Saturday, January 18, 2014

Old Forgotten Lands Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the project since the recording of the new album?
Since completing the new album, I have attempted to take a step back to further examine the musical direction I wanted to take. This has been a gradual process between each album and I wish for it to evolve naturally and fluently. This has meant seeking out new musical instruments and seeing which of them strikes a chord with me, personally.
2.According to the fb page you have a new mini album coming out, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction it has taken and also how does it differ from your past recordings?
I do! Essentially, I would not know what I would call it - not an EP, but not a full length - so I would just call it a short album of personal musical elaboration. It is actually a collection of short pieces themed around Homer's "Odyssey". It differs quite a bit to my previous recordings, as it is mostly performed on a replica of an ancient lyre, has very strange time signatures, and is the first of my material to be derived from literary themes. My music usually does not even have much of a 'human' element in the concepts, but I thought this to be a natural progression. It won't be the most polished and professional of releases, but I feel as if it carries the theme effectively and is enjoyable.
3.What are some of the themes and concepts you bring out with your music?
My albums touch on various subjects, but the recurring theme which has stayed consistent is the admiration of nature, and of the pursuit of a primitive spirit. I often envy the beasts of the field which live for nothing other than their own survival - it is a life which would not be taken for granted, and a life of purity. I personally feel it is very important, and even cathartic, for me to take a step outside of the claustrophobic urban existence when writing for this project.
4.What id the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Old Forgotten Lands'?
'Old Forgotten Lands' is very straightforward - it is meant to just be a reminder of forgotten places. It is easy to be overwhelmed as a human being when one looks out into an urban environment, where even the trees are stacked neatly next to each other. My music is a way for me to conjure thoughts and images of the harsh, unruly, and spectacular wilderness which exists beyond human comfort zones - and I try to convey that we really should step outside of said comfort zones and examine our connectivity to such places.
5.You have also recorded albums under other names as well as a solo album, but would you say this is your main project?
I have had dozens of other bands or projects, yes, but I try not to focus on one project over another. I have a multitude of differing musical expressions to release, none of which are more important than the other. It would literally be like prioritizing joy over pensiveness, both of which I hold in the same level of esteem. However, I will say that Old Forgotten Lands has been the most successful project in terms of distribution, and it remains to be the oldest project I have - nearing seven years of an anniversary this coming summer.
6.For the most part you work solos with your music but on the fb page it says session musicians may vary, do you prefer working solos or with other people?
It depends on the situation. I often have to humble myself and realize I am not the most proficient musician with stringed instruments or brass. Therefore, if I cannot properly convey a certain sound, I summon my kindred friends to assist. On the 'Primal' album, I had many appearances from some of the most special people in my life, so it naturally felt as if they contributed to the music. I have never searched for any 'session' musicians... I only work with close friends. But yes - the primary goal of this project is to spread only my ideas, so it will always be a solo endeavor. There was one project which hosts a strong connectivity to Old Forgotten Lands, which involved me and several friends recording free-form folk music in outdoor environments. If one should be interested in this, it is called the Primal Collective, and there is a released double-CD available.
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of dark ambient?
I must say I have been rather surprised. Within the origins of this project it was not a very technically-proficient endeavor at all... I simply made my sounds and felt I would share it with friends. The fact that I sometimes wake up to find reviews from places like California, Italy, Germany, or Russia is a surreal experience. I feel as if my music spreads a message which can be understood by people in all regions of the world, but I had never expected it to strike a cord with as many people as it does. For that, I am truly thankful.
8.Can you tell us a little bit more about the other musical projects that you have worked with?
Most of my other projects dabble in genres such as metal, or electronic, or the like. Currently I am aiming to work in the circuits of film scores or the neoclassical environment. I am very much interested in the two concepts of scoring film, and in recreating antiquated music. In the latter example, I will likely need to find others willing to help - I still consider myself a 'work in progress' when it comes to the subject.
9.Where do you see your music heading into during the future?
More full-circle, I hope, in terms of the history of music itself. The beginnings of this project were rooted in using very modern equipment as a means to exalt an ancient idea. Now I wish to pair and match that ancient idea with more ancient instrumentation. Furthermore, I only aim to enhance the atmosphere. Atmosphere is everything, no matter what is going on in a song.
10.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
There have been many... artists such as Ataraxia and Daemonia Nymphe have been challenging me to have patience in my own music, as theirs seem to be very well-orchestrated and evocative. The initial influences remain - the Wongraven album, some other similar minimalist projects. Above all, though - ambient music is my oldest musical love. Be it Brian Eno, or Harold Budd, or the like - I have always felt attached to the idea of having an atmospheric soundtrack to awe and wonder, and pensiveness. I hope to attain the power to compose such ethereal sounds in my future.
11.Do you have any non musical interests?
Absolutely, yet somehow or another my interests seem to intersect into my musical influence, be it for this project or another. I love reading of history and archaeology, and traveling to places so as to put 'the faces to the names', so to speak, of the subject matter. I am interested heavily in the fine arts - 19th Century impressionism/post-impressionism - and find much kinship with those of the Romanticism movement. Beyond that, one can usually find me just having a drink and having good conversation with good folk.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Certainly. Above all other expressions I have made, I wish to extend my deepest gratitude toward anyone who has ever supported this project. I consider each individual who finds anything meaningful in this music to be a kindred soul, and I hope to convey that I do not take that for granted at all. I do hope to continue to share this project with more and more people.

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