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Vidna Obmana

Belgian electronic musician VIDNAOBMANA is perhaps one of the field's most prolific and widely respected musicians. Having beginnings in the realms of Eno-style ambient and other unusual sonic experimentations, he has developed and changed one style into what seems like several over a long, recent string of fascinating musical collaborations. Recording in the fields of space, ambient, industrial, modern classical, ethnic and other musics, VIDNAOBMANA has achieved a breadth that few musicians do, in a passionate commitment to his art. He has currently over 34 CDs released on various international and independent labels.

The moniker VIDNAOBMANA was chosen by this Belgian composer for his musical persona because it means 'optical illusion.' Seventeen years hence, VIDNAOBMANA still finds this name allows him a sense of freedom to place his music first before his own personality and philosophy. As a self-taught electronic musician, OBMANA explored different musical realms before discovering the techniques of looping and shaping harmonies, merging layers of sound while minimizing the configurations to just a few notes. His style of atmospheric music creates trance inducing states in listeners who understand the language of sound. Embracing the challenge to leap into unknown and uncharted terrain, VIDNA refines his minimalistic sound-sculpting while expanding the range of rhythms and performance on various acoustic instruments, like the fascinating Slovakian overtone flute Fujara, and combining his array of sounds with contemporary elements, slowly changing pace with a great interest in the avantgarde.

Recognized internationally for his solo and collaborative work, spanning over 34 albums, commissioned works for the Dutch National Radio, Zoo Antwerpen, a Japanese TV documentary, MTV and several Belgian video art productions, including his critically acclaimed releases, continuous productivity has paved the way for expanded visibility and recognition. Throughout VIDNAOBMANA's career, he has explored the abrasive side of electronic composition, the freeform landscapes of the isolationist ambient aesthetic, the structured interactivity of Fourth World soundworlds, international music traditions and post-classical experimentation. His music has been released by a wide range of independent labels worldwide, including: Release Entertainment, Amplexus, Extreme, Hic Sunt Leones, Hypnos, Mirage, Multimood, ND, Projekt and others.

Release Entertainment and VIDNAOBMANA expressed mutual interest in each other's work, and in 2001, proudly presented 'Tremor.' 'Tremor' was the the first VIDNAOBMANA recording in what will be a trilogy of albums drawing inspiration from the classic Dante poem "Inferno" with the next chapters in line titled 'Spore' and 'Legacy.' 'Tremor' showcased an unmatched sense for the bold and less spatial combination of harmonics, dynamics and experimentation. As VIDNAOBMANA entered a new area of tribal-industrialism - a willful mix of harmony, dissonance and complex rhythmical passages - 'Tremor' displayed the surreal balance between modern electronica and ancestral acoustics.

VIDNAOBMANA followed up the release of 'Tremor' with a multitude of hi-profile live appearances, including two performances (opening and closing) at the 2002 Projekt Festival in Philadelphia. The second chapter in renowned ethno-ambient/electronic artist VIDNAOBMANA's "Dante trilogy," and follow-up to his critically acclaimed 'Tremor' release, 'Spore' was the apotheosis of his fascination for Dante's "Inferno" poem. Whereas 'Tremor' was a 'musical trip downwards', 'Spore' represented the actual underworldly dwelling place. References to VIDNA's 'industrial' past of the early 80's remained strongly present, while the fusion of his ambient soundscapes with bolder and less spatial combinations of harmonics, dynamics and experimentation was even more accentuated. Rhythmic, dense, eerie and pulsating, 'Spore' continued where 'Tremor' left off... VIDNAOBMANA again utilizing his vast collection of instruments (like the Slovakian Fujara and the electric guitar) along with more industrial-like elements to score this second chapter.

VIDNAOBMANA is currently completing work on his haunting Dante trilogy for Relapse/Release. 'Legacy' follows critically-acclaimed albums 'Tremor' and 'Spore.' Look for the third piece of the trilogy to drop this Fall and feature some very special guest contributors.

Dirk Serries