Demian Dorelli has just released a new album called 'A Romance Of Many Dimensions' on Ponderosa Music Records which is gathering interest and a welcome addition to his most interesting body of work that includes a unique take on the album 'Pink Moon' by Nick Drake.
Music News caught up with him to find out more about this young classical/pop artist.

Demian is such an unusual name. Where does it originate from, what part of London did you grow up in and are your Italian roots important to you?
Yes and the spelling always generates a conversation too.
I discovered that my parents were inspired by a Hermann Hesse novel of the same name and spelling’, DEMIAN’, a book about the character named Emil Sinclair and his journey of self discovery from a young boy to adulthood, guided by an older school friend, Max Demian!
As I am a mixture of both, Interestingly I don’t think it’s either an English or Italian version of the name.

I grew up in south west London, in a part called Fulham very close to our river Thames. For the first 18 years of my life I did’t speak much Italian but through the visits I made to my Nonna, Zio e Zia in Rome, I was quietly but definitely absorbing the feel of the language and Italian life that went with it. I remember as a young boy pretending to speak Italian to myself, making up words with with lots of shoulder and hand movements!
Once I had managed to learn some Italian to speak, I felt it allowed a certain part of my character to come out, more so than when I spoke in English. It’s interesting how languages can do that and open doors to different facets of ones personality. My Italian roots definitely give me an identity that I’m proud of and I’m so happy that I can interact with everyone whenever I visit.

Your first solo album project was a piano instrumentation of “Nick Drake’s” ‘Pink Moon’. A very noble if decidedly adventurous idea to execute. Why was it so salient to you to begin your musical journey this way.?
It was an idea that I thought was so interesting to do and something that I don’t think anyone had done before which really excited me, in that it was a re-work of a whole album dedicated to a musician & song-writer that I admired so much. I also felt for Nick Drake himself not ever getting to know how much his music would eventually be loved & appreciated around the world. That gave me the extra drive and reason to surrender myself to the project, despite any worries I had about ‘a first release as a solo artist’. Not just Drake’s music but his whole story and plight seemed to align so well with where I was at myself. It was a great challenge and one that helped me to get so much closer everything Drake.

So began your collaboration with Alberto Fabris known for his work with Ludovico Einaudi . Why was it important for you to have him on board?
I can’t tell you how important it is and was to have Alberto on board as a producer. Artists are renowned for not completing projects, getting caught up in the musical details and loosing sight of the dream on the way. He has an amazing way of keeping everything on track and making sure we get it done with magic!
Alberto also has a huge encyclopaedia of music in his head with no shortage of inspiring ideas on sound. He is careful in how he deals with people but will never shy away from telling you what he thinks and that can be vital while you are in the process of creating, to hear good honest feedback from someone you trust I think is very important. I feel very fortunate to have such a trusted friend along for the journey.

After last year’s ‘My Window’, you have just recently released a new album ‘A Romance Of Many Dimensions’. What was the inspiration behind this?
It all started when I was sitting in a presentation given by a scientist at CERN in Switzerland. I was accompanying my wife Rosina, who had been invited there. I was fascinated by what they were humbly attempting to do in helping explain how our universe works and how little we actually know despite all the efforts.
I knew that this was potentially a concept that could somehow connect with music but at the time I wasn’t sure how I could manifest that.

In that same meeting Rosina was asking the question, if what they were trying to describe was in a way similar to the idea presented in a book called Flatland.
I’d never heard of it but as soon as we got back to the UK I ordered a copy to read. This was it!

Written back in 1884, it was certainly dated in some respects but some how managed to create an emotive story while using quite technical descriptions of what it was like to live in a Two dimensional world and then be shown the existence of a ‘Third dimension’.

Inspired by what I read, rather than focusing on the technical concepts described, I took the more emotive elements as a lead to try and encourage a musical journey and mood that was closer to the subtitle of the book “A Romance of Many Dimensions”.

Other dimensions do exist but we may not obviously be aware of them and for me, the space music can create is one example. So I wanted in some way to create a space that was unexpected but as I said before not in a conceptual or technical way but instead something more romantic.

I would like to talk to you about a couple of the pieces on the album if I may. I found the wonderful “Universal Colour Bill “ to be a brutally honest and soul searching piece of music, where the spaces in between say as much as the notes. It’s like classical music meets Radiohead or Pink Floyd. Is that far-fetched?
Well you mentioned two bands that I love so it’s quite possible yes ! This track definitely has a particular space and mood to it.
I always enjoy the idea of assimilating different music to then re express it in different and subtle ways when creating ones own work. It’s not a conscious attempt but the idea of capturing a different view of a ‘something’ is what art in its various forms is all about.

The King’s Eye’ is a perfect collaboration between the two instruments chosen to take part on the record along with your piano playing i.e a cello and a French Horn. Was this something planned from the very beginning, an artistic intuition or luck :)?
I think once it was decided that the Cello & French Horn would be the two other instruments it was pretty clear that there could be at least one moment where they would play together without the piano. The three of us where really like colours from an artists palette so we would always be used in different ways and combinations throughout the record but it wasn’t until working on the track The Kings Eyes that it made sense to create a longer intro with just Cello & Horn. Something about the regal idea of the king set out by the horn, supported with the grounding responses of the cello really worked in setting a scene for this piece.

Demian, if you could perform the latest album anywhere in the world, what stage would you choose and why?
That is a tricky question just because I don’t know it yet.
My dream is to have the chance to play in many different settings to discover where the most charismatic places and atmospheres are, but you also have to remember that people, the listeners, are a huge part of of any magical live experience too and that is unpredictable.
Ask me again in a few years time !

Do you like your audience to be prepared and knowledgeable about your body of work when you perform or are you happy to surprise and earn their appreciation.?

I would have to say both because you get a different response for each. I am probably more used to surprising an audience but that does create some apprehension before hand as you wonder what happens if its not what they expected!
I do enjoy opening some new musical doors for a surprised listener and even better when I’ve had people who didn’t know the music of Nick Drake but through hearing a concert of mine have been curious to find out more about him too.

What are your plans in promoting the new record and performing this year?
Plans are currently in progress but I’m getting straight back to writing for a next project !
Keep an eye on my social media for updates.

If you could wave Harry Potter’s wand, who would you most like to collaborate with next from the classical, jazz and pop worlds?
Wow so many choices…!

I think from classical it would be something orchestral and maybe with Morricone, for his emotive melodies !

In the world of Jazz, it could be Miles Davis to help push the boundaries but actually for his lyrical sound I might have to choose saxophonist Dexter Gordon. Two very different choices.

If you hadn’t mentioned Radiohead I might have gone with them as they are so creative but instead… Although it’s not really pop but I’ve been listening to more of Patrick Watson recently and I love some of the choices he makes and I’m sure has an interesting creative process too.

Check out Demian on his social pages for info. He will be performing at the Triennale Milano Theatre on May 19th as part of the Piano City Milan Festival.

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