What Xell. is doing
Mr. Xell.'s Expertise // Mr. Xell. plays... // Curriculum Vitae // Philosophy of Comp.

Mr. Xell.'s Expertise
Composition, sound design and live-music for theatre, dance and film
Direction, coaching and conduction of musical performances

Scoring, arranging, and copying music
Artists: music personnel consulting and recruitment service

Management: planning, coordination and conduction of rehearsals, performances, and studio recordings

Supervision: music production management, production supervision
Intermediation: between theatre director/ choreographer/ company/ musical ensemble

Mr.Xell. works e.g. with Dimiter Gotscheff, Sandy Lopicic, Lemi Ponifasio, Fabrizio Cassol, Robert Gerloff, Peter Hailer, Gabriela Gillert, Brit Bartkowiak, Christel Hoffmann, Sascha Hawemann

Mr. Xell. plays the Following Instruments
Oboe, English Horn, Oboe d'amore,
Xaphoone (Bamboo Saxophone), Clarinet

Gaida (Bulgarian Bagpipe),
Recorder (Soprano/ Alto)

Accordion, Piano

Vocals: Rock/ Bulgarian Folk
Electric Guitar

Synthesizer (Programming, Noise, Electronics)

Curriculum Vitae of Mr. Xell.
Alexander Xell Dafov materialized on earth in the summer of 1973 in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and has lived in Germany since 1978. Despite his desire to become a veterinarian or zoo director, he received music lessons, first of all in recorder, piano and oboe. This led to the Stavenhagen Prize of the city of Greiz/Thuringia in 1985 as the best young musician, and further to the admission to the music high school Schloss Belvedere Weimar for gifted children in 1989.

From 1990 he studied oboe with Prof. Axel Schmidt at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Weimar, where he graduated with distinction in 1995 and had been admitted to the master class. This was followed by collaborations with the pianist Sebastian Roth, solo concerts and radio recordings for the S├╝dwestrundfunk and the National Radio Sofia.

Xell.`s interest in music is not only in classical interpretation, but in sound as a language and means of expression. In 1998 he received a composition commission for the ballet performance "Zucht" by Robert Maytas at the Balletthaus Halle.

After moving to Berlin, he worked for several years as a sound designer and producer for the TV channels SAT.1/ PRO7 before Dimiter Gotscheff engaged him for the coproduction "Das Pulverfass" (Deutsches Theater/ Berliner Festspiele). This was followed by several commissions at different theatres.

In 2005 he founded his theatrical progressive rock ensemble Xell and his Schizophonic Orkestar, with whom he released an album in 2010. The record was awarded with a prize by the Federal Ministry of Culture for its original and multicultural idea.

The multi-instrumentalist Xell. works as a freelance stage composer, theatre musician and musical director at the Deutsches Theater Berlin, the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, Centraltheater Leipzig, Staatstheater Oldenburg, Meininger Staatstheater, Theater Dortmund, Schauspielhaus Graz (Austria), HLT Marburg and Schauspielhaus Hannover.

In February 2013 he also received a guest lecturer contract at the University of the Arts in Zurich.

He works with directors such as Dimiter Gotscheff, Sandy Lopicic, Lemi Ponifasio, Brit Bartkowiak, Robert Gerloff, Peter Hailer, Gabriela Gillert, Christel Hoffmann and Sascha Hawemann.
Furthermore his theatre productions also took him to Venice, Belgrade, Oslo and Liechtenstein.

In 2018 Xell. received the coveted audience award of the city of Dortmund for his quote: "...versatile and valuable..." stage music for "Der Kirschgarten" (A.Chekhov) directed by Sascha Hawemann.

Vitae Mr. Xell. download (english)

Xell. - The Compositions
Xell. is daydreaming to write a music that melts all styles he admires. Classical music, metal, Bulgarian folklore does not compose the ordinary singer-songwriter material. His concept adopts the classical idea of establishing an equality of all instruments in which they can move contrapuntally.

Also his mostly instrumental works do not feature a solo artist or singer in the centre. The pieces themselves are the core and to be understood as a wholesome unit. The music is not underlining a story, she is telling it herself. This is expressed mainly by the leading theme and the way it is woven multi-dimensional into the arrangements.

In their projections, Xell.´s compositions are referring to the so-called serious music and seem to be a film score without film. The rare songs have an intermezzo function, a break from the programmatic of the instrumental works. Nevertheless the progressive techniques that Xell. is staging are very present. Therefore the listener receives the impression to attend a significant master plan.

The Bulgarian Xell. who was brought up in Germany is communicating mainly via the atmosphere of his pieces. The content of his sound narrations is meaningful and retractable at the same time. It is a music which is consciously heard, a music with an own vibe, a music that is revealing various feelings without using dull platitudes. However, the center of attention is no social or social critical communicating, no musically regenerating of depressive conditions, no lyric lament over tragical love affairs. The message of multicultural identity meets the listener in a sympathetic way that is purely acoustic. Thus it continues to have a lasting effect as a free thought without boundaries. On the other hand the very few lyrics develop rather coincidental or are abstract artistic buildings. Their poetic aspect is spontaneous and therefore freshly entertaining.

Talking about stylistics, Xell.´s music can be described as a clever construct of progressive metal and Bulgarian-Balkan folkloristic motives written in classical polyphony. This combination has a bold intellectual and musical evolutionary claim, which exerts its effect also, and especially against the background of the genesis of this music, in connection with its deeper message and the ideas that can be found within her.
By simply merging chamber ensemble and metal elements, known Balkan clichés are avoided. Xell. does not build his band concept in a stereotype way, but explores new paths that lead through a cocktail of Western and Eastern European sound tradition. The unconventional instrumentation, using oboe, clarinet, violin on one side - Power Drums, metal guitars and sound effects on the other has a substantial proportion of the character design: delicate, partly folk melody structures change their colors by the collision of distorted rhythms and percussive characteristics.

Xell.´s music has no direct improvisational peculiarity. She is prepared through and through but leaves a fresh and spontaneous impression due to her obstinate form. The ingenious arrangement leads to a music that is neither trapped in herself nor disconcerting.
The pieces leave a feeling of a somehow cinematic and theatrical scenario that captures the audience. It lies within the listener, his own degree of folly, to create a contact to the music. This works after a short while with a good sense of humor, sound, metaphysical nature, compositional technique or the simple urge to move.

The overall direction and the image of Xell.´s musical side is not to be confounded with the imported, romantically transfigured Roma character. Whenever you believe that everything has been heard before he breaks from beyond the jungle of musical commonplace, Easter European wedding soundtracks and Balkan DJ party excess. Xell. shows in an impressive way that even folkloristicly motivated music has no boundaries and cannot be reduced to clichés. It has to move further than the closest bulgarian McDonald´s. Underneath his metallic sound volcano boils unfailingly a mystic idea. The idea to weave traditions together. And besides, he is no Roma.

To which conclusion does all this lead in the end? Xell.´s music is a necessary multicultural concept that offers a strong alternative potential that is contrasting with self-confidence and despite or perhaps because of its complex structure becomes a unique and entertaining example of artistic ambition and commercial functionality.