Amanita Design & Tomas "Floex" Dvorak
Do you know the moment when you have just experienced something that you would only dream of? This weekend was a vessel for one of those moments. It was a truly beautiful occasion on which we got to meet my biggest musical inspiration - Tomas Dvorak aka Floex.
It all started with a video that my friend Mathilde made as part of an application to work with the creative genius Tomas Dvorak aka "Floex". In this video she re-created one of the songs from the Samorost 3 soundtrack (which was composed by Tomas) using only her voice. The video was well received and opened the dialogue between Mathilde and Tomas which later on came to fruition in the form of this weekend's meeting.
A little side note:
Having been a huge Floex fan for years and being inspired by his music throughout my musical career starting with the discovery of the Amanita Design games such as "Machinarium" and "Samorost" where his musical scores filled the scenes with magical sonic landscapes that were so unique and expressive - something I had not felt so strongly about in any other video game before. Besides composing video game soundtracks he is also making interesting abstract electronic music under the moniker "Floex" which has been creatively stimulating for the last 7 years.
While being in contact with Floex, Mathilde was also chatting with the folks from Amanita Design who were friendly enough to invite us to their offices for a little tour on the Friday of our trip. Lukas, one of Amanita's friendly crew welcomed us and introduced us to some of the team and showed us around the office. We got an insight into the development process and even got a glimpse of some upcoming games which was great!
We had a really good time hanging out there for a couple of hours, chatting with the developers and artists and hearing about how the team works and seeing their passion for the medium. It was beautiful to see how dedicated they are to inventing new styles and forms of expressing themselves through the medium and how they are trying to always break the boundaries of the norm through innovative design.
I think the greatest thing about the Amanita team and what I have noticed a lot spending time in Prague is how humble the people here are and that the focus for passionate creators in the city is not necessarily to chase after success and fame, it is simply concentrating on making a beautiful product that they love.
That same day we got a last minute message from Tomas saying that we were very welcome to come over to his studio for a visit if we liked. We accepted his invitation with humility and without hesitation.
It was definitely a mix of emotions for us all walking down the street to his flat - a bit of nervosity, thrill, anxiety and happyness were bubbling underneath the surface but most of all we were just looking forward to this opportunity.
When we arrived at Floex's appartment we were greeted with the sound of a tone that sounded like a white noise being distorted, resynthesized and modulated over and over - something that we first thought to be intentional but which turned out to be just a faulty doorbell!
Tomas welcomed us with some green tea and we handed him some presents from Hamburg which he humbly accepted. He was very friendly and offered us to step right into his studio which we happily did and immediately we began chatting about the many things in the room like his equipment, the hardware and software he uses and some cool tricks he applies in his production process.
I also used the opportunity to ask him some more personal questions about his hobbies and how he keeps his creativity balanced which he happily shared with us.
A few hours went by and we were about to round things off and thank our host for his hospitality when he surprised us with a gift of a selection of some of his records - we were very overwhelmed by the offer and although none of us regularly use vinyl players we made a promise that day to each get ourselves one.
When we left his appartment we were all still very stunned with excitement and awe and as I am typing this blog I still feel so lucky to have been given this amazing opportunity!
It was a great trip to Prague and I have to thank Felix, Mathilde, the Amanita Design team and especially Tomas for making this weekend an unforgettable memory.