Entertwine: Could you give us some insight into your musical background? What instruments and musical equipment do you use to achieve your particular sound?
I started playing piano as a 7 year old. Soon after I was following up with the drums. The interest of singing was always there, but it wasn’t a major thing. It all came around 15 years later when I started to work as a music producer for the record label of GlenDisc. Laying down backing vocals for several artists became an everyday thing. I’m still working as a producer for GlenDisc which is still my major job.
When we recorded this album we used several instruments that have a clear connection to Swedish folk music like: violin, mandola, flute, mouth harp, Hummel and finger cymbals. To that we used modern instruments like electric guitars, acoustic guitars, drums, synths, piano and Hammond organ. That created a perfect mix between traditional folk music and pop/rock.
What is it like living in Sweden? What is the music scene of your hometown like? Do you have any plans to travel to and perform within the United States?
Living in Sweden may sound cold and arctic, but that is mainly up north. I am based in the south part of Sweden with warm summers and pretty warm winters. And NO, we don’t have polar bears walking around in the streets=) Sweden is a very musical country with a lot musical activity. We have an enormous set of successful songwriters, producers and musicians working all around the world. Sometimes we get crowded. It’s a small country. I use to call Sweden “mini USA”. We have a wide insight into American culture and television. We also learn English from the age of 9, so most people can communicate very well. I could also literally discuss the latest episode of a tv show with somebody in America since we probably have the same show aired in Sweden too. Sweden loves America, that’s just it.
The music scene in my hometown is not big at all. There is a wide tradition with good musicians coming from my hometown but there’s no music scene. The reason to that may be that only 1200 people live there. But they are very supportive.
The musical genre that I presently represent may not have the biggest audience in America. But I do have plans for a cultural exchange between Swedish music and American music. We have many Swedish immigrants who moved from Sweden during the 1800s to places like Seattle and Minnesota and currently has a strong cultural heritage from Sweden. Therefore, it would be a dream to perform for my Swedish descendants in America or anyone who would be interested. Today, there are some cultural associations like the Swedish Culture Center of Seattle. I was in Seattle in 2009.
Could you tell us about the experience of filming the music video for ‘En Skaning’? Who did you work with to make this idea a reality?
The video of “ En Skaning” was filmed at 1 place. It’s an old 1700s farm house that has been untouched and looks just like it did for over 300 years ago. The area around it is also completely untouched. It’s a pretty unique
place. I gathered a few friends from other acts that our label works with and made them actors in my video. It was just a fun thing to do. And they turned out to be pretty great actors. The video was filmed in 2 days of a professional film maker friend of mine. The guys that plays guitar and violin in the video is actually the ones that play on the record. So it was so much fun. En Skaning means “ A Scaninan”. Scania is the name of the area I come from. You could called it a “state”. But the definition of it is not the same as in America.
What experiences and events inspired the writing and recording of your latest record “Sar och skordar”? Could you walk us through each of the featured tracks? What is the significance of the album’s title?
Everything started 2010 when I was moving back home. Suddenly I was looking at the beautiful area around me with new eyes. I had never thought about it in that way. I was hungry to explore the history and mystic happenings around this area. Every time I did this I heard music, very clear. It was like every place had it’s own history which was shared to me through the music I heard in my head. So I decided to make a record about it. But it had to take time, no rush. So I gave it time until the stories were told.
Track1. Vagen: Vagen means “The Road”. It’s an instrumental track that symbolize the road I had to walk to make this happend.
Track2. Galgebacken: Glagebacken was a place of execution outside my village. Last execution was carried out in the late 1880’s. It is hard to believe that executions have taken place in Sweden considering how politically correct we are today. But one should remember that Sweden was a cold and a hard place to live in 200 years ago. That’s why many moved to America.
Track3. Sar och skordar: Sar och skordar means “Sow and harvest”. It’s about the life. We are sowing (getting born) and we harvest (we die). It’s about doing what you need to do. Don’t complicate life so much. If you get in love, just get in love. If you have forgiven someone, just forgive them and move on. Don’t complicate it, because we get born and then we die. Everything between is up to you.
Track4. Dybäcks slott: Dybäcks slott means “ Dybäcks Castle “. Dybäck is an area outside my hometown. There is a castle with a pretty bloody story. Many people died in that castle under mystical circumstances. It’s a haunted castle. I tell the legends about the castle in the song. For example: there’s a grave hill on the eastern side of the castle. People say that it is the founder of the castle buried there. When you hear a drumming sound from the hill you know somebody living in the castle is about to die. The music is a modern way to play a “Polska”. Polska is a 3/4 beat that has a distinct accent on the count of 1 and 3.
Track5. Du kan: Du kan means “You can”. It’s a life-affirming song about having no regrets in life. Don’t try to create the perfect life. Don’t fade away just because your life didn’t turned out the way you wanted to. Actually the translated chorus says it all: “You can practice what you preach. You can take your name to history. But you can never get it here. The thing a human call holiness. You can find your inner peace. And let the joy of life come out. But you can never turn back. For once you’ve gone life ends”.
Track6. Söderslättsvisan: Söderslättsvisan means “ The Southern Hill Song”. Söderslätt is the name of the area which my hometown is a part of. It’s an anthem for this beautiful area. It describes the flowering fields, churches and willows that surround us. It describes how everything flows into the sea as one long hill. It’s a beautiful p lace.
Track7. En Skaning: En Skaning menas “A Scanian”. Scania is the name of our “state”. The song is a totally goofy and stereotypical song about the Big Farmer, The Laborer and The Beautiful Virgin. The Big Farmer is the grumpy man, always chasing the laborer for doing his chores. Meanwhile the laborer is chasing the beautiful virgin in hope for a marriage. Drinking, dancing and laziness makes a perfect story. This song is also in the style of a “Polska”.
The Significance of the album title is life and death. A perfectly normal thing. But yet so beautiful, mystical and scary.
How will you begin the new year? What does 2015 hold in store for Dick Orna?
The new year will begin with a lot of new acts to be produced for GlenDisc. I will also plan up my tour, startin with my first concert at the end of March. The size of the tour depends on the demand for my music. We’ll take it one step at the time. You never know. I just may end up in US to see you all. That’s the excitement of the life. You never know what tomorrow will offer.