Adrian (Jadran) Vatovec from Adelaide and his love of music

Every year, the City of Adelaide organises a Christmas Pageant which has grown over the 80 year period to be enjoyed by some 400,000 people.

The Christmas Pageant song used for this occasion was written by Adrian Vatovec
as the lead song of the 1995 Adelaide Christmas Pageant. The song has been used ever since.

The Slovenian took this opportunity to ask Adrian who is also the author of the Slovenia Australia Channel on YouTube and one of the editors of the Slovenia South Australia newsletter a few questions.

When did your parents settle in Adelaide?

My parents settled in Adelaide in 1955. My parents were married in Trieste in 1954 after fleeing across the Slovenian border. My father arrived from the refugee camp in Trieste to Perth in 1954. He worked in the timber mill in Northam which is about 97 km north-east of Perth. My mother arrived later in 1954 and was sent to Bonegilla, Victoria. She gave birth to me in January 1955 at Bonegilla, alone in a Nissen hut. Coming from the extreme ends of the Australian continent my parents met in the middle and called Adelaide home.

What are your main achievements as a musician?

I don't really think that I have achieved that much and I am constantly searching. I am a life long student of music and it constantly surprises me. I like writing and producing music and I like most genres of music whether it is tonal or atonal, from pop/rock to heavy metal, industrial, jazz, classical and of course Slovenian folk music. I have a need to explore all genres of music and not to be confined to one style only.

Why do you work in marketing research rather than creating music full time?

To work full time creating music is a very difficult task in Australia. A lot of people migrate either to Europe or the United States where the market is much larger to be able to sustain a living out of making music. Additionally, with the internet and pirate downloading musicians are not making money through CD sales but by touring.

I worked at Mitsubishi Motors Australia in the marketing/research department for 20 years and I enjoy doing it because conducting research is a creative process and it compliments songwriting.

It was frustrating to have a regular day job because music melodies kept popping up in my head. At Mitsubishi we had a canteen and on the stage behind a curtain was a piano and I would run to this piano from my office and scribble down on a piece of paper the notes that were circling in my head. I now work from my home office and the piano is in the next room, so the songwriting process is a bit easier.

What does music mean to you?

To me music means that everything is possible. You can start with a blank sheet of paper and half an hour later it could be filled with a song. To me, that is just like magic. You know when the magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat and everyone is in awe of how this happened. I am in awe of music in the same way.

Music is such a powerful emotive force that it can cause a whole range of human responses either in one person or a stadium full of people.

Everyone travels the timeline and music plays a major part as the soundtrack to that timeline. Certain markers along the way are posted by a song and I think everyone can relate to this.

I am looking ahead and can't wait to get up in the morning to see what the day will bring.

You can watch the Christmas Pageant song video by Adrian Vatovec on YouTube


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