INTERVIEW WITH BJORN LYNNE
By: Jorge Munnshe
The composer and guitarist Bjorn Lynne has opened a new style that no doubt will transcend to his numerous artistic achievements. The conceptual richness of his ideas, has sufficed to place him on the peak of his particular stylistic arena. Amazing Sounds has interviewed Bjorn Lynne so that he gives us his particular vision on different aspects of his work.
Can you tell us about your new album Wizard of the Winds (When the Gods Slept)? Can you tell us about Allan Cole and his collaboration with you?
"Allan Cole is the writer of the book Wizard of the Winds which is a quite popular fantasy-style adventure story. It's also the first part of a trilogy. I discovered the book and the story, and I thought it was very inspiring. It was written in a way that dealt with grown-up issues in an adventure-world, and so it was different and perhaps "darker" than a few other fantasy-stories. Anyway, I got really inspired, and felt like writing some music about the story, so I contacted Allan Cole per email and asked him if it was okay if I wrote a music album based on his book. Allan was very enthusiastic about the idea, and over the next several months, we kept sending ideas to each other. I wrote and played the music, and Allan commented on it and gave me lots of extra background information about the characters in the book, which I used to develop the music."
"In the end, we ended up with a kind of fantasy-rock album which is based on the story, but not necessarily tied to it; i.e. many of the people who have liked the album best, have never even read the book - and just take the album as a pure music album. Which is, of course, the correct way to listen to it anyway! Although it's based on a story, it's a music-album and nothing else."
What do you think about acoustic and electric guitars?. Aren't these very different kinds and perhaps with opposed philosophies? Do you find any rivalry between both types and that those who are in favour of one or the other display conflicting attitudes?
"I love the sound of both acoustic and electric guitars, so why not combine them? I'm not the first person to do this, take for example the band Porcupine Tree; they are one of my most important inspirations, and they mix acoustic and electric guitars to great effect. Pink Floyd have also done this quite a lot. I just like the way that the sound of electrics and acoustics complement each other. When I write music, there is no real "target" or deep hidden meanings or anything like that - I just try to write music that I like, and I hope that if I like it, then other people will like it also."
Can you tell us about your activity composing soundtracks for computer games? How did you decide to work on it?
"In the last few years, the computer technology has advanced quite a lot. It's strange to think that a lot of people still think about "computer game music" as something that just sounds like "blip-blop", but the fact is that the music in computer games are now full-featured CD music, often recorded with bands or orchestras. When this technology became available to the game-producers, they suddenly needed to use real musicians to make the game-music. This happened about 3-4 years ago, and at that time, I was trying to make music my full-time activity, so I was able to get into this market. Today, writing music for computer-games is quite like writing music for movies. So I spend quite a lot of time writing music for games now, and I also write some music for TV programmes and short films etc."
What sort of soundtracks do you like doing?
"My favourite type of soundtrack to write would probably be a medieval-style score that's a mixture of orchestral and rock-arrangements, or a sci-fi based soundtrack. Then I can use my influences from symphonic rock and that's something that I really enjoy working with."
How did your musical career begin?
"It began very slowly - actually, I think it's still "beginning" now. I have never had a big breakthrough or any sudden success; rather, I get a little bit more promoted every year, and for each album, they get a little bit more popular than the last one. I think this is the best way to progress, because in this way I tend to get more loyal and honest fans. The fans that discover my music haven't done that because of one hit-song or a popular music video - they discovered it for the music itself, and that means that they will come slowly, but they will appreciate my work more and they will stay faithful fans for many years, rather than forgetting about my music after a few weeks on the hit-charts. So I'm very happy with the way it's going, even though I have never suddenly hit the "big-time"."
Please tell us about your current activities - whether you are working on a new album, whether you are going to give some concerts soon, and other things.
"I am now working on my next album Wolves of the Gods, which is a direct sequel to Wizard of the Winds. Wolves of the Gods will be released in the spring 1999, and I'm writing that music right now."
"Since I play all the instruments myself, it's very difficult for me to play concerts. There are two ways I could do it - one would be to record most of the stuff on tape, and then just play along with the tape on stage. I've seen people do this, and I don't think it looks or sounds very good, so I really don't want to do this. The other way would be to put a real band together, and start practicing and teaching everybody the songs etc., and this would take so much time and effort, that I think I would rather spend my time writing and playing new music instead. So because of these technical difficulties, I'm not playing concerts these days..."
Would you like to add something else?
"Yeah, if anybody would like to hear examples of my music, they can hear RealAudio or MP3 format sounds from all my albums on my web page":
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