Adrian von Ziegler is a Swiss composer of various styles, book author and philologist by passion and was born on the 25th December 1989. Adrian had a passion for music since a very young age, experimenting with various instruments and then moving in the world of digitally composed music. He mentioned influences like: Nox Arcana, Hans Zimmer, Koji Kondo, Howard Shore, Bach, Jeremy Soule etc. All these information spread with us Carina-his wife and Soul-mate who is also responsible for visual part of his artwork …
Artienne: Beginnings are the most important…said Plato (the Republic), so I would like to talk to you about the first steps you took in your music career. You were playing drums with a band but left them. Why did you stop playing the drums and pick up the guitar? Were you inspired by guitar music? You also said that you took guitar lessons for a year but decided to quit because of jazz influences, etc. How do you rate your first steps? Many artists appreciate the fact that they started playing the guitar or percussion where jazz influences dominated, because it helped them to create their own style and have a basic base when it comes to rhythm. How about you?
Adrian: When I got my first guitar I was immediately captivated by it because it allowed me to compose real melodies and songs, which wasn’t possible with the drums, so yes, I switched focus very rapidly. I was very much into Grunge and Rock and Metal music at that time as well, so yes, I had a lot of inspiration from different types of guitar music. My first steps were a bit different I guess… I honestly didn’t learn much in my guitar lessons, so I don’t think that Jazz has helped me much to create my own style. I had a pretty personal way of composing music even before my lessons, so my style didn’t actually change or develop because of that. Which is sad, because my teacher was amazing, but I was simply not interested, and I actually feel sorry to say this.
Artienne: Indigo is a beautiful color … but I’m wondering about the genesis of this name. You chose this name for your project. Why? I remember the term “Children of Indigo” which is reserved for people who from early childhood are characterized by having paranormal abilities. The term comes from the publication of Lee Carroll & Jana Tober (1999): The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived, and the color of Indigo is the color of the auras of the people mentioned. So what did the name mean to you? And when, and why, did you start to use your real name, Adrian von Ziegler?
Adrian: I didn’t know about the term “Indigo children” until much later actually. The reason why I chose the name Indigo was purely based on the fact that Indigo blue is my favorite color. But when I found out about “Indigo children” it was a very nice little coincidence for me because my mother actually told me that when I was a kid I seemed to have telepathic abilities and strange dreams, etc. I don’t know what to believe about this, but I thought it’s interesting at least.
I started using my real name when I opened my YouTube channel. I was sitting there and wanted to name my channel Indigo Music, but then I decided against it because I thought that Indigo doesn’t explain my identity better than my real name does already. And I wanted to present the most real image of myself that was possible.
Artienne: Why did you decide to replace the guitar with keyboard and orchestral arrangements? You like to use the software called Magic Music Maker. I agree with you that this program is very simple to use and crashes less than others. And I wonder if you tried to work with Vienna, Music score, Ableton or Pro Tools HD? Did you heard about the new generation of Strezov sample Freya and Wotan? Some people complain about the female chords. Would you like to add these sort of things to your music?
Adrian: Oh absolutely, the examples you showed I would definitely like to use one day! I never tried to work with other programs except Magix and Cubase. Why did I replace guitar with orchestra, a good question. I think it just comes down to a personal evolution. I wanted to move away from Rock and Metal and move more towards Film Music. I went from Grunge to Metal, from Metal to Symphonic Metal, and then from there to pure Symphony. Folk Music is also always there, and many other styles, but ultimately the trend has gone away from Rock and towards orchestra.
Artienne: I found interesting information that you don’t wish to add lyrics to your song unless the singer is Enya, a female composer you respect. Do you think that only her voice can fit your style of music? How about Lisa Gerrard, Anneke Van Giersbergen, Natalie Barbary or Moya Brennan? How about Carina, your lovely and beautiful wife? She said on her web page that she is working very hard to improve her singer skills… Is it hard to find talented vocalists in Switzerland? I am sure that in your country there are definitely music schools and workshops for vocalists. Have you tried looking for singers in these places?
Adrian : No I haven’t tried to search for singers, it’s not a priority for me to be honest. I’m happy with instrumental music, so I’m not very excited to actively search and contact singers. I actually prefer things the way they are right now. But yes, IF I would ever have a singer in my music it has to be someone whose emotions fit my own emotions in terms of the voice and my music. That’s why Enya (which I will obviously never collaborate with) was the only one that came to my mind.
Artienne: I would like to return to the old interview which you made with Dominik Von Ziegler in 2011. I remember that you said you do not know much about music theory. Since that time has passed, six years, did something change regarding this matter? I’m asking because I was listening to a track on YouTube by your wife, Carina, and she wrote that you helped her correct the music score. So, I started to be very curious if something changed in your life. It also reminded me of Christopher from the Swedish band, Therion, who for many years did not know how to read sheet music and learned by using the Sybelius program when he had to create “orchestral passages”. Is knowledge about music theory very important for musicians who create their own music on the pc or not?
Adrian: Knowledge about music theory – except for the very basics – is not important at all for making music. No, not much has changed since then, my knowledge is still very limited and the things I was teaching Carina are basics. So, I pretty much know just as much now as I did back then in that interview.^^ The only difference between then and now is experience. I always learned how to make music from experimenting and trying to feel out harmonies and to feel what sounds right and wrong, so I never actually needed music theory that much.
Artienne: Some time ago, I found some “sheets for your music” by Robert Russell. Did you have any influence on their creation? I mean, did you cooperate with Robert? Would you like to do your own sheets for other tracks in the future?
Adrian: No, he does those all on his own. I can’t even read the sheets actually.^^ And no, I don’t feel any real motivation to learn how to write the sheets myself, he’s doing a fantastic job at it already.
Link to the song:
The artwork was created by this great artist:
Artienne: “I could never compose music together with another person”… your own words from 2011 … For Lukasz Kapuscinsky you made an exception. I know Lukasz has been playing your covers for a few years and after sometime you became friends with him. I’ll tell you honestly that I have not met another musician who has made music with one of his fans. Lukasz’s technique is very similar to the style of my colleague from Norway who is passionate about Celtic, Renaissance and Baroque music. I think it is also a source of inspiration for both of you, isn’t it? Let me know if I am wrong. Can you tell me about your collaboration with Lukasz while recording Dance of the String? Did you do the guitar parts with him, or did he make all the guitar parts alone and send you a file and you did the rest by using Magic Maker?
Adrian: I actually made another exception with The Enigma TNG.^^ So, I worked with two musicians now. Of course things have changed since 2011. I am generally more open to working with others now than I was back then. But it’s still a very delicate thing to decide for me. I can only work with someone who I really, DEEPLY feel comfortable with, a real friend. Celtic, and in general European Folk music, is a huge influence for me, and I assume also for Lukasz, but I can’t speak for him. The collaboration was actually almost all his work. He arranged the guitar cover songs all on his own. He didn’t even have sheet music, so he’s another one of those artists who has all the sounds in his head, without the need for the theory. It really impressed me! The only real collaboration on the album was the last song, “Follow the Hunt”. I composed the song with all the instruments except guitar and then gave him the file and he made all the guitar parts for it. We agreed that I would set up the structure of the song and he would fill in the blanks, but it doesn’t mean that it will always be that way of course.
Artienne: The great visuals, which add a special aura to your music, are created by your wife, Carina, with her amazing pictures, digital paintings, and photo-manipulations. She also made first steps with composing music. I know that both of you have inspired each other, and I have to admit that I haven’t met another couple who openly talk about their feelings. What inspires Aelathen besides your music? She mentioned Apocalyptica and artist Joseph Vargo. Anything else? In your past you also used artwork from other artists like: TESV, Barry Xu, Serel theron, Jonas De Ro. Most of them are “children of Deviant Art” or from the gaming world, like Mount and Blade. So, I’m curious, what kind of visual art inspires Carina?
Carina: Thank you so much for your question!
My main source of inspiration comes from how I am feeling at the time emotionally. I have many unfinished works because that certain feeling went away.
Music of course can sometimes set the mood for photo-manipulating. Besides Adrian’s songs and the artists you have mentioned, I listen a lot to the LotR soundtrack, Tarja`s songs such as Oasis, and other similar music!
Another big source of inspiration is stock photography! You see a beautiful model in a delicate pose and you just want to make something with that if that makes sense !
Artists-wise, I am not looking around at Deviant Art anymore since the website took a bit of a sad turn in the past couple years. But it’s true, the artists you mentioned, among others such as Selenada, inspired and continue to inspire me in the present!
Artienne: In one interview you said “if someone can’t appreciate a person’s soul because he doesn’t view his exterior as pretty he never even truly searched for that person’s soul” In my opinion this is a very beautiful quote, which can be inspiration for many young people who feel uncertain about their appearance and afraid to take the first steps in becoming artists. I do not know if you like Sopor Aeternus, but for me this artist is more interesting than big stars, who improve their appearance with plastic surgery instead of bringing people something spiritual with great music. If you see an unknown artist on the stage who hides their face under a mask, would it be difficult for you to accept?
Adrian: I’m not sure if I understand this question completely… I would have no problem accepting an artist who hides their face. I think exterior appearance is over hyped a lot in today’s culture. We value people very often simply for how they look, instead of who they are and what they DO. Actions and personality matter much more than looks. That’s why I don’t care at all how an artist looks, as long as the art is meaningful and the artist has a beautiful personality.
Art by “NAHOM1”
Artienne: 2 Hours of Celtic Music by Adrian von Ziegler – Part 1 and 2… In my opinion one of the best albums you made. I can find the influence of Celtic and film music. When I listen, I think about the movie Lord of the Ring or Braveheart. Are these the main root of your inspiration? Many times you pointed out that you want to remain an independent musician and that is why you do not send your music to a music producer. It may be about the music industry in general, but how about movies or computer games?
Adrian: Yes, those two movies are very important works for inspiration of this style. But I would say the majority of my inspiration comes from other sources. And not necessarily movies or other music actually, but mostly nature, books and history.
I love being independent, and I certainly want to keep that freedom, yes. So anything that binds me to a contract I generally stay far away from. That includes also games and movies. It’s possible though that an offer comes along that doesn’t interfere with my freedom, so I’m not opposed to working in these settings 100%. It always depends a bit. I’m picky though, that’s true.^^
Artienne: Last video you posted on Facebook it was called the Celtic Music Walking with the Ancestors. And I see the beautiful picture of an old man with a fox and bear. Is it your work? You also said op.cit “the Celtic culture has now been a big part of my life for years and through all the songs that I make I constantly try to come closer to understand it – and ultimately to understand who I am and where I came from.” Can you tell us the old Celtic legend from your country which inspired you or which help you understand who you are? How do you celebrate Samhain?
Adrian: No, that artwork is by Rene Aigner. Hmm, there is no specific tale or historical event that inspired me for that… also the wider question of how I go deeper into understanding who I am and where I come from, the answer to that is far more general. It has more to do with for example walking through the landscapes of my country than reading about actual legends and tales from antiquity. I live where I live because thousands of years of ancestors have lived and died here, and I am just the end result of that (for the moment). That is a fascinating thought to follow, and I do this quite often, especially when I’m in nature. Because the same nature that I see outside, my mountains and forests, were already there 2000 years ago. And there is a link inside of me somewhere that connects me with an ancestor from 2000 years ago. I try to understand how these ancestors thought, felt and lived. Music brings me much closer to that than anything ever could for me, and I am using this in order to try and travel back in time inside my mind.
Oh, we don’t celebrate Samhain.
This is the Front Cover of the 7th Album “Spellbound” which will be released tomorrow.
Made by Carina Grimm, like all the other Album Artworks as well.
Artienne: Your compositions are very varied, when it comes to themes: Celtic music, Nordic, film “pirate Soundtrack”, Slavic, Arabian, Chinese, Japanese, etc What is the reason for this diversity? Besides, you created your own unique style. Many people believe that the keyboard becomes monotonous after some time and therefore it is necessary to extend the instrumentation (add more instruments to the music). What do you think?
Adrian: Yes that is definitely necessary every once in a while, and it gets tricky when you’ve made 300 songs to do something that you’ve never done before, and use instruments you’ve never used before, because you made so much different stuff by that point. So that’s quite difficult.
The reason why I make so many different types of music is because I treat music as an exploration. It’s something that I love for its diversity, so it’s always fascinating to find a new style and to try it out, to see if I can compose something in that style and incorporate it into my own “identity” if that makes sense. I have a few core genres that are the closest to me, Celtic, orchestral music and Nordic music. But aside from those I love experimenting and exploring.
Picture created by Carina Grimm.
Artienne: Last question When can we get a new gift from you? I mean a new video with your music, a new album? And what shall we expect?
Adrian: The Viking album is almost finished, so that will come next I think.^^ Apart from that I don’t plan too much. I will see where my ideas take me and I won’t try to control where they lead. I am currently working on a new Odyssey album and a new relaxing album, so those I will finish for sure, aside from that I really can’t say what to expect.^^
Picture created by Carina Grimm.