Solar Fields

English / Polish version

Solar Fields
    WHERE: Gothenburg, Sweden
    WHAT: electronic music
    ALBUM: Random Friday
    PARTY: Roskilde Festival 1990
    LIKE: coffee
    DISLIKE: early mornings
    PRIVATELY:
    CONTACT:
    - Ultimae Records
    - Official Site
    - Facebook

Without a doubt the ranks of Ultimae Records are powered by a group of artists-giants, without who the scene of psybient, chillout and downtempo would not be the same substance as it is now. We think, that every attentive listener, lover of chillout sound would be able to name at least one name associating with the label that we have mentioned before. This time we would put the accent on another name from Ultimae Records – Magnus Birgersson. The music of a genius Swede who stands behind the project Solar Fields and among others H.U.V.A. Network has been a great inspiration for many listeners.
Solar Fields is a true magician of the sound. Just like a stained glass made up of many individual, differing from one another colourful parts ultimately creates a collective work, as the seemingly divergent albums, compilations of Solar Fields project, give a very beautiful whole, which is worth devoting a consideration. Swede with remarkable precision and intelligence creates from each sound some colourful musical landscapes, emerging slowly through the fog, which aims to inspire the mystery of what the artist wants to tell us. Birgersson, like his other colleagues from the label, does not give us a finished, ‘ready to eat’ product, which you only need to listen, everything will become clear and the images in our mind will appear immediately. Magnus does not feed us with the pulp of some grinded sounds that we had once heard somewhere. He hopes that not only we will listen to his music, but above all we will start to feel it.
Magnus Birgersson since his youthful years has comitted himself to some various musical projects, he played the guitar, drums, percussion, piano and even tried to create graphics. He has started his adventure with the project Solar Fields in 2001 with releasing an album called REFLECTIVE FREQUENCIES. Then, there were: BLUE MOON STATION (2003), LEAVING HOME (2005), EXTENDED (2005), EARTHSHINE (2007), EP called COCOON MOON (2008), MOVEMENTS (2009), music for a videogame called MIRROR’S EDGE (2009), ORIGIN #01 (2010), ALTERED – SECOND MOVEMENTS (2010), UNTILL WE MEET THE SKY (2011) and RANDOM FRIDAY (2012). What is more, his tracks are also in a lot of compilations.

Ashoka: Hmmm… Magnus Birgersson, right? Sorry but we still cannot believe that we have a chance to talk to Solar Fields and a half of H.U.V.A Network, so could you confirm that? (laughing)

This is the one and only yes!!! Hello Poland!!! Hope you all are well.

Ashoka: Why Solar Fields? Why have you chosen this name? Could you explain its meaning or maybe you could say who came up with an idea to name the project by using this term?

I wanted to have something that reflects the music. Something untouchable but existing.

Ashoka: Excuse us for asking directly but can you call yourself ‘a star’?

We are all stars in this universe.

Ashoka: Could you tell us more about your collaboration with Aes Dana? You have been working together for a long time right?

We started to work on H.U.V.A Network project in 2003 so it’s soon 10 years.
We are working on new material at the moment but to early to talk any deeper about it but it will be a massive BBQ.We are both very busy with our own things at the moment.

Ashoka: If you had to compare the music and climate of Solar Fields to any sort of art (e.g. to a painting, book, film, etc.), what would it be? How could you define and describe your project?

I guess I would say a dream. You know when you are in that state of mind in the deep sleep where you create your own rules and worlds.
Solar Fields is all about creative freedom when it comes to composition. No borders or rules. And this is what it’s all about. I don’t follow patterns of what is going on at the moment or trying to re-create something that I already did, Solar Fields goes way deeper than that. Everyday is a new day and every sound should be a new sound.

Ashoka: We know that classifying the artist is not particularly professional task, but you (not only as Solar Fields, but in general) are classified as psybient downtempo producer/artist. Do you agree with that? What is your own definition of psychedelic music?

I have no idea who put that tag on me, if you asked someone else I guess he/she would think differently and wonder what psybient is. For me I compose music with electronic instruments, so it’s electronic music and that is it for me.

Ashoka: Do you feel better as a down or uptempo artist? What are the adventages and disadventages of being the ‘diverse artist’?

All the same but different, I do what I do and that’s why I do it. For live gigs it’s perfect to be able to play softer tunes and build it up to heavier grooves.

Ashoka: Do you have any plans for nearest future? Any new albums? Any other collaborations?

My 11th Solar Fields album called RANDOM FRIDAY has been released at the end of April 2012 on Ultimae. It is an up-tempo one, featuring 10 new tracks dancefloor oriented. This is in the same vein as EARTHSHINE released in 2007. I created something groovy and hypnotic, mixing floating pads with dry drums and heavy basslines. Also Carbon Based Lifeforms and I have woken up a project that we started 15 year ago called T.S.R and we are now releasing all the 4 albums we created that can be found on all major digital stores like Itunes, Amazon and so on. Also some new projects are in the pipeline but its little too early to talk about it.

Ashoka: We have asked the same question to Asura, and can you guess what was his answer? Let us quote his words, because he said: ‘Solar Fields. For me, it’s the best that electronic has to offer since several years or decades. This guy is a sound stakhanovist, and a great melodist (which lacks in many trance or ambient artists). And he has his unique style. For me, MOVEMENTS is a chef d’oeuvre. Avant garde sound with melodies you can whistle. Terrific.’

I thank Charles for those words, I have huge respect for him and what he is creating.

Ashoka: Returning to Solar Fields, could you say to what kind of audience, to whom do you want to get with your music?

For my very own experience I have been playing for the hole spectrum when it comes to audience. From chill out tents on festivals to opera halls, main stage up-tempo shows to small private and intimate gigs. I like to perform to who ever wants to listen and everyone is welcome to experience my musically live trip.

Ashoka: Is it true that nowadays it is very hard for an artist/producer who creates psychedelic trance or chillout music to sell his albums, while people gain music from the internet? How does the sale of Solar Fields albums work? Do you think that selling your CD ‘you will earn money for buying food?’

I guess labels do not have the same possibility today to promote new music as they had 10-15 years ago since people are not buying music in the same way due to the digital format. I am lucky enough and thankful to live 100% of my music so yes it puts food on my table and it pays my rent. But it’s a lot of work and sometimes it is not an easy way of living. Also doing scores to movies and video games like electronic arts MIRROR’S EDGE.

Ashoka: Maybe you could answer, what is your vision of the future concerning a distribution of music? In which direction will it go? How would someone make money on creating the music in ten years?

We are more and more in the future, all will become digital, it’s just a matter of years now, the CD will still be there some more years as long as fans buy it. When the core of the fans of a physical object is moving over to digital the CD will be gone. We have to keep in mind that the CD was born in the 70s so it IS really old now. Since CD sales are drastically falling, and the major labels are printing less volumes the overall price will be more expensive for manufactures to create it in the future. And we can figure out that equation. When volume decreases the price goes up. Also record labels have to rethink the whole idea of what a label is. Things are changing and that is fast now. It is very easy to get out music on digital platforms if you don’t want or think the CD is necessary today. I see more and more artists that go their own path now and release their music by themselves instead of having a record label included in the release. The traditional role of a record label will fade out when the digital has completely taking over the market. Sad but true.

Ashoka: Could you tell us more about your cooperation with Ultimae Records? Do you agree with the statements it’s one of the best chillout label in the world?

I have been working with them for 12 years and it is so far the most reliable label that I have been working with out there. 100% trust in them. I don’t know if I would call Ultimae a chill out label but ok, I understand your point of view.

Ashoka: Tell us, do you often read some opinions about your music or reviews of your albums? How do you react when you hear some criticism? Which comments have you remembered especially?

Everyone has his own opinion and this is what also makes it unique, someone likes something and another doesn’t. I have mainly been reading positive reviews of my albums so I’m happy.
I am completely open to criticism.

Ashoka: Which of your albums or tracks are the most satisfying to you? Which one is your favourite and why?

Cannot tell you. I have composed over 200 tracks for the Solar Fields project so it’s a lot, I guess it changes from time to time. I have made some very nice discoveries now on my old hard drives that will end up on ORIGIN 2. Some music that I completely forgot about.

Ashoka: Let us ask now about the name of your albums or tracks? Why have you taken those names? Do they have any special meaning? And what about the album covers?

For an album title it has to reflect the summary of what the music is about on the specific album. The same goes with the artwork. It captures the feeling of what it’s about in a visionary way of thinking. Music, artwork and titles go hand in hand.

Ashoka: Do you feel more satisfied as a downtempo or uptempo artist? And why?

I don’t make any difference between it, it’s the same and it’s music. I’m not hardcore producing up-tempo music since that is not my focus, I just create some new track there and then and after some years and also I am playing them on gigs and finally it ends up on an album. Just like EARTHSHINE album that was a collection of up-tempo music I had been doing through the years.

Ashoka: And what do you do in private? A Family? Work? Any Interests (other than music)? Secrets? (laughing)

I live music 24/7 so that’s also my work, so most of my time goes to that when I’m in the creative mood. If the creativity is gone I do not compose at all and it can go on for months like that. What I normally do then is back to the school bench and open manuals and figuring out new stuff. Also creating new sounds, programming new effect algorithms. Other interests, hmm… movies, games, people, beer. My secrets are a secret.

Ashoka: We need to ask you about your inspiration. What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have a group or artists that you always admire? Do you go to parties or gigs just to have fun and listen to good music?

I guess my inspiration comes from my life I am living. I listen to all kinds of music, mostly guitar based stuff, not so much electronic music at the moment. Not going to so many parties anymore, getting close to 40 so I prefer soft and nice bars instead.

Ashoka: Apart from the questions referring to Solar Fields, could you tell us what is the meaning of life to you?

To enjoy the time we have as much as possible. One life live it.

Ashoka: Not only Ashoka members but of course many your fans in Poland would be very glad to hear you someday in our country. Would you like to play in our country one day?

Sure, I would love to come down to Poland, I have heard so much good things. Also getting a lot of emails from fans in Poland asking me to come down and play. I have never been there so I guess it’s time.

Ashoka: OK, we are coming to the end, so we would like to ask about your artistic plans for now.

Everything you need to know you can find on http://www.facebook.com/solarfields , so keep an eye on it.

[23.10.2012]