"When we have watched a good performance, we feel that some buttons have been pressed inside us as an audience"
Ane Brun on elculture.gr
"I'm really interested in words and the sounds of languages, how they change the melody and the music because of their differences"
Ane Brun is made out of lovable material. She’s a calm force with a voice as clear as her country’s fjords, who already counts 16 years in the european musical stave and still continues unabated. Born in Norway, she moved to Stockholm, Sweden because of a youthful love, where she stayed and lives until now. Her record collection comprises six personal studio albums (from 2003 to 2013), while her special in-between releases -live recordings & songs collections, singles & covers of famous songs- didn’t leave her stagnant, not even for a moment. Proof of her dynamic character is her record label Balloon Ranger Recordings, which she established and leads for nearly a decade. If you had to characterize her music, you would probably have to choose from a blend of traditional and modern pop melodies, even though her eerie voice could very well narrate Kalevala‘s myths. She hasn’t been to Greece for a concert before, but – just a few days before 2014 waves goodbye to us- Gazarte will be diffused by her musical stories. We had a chat with her for an acquaintance with the Greek audience!
elculture: How would you describe your world, before and after you decided to become a musician? Was it natural for you to follow this path or did it feel revolutionary at the time?
Ane Brun: I didn’t think I would be a touring musician or a full time artist. I was a university student, studying law, language and arts. The “artist career” kind of happened to me a bit unexpected. But when it started, I never looked back. It took a few years to really enjoy it. Today I love my job!
elc: You released your first personal studio album “Spending time with Morgan” in 2003 and your latest “It all starts with one” in 2011. Putting these years into perspective, what differentiates Ane of the past and Ane of the present?
A.B: The Ane now is more mature and brave. Both as a person and a musician, composer and singer.
elc: Last year you also released “Rarities“, a special album which features covers (from John Lennon & Leonard Cohen to Beyoncé) and out-takes. If you were to make “Rarities vol. 2, which other artist would you choose?
A.B: I would like to sing a Whitney Houston song one day, in my own version. We´ll see if that happens.
elc: Your mother tongue is Norwegian, but you live in Sweden. You used to study Spanish, but you write and sing in English. What was it that led you to this diversity?
A.B: I love languages! I’m interested in words and the sounds of languages, and how they change the melody and the music because of their differences.
elc: Your songs overflow with emotion, both vocally and lyrically. What’s your lyrics’ inspiration and main element?
A.B: It’s usually about something that I’m thinking about or wondering about, relationships or existential issues. I can write about something outside of me, but it always goes through my own emotional filters, it has to – to become something real!
Ane Brun sings “Changing of the season”
elc: For me “Changing of the seasons” was love at first listen and somehow I always get mesmerized by the verse “I guess I’m too Scandinavian”, which I perceive as charming but at the same time as a plea of guilt. So I have to ask you, what does “being Scandinavian” mean to you and how does this element define you?
A.B: In this case It’s got to do with the dramatic changes of climate that we go through up here throughout the year, and I used that as a metaphor for a restless soul that needs change. The Scandinavian soul is a complex combination of individualism and collective. I also love Bjork’s saying “I thought I could organize freedom, how Scandinavian of me”.
elc: Is running your own record label a matter of preserving your artistic freedom?
A.B: Yes, I decide when, how, with who, how much and in what way I express my music and my art. I feel that this has given me creative flow through these 11 years, and it’s been an important role in my development as an artist.
elc: In the past you’ve toured with a string quintet, but this year we’ll have the chance to listen to you – on the 13th of December in Gazarte – alongside your acoustic guitar. Does it feel more natural to you performing this way?
A.B: I’ve toured with any kind of constellation. In the last 3 years it’s been mostly a big bang with double drummers and keyboards. I’ve done orchestras, string quintets, me and three voices. It’s all versions of my music, and I love the diversity. The solo-concept is special, since it really shows the lyrics and the core of the songs, and I enjoy it very much.
Info: Ane Brun is visiting Athens for a solo acoustic concert in Gazarte, on Saturday 13th of December