Bjorn Lynne: Wizards of the winds

DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean


With the release of "The Gods Awaken" Bjorn Lynne finished his project, to produce a CD-trilogy based on the novel "Wizard Of The Winds", written by Allan Cole. Bjorn was so kind to answer some questions for an DURP-interview.

Please tell me something about your person, your history as artist!

I was born and grew up in Norway. My first memories concerning music was that my dad was a big music fan and listened to all the 70's stuff like ELO, David Bowie, Rush, Genesis, Pink Floyd etc. I became a "fan" even before I understood a word of English, and I used to sit on the floor for hours, just playing ELO records. I think, even now, ELO albums such as "Eldorado" and "On the Third Day" are one of the most important influences for me. As I
grew up I started to write my own music as a hobby. Then, as a part-time job. And now I do it full time. In 1995 I moved from Norway to England, I have lived here in England since then (over 6 years now). I play keyboards, guitar and bass, although I'm not really superb on any instrument. I'm more of an all rounder, rather than a virtouso on any particular instrument. I probably spend more time composing music, than playing instruments.

How the idea was born to create a 3 CD concept album based on a fantasy novel?

This whole project started more than 5 years ago. I was a big fan of fantasy novels, and after reading the novel "Wizard of the Winds", I felt really inspired to write some music for some of the characters and scenes from the book. After a while, I contacted the author of the book, Allan Cole. He listened to the music and immediately loved it, so from then on, we constantly kept in touch over the next 5 years, while I was working on this. I started working on the music for the first part of the trilogy in 1996. And I released the third and final CD, in 2001. However, it's important to point out that the music isn't *that* closely tied to the book, and first and foremost, the albums are simply normal albums of instrumental sympho-rock, slightly fantasy/medieval sounding.

Why did you involve so many artists?

Over the years as an independent musicians, I have got in touch with a lot of other musicians, some of whom I have grown to admire and respect. We share unreleased and in-progress music, and often help each other out by playing on each others albums. So on my latest CD "The Gods Awaken" I wanted to invite all of them to play a small part on my CD. I also feel that it gives the album a few fresh twists and a more varied and exciting sound, to have many musicians involved in small parts of the album. I also appear as a guest musician on some of the other musicians' albums - for example, I will be playing some guitar on the new (coming) Glass Hammer album.

How does the cooperation work out fine? (scheduling, managing, etc)

The whole recording went on over several months, so I wasn't tied to any particular day for recording each artist. So this was not a real problem.

Why did you move from Cyclops to Proximity?

Cyclops was great for me, and I have nothing but good things to say about Cyclops and Malcolm Parker, who runs it. But after many years, it is wise to try to find some new avenues, reach some new people, try some new promotion techniques. I knew about Steven McCabe who runs the Proximity label, and I knew that he's the kind of guy who will work his socks off to promote his label and the music released on it. He's the type of person who will sit up ALL night just for the possibility to sell 3 extra CDs. And that's exactly the type of person you need to push progressive rock and all independent music these days.

Do you think Fantasy fits your kind of music best?

Actually, many fans who have contacted me through my web site have been asking me to do another "space rock" album like I did in 1997 with "The Void" (my first release on Cyclops). This spacey, half-electronic, half-progressive, sci-fi inspired music seems to have hit the bulls eye with many people, and I think it's my most popular album so far. But yes, the fantasy / medieval style is something that I enjoy doing. I always try to work with music that I myself would have enjoyed, and I try to make CDs that I personally would have purchased. I have done sci-fi inspired space-rock albums, and I have done medieval inspired fantasy-rock albums, and enjoyed them both. So who knows what I'll do next time.

How would you like to develop in the future? Do you think about changing your style?

I don't want to force any change of style onto my music. If there is a change, it should come naturally, not because I have "decided" to change. Again, when I write music, I write music that I personally like, that I would have liked to listen to, and I would have bought the CD. If this takes me in one direction, or the other, I will follow that instinct. But I won't sit down to write some music, while thinking that it's got to be different in this way, or that way.

Is there a most important event in your career?

Probably when I got my first record deal with Centaur Discs in 1995, to release my "Dreamstate" album. That's when I moved to England and started working on music full-time, rather than part-time. That was probably the most important event in my carreer.

What about your success/feedback in different countries?

Being so active on the internet, I get a good spread of feedback from many different countries. The people who buy CDs from my web site are not concentrated in any particular country or area, but equally spread out over USA, UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia and other areas.

What do you think about the situation of your musical genre in the presence and what will change in the future?

I have always been a little bit confused about which genre my music belongs to, but either way, it's instrumental music, and it's always going to be a little "underground", since it hasn't got the mass market appeal of a quick 3-minute song with funny lyrics and a repeated chorus. I don't really see this changing any time in the near future. So those of us who are into this kind of music will just have to try to keep our heads up and keep doing what we like - and hope that underground and non-mainstream magazines like yours keep the flame alive.

Can you tell me something of the process of creating the new record? Werethere any problems or went everything well?

There were no real "problems" as such, but it did take quite a lot of time and I had to be patient. I wrote and recorded the album over a period of about 18 months, although I did also do some other things in this time.
Because of the number of musicians involved, there was a lot of correspondence with them and coordination to be done for recording sessions etc. But on the whole, there were no real problems and things went smoothly,
although slow.

So you could have the possibility to make this record again. Would you change anything?

Actually, no. Nothing at all.

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© 11/2001 Renald Mienert
DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean