RavenzCraft Arts Presents
Interview talk with Runahild
Runahild is a very talented musical artist from Hordaland, Norway, she describes her musical style as "Ethereal Heathen"
We are very Honored and Excited to have this Interview talk with runahild, she has become one of our favorite "heathen folk" musical artists as of late, and has really shown us that she really has much to offer us with her amazing musical talents and knowledge of how to incorporate and preserve the old and traditional ways.
Below are a few questions we got to ask her about her life and inspiration behind her music...
1.]The first question I have for you for the people who may not already know, Where are you from and what genre of music would you most classify yourself as?
I am currently living in an organic mountain farm in Hordaland, Norway. I was born and raised in a small village in the french countryside and moved to Norway in 2010. I came to Norway via the organization WWOOF (world wide opportunity on organic farming). I met Bjørn who owns the farm I chose to travel to and with whom I felt quite instantly a strong connection on spiritual, intellectual and not least musical level and we shared a similar philosophy of life, so what was first planned as a 3 weeks life experience became my new home.
I define my music as Ethereal Heathen Folk.
After the last Eliwagar release "I Vølven's Vev" in 2016, I felt that the project naturally came to an end for me, although I decided to just state it was on hold rather than ended forever.
I felt that the energies that gave birth to Eliwagar no longer were my main source of inspiration. I feel Eliwagar has been more like the expression of the past, while now I am in need to express the present. When I started my music journey, I was very inspired by the viking era, very fast I needed to go much further back in time before the time of chaos and war that surrounded the viking age and felt home in the mythical land of Hyperborea which was known as the peaceful land beyond the northern wind where people were living off the land, were known as being spiritual and in harmony with the earth and the sky. For me, letting my spirit wander through this ancient landscape gave me peace of mind as I have always struggled feeling home in this today's world which to me is self destructive and disconnected from mother earth, from ourselves and our true inner nature.
I think this spiritual wealth from the past is not meant to be dwelled in in the shadows of what is long gone but to be brought into the present to weave a brighter future based on where we are now, bringing back the ancient wisdom into the world as it has become. It is only in the present we have the power of creation. The past is like our roots which nurture us in order to birth ourselves to life and the life force is like the golden sap of trees returning to the darkness and to the roots in the winter only to rise back into the tree and bring life once more in the spring.
So, my solo project is more about expressing the beauty of the world we are living in now as I experience and witness it with memories from the past feeding hopes for the future. It is not too late, it is not all dark, there is always hope as long as there is life!
3.So if you dont mind I would like to ask you about your Spiritual "Path" or "Following" I myself am very interested in the Norse and Scandinavian History and Folklore and the "Old ways",,,Do you have a specific following or tradition you follow? If so, do you believe it helps you to be more creative, and have a positive effect on your life?
I am as well very interested in the Norse folklore and mythology, but if I should name my spiritual path I would rather simply call it "seidr". Seidr is like an old Norse form of shamanism or Norse witchcraft. It is about the connection between the worlds, between the seen and unseen, between the world of living and world of souls... seeking and wandering through the interwoven web connecting us all to all that once was,is and should be... as everything is a part of the wholeness of the universe. That's at least how I would describe it in a few words.
And to answer the second part of the question... well, I have now used the word "seidr" in the titles of my 2 first albums, so yes, it definitely is what is giving me my source of inspiration first and foremost. I have said to a dear friend of mine that my music is like the top of an iceberg, the visible (well in this case audible) part of a deeper journey that remains unveiled. And I think that rather than saying that it has a positive effect on my life, it simply is my life.
4.My next question is, who did you listen to when you were younger, your favorite musical artist? any artists that really inspired you to become what you are today?Also who do you currently listen to now?
I think when it comes to artist, the one that I will always mention first is Falkenbach as it is through this music that I got introduced to the Norse mythology back in 2005 and it was very instant how I felt home right away. I have always been inclined to witchcraft since a child and later heathenism and the Norse spirit gave me roots. It was a strong moment in my life, coming from a dark place where I wasn't quite sure whether there would be any tomorrow to actually finding myself and opening myself to my own inner energy.
The other band that I would mention is Faun with their early album "Licht" because it opened my musical journey to folk music. First time I heard the song "Unda", I just felt these energies of a circle of women around a fire celebrating life and magic rituals to hail the earth and the sky... that vision and the deep energy that arose within me opened my path further and that was when I created Eliwagar.
The third band is Wardruna for introducing me to the Hardanger fiddle.
Back then I was camping around or staying at youth hotels in the mountains both in Schwarzwald (Germany) and Vosges (France) as I didn't have a job anymore and needed to get closer to nature. With a friend of mine, we listened to this music and I felt this strong call that I needed to play the Hardanger fiddle one day... it is then I took the decision to finally make the step to come to Norway and be a part of the life in the north close to nature by working on a farm, which combined both dreams of being in Norway and learning how to live off the land... and I spent the rest of my little money saving in buying myself my Hardanger fiddle within the 3 first weeks of my stay.
Now, I am listening a lot to Eivør, she is simply incredible and her talent goes beyond words. Then it depends a lot of my mood. I listen mostly to artists like Sigur Ros, Solstafir, Arstidir, Hammock, Hindarfjäll or Nebelhexe/Hagalaz Runedance among others.
5.Is there anyone you would really like to collaborate with or create a project with in the future?
Back in august, I was a guest singer/drummer for Folket Bortafor Nordavinden at Midgardsblot Festival and it was truly an amazing experience which was all about freeing the energies. We never actually played or rehearsed together before the performance, we just jumped in the situation, drummed and sang and it all came out powerful. I got some songs sent to me a few days before the concert, but of course the songs turned out very different live as it was all about improvisation and channeling energies. I am very thankful they trusted me and asked me to join and hopefully we may do more of such live collaboration in the future. I am also now very much looking forward to the new collaboration with Chris Welsh (Sun and Moon Dance) thanks to you at Ravenzcraft Arts! But else, if there is one artist I can think of would be Eivør, it would be interesting to just play hand drum with her and improvise some singing and see where that could lead.
6.If you could go Any Place in the world, where would love to perform at or travel to?
When it comes to places where to perform, it is really difficult to say that there is any place I would prefer over an other... wherever my music may be welcome is really what matters. When it comes to travel just for the sake of traveling, I must say I can never get enough of traveling through Norway, but if there is other places I haven't been to yet and would love to go to, I would say Canada as I happen to have ancestry from there from my grand father side who was Canadian. Of course if that could be combined with a concert it would be wonderful!
7.That leads me to my next question,,Do you have any other Hobbies or Interest you want to share with us?
I love spinning wool, knitting and creating. I love handcraft and all that can be related to creativity. I live quite retired in the nature as I need a huge amount of alone time and peace and I need to experience nature and the constant shifting of atmospheres. That is surely my greatest interest, to simply dive as deep and intensely as possible into the energies of nature. But I also love travelling and discovering new landscapes which leads me to one of my next passion after music which is nature photography. This passion blends with the music as I use my photography to illustrate the music. On the social side of life, I love joining in drum circles and drum journeys which can be strong source of inspiration. In a way, everything I do is kind of interwoven together, what I do and experience in life is being expressed into music and the music I do inspires me in my other activities.
8.So from your experiences so far, how do you feel about your career as an artist? what have you learned from this journey so far?
After over 10 years of composing music, what matters most to me is the expression of energies and feeling rather than the quality of production and sound. Sometimes I have a hard time considering myself a musician as I don't have super technical skills playing my instruments and I hardly rehearse outside form my moments of inspiration. I guess it is just my choice to keep myself to a level where I can still compose in all simplicity so my heart and soul are the channel of my inspiration instead of my mind and the intellectual part which may tend to analyse the music instead of feeling it.
I use music and sound as a kind of self healing therapy. I get comments sometimes that I create so much music all the time and I guess my answer to that is that it's been my way to live life, to pour my emotions into music and poetry. But it is also my best way of communicating as I can sometimes really live close to a hermit life but in the same time I have the strong desire to share my vision of the world. If in any way my music can help in reconnecting with nature or can give something good to others, then that's all I can dream of when sharing it.
9.So we know you have the new Album/Project Seidrúnar coming out Soon,
can you share anything about it or a bit of a backstory of what it is about?
Seidrúnar means "Secrets of Seidr" or if I should try to translate the word seidr as well "Secrets of Norse Witchcraft". It is the following of the previous album Seidgaldr. Seidgaldr was generally representing a journey to the underworld and into the darkness to find the inner light and heal the inner wounds. Seidrúnar is about coming to the depth of the soul after this long journey through the mist, coming to the well of fate where the Norns are weaving the fate of all that is and seeing how everything is connected to everything and how it is all intertwined together. It is like seeking the way at the heart of the mysteries of the universe... While Seidgaldr is an inward journey, Seidrúnar is about coming to the innermost self and seeing it mirroring the outside worlds and the ride goes now outward to the stars and beyond...
The root inspiration of the album comes from a strong sisterhood meeting in Northern Norway back in february 2017. The ceremonies we've made together took me on the path I've been following since which has inspired me the words and music I composed. It has also been an introduction to the crystal singing bowls which I have been using on some songs.
I would rather wish the listener to dive into their own free journey instead of using mine as a frame, which is why I am not sharing the words/lyrics I speak or sing this time. But I don't mind sharing my experiences if anyone would ask and be interested to hear more when it comes to a particular song(s).
10.So this last question is Open to you, Is there anything you would like to say or share with your fans and followers? any words of Inspiration or Encouragement to upcoming creators and artists out there like yourself?
The best reward you can get is when you hear that the music/art you share has touched someone else's soul or may mean something special to them. Even if you inspire just a single person, you have given your gift and it has been received exactly by who needed it! Success is not about how many fans you have or how many CDs you sell, success is about what your art means to others and how it touches them.
I am very thankful to all the wonderful people who have been with me on this journey so far, I am so honored by all the support!
Special Thank You to Runahild for taking the time to talk with us and answer our questions...It is a very cool thing to be able to meet and talk with you being so far away...
Be on the look out for the New Album release of Seidrunar
And a Special Collaborative Project Music Video with Chris Welsh of Sun and Moon Dance!
Follow and Support Runahild and her music at these links below, Thank you all the readers out there! Remember to click the Follow button to subscribe to our blog for new posts and special updates.
Here is a short intro video we created for Runahild