Alex Johnson – Violin Influences
Alex Johnson began playing violin at the age of 10. Having been inspired by a Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto featuring Yehudi Menuhin as the violin soloist, Alex asked his father for a violin. For his tenth birthday he got his first violin.
During his training at University of Utah Department of Music he played violin in the symphony orchestra and chamber orchestra, favoring earlier classical music styles. As he worked his way through music school, additional musical influences began changing his life.
His work while at music school included hosting music events for the music department. Because of this he saw countless performances of every sort of music, from piano recitals to modern music multimedia events, and took part in all of the ‘behind the scenes’ activities that make up performances.
COMPOSER –1. One who composes; an author.
While continuing to take violin lessons through high school, at the age of 14 Alex also began playing electric bass guitar in heavy metal rock bands… inspired by groups like Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd. His first band, Armageddon, was an all original hard hitting trio.Through these experiences in heavy metal and playing with others he learned to improvise and compose music and songs.
After leaving music school and his violin studies, Alex began playing in rock bands again in the Seattle area, in the early 1980’s. He took an active part in the Seattle heavy metal music scene which at that time included Queensryche, Sanctuary, Fifth Angel, Metal Church etc.
Only after his last heavy metal band (Hammer) disbanded in 1987 did he begin integrating violin into his heavier brand of music.
Playing violin, bass guitar and synthesizer (ARP 2600) Alex began recording and developing his own style of music… blending his electric bass guitar with electronic effects (which he dubbed “fuzz bass”) and violin melodies and harmonies. This music would lead to his first music releases in 1991.
Releases by Alex Johnson include:
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Alex’s musical style blends melodious violin strains with bass guitar and synthesizer, drawing from his influences of classical music, North Indian classical music and rock bands such as Pink Floyd. It incorporates modern techniques and technical advancements, but reaches back to the expressive elements of the classical traditions.
Alex Johnson is currently engaged in fusing a new style of “east joins west” on violin, and writing new songs and ambient music.
It has been said that Alex Johnson is one of the original founders of the “Minimal Ambient” music style.