Ravenzcraft Arts Interviews
This is a short Promotional Intro We put together featuring a song from his latest musical project
Sun and Moon Dance-Heima
here is a link to his website
Just want to thank and welcome Chris Welsh
to RavenzCraft Arts we appreciate you talking with us and sharing a little bit more into your life and experiences with Music
So first off, Can you share and tell us a little bit about your backround and where your from?
When was it that you first started practicing music? Wasthere anyone in particular who pushed or inspired you to be involved in music?
history of music. Ive been involved with music in some form or another since I was a child. I started off playing air guitar and singing badly to my grandmother. When I was in middle school, I was involved with band where I played the Clarinet and the French Horn. I stopped playing music for a while after middle school because I became too shy
to play in front of people. Around the age of 17 I got really inspired
by a couple Metal vocalists and I made it my mission to learn to sing.
Those vocalists being Jari Mäenpää of Wintersun and Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis. I actually did not get serious about another instrument besides doing vocals until about 3 years ago. I think that was mostly because I had no one around to play music with.
I wanted to ask, is their anyone that you are a really big fan of? anyone you are inspired by musically? like any favorites from your past and present that you look up to?
There are way too many music groups that I’m a fan of and they spread
through many different genres of music. As far as someone inspiring me
musically, there is one man that will always come to my mind and that
is Einar Selvik from Wardruna. When I first heard Wardruna, I knew I
had to find and play these old instruments. Einars music impacted me
on a very deep level. It was from his music that I also became curious
of the Runes. The secrets behind them fascinated me and that
fascination eventually led to my spiritual practice which ill talk
about in the next question.
Another musician im greatly inspired by and who is a dear friend of
mine is Brenda Dahl (Runa Hild) of Eliwagar. Her honesty and sincerity
in her music has always been a huge inspiration to me. What inspires
me most about Runa Hild is that she actually lives out her spiritual
practice in her everyday life through her lifestyle. Its not just
something she does, its something she lives and breathes.. Her
lifestyle bleeds into her music and you can feel those energies ever
present in her music. That is exactly what I wanted with my music. I
want my entire existence to be my ritual and I want to be surrounded
by all of those energies that inspire me.
Another person I have to give recognition to for influencing me
musically is my brother Elan O’Neal who pushed me to start composing
music of my own.
So just wondering do you have a certain spiritual following or
practice? and if so do you think inspires your creativity? What drives
you to create?
My spiritual practice is the backbone of my music. The Gods and
Goddesses as well as the Vaettir that live in my home are very
influential in my music. My practice is based around the
Norse/Germanic spirituality but I also have a deep connection with the Native American spirits as I live in an area where those energies are very much present all the time. I would say nature as a whole is also the backbone of my music as well. My spiritual practice and nature go hand in hand. When I say nature, I dont just mean trees and animals. Im talking about the ever-turning wheel of life, death and rebirth. We see this cycle with everything including the Gods.
Another inspiration comes from my lifestyle. I want to be surrounded by these spirits and energy constantly so I chose the farming and homesteading lifestyle so I could be closer to them. My work is part of my ritual just as my music is. The area I chose to make my home, which is deep in the Appalachian Mountains, surrounds me with pure
energy that is mostly untouched by civilization. I dont have the
constant sound of vehicles or sound pollution in general. I just want to hear the birds, the creeks and the mountains talking to me.
These are all things that drive me to create but I want my music to
tell these stories and inspire others to live their ritual every day.
Telling these stories and keeping the memories of people past and
present who deserve to be remembered drives me to do what I do.
The Skaldic path was solidified for me when I lost someone I loved very much to cancer. In the week after she died, I wrote the album “Songs of the Sun” as a way to tell her story. I want to tell the stories of old but I want to create new ones as we are not living in the past but moving forward and weaving our fate minute by minute. Instead of just telling the stories of what the Gods and Goddesses have done in the
past, Im telling my experiences and what they are doing now.
Do you have any plans or future events for your music? and do you have any special expectation or goals for your music? like what are you pushing for?
I want to start playing local shows on occasion. I play little shows
for families who stay on the farm I live/work at. That is about the
extent of my live performances thus far. My expectations for my music
goes to me as a person as well seeing as my music is an extension of myself. That is to be as honest as I possibly can to create the most sincere music I can. I want my music to heal and inspire people like others have done to me.
I do have an idea in my head thats been floating around recently. Im not quite sure how im going to go about it yet but its something id really like to do. The idea ive temporarily called "The Einherjer
Project." Many old stories were told of heroes who fell in battle. I
want to create new stories of Heathen warriors who have died in combat and collect the stories from friends, comrades and family so that their names can live on through poetry and music.
So your music is amazing, what pulled you towards the harmonic lyre type of style of playing?
Thank you very much. That means a lot. Well… the Kraviklyre is only one of the many instruments I play. I tend to like to showcase
individual instruments sometimes. Thats what happened with my new album “Heima.” I chose to tell that story through the voice of the Lyre because of its peaceful and melodic sound. Different instruments have different voices and for this album it felt like the instrument that should be used. Different albums are going to have different instruments depending on the atmosphere I want to create and story I want to tell.
So have you done any collaborations or would you be open to working with other artists ,?
I have and Ive already done it. The first song I ever recorded was a
song called “Hymne til Freyja” and Runa Hild of Eliwagar accompanied the song with the Hardingfele. I would love to do more music with her in the future as well as other artists who share the same ideas as do. There are already some planned collaborations for the future but I cant really talk about those for the time being.
What do you think about working with RavenzCraft Arts on some future projects? I have a great Gods of the Norse series in the making and your music would be perfect for collaboration for an episode or two, What do you think?
Im very excited to be working with RavenzCraft. I really like your
mission statement and would love to be involved anyway I can as my time allows. My music is created in honor of those Gods and those spirits so I do agree that my music would be a good fit for your projects. I look forward to see what you have in store.
So if given the chance who would be your dream collaboration
musically ? who would you really want to make music with?
Well… id love to sit down and play music with Einar Selvik. I guess
thats the closest thing to a dream collaboration as I can get. I just
love playing with whoever I can because you never know what kind of ideas are going to spring forth.
So this last question is open for you, Do you have any advice or words of encouragement that you could say to an upcoming artist finding trouble and hardship in the first steps of their music career?
Hmmm. My advice for a new musician would be to play what you love no matter what anyone says. Be true to yourself and your music and you cannot go wrong.
So Do you think what RavenzCraft Arts is doing is a good thing? what made you want to get involved ?
I think RavenzCraft is doing a great thing. Promoting new artists and giving encouragement to the upcoming ones is a worthy cause. Some people dont know where to start and having others who are just getting started to get advice from can help tremendously.
It was an honor to talk with you and discover your music, it is a great thing and one of the many perks of doing projects like this is to discover great talent you never knew about, and we are excited to promote and share your work!
Thank you and we look forward to hearing more of your amazing music
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