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Tor Lundvall Interview; Buildings and Rain
Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 04:18 AM PST
Contributed by: Kenji Siratori

Heathen Harvest: Please tell me a visual perspective of your new album “Empty City”.

Tor Lundvall: I suppose it would go something like this: The album begins at night with a view of abandoned factories and empty railroad stations. Everything is bathed in the pinkish glow of florescent lamps under a dull orange sky. In the early hours, the light fades in 'stone white' (to borrow a fitting, but unused lyric submitted by Matt Howden). A thick mist hovers over the docks by the still water. It's difficult to tell where the sky begins and the water ends. The rain begins to fall as the buildings loom tall and grey in the distance. Rusting wires hum as somewhere a bird calls near an open window. Evening falls again, and the cold stillness of night eventually gives way to a clearing sky and a more hopeful morning. A tired, abandoned city slowly becomes part of Nature again.

HH: Then, for you, does “Empty City” mean the ambient reproduction of abandoned city and nature as gradual lapse of memory?

TL: I would say it represents the co-existence of the two. Memories are long forgotten and inconsequential as new landscapes emerge. Its seems that Nature itself suffers from a lapse of memory, and always carries on about it's business with little consideration for fleeting human events.

HH: In the co-existence of city and nature, do you think where post-industrial culture face? I think “Empty City” clarifies this point.

TL: Culture, what's left of it, doesn't really concern me creatively. My intention is not to make a statement about culture or influence it in any way. I just do my music for its own sake and let it speak for itself. If my work ends up having some cultural relevance, then it's merely an after effect.

Ok. Do you feel what “Empty City” itself speak to you? And do you think your life synchronize to the process that the music language transfers to the image language?

TL: The album speaks to me on various levels, as do all of my recordings for that matter. When I listen to my music, it always conjures up memories, images and feelings that are forever tied into the recordings. My life is certainly synchronized and interwoven into my work.

HH: In your musical process, do you think “watch a music” or “listen to a visual”? I recall paintings by Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee in your music.

TL: I always approach my music from a visual perspective. Being a painter myself, this is inevitable I suppose. It's interesting that you perceive paintings by Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee in my music. There is a playfulness in the paintings of both of these artists, where shapes almost seem to take on the form of musical notes.

Do you think your musical sequence is related to the modification of a visual perspective?

TL: Certainly. Both my painting and music are closely related and are constantly feeding off of each other. It is impossible to separate the two pursuits at this point.

Well, do you think yourself function a respiration-line in feeding off of your painting and music?

TL: I feel there's more of a respiration-line between myself and Nature. When I see or feel something from the landscape, it feeds my creative spirit and eventually gives birth to my paintings and music.

HH: Do you think “Empty City” is the ritual recording of your life on the relation of the co-existence of city and nature?

TL: The album is simply an expression of my creativity. I really didn't plan on making a grand statement about city and nature here. The recording process is the only ritual. The rest is just conversation.

HH: Then do you think your listeners talk with “Empty City” as a creative mirror image?

TL: Each person will interpret the music in their own unique way. Hopefully the listener experiences images and feelings reflected from the landscapes, both visual and aural, that I create in my work.

KS: Tor Lundvall will whisper “Empty City” to us from anti-oedipus’ ruins.


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