Dionisaf: In fact, my latest album came out just recently on my label Chitra Records, it’s called Twelve Months and, as the name suggests, consists of 12 tracks dedicated to 12 months of the year. Of course, this album has some common motifs with the Dreamland album, but overall the sound material is quite different. In Twelve Months, I pay much more attention to various analog noises and magnetic tapes than usual. A lot of pieces have been done using granular synthesis. I love granular synthesis! I think this is a truly revolutionary technology. Well, I also use field recordings there, how could I do without them?
Songweb: Lastly, what are your plans for your artistic journey and where do you hope to take your work in the future?
Dionisaf: I already have several releases planned for this year, for example, in June I have an album out on the Australian label Ambient Soundscapes, and then one on the Chitra Records label in the fall – an album dedicated to the theme of Japanese aesthetics. I’ve been very productive in the last couple of years and have released a lot of different ambient albums, and I hope to continue in the same way. I would like to release an album on vinyl soon. Let’s see what happens in the future, maybe I’ll get inspired and turn my musical path into some new direction. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m not one of those musicians who comes to one style or genre and stays in it for my whole life. I’m always on the lookout for new forms.
Overall, “Dreamland” is a lovely and pensive record that encourages listeners to take their time and enjoy the natural world around them. The recordings are skillfully made and combined, resulting in a rich and engaging listening experience that is sure to calm the spirit, particularly “Night Swamp,” which features insects and animals in night swamps. It produces a haunting and ominous ambiance that transports listeners to a different universe. With that being said, “Dreamland” is a true instrumental music masterpiece and a conclusion that leaves you both pleased and wanting more, with all songs being magnificently produced. As a result, I strongly suggest it to anyone who enjoys nature and wishes to curl up in an idyllic atmosphere.
You can follow Dionisaf here for more information.
Listen to “Album Twelve Months” by Dionisaf with the below links also.