Wirdarne from Sweden is an example of the poetic beauty still dwelling in the deep forests, overshadowed by left wing plastic fake culture. The music reminds me of Waterboys old version of ”The Stolen Child”, and my thoughts go to the Swedish metal band Therion and their combination of darkness and awe. I almost get that familiar paganistic feeling when I listen to the track ”Silent Light” from the album The Smålandian Forests, and I want to go out into the wild and search for the trolls and goblins that roamed this land centuries ago. There is something primordial that links me to the old indo-european creation myths when I hear the music, something I might as well call ”sacred” or ”holy”, that dates back to eras long before the birth of written language.
The only time the word progressive has any good meaning to me is when it comes to progressive rock, even though I prefer the term ”art rock”, and Wirdarne could without no doubt be a favorite among lovers of Asia, Arena, Yes and so forth. The only exception is that when art rock often gets stuck in ten minute long instrumental dead ends, Wirdarne keeps the songs short and focused. The vocals also stick to my mind and I love the drum work on many songs, such as the dystopian ”Europe is Kaput” from Songs of Light and Darkness. The musical expertise of Wirdarne is also shown in the use of piano to create both harmony and disharmony, and I have nothing but respect for the poetic up-yours attitude of this Swedish artist. Some of the songs contain poems read intensely and thoughtfully, and in a time when music success is measured in how gender-neutral and greasy a singer can be, it’s wonderful to hear an artist that knows how to use his deep voice for both singing and reading. It’s called integrity.
From the deep forests to the high skies, Wirdarne takes us to places where I thought nobody travelled anymore. The romantic, dramatic, theatrical landscape painted in ”Poet in Vain” from album The Place of Old makes me think I am dreaming. An unusual combination of poetry, death metal and vulnerability drags me into his mind. And I don’t want to leave the enchanted forests of the Swedish province of Småland, populated by virdarne, a hard-working people who fought against both the Danes AND the Swedes in ancient days to keep their independence. Småland is still a province of mystery and folklore, and I think Wirdarne is honoring this legacy better than anyone I have heard before.
This leads me to the most important word of all: honesty. The music is like a manifesto saying ”I don’t care what you think, I’m still following my heart” and all honor to that. For me, as a poet, Wirdarne sends us all a message. A message of beauty. Just listen, relax and close your eyes. It’s pure magic.
Art rox not dead. They just call it neo-folk these days.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU START CREATING MUSIC?
In my teens. Among other things I created music as a soundtrack to a fantasy-story which I wrote on back then. I listened a lot to the slow and melancholic parts of Irish folk-music, film-scores, Empyrium, David Arkenstone, etc., and that led me into discovering the romantic era in classical music – first Grieg and Vaughan Williams, and later my favourite romanticist of all: Max Bruch. During this time my own songs were very mixed, they sounded like everything from neofolk, electronica, to metal, film-music, etc, but with time it has more and more come to stay within the realm of some poetic neofolk-music. To be speculative, I think Koiji Kondo's beautiful music for ”The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” should also be mentioned as perhaps the earliest inspiration for me, before I even started to create my own music. The game made an enourmous impression on me when I played it as a 13 or 14 year old boy. I consider “Ocarina of Time” to be the best video-game I ever played.
1. IF YOU COULD BOIL DOWN YOUR MUSIC INTO THREE WORDS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Beauty, romanticism, and ”hjärtats tankeflykt” (a direct translation to english would be ”the heart's thought-escape”).
2. IF YOU COULD PICK YOUR FAVORITE SONG FROM YOUR ALBUMS, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
Lamentations from ”The Smålandian forests”, because it was written in the time it was written in.
3. HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO REACH OUT WITH YOUR MUSIC?
I don't manage. But I hope for the future.
4. WHAT FUTURE PROJECTS CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO?
Hopefully I will release the fifth album next year.
5. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON R3C AND HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF WITHIN THIS BROAD MUSIC MOVEMENT?
Ingmar Bergman said something like that music bypasses the intellect and goes directly on the emotions. I think people need to listen to music which softens the heart, instead of the opposite. Beauty is often painful, sometimes it can be revolutionary – but we can't live without it.
I am deeply in love with art, and intense expressions of beauty, therefore I aim to write poetry for our time. I don't know if that makes me part of any current movement. I think no one really knows what their moves or movements really end up in. I try stick to my muse and neglect external aims as much as I can.
6. HEART OR BRAIN?
Our time separates them, but in reality they belong together.
7. PRECISION OR ENERGY?
8. ELECTRIC OR ACOUSTIC?
9. LIVE OR STUDIO?
I don't know.
10. SOLITARY OR SOCIAL?
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