Öona Dahl paints visionary dreamscapes through sound. Driven by wanderlust fever, she has absorbed creative energy in her travels and where she has lived from Buffalo to Berlin.
The artist moved to Buffalo by way of Orlando, Fla. with her mother when she was seven years old. Around 2004 she moved back to the Sunshine State to attend college. For the past year Öona has been living in Berlin but in June she packed her bags for a tour and has been living on the road ever since.
“Berlin is amazing; my favorite city I have ever lived in and I plan to go back one day when the cards are right. I miss my studio there but I will have one in Florida as well to work in. It was always a dream of mine to move to Berlin and absorb the creative energy there,” Öona said. “All the music is the best quality and you have so many creative motivated people around you that it challenges you to be better at your craft. I immediately felt the creative web there.”
Her productions and sets inspire complexity, a depth of emotional evocation and vision quests. Tapping into the more minimalistic realm, Öona said that playing the more melodic and entrancing style of house and techno comes naturally for her.
“One of my favorite quotes is by Hazrat Khan, ‘The person, who is in tune with the universe, becomes like a radio receiver through which the voice of the universe is transmitted.’ I feel closer to the heavens with the sounds of pure love and beauty. This is my one side. My other side does enjoy the darkness as well. My side project with my good friend Amber Cox has a bit more edge to it, we go by Slumber.”
The All Day I Dream parties were founded in 2011 by Lee Burridge and Matthew Dekay. The events, which now travel across the country, have a foundation built on “technicolor emotionalism” and a specific dream-like atmosphere and landscape. A significant face on the Playa, Lee Burridge established All Day I Dream and maintains the immersive and experience-specific structure that Burning Man is known for.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to find inspiration. Creativity is built, molded and explored through boundless outlets. Öona finds creativity through traveling, dreams and reading. So enraptured by her novels she said that while reading, certain sounds illuminate within them. Her track titled “Soul of the World” was inspired by reading “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. “If you have read the book you know what the soul of the world is and you can hear the music that portrays it.”
When it comes to traveling she said she’s most influenced by Burning Man, even titling one of the songs on her album as “Beached Carny,” which was her Playa name in 2011.
As within, so without, Öona creates beauty through a certain parallel of space.
“My dreams take me to sacred places; I am in complete control of them and sometimes I am not. Wherever the journey takes me, good or bad, it inspires me to create the dream world with song,” she said. “I also have a small case of synesthesia where I can see color in sound. My music has a sparkling aura to it. When I hear chimes, music boxes, anything related, I see rainbows of spirals bouncing off the sounds.”
This fall her album will be released under Hallucienda, as well as a release of her music video by Barbara Klein titled “Wait. Lifted.” An EP through All Day I Dream is in the works and a Slumber EP titled “Body Clock” will be released the first week of October.
Check out her music video for “Somewhere We Can Go” that was filmed in Buffalo.
“We filmed the video in May 2014 in Buffalo. We couldn’t have asked for a more unique day to film. From sun, to sun showers, a rainbow and last a beautiful sunset over the Niagara River. I had two of my best friends featured in the video that I have been dancing with for well over a decade. I wrote the song right around the time I was living in New York in 2011. We would venture out to abandoned buildings to explore and get away. Buffalo in a sense is so much like Detroit, and doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I wanted to represent the city I grew up in and show that beauty lies in everything. Even a rotted abandoned building that has a forest growing on the rooftop. Forest Lawn is present time and Silo City is memories reflecting on a place where we go. A special thank you to my friend Don at DB Media that helped bring this idea to life.”
Catch Öona tomorrow night in the Dnipro Basement Bar for ORIGINS, a party being thrown by Igloo co-founder Paul Kuenzi and Chuck Abbott.