Viktor Krauss, bassist/composer, was born in Champaign, Illinois on October 10, 1969. He grew up listening to movie soundtracks and predominantly instrumental music. As a toddler, Viktor's favorite record was "The Winter Consort" by Paul Winter. His first record purchase, at age 9, was John William's 1977 "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," which propelled his lifelong interest
in program music.
At the age of five, Viktor was encouraged by his parents to pursue an instrument and he chose piano, then adding trumpet in the fourth grade. After attending a middle school concert, Viktor became inspired by the double-bass due to its ominous quality both sonically and visually. At this time Viktor had found his truest friend in the music world. Quickly realizing that the bass was generally needed in any form of music, Viktor became interested in music idioms that would advance him as a player outside of the school orchestras. He started playing with local jazz groups as well as occasionally accompanying his sister, Alison, at fiddle competitions.
A friend approached Viktor during his sophomore year of high school with plans for forming a rock band. What followed was the spark that kindled Viktor's thrill for rock and R&B and he became enthralled with groups like the Police, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and, most significantly, Led Zeppelin. At this point, Viktor wrote
voraciously with pop and rock
sensibilities in mind.
Starting in bass performance, Viktor studied at the University of Illinois. Finding creative avenues to be more rewarding, he completed his degree in music composition, with an emphasis on electronic and tape music, and minored in voice (at age 11, Viktor sang in university productions, including the role of Amahl in Menotti's opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" in 1981). University pieces included a work for bowed Fender bass, delay/echo and voice; and a 12-tone "serial" work for twelve string electric guitar. While in college, Viktor, along with Sean Smith (co-writer on two selections on "Far From Enough") formed the Zappa-esque rock band, "Difficult Listening," which played university venues as well as listening rooms in Wisconsin from 1989 - 1992. Soon after college, in 1992-1993, Viktor toured and recorded with Peter Rowan and the Free Mexican Air Force which supported Americana venues such as Mountain Stage and Prairie
Beginning in 1994, Viktor's recordings and tours with Lyle Lovett have spanned almost a decade. The recordings include "Step Inside This House," "Songs From the Movies," "Live in Texas," and selections from "Anthology, Volume I." Lovett's 2003 release "My Baby Don't Tolerate," again features Viktor as bassist, and adds him as co-writer on "You Were Always There." Viktor, along with Lovett, and Matt Rollings (Nashville pianist and producer) collaborated on the score for the
2000 Robert Altman film, "Dr. T.
and the Women."
In 1995, Viktor joined Nonesuch recording artist, Bill Frisell, to record "Nashville," which included Robin Holcombe, Jerry Douglas, Ron Block and Adam Steffy. Viktor also joined Bill on the recordings, "Gone, Just Like a Train" (a trio album with Jim Keltner), "Good Dog, Happy Man" (with Jim Keltner, Wayne Hurwitz, Greg Liesz and guest Ry Cooder), and "The Sweetest Punch" (songs written by Elvis Costello and Burt Bachrach - arranged by Frisell).
Viktor recorded several selections for Alison Krauss's, 1999 solo album, "Forget About It" and also on her 1994 record with the Cox family, "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow." For the 1996 movie "Twister," Viktor co-wrote and co-produced "Moments Like This" with Michael McDonald for their performance. Jerry Douglas's "Restless on the Farm" included Viktor on bass, as well as his record, "Lookout for Hope."
In 2000, Viktor recorded on Graham Nash's "Songs for Survivors," a Russ Kunkel and Nathaniel Kunkel production. In August of 2003, Viktor recorded with John Fogerty for an upcoming release.
Additional recordings include artists Eric Benet, Michael McDonald, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nicole C. Mullen, Martin Taylor, Natalie McMaster, Michael Johnson, David Mead, Acoustic Alchemy, Maura O'Connell and Gabriela. Viktor's live performances include Jewel, Larry Carlton, the Rankins, Shelby Lynne and the Chieftains.
Viktor has produced two albums for rock singer-songwriter Jason White: 2000's "Shades of Gray" and 2003's "Tonight's
Far From Enough is a soundtrack without the movie. This recording covers a vast spectrum of music that Viktor has enjoyed listening to and writing over time. There are mood pieces such as "Overcast," more cinematic works such as "Side Street" and "Split Window," as well as elements of hard rock in "Grit Lap," "Here to Be Me," and the AC/DC influenced "Tended." Much of the music was written with each of the players in mind, particularly in regard to their individual musical personalities. "Far From Enough" is Viktor Krauss's first recording with Nonesuch Records.
Viktor is an avid collector of pedals, vintage
electronic musical equipment
and Tonka VWs.
Those who know Viktor Krauss from his work with Lyle Lovett, Bill Frisell, Jerry Douglas, and scores of others will be delighted with the eclectic range on his new recording called: II. With a remarkable 2004 solo debut, Far From Enough (Nonesuch), and touring credits which include: Carly Simon, Elvis Costello, John Fogerty, Emmylou Harris, Graham Nash, Chet Atkins, the Chieftains, and Jewel, Viktor Krauss's immense abilities are well evident
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