My name is Olivia Elektra Willson-Piper. I was born in a leap year to a Swedish air hostess mother from Västmanland and a scientist father from “Kraftwerk” city with a Polish surname, who is currently designing bricks for a future moon station.
I started playing the violin when I was nine years old and joined an orchestra at eleven. We played concerts in Sweden, Russia, Lithuania, Spain and Germany. I became leader of the orchestra at 18 and remained in that position until the day our conductor retired and the orchestra seized to exist. During my Uni years I focused on busking, jam sessions and Jazz violin. I adore Rusanda Panfili (for her passion), Johan Veron (for his tone) and most of all Patricia Kopatchinskaja (for her spirit and sensuality).
I play a mysterious old skinny acoustic violin. The tag inside refers to a repair that took place in 1849 in Florence, Italy. Rumour has it my violin has actually travelled to Italy from England and was in fact crafted back in 1760 in the land of cricket and separate hot & cold water taps.
I fitted another violin with D’Addario Helicore Octave Strings and it magically transformed into an instrument I’ve come to call “Cellolin”. It’s tuned down a complete octave and therefore shares three strings (G, d, a) with a cello. You’ll be able to hear it on the upcoming Noctorum and MOAT releases and live on songs like “Can’t Ever Risk An Openness With You”.
My electric violin is a Vivo Air 5-string by Ted Brewer (see below). Fantastic look, insufficient sound. Generally I’m an acoustic player and I adore a natural sound. Nothing beats the feeling of digging into silver-wound strings on a piece of old wood with a horse hair stick coated with antique-smelling rosin.
This year I am going to host Europe’s biggest Progressive Rock festival “Night Of The Prog” for the fourth time. During these past years in the Prog Circus I hung out with Steven Wilson in his dressing room, discussed electric violins with King Crimson legend David Cross over lunch and eventually on Skype, I watched Carl Palmer refusing to have a roadie and setting up his transparent drum kit on his own, Van der Graaf Generator’s David Jackson shared album title stories with us (Pawn Hearts = Horn Parts) and he seems to be actively following our musical journey online. I received compliments on my extravagant style and long blonde dreadlocks from Steve Hackett and the coolest person with a kilt, Nick Beggs, and fell deeply and unconditionally in love with a caring, altruistic, loving, creative and passionate guitarist in Anekdoten when they were playing “my” festival.
On repeat at the moment: “Vincent” by Don McLean & “I Started A Joke” by The Bee Gees.