Σάββατο, 23 Μαρτίου 2013

Interviewing Runahild from Eliwagar for the Ideon Antron Online Magazine No 06

1)Wassail Dear Runahild! I am very happy to have you here with us in our magazine “Ideon Antron”.  Let’s start our interview with the usual but always needed information for those who does not know you yet and your work! Give us a history of Eliwagar.

I started Eliwagar back in December 2006 (in the winter solstice) then when I was still living in Lothringen (France). I had for a long time been into the old Nordic nature lore and mythology. But for some mystical reasons, at that special time I felt particularly attracted to the northern countries, and especially to Iceland/Norway, this is the strong spirit of the north lands that inspired me first of all. At that time I also discovered folk music thanks to the band Faun (Germany) and loved this true sound really in harmony with the nature’s beat. Folk instruments have been played by our ancestors in our forests, our mountains and by the fire, the beat of the shaman drum awakes some ancient feeling connecting us to who we are and to our roots, this is the best way for me to hail the Gods and Goddesses, the mighty nature and the ancestors. Until March 2010 I was alone to play all instruments and released 3 albums, but after that date I moved to Norway to live in a farm with Bjørn who became guitarist of my project. I finally moved to a northern land that gave me inspiration in the first place. This attraction to the north is not about a trend, but because of my bloodline being partly Germanic and Nordic and my growing bound with my motherland.

2) How would you describe, not only the music but also the whole concept behind Eliwagar?

It’s first of all “back to nature”, not only spiritually with the ancient pagan faith, but also as a lifestyle – to live in the countryside. This is what I want to tell about through my music. Back to nature is about getting a true bound with the land, growing your own vegetables/fruits, going for fishing or hunting, living with the seasons… It’s about understanding the true values in life which are not about profit, money, career, but which are about love for the motherland, for the family and friends. Seeing vegetables growing and getting your own fresh food from the garden is a gift from nature, much more precious than cash from your boss, and the love and care your family and friends show is much more valuable than a lonely life with many numbers on your bank account.

Paganism is a nature faith, and for me it means also to live with nature. The spirituality grows in the nature, with the sun rise and the twilight, in the deep forest, on the top of the mountains or with the song of a river, Eliwagar reflects all these energies and spirits.

3) How important is Tradition for you? How do you respond to those who may tell that Traditions and especially Pagan are dead and unneeded to these modern times?

Traditions are very important in the way that they represent knowledge gained by our forefathers by experience. I don’ think traditions and pagans are dead or are dying today, because it is today more than ever needed, and I think it’s actually rising. We are indeed living in a time of chaos, but Europe has had many other dark times before, and through all them did paganism survive, today is just a new fight that will bring a new dawn.

4) Are you in contact with what we generally call the “Pagan music scene”? (If yes please tell us way you achieve that, if no why you choose not to), and also what does inspires you to create?

I am not in contact with this scene, only with a few friends around Europe who play music mostly for their friends. I haven’t managed yet to get in contact with pagans musicians in Norway. The pagan scene here is nearly inexistent, this country is too spoiled by money and oil. When it comes to such scene I have much more respect for the Slavic countries, there are so many bands out there with a real “pagan” sound and real bound to the old nature traditions… When I see they are hundred around a fire for a summer solstice, dancing, playing drums, having crones of flower on their head, I dream we could find this too over here (at least never heard about it). But here it will be more a few people with dark metal shirts and getting drunk in the forest they don’t really know why. And such spirit is reflected in the music, where you can feel a mighty hail to the sun or the nature in Slavic music, you hear just a constant growling on only electric sound with most of the west European bands. I am not against all bands, and not against metal itself, but when a band directly inspired by nature plays music, it’s definitely responding in your whole spirit. In the “rich” European countries, most people have lost their connection to nature, taken away from the wild by the comfort and security their life bring them.

5) Heathenism, Paganism, however you call it seems to grow in numbers in Europe.
 Is it by your opinion a symptom of a dying world that will vanish if Europe finds a way out on daily living (financial), or it is a full and just return of the natural way of living?
 How could an artist respond to that?

I think it’s a bit of both. In time of chaos like today, where everything people counted on is falling down, people start wondering about the meaning of things and existence, they also try to go back to safer values. When you know you might not get money next month to feed yourself and your family, you must find a solution: going to the countryside or just having a small piece of land to grow your own food. People also re learn to live with others as a community, no more just hate your neighbors or ignore them, but helping each other. There are more and more movement like WWOOF (world wide opportunities on organic farms) that are rising.

As an artist, I wish I can inspire others or open their eyes on something they didn’t know about, or maybe dreamt about without ever daring to try by fear of failure or because people around call them crazy. I have myself been called that way, and no one really supported me with my vision, living off the land, free in the nature, but I made it because I have strong conviction in it.

6) What are the future plans for Eliwagar? Are you going to release something new? Any information that you can give us?

We are working currently on our new album. We are uncertain yet if we will make both an acoustic cd and a folk metal one, or just one with a bit of folk and folk metal.  We already have songs, we just need to think over this project and record them.

7) Now a tricky question! How would you respond to the following things?
First, in Hellas, we have Hildr Valkyrie which is the Female Heathen artist of the Hellenic “scene” and in France is you. Are there any possibilities for collaboration between you two?
Second,  a question that we always ask every artist we interview, suppose there is a Pagan Fest-not only musical- a true Pagan Fest in Hellas, would you like to participate if, I say if, this ever happens?

I have always supported Hildr Valkyrie and her work, and that would definitely be nice to work together with her. She has actually a role to play with my music, she helped me a lot in the very beginning with music program which was totally unknown to me, so a big thanks to her! ;)

We would also be interested to participate to such an event, definitely if we can get away from the farm. hehe

8) Can you choose and tell us a Tale from your Forefathers Mythology that has made your soul really move? The Gaul’s Myths are really unknown to Hellenes…sadly).

Well, sorry I cannot tell about tales from Gaul, I come from a place that has more a Germanic culture than a celtic one, and even if I might have some celtic ancestors, I definitely feel much more connected to my germanic/Nordic heritage. I actually was born close to a place that gave birth to a great legend, the one of Brünnhildr and Sigfried and the gold of the Nibelungen, a legend both known in Germany and Scandinavia. I was living a few hours from the Rhine river, where the gold is told laying somewhere hidden in the stream… I feel quite connected to Brünnhild and as a matter of fact my real name “Brenda” comes from Brünnhild.

For those who do not know the legend though, Brünnhild was a fallen Valkyrie, cursed because one time she choose to give victory to a man she loved instead of following the order given to her. So she was put to sleep back on earth in the middle of a circle of fire, and she would sleep until a man brave enough would cross this circle of fire to free her. Only Sigfried succeeded. He was son of a king, but raised by a blacksmith, and he came to kill a dragon who was lying in a cave, keeping his treasure that is called the gold of the Nibelungen. This gold should have remain untouched, because it was first of all stolen from a dwarf by Odin and Loki, and the dwarf cast a curse on a special ring that is representing all the treasure. This cursed ring Sigfried took it with him and gave to Brünnhild when he first met her, which destined them both to a tragic fate…

9) An artist has inner sight that can look beyond the places an ordinary man or woman can see. Where do you see the Gods and Goddesses through our lives? (This is a poetical Question and not only!)

Well, I see them in the shining sun warming the earth, in the clear water from the mountain stream or in the deep lakes, in the earth bringing us wonderful gifts, in the wind spreading the seeds away or blowing strong like the spirits of our ancestors. They are manifestations of nature and universe, not everything is just matter; just like we, humans, we have a body reflecting our spirit in a material world. They are energies.

10) Thank you so much for your time to speak to us. Please send your message to our Hellenes readers. The final words are only for you! Faith, Folk, Family! Heathen Pride!

Thank you very much for the very interesting interview, for the honour, interest and support! Keep the ancient faith of your ancestors, love and defend your motherland and her treasures. Times are dark, but we must bring further and to next generation our pagan spirit, never our forefather gave up, we survived Christianity, inquisition, and so much more, it’s no time to give up now, after all darkness comes the light, and after every night rise the dawn. Heilsa!!!

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