I am really glad to feature ’Munknörr’ on ’Dark Folk Nation’ so thanks a lot for taking some time and doing this interview with us! How are you doing today?
I’m great, now sitting with my coffee – its a pleasure for me doing this so thank you too.
Tell us a bit about ’Munknörr’ – who’s involved? How was the project born?
Munknörr is Aethelwyne and I (Damian) . The project was born when i started to make instrumental music, but it was not Norse or shamanic inspired music at the beginning – it was more meditative and cinematic at the same time.
And then Aethelwyne commented one of the first songs I made (Cernunnos) and I took a look at her channel and was blown away with her haunting voice…. and that was when the project was born.
What does ’Munknörr’ mean? Is it Old Norse?
It means ”the ship of the mind”. I found a rare Old Norse dictionary on internet and saw that word and the meaning and loved it.
How did you become interested in writing nordic mythology influenced music?
I dont remember the precise moment but I can tell you that it was Celtic music that influenced me at the beginning.
I used to listen to Lunasa (a band of Irish traditional music), Omnia , Turisas (Viking Metal) and some meditative Celtic music before I started to make music and then i guess in the suggested video in Youtube I discovered Heilung.
Then I started to read a lot about Norse mythology and culture and that was it… I connected with all that very quickly and deeply and begun to make Nordic inspired music.
What instruments do you use in your music?
I always use my big shamanic drum that has 60cm diameter and a very thick skin, tagelharp, jaw harp, different kind of shakers, sticks , colombina (is a kind of little harp with high notes), and sometimes I use Guitar.
For some songs in the previous album I recorded a giant shamanic drum … like 1.70 mts tall. I saw that drum in a place when I went for yoga classes…and instantly i thought ”i have to record this” and then i asked to the man in charge of the place and he let me record the drum. So i took my hand recorder and record some sounds that i have used for some songs like Nauthiz, Othila, Teiwaz.
Your songs have a very ambient, almost cinematic kind of a feel to them. How important it is for you to create those kind of soundscapes and is it important for you to tell a story through your music?
For me in our music the soundscapes and the music itself is more important than the lyrics and words.
I’m very much influenced by instrumental music. In fact Eikthrynir is our first album where all the songs have lyrics. I’m not a very expressive person so I guess music is my escape and I learned how to put what I feel there.
You have just released your new album ’Eikthyrnir’. Would you like to tell us a bit about the album?
Recently I was listening a lot of black metal and that influenced some parts in the music of the album like the orchestral parts, and you will be wondering.. why is the album full of ”death songs” like Deyja, Andleg Umbreyting and some more reference in other songs.
I was reading a lot about shamanism, animal totems, prey-hunter in the animal world … the duality, something has to die first to bring life, is not a bad thing in nature. So I believe that death is a change of energy and we don’t have to fear death.
When I was a kid my worst fear was death – when i realized that i was gonna die someday I freaked out and I locked myself in the bathroom and then I was depressed for some time. But now I have a different vision I guess because I have faced that fear.
Do you play live shows?
Not for now since Aethelwyne lives in Greece and I live in Uruguay but maybe in the future…who knows!
What’s next for ’Munknörr’?
I don’t know exactly what is coming because that depends mostly in what I’m feeling at the moment, what I’m reading or which instrument I’m playing.
But what we know is that we will keep making a lot more music.
Any wisdoms you’d like to share with the world?
Balance, we have to act in favor of the balance, for example… we can’t say technology is a bad thing because technology has opened huge doors to musicians for example but on the other hand we can’t live depending on technology – I mean I think we have to learn how to deal with technology and society respecting nature.
You’ll find Munknörr’s music at: