I am currently sitting in a small apartment, dusting off my Microkorg synthesizer amidst many memories. Much has brought me to this insignificant moment, as I recollect the many elements of the years which have driven me exactly to where I am sitting right now.
I have spent a good portion of time this evening thinking of what has influenced and driven the music of Old Forgotten Lands to where it is today. Being that I have long abandoned using a sole MIDI-based system for composition in favor of more organic instruments, much has changed, sonically, with this project. However, the journey is only a continuation of something began and nurtured years ago.
Having been involved in several music projects, Old Forgotten Lands has always been my vessel for cathartic music which simply cannot be achieved elsewhere in my life. Even in collaboration, it is the closest thing to my own breath which can also be called my voice. And in the humble beginnings of work on this project, I fondly recall a nurturing community which assisted greatly in this.
It all began, for me, with a journey to the Appalachian mountains about six years ago. I had a simple portable CD player which would skip if a butterfly landed on it.
In this, I had three albums which I really had not given much of my ear to as of yet, all accumulated somehow-or-another by acquaintances. They were an early album from FjellElv - "Daggryet Flammer", as with Wongraven's "Fjelltronen", and Burzum's "Filosofem". This trifecta became the constantly-repeated listenings of mine while staying day and night out on a hammock atop one of the many hills. And whether it would rain or fog, I would remain sleeping, even, on said hammock with this music encompassing me. It was a confused time of my life, and the healing which ensued on this small adventure was enough for me to understand what needed to occur next: I needed an outlet of my own, much like what I was hearing, in order to remain sane.
I had already been in bands at this point. However, I had never created music which was my own, solely. And, on one of the mountainsides on a cheap MIDI-based program, I began work on what was to be the humble debut CD for Old Forgotten Lands. Through trial and error, I spent the next month or so concocting bizarre sounds and taking video clips for what ended up being for a limited-pressing DVD.
One must realize, though, that I had no idea what I was beginning, and also had no idea what I was doing. The idea of 'ambient' music has been with me since I was a child (which will be another tale to tell), but I was not yet exposed to many artists of a similar ilk. Thankfully I was soon joined by a web of international friends and acquaintances which really showed me that I was never alone in this venture.
Upon finally sharing my "music" with the world, others returned a favor. I was all at once bombarded with extremely talented contemporaries - Drømmer and Ancient Tundra were staples of my musical diet, courtesy of the distribution of EEE Recordings at the time. And then came more FjellElv, and Requiem Nocturne of the Dead Moon Records / Forest Ov Skulls camp. And I was absolutely baffled when I had also discovered Symbiosis via that distributor as well - and then baffled yet again upon discovering the sounds of Draumar, at his mere 15 years of age at the time, I believe. Discovering Melankolia a few years down the path also aided in my utter awe.
I even began to take note of musicians I knew close to where I had lived which surprised me, who ultimately formed the camp of Endless Field Studios. Additionally, I formed ties with artists who now form the artists on Lakedeer Recordings. Therefore, I knew I was not the only one in a particular radius making atmospheric musings.
There were many other projects, related or unrelated to these camps, which I could acknowledge if I knew where to find them. But these mentioned above were the people I wished very deeply to portray my gratitude. Many of them were personable individuals which I still can call friends to this day. Essentially, at such a crossroads in my existence, I felt as if I had climbed into a niche.
Fast forward to the present-day, and here I am... I have collaborated with Requiem Nocturne's sole composer, I have released a split with Ancient Tundra and had released my debut full-length album on his fantastic label, and I show little signs of stopping because this voice I had discovered those years ago is still emanating to this day. Had I not known of these like-minded projects, my own music would have still come to fruition - however, in tempestuous years, one needs to have a community in which to express something. And even if I am only in avid contact with some of these projects, they have all served me in being a part of a large-scale, yet tight-knit, community.
My purpose in rambling as such is to portray the level of excitement which fueled the development of Old Forgotten Lands, as I do hope that any musician discovering his or her own voice can cherish his or her own experiences and growth. I still have much growth to encounter, but I felt as if this atmosphere of likeminded musicians was enough to encourage me just by acknowledging it existed. Even had I never gotten to know any of these gentlemen personally, I would still be unable to doubt their impact they have had on my musical growth.
I urge you, dear reader, to keep a watchful eye on these particular artists, as I believe that all of them, in one form or another, are still honing their craft in a similar vein. And it must not stop there! For good measure, do branch out and discover those which speak to you. The excitement of this time, as with the creativity which ensued in my life was one of the only things worth breathing for at times.
And, if by chance I have reached any of my aforementioned contemporaries in this writing... I raise my glass to you all, on the 18th of October in the year 2013 at 12:45 in the morning.
Old Forgotten Lands
Posted by Nick Skog. Posted In : Miscellaneous