Peter Lindahl by a steam engine

                                           "A Passionate Trip"

                         Interview with Peter Lindahl, simply a formidable artist

                                                        By Sergio Vilar

Part 2

What can you tell us on "Dryad", the third album of In The Labyrinth?

"Dryad" is similar to "Walking on Clouds", yet not so India oriented. It´s mostly instrumental although there are some vocal inclusions here and there, usually carried out by Helena Selander and myself. It's a mix of many styles, oriental, progressive rock, Scandinavian and Celtic folk, psychedelic and classical. The sound is often comprised of a combination of acoustic, electric and sampled instruments. 

How was the composition process and of recording? Peter on synth

A lot of the songs on "Dryad" have the same origin as the ones on "Walking on Clouds". These compositions were meant to be part of an album which was scrapped a long time ago. The title of this long lost item was The Lord of Mushrooms. 
One aspect of how I put the In The Labyrinth albums together is I try to connect the tracks into a long suite. Each track can give the others a sort of feedback if you put them in the right order.
The recording process is always fast in the beginning when I cut a sort of rough basic version of the song using my old Atari computor. Then I layer instruments on top of oneanother and make up the arrangement as I go along, sometimes even changing the composition itself. Then it all tends to slow down and get more complicated as it draws nearer to the mix down. And that is when things sometimes come to a complete stand still. I have to get the balance right between instruments and find the most suitable ambience or echo for each little sound. Ocassionaly I remix my songs up to forty or fifty times.

The most interesting part of recording "Dryad" was probably when the Assyrian Turk Ismet Demirhan added his oriental woodwinds to the track called "Jabberwocky". Everything was done by chance, the least to say! Very improvised. But I managed to make him fit in somehow.

I should also mention that this track once used to be a tag at the end of one of the songs on "Walking on Clouds", our second CD. That's why it's a bit short.
Another adventurous incident was when we worked on the last part of "Catch a Cloud" where Håkan and I didn't know for quite some time if we were playing at a five to four beat or a ten to nine. It was crazy! But it all worked out in the end. This song was initially a heavy rocker until Håkan advised me to make it more mellow.
The tenth track being "Night of the Baskerville Killer" was a risky experiment in the way that this is a more pop oriented sort of a song and somewhat lacking in ties with the In The Labyrinth concept. It first appeared in 1980 when my late brother Niklas came up with the cords, then I developed it further and even later further still by Håkan and me as we worked on a semi oriental arrangement including among many other instruments the Indian sitar. 
"Deep Saffron" was in the beginning two seperate yet similar instrumentals which I combined together by the initiative of Håkan. I rember Helena and I having a hard time getting the harmonies in the second half right. I had to reedit our choir a thousand times on the hard disc to make it work. And mentioning the hard disc I should maybe explain that most of the material on "Dryad" was recorded on a tape recorder and then bounced over to digital format before continuing to overdub more instruments. Our previous albums were, however, both recorded and mixed using analogue equipment to a hundred percent.
Håkan Almkvist on electric guitarWhat have you achieved with this new disk, in comparison with the previous ones? 

Maybe I've managed to integrate some Celtic and Nordic features in with the rest of the styles, anyhow a bit more clearly than on the previous ones. I think I've also succeeded in assembling a certain kind of lyrics. It's nearly like a fairytale theme running through the album. There are lines hinting at danger on the way, on captivity under drugs or even Mammon. I wanted lyrics that would go well with the folky touch of some of the melodies. One exception, however, is "Deep Saffron", a poem which was narrated by Stefan Ottman in the mid section of the track with the same name. This text, I would say, is more spiritual.

In retrospect, What opinion do you have today on each one of the albums that you have published? How would you describe to each one of them?   

The garden of mysteries was done by me with some assistance from the former member Mikael Gejel and a couple more musicians/singers. It was recorded during a period when I was totally optimistic about things. The company behind the release was APM and this was in their heydey. Today APM unfortunately no longer exists, a tradgedy which Håkan and I saw coming long before it happened. That's why we had to move on to his own label TAP and use Record Heaven as the distributer.
An important aspect of "The Garden of Mysteries" is that it was affected by all the travels to Turkey which my wife Carina and I undertook around the late eighties.
"Walking on Clouds" and "Dryad" have, as I've already said, very much the same origin which makes them rather similar, although "Walking" is very much Hindu while "Dryad" isn't or atleast not to the same degree. Both allbums came about in a period of deeper anxiety which may occasionaly be reflected in the music. There is more anger in the two of them while "The Garden" is more soft and gentle.

Peter, which is the goal that you have intended to reach as artist?

I have no other goal than to continue being creative and to make as good albums as possible. Along side of In the labyrinth I have several other projects with which I hope to continue. I'm optimistic about eventually getting out some of my more rock oriented songs as well as music for relaxation and meditation. All depends if I can find the right label or on howStefan Ottman and Peter Lindahl things develop with TAP.

What opinion do you have of the current musical scene?    

Beyond all that MTV trash and boring mainstream stuff pouring out of the media, there is a huge underground movement bubbling and sizzling all over the world and it's just waiting to rise up to the surface. Highly personal bands and artists are virtually everywhere, this enabled by the inexpensive hi tech techniques of today, meaning it has become more simple for "little" bands to record their things.

Thank you for your time. Do you want to add something more?  

It was very nice answering to your questions Sergio and I hope some of the progsters in Buenos Aires will find an interest in my replies and that this may deepen their insite into the music of my band/project!

Mucho gracias y bienvenidos!

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