interview with Solar Fields

Directly from the glorious label Ultimae Records, Vox Empirea has the pride to interview Magnus Birgersson, holder of the Swedish ambient / electronics solo-project called Solar Fields. Having you here with us is a great joy, Magnus!

> Thank you! Happy to be here.

Starting from the year 2001 you've published ten albums under the name Solar Fields, three as H.U.V.A. Network, and a videogame's theme as Mirror's Edge, in addition to participation at sixty different compilations. All this represents an excellent goal, insn't so Magnus?

> You forgot the two T.S.R's albums I composed with Daniel and Johannes from Carbon Based Lifeforms! Yes I have been doing a lot during these past eleven years probably because I work really fast and have total knowledge in the tools I use. As a full time producer/composer I can adjust the time to work. When I have inspiration I’m really hard core productive, mostly lock myself in the studio and just create whatever comes in my mind. I never plan what I will end up with, it’s the time and present that decide where the music takes me. So when I am in the zone I just compose and basically do nothing else.

I personally appreciate the artists able of designing their creations far from the conventions, but also they know how to make available their sound without confining it to a very limited audience. Considering these assumptions, to which target of listener you aim your music?

> I do not aim to any specific target, I create music for everyone and whoever wants to join me is welcome.

I consider the sound that you make as "intelligent" and of a higher class. I Known also that much part of the alternative public, increasingly disoriented by a progressive selection of musical genres, has become yet selective and confused. Do you think the current one is the best Era of the electronic music like yours, or you've collected more feedbacks in the past?

> I think the ambient-electronic is really growing, you can hear it more and more for example in movies, TV shows, commercials. I think also more people compose music today than for example twenty years ago. I don’t feel any bigger difference from the past to the present, perhaps I get more response now after this eleven year.

Your music unites different orientations. Which are the artists from whom you have taken inspiration?

> Oh its a lot I think, music wise the German Kraut-Rock from the 70’s has been having a huge part as an influence when it comes to composing music without rules and borders. And this is what Solar Fields is all about. I dont follow any patterns of what’s going on at the moment or trying to re-create something that I’ve already done, the Solar Fields project goes deeper than that. Everyday is a new day and every sound should be a new sound. I listen to all kind of music from so many different genres so I guess it’s a mix from it all that inspire my music.

The electronic music split up into infinite subgenres: which sensations do you feel creating your own sound that other styles can not give you?

> I am quite bored with all this subgenres and things, its becoming too much. For me it’s electronic music, if I would describe the Solar Fields project under subgenres it would end up with 20 different ones. So I prefer to just say electronic music since this is what it is.

The atmospheres that you recreate come from abstraction or from the real world?

They come from my mind and feelings, emotions, difficulties and happiness in life is a source of the sound spectrum. It’s a reflection of me in the present and the past.

It 's time to talk about your new album "[Random Friday]": listening to it I noticed an increased presence of many uptempo-dance tracks. Is this the future sound-system of Solar Fields or it represents a momentary transition that will change with the next work? Magnus, speak us more in detail about this splendid release.

> Random Friday is a more up-tempo album yes. I guess each of my albums is different from the past releases and this one happens to have a steady kick in it, similar to the "Earthshine" album back in 2007. It is not a future sound from me it’s just a thing that happened. For my next album who knows how it will sound, perhaps I’ll do a work with only field-recordings as a soundsource and skip all the machines in the process.

There's always a special connexion which unites the productions issued by your label Ultimae Records: every relese, from the designing of the artwork to the artists recruited, suggest an ordered succession of works all closely related to the each other. Few labels are able to combine for a long time aesthetic spirit, high sound quality and discipline, together with enthusiasm and fellowship among the musicians. Is this a miracle?

> I don’t think it’s a miracle, it’s a reflection of hard work, devotion and professionalism in what they are doing. To be honest it's the most professional label out there in this genre and this is why I still trust them and work with them after this twelve years.

With which other members or artists of Ultimae Records clan have you collaborated constructively?

> I have been and am still working with Carbon Based Lifeforms on some projects like the T.S.R one, we started this project in the late 90´s and we are now releasing all the 4 albums we did together. 2 of them are already released as digital albums, you can find them on all major digital platforms.. And also of course my digital brother AES Dana with the H.U.V.A Network project.

Magnus, have you never thought to cooperate with musicians belonging to music styles totally opposite from your, so as to produce an "hybrid sound" that meets the specifications of Solar Fields and other different formulas?

> This I have done in the past. Some years ago a produced a band in the metal/hardcore genre. It was great fun, did some atmospheric work and programming on that album and all mixing. Today i am also working on different projects, but I’m not mixing in the pure Solar Fields feeling into it, or perhaps I do, guess it depends on what kind of music it is also, have to keep the originality of the music I'm working on.

Talking again about your new full-length, in which particular moments of the daytime would you recommend listening to its tracklist?

> I guess it depends on where you are, what you are doing, how you feel… The album can work perfectly at any time of the day or night, this being said, for some on festivals I would think early mornings would be best as there’s a lot of sunshine in this music.

Many of your tracks would fit perfectly with the soundtrack of an avant-garde film. Have you never worked in this particular direction? What do you think about, Magnus?

> I have been doing scores for some films and such, it’s really funny to see where it all ends up. The music gives a different feeling depending on the mood of the scene in the films.Latest film work I was involved with was music for a trailer to an upcoming Swedish movie called Superkär, you can find a preview here

Thinking of the mind as a white and empty screen, which images would draw on it the musics of "[Random Friday]"?

> An open place in a gigantic forest during the sunrise with the morning coffee.

It's time to say goodbye, Magnus. Me and the all the Vox Empirea's readers want to applaud to your talent thanking you again for being with us. Now, everything you dedicate synthetically us it'll be a great homage!

> Thank you all and hope to see you soon in Italy!

(* by Maxymox 2012 per Vox Empirea webzine )