Interview: ELIWAGAR
Title: One with nature

So many centuries, so many Gods – and people are still the prisoners of their own fantasy! Actually there is only one so called ‚God’ from the very first beginnings on – nature itself, the true origin of all known.

And for the praise of great mother nature’s values is the noble artistic intention of pretty authentic costumed French wood-witch Runahild Thrumublom. She founded Eliwagar during the winter in 2006. Her pagan mind creates True Traditional Pagan Folk music, which comes straight from the heart. Eliwagar stands for quiet hypnotizing art, inspired by the might of ice and fire and by the eternal mysteries of the Ginnungagap.

Runahild dedicates her compositions to a time where nature was once respected, to a time, where our ancestors kept values and defended them by the weapons and the warrior‘s will! While more and more unreal protagonists pollute the global heathen music scene, these immense longing French female forest-soul serves the old wisdoms in absolute respectable devote way.

Lucky guy I am, as Runahild gives me a deeper view into her creative universe, which surely contains some of the most interesting opinions out of the whole genre at all so far.

Runahild, at which time did you discover the immense love for Overmother nature in yourself?

„Well, I grew up in campaign, with the forest behind my home and all around my very small village is just nature. So I can consider myself lucky for growing there instead of in the middle of the city. I have always spent all of my time away in nature as a child, not like children nowadays who watch tv, play video games and lost all contact with it sadly. So, I have always been connected to Mother Earth and to it's magic and mysteries. But this have been much more present in me at the age of 17 when I discovered the heathen beliefs of our ancestors, and began to feel even more the strength of nature and the spirits of the Gods and Goddesses and ancestors present there. With the years, this became a stronger bound and greater understanding of this all.”

Did you have found real friends and similar minds so far, which share your passions for nature and ancient wisdom?

„Very few to be honest, much people I met, but so many have ended up betraying, and just being there as fakes. Very few I hold dear to my heart as true friends and true heathens now. But that is better this way. We are better with few true friends than thousand of false ones around!”

Is it possible for you at all, to communicate deeper with unenlightened, so called „modern“ people, about their daily primitive ‚demands and fears’, which only reflect nowadays insanity in the end?

„When I talk about such things, it's only with people who are worth it, so my family mainly or such. The problem today is just that people don't live at all, they work for money, and with money buy things which are not needed, and that keep them from the true meaning of life. How can anyone be truly happy in the current days? How can they be completely satisfied? There is one thing that is sure, never ever our ancestors would have felt depression, would have felt fear. They knew why they were on earth, they knew their role and their values, and they lived the way they had to! They had no time for being sad! They spent their life working the land, or working on useful things for the folk, they lived in nature and was aware they were one with it! And from the time human stopped to be one with nature have grown in them these unnatural feelings. But when today I may say this to people, much will say me that I am right, but that anyway it's a dream to live again this way, to return to the value and that it is too late. That it would be too hard with the fact we are used to modernism. And I always and will forever say, with the best will, this is possible! Better dying trying to live free and in harmony with what is true and nature better than living a false life into sadness and dissatisfaction. As the old saying "better living well a short life than a long bad one"!”

Do you have a daily ‚job’?

„I had one sometimes ago, but the place where I worked closed, so I do not work any longer for now. And my aim in life is definitely not to spend my days away from nature to work. I do want no work later but the one of farming, worked with the land, growing my own food and taking care of the house and family. I know some money will be needed at first to buy at least the place, but once enough money has been saved, the life will truly be like the old way.”

With which folks do you share your ‚free-time’?

„I took a decision some years ago: I prefer being alone following my way, better than wasting time with people who doesn't share at all my vision of things. The only folk I see are my true friends, who sadly all live far away, but at least when I have the chance to meet them, the feast are greater than ever and the joy can only fill our hearts! Expect them, I see of course my family who I highly respect even if their visions are different than mine. I owe them much!”

Do you consume any kind of modern media for getting ‚important daily news out of the world’? Or do you prefer do avoid such horrible fear-bringing and mass-hypnotizing tools of the global leaders?

„I do never watch TV, never listen to radio or whatever else. No, news of the world today are of no interest at all for me. I do not see the point in seeing day by days the world I loved falling, I am enough aware of it. I don't see the point hearing what the politics did to make the world an even more horrible place where to live, do not see why one person should decide the fates of thousand anyway. The world today bring nothing good at all, and I prefer staying away from it, I prefer going far into the wilderness, where no one can come and tell me what to do to live well, for only me knows what is good for myself! Nowadays media only praise false values. This is a true brainwashing, and my say is "destroy all this media for a better life"!”

Tell a ´bit about the usual processes of the songwriting for your heathen music creations, Runahild!

„It depends, sometimes I will create a song from a melody coming to my mind first, other time I write a melody on a theme or lyrics that are already written. Or sometimes both comes at the same time. There are some period where inspiration comes, and then as I have all the free time I need, I can record music whenever I want, and so compose much songs. Either way, my music is much the representation of visions I have in my mind, that comes to me while being in nature, or during some reflection about the old tales and meanings.”

How would you describe your working style for the music of Eliwagar?

„I would say this is traditional! I have never recorded any of my songs in studio, I only use a program to record music on my computer, and this is the way I prefer, I have the view on the forest while playing and creating every songs. And I prefer this way that is more natural and personal better than entering a studio with such cold atmosphere to my opinion. My music is surely far to be professional and of high quality, but this is done with truth and with my heart, and filled with the spirit of nature!”

Why do you make this kind of music and which artistic ways do you still seek with your art?

„I hope sometimes to be able to record even more feasting music, and wish more than all to find other true folk to play with. Folk music is meant to be shared and played with the folk, and in a way, it's saddening for now I have to make everything alone. Other musician would bring something I am sure and make the music evolve to something else too! I play folk music because this is the music played by our ancestors! Which doesn't require any of the modern things like electricity either, it can be played in middle of the forest, around a fire for only light at night! I play this because it's the most natural way to make music, and it's the ancestral one too, and also this is the one that truly speaks to my heart and make me travel through the glorious times of old. I have been using keyboards in the past for the sound of accordion, but I got lately a concertina, which is like a small accordion, an Irish instrument. And the sound of it is very nice, and gives a better feeling than keyboards to my opinion.”

How do you practice your relationship to the pure pagan spirit day by day mainly?

„I do celebrate the old feast of once, which is very important for me. Also I will go walk in nature and take her fruits she gives when the times comes and thank her for this grand gift by an other gift, such as our ancestors did, for mother nature allowed them to survive thanks to this gift. I may do depend, once I made marmalade with strawberries found in wild place, and I also did my own bread and went to give this at the roots of an old oak. Or it can also be to play music, sing and honour her. I also feel a strong bound with everything in nature, with trees, rivers, stones. For everything has a soul to me, and I do love to stay in natural place and feel more and more the ancestral mysteries there. For the more we may open our heart and soul to them, the more they will reveal the old secrets and the more it will reveal un untouched beauty and magic.”

Tell your most important rite within nature to worship the ancient pagan forces!

„The two most important rites I do are at Yule (Winter Solstice) and Litha (Summer Solstice). The first represent the end of the darkness, and show that even if the frozen time is still to be overcome, the sun and the light are slowly gaining power for a glorious spring to come. This is very meaningful to hail this feast and celebrate, for without the sun and the light, no folk could survive, they are dependant of this light which will help to make grow the fruits, vegetables, cereals etc. and which will make the awakening of mother earth after the dark times. The second one is the most glorious, the day the longest, where only light and wealth are there! But the darkness will come back, and the folk know they will have to stay united and help each other for the fall because their survival depends of this too. They hailed the sun for all it brought them, and for the coming harvest too. For both feast, pagan people gathered and shared their drink and food together and with the Gods and Goddesses and eternal overmight of nature! The occasion to thank her for what she gave them, and to hail her for what she might give them. Today, I do such feast, even if I do not have very often the occasion to be with true pagan folk. I will anyway share my food and drink with nature and feast!”

What is the greatest fact within all your done music for you?

„Well, I cannot say, for me, everything I ever did is equal as long as it has been done with truth, and to honour something I find worth. Sure, some songs are of less quality musically talking, and I know I still have to evolve on this and I cannot judge some of my work better than other. They all have an important meaning to me, that's what matters before all! I let people having their own opinion about such question! Hehe!”

Seems, that you lay lots of worth about atmospheric passages – what's your ideal song currently?

„That's true, the last songs I have much worked on the atmosphere with flute and echoes to give the impression of being played in the mountains. At least is it my impression. And I really enjoy it! This also gives a sound that is more magical in a way or can be ritualistic too. And my current ideal song is a feasting song in the Irish style which I hope will be composed for a next album, but this time I will have other musician to give something new.”

Please give examples of ideas you've had or implemented for your music.

„They are mainly the values of old: honour, traditions, strength, family, loyalty, pride, wisdom, knowledge etc. The love for mother nature and her beautiful and magical might, the ancestral tales and myth from both the Nordic and Celtic folks, the old way to live, and the old beliefs and also the spirits and folk of nature. But I also write songs about true experience I lived, or after seeing something in nature or feeling something in particular. This is my way to honour her!“

Tell about your proudest achievement so far!

„Making my own music, as it has been a dream and main aim since years and years. I have wanted to hail my pagan beliefs and pride through music, and I am really happy that I succeeded and more than honoured when I see that I get some support! Another proud achievement is simply to know who I am, what I want, and that I strove to get things that I got, and that I will strive for the future as well!”

Which are your favourite bands and why?

„Much have to be quote here. But first of all Falkenbach is my favourite one foremost, because Falkenbach was the first I‘ve heard from about paganism, and I‘ve decided to learn more about it as it appealed me directly. It plays an important role to the road that led me where I am now. But of course, after it's an inner reflection and own experiences, using some basics, that leads to one's own personal way in the web of the Wyrd. Musically talking, I listen to much different kind of styles.”

Which are your musical heroes?

„I would not say any are my heroes, as I do not even know them in real life, even if I talk to them via internet. But I highly respect them for what they have brought and will bring to the scene and to the folk and to the earth!”

What are you looking for in terms of development of musical style?

„As I have mentioned also earlier, I really want that other musician join me, and bring new instrument to Eliwagar, too! All I wish for is to play with great folks, to sing old tales and to hail what is worthy. May it be with a feasting kind of music, or more ritualistic one, or more atmospheric. The time will tell what happens, and inspiration will come as it was meant to come!”

How big do you ultimately want to become in the global ‚music-biz’?

„I do not want to be "big" like much people understand this term. That doesn't interest me at all. I just wish to be able to continue to record my dedication to my faith, my folk and my lands. To be able if possible to record them as pro CD with labels, if some are interested, in order to spread my views and share it with people who might like it. And maybe that by my music some other may get awake to the mother nature magic and ancestral pagan beliefs and values. Like I myself have been awake to it thanks to other bands. And why not, maybe people will begin to enjoy folk music too and have a passion for it as I do!”

What can you do for the fans with your newest music that other candidates out of the genre can't?

„Well, much other musicians and bands use paganism for a trendy theme of lyrics and epic folkish guitar parts, they talk of things they don't believe in real life, they talk of values they themself don't respect in their daily lifes and all of this to get album done with some kind of ideas that could be sold easily with a nice sound. I am not into folk music and into paganism for any kind of trends! What I sing, I believe it, what I say, it all comes from my heart! I do not kid around, no, this is really my way to be and to live days after days. I find it sad to see much people using all of this for fun and money, but I can't do anything to it, so be it. But me – I will not be like them! After there are serious musicians and pagans of course into the scene! And they have to be hailed for this! The other thing is that few are the pagans who make folk music purely, they most of time play pagan folk metal/pagan metal, which is also an awesome kind of music, but mine is different and Eliwagar will forever be True Pagan Folk Music and this only!”

Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?

„Five years from now – making concert into the campaign when winter is there, or into old taverne. Because it's the time to gather and feast while the coldness put the earth to sleep. Just enjoying to play folk music with friends and going to some places to share this. And creating more songs I hope!”

What do you think about the ‚music-industry’?

„It's a shame. Music is not an industry, and it's sad that we came to such point. I honestly would love to just be able to give my CDs with the booklet and all for free, instead of asking money back, but I don't have the choice, I need money to pay the material I use etc. And I am not rich either. But music was meant to be shared with the folk, to keep the heritage alive by feasting with old tales and myth that kept one tribe and their mother earth lands bound at a time far from now. Today, music lost this meaning for much people. But this is still the reason why I do play by my side. Money has no real worth, but the feeling musicians transmit has and is worth all the gold.”

Which are your personal plans for the future? Where do you plan to spend your life once - outside from the society, within mother nature's treasures?

„My future plan are to found a family in the middle of mountains, living off the lands only, the true old ancestral way, with only few true friends and their own family as nearest neighbours. Working hard the day in the house and in the garden, and playing music the night. Simply enjoying every second of what the true life is, until the death takes me. And then, I will not die in sadness, for I will know I leave after living the life I wanted. And I also will die knowing I will have the pagan funeral done by my true friends. I will also be proud if I can give birth to children who will be able their turn to hail the tradition and keep our true heritage alive. And being able to raise the blood of my blood is definitely the most incredible thing a woman can do!“

© Markus Eck, 15.08.2008

[ to overview ]

All Copyrights for band-photos & -logos reserved by its Respective Owners.