Peter Bjärgö is a well-known name from the Swedish underground scene related with music genres like Dark-Ambient, Ethereal, Neo-Folk ao. He gained recognition as member of bands like Arcana, Sophia, Karjalan Sissit… But he also released productions under his own name. The newest album entitled “The Translucency Of Mind’s Decay” has been again released on Cyclic Law and reveals a true sonic fusion between Ethereal-, Cinematographic and Dark-Ambient music. The album is a fascinating opus reflecting delicacy, mystery, darkness and haunting. I’d a chat with Peter.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: Your new album “The Translucency Of Mind’s Decay” has been written during the quarantine of the ongoing pandemic. In which way did this particular circumstance have an impact on your writing and the person & musician you are?
Peter: The main effect of the quarantine was that I wasn’t able to work with people in the studio. I had plans of bringing musicians to my studio and record more live instruments. But as the quarantine/restrictions still existed I had to continue my work alone. Also, all my plans of playing live were erased. For me, it hasn’t been all horrible with the quarantine. I enjoy being on my own in the studio.
Q: “The Translucency Of Mind’s Decay” doesn’t sound as a happy title, dealing with the impact of time, which is going by. Tell us a bit more about the theme and thoughts you got inspired by?
Peter: The title refers to different things. We’re getting to an age where we experience the decline of our elders etc. And this means that memories are erased, leaving you alone, with blurred out memories as only proof of your past.
Also, it’s about your own, and others, experience of change. It’s easy to fall into boredom/routine and stop progressing, leaving your mind in a downward spiral. This gets even worse if you’re stuck in destructive behaviors/patterns, like feeling sad/nostalgic about your ‘good old days’.
I think it’s important to make progress and stay curious about the mysteries around you.
Q: The album has been introduced as something new, getting back to some of your former projects -I especially recognize elements of Arcana. I think it somewhere fits with the concept of the album, but can you give us more details about the ideas, writing and production?
Peter: I have been forcing myself not to write music that sounds like my other projects, Arcana being a perfect example. But I’ve come to terms and accepted that the sound and feeling I had with Arcana is something that’s just there in my palette of musical taste. So I will not hesitate to include a song on an album that sounds a bit like Arcana, I even feel that I’ll accept if it sounds a little bit like Sophia at times. So, I’ll just keep an open-minded flow of music going, and see where it will lead me.
Q: Time is going by and the older we are, the faster it goes, right? But how did you see yourself evolving as musician/artist? What do you still recognize today in your music from the ‘younger’ Peter Pettersson/Bjärgö?
Peter: Yeah, time is moving incredibly fast. I just continue my musical journey without looking back too much. When it comes to evolving as a musician, I’m not scared of change, I gladly embrace change, and I do not feel that I need to stay ‘true’ to a sound that is connected to my work so far.
Sometimes I just stop writing music during a period of time and spend time with other creative outlets, like painting etc.
But I guess that one important part of continuing to write music is that you’re continuing to make progress and get better on instruments, production etc. So in my world, there’s always a better song/album around the corner.
Q: The pandemic is still going on, but artists are finally getting back on stage again. I can imagine it must have been a particular feeling to play your music again in front of an audience? What do you think by the way about all these ‘streaming live shows’, artists did during the pandemic?
Peter: I’ve always felt a bit awkward on stage in front of an audience, and being away from it for two years don’t help. But at the same time I got to think about the nice things I missed being in quarantine. Like meeting a lot of nice people, seeing new cities.
I really look forward to the gigs that will happen now after the restrictions have been lifted.
I think live-streamed performances are here to stay. It’s really nice to see all these incredible musicians streaming live from their living room or studio.
Q: Music clearly is a very important item in your life –as musician/artist and music teacher, but what’s the deeper significance and importance of music? Why is it that essential and important where ever the country or the culture we’re living in?
Peter: Music is what makes me keep going. It’s the last thing I think about before I go to sleep, and the first thing I think about when I wake up. When I write music, I lose track of time and all my worries just fades away. It’s quite difficult for me to explain why I have this deep relationship to music, but it’s there and it’s powerful, to me.
There’s a lot of scientific proof that music have quite an impact on most people, so there’s something to it that makes it an important part of most peoples’ lives. And the same goes for most cultures. In many cultures music is so much more than just a commodity, it’s a ritual of life, love and death. It’s a metaphysical handshake with something so much bigger than we can even grasp.
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