Like an Ingmar Bergman moviewhere darkness and despair sometimes
overshadows hope and lightthe music of guitarist Peder Nabo
engulfs your senses and darkens your world. Actually, I first heard
Nabo back in the mid 70s. As the guitarist / keyboardist in
70s Swedish prog-rockers Ragnarök, Nabo recorded that bands
all time classic Fjärlar I Magen back in 1979 and he also
took part in the Ragnarök reunion Path album from 2009.
Although not featuring any of his 70s era Ragnarök band
mates, Nabos 2010 album Nattens Prinsessa makes for an
intriguing spin, especially for Ragnarök fans who continue to
enjoy that bands amazing approach to instrumental rock. The
sound here is processed but quite organic too. Its rock but
in the spirit of Scandinavian guitar giants such as Terje Rypdal,
its a mercurial kind of instrumental rock that allows the dreamy
and atmospheric moodiness of folk, lite psychedelia and even New Age
to overtake the sound spectrum. Commenting on the album Nabo adds,
The title of the album during process was Dark Twang
and I wanted us to make music for electric guitar that was subdued.
Music that didnt fear being calm and melancholic. Nabo
also adds, Nattens Prinsessa (Selenicus Pteranthus) is the white
flower. "Princess Of The Night", directly translated. It
comes out in the sunset and fades before the sunrise. For Nattens
Prinsessa, Nabo has surrounded himself with some fine players
such as fellow guitarist Niclas Höglind on 8 string guitar
as well as drummer Kristofer Johanson. Theres also a
cover here of a cool instrumental Nabo wrote for the first Ragnarök
album back in 1975. Those lucky enough to have heard Ragnarök
back in the 70s and early 80s will enjoy this intriguing
instrumental rock album. One other thing worth noting here is the
amazing packaging of the CD itself which is a really cosmic looking
origami style of CD packaging, which to my knowledge has never been
done before. Contact the artist directly: Peder_Nabo@yahoo.com
mwe3.com presents an interview
I know there's a cover on this new album of a song from the first
Ragnarök album too.
PN: You mean Farvel? One of my first songs ever. A friend
lends me a sitar when I was 20 years of age. I played on that instrument
day and night. But he wanted his Indian instrument back. A few months
later I bought a Spanish guitar and started to play on that guitar
as if it was a sitar and composed Farvel Köbenhavn.
The melody is played on one string, the D-string starting on the fourteenth
fret. Since that time Ive always felt like I had sitar approach
in my hands. All musicians play different moods. I think I am a kind
of raga musician. Following songs on my CD are, if you like, raga
oriented: Nattens Prinsessa, Fjård,
Reesa and Maj Sevan. Electric Raga
could have been the title of the album.
MWE3.COM How would you describe what you set out to achieve musically
and sound wise on the Nattens Prinsessa CD?
PN: It took me a while to decide to make a record and a while to find
the right musicians to play along with me. But at that time when I
found Kristoffer (drums) and Niklas (8 string guitar), I already knew
the direction. Three part melodies Ive experimented, with stacked
thirds (Flight 371 To Hanoi), stacked fourths (Reesa)
and stacked fifths (Längtans Hav). I used expressions
like dark, slow, or melancholy twang to describe what I was looking
for. I was tired of distorted sounds from electric guitars and decided
to have one more limitation in the process: Only sounds from vibrating
metal, like steel stringed guitars, Rhodes piano, violins, accordion,
etc. On a daily basis I work as theater musician and composer so I
dont conduct, I direct. When we recorded Melliano,
I told my drummer play like a locomotive, a locomotive made
of paper. (laugher) And he did so.
MWE3.com: Are you happy with the results of the Nattens Prinsessa
I have worked for a long time with the album as a side project supported
by two music institutions that let me use their musicians when they
had days off. I wanted to make all decisions by myself. One day there
were no more decisions to make and the record was ready to print.
MWE3.com: And what's been the reaction to the album in Sweden and
among fans of your work in Ragnarök?
PN: I dont know yet. Some have told me that they like it. Especially
artists and folks in the music business say they like it. Thats
MWE3.com: How would you compare the sound and vision on the Nattens
Prinsessa CD with your current work in the reformed Ragnarök?
PN: I have played in Ragnarök since 1973. It is always very chaotic
when we get together. We recorded Path during a weekend, traveling
back and forth included. We rehearsed and recorded at the same time.
Deleted recorded material until we were satisfied and kept the last
version. Then over to the next song. I remember that I had to relax
in the studio playing on a vintage Wurlitzer electric piano while
the others had dinner and party upstairs.
Can you tell us some information about where and when your new solo
album was recorded as well as something about the musicians you played
with on the Nattens Prinsessa CD?
PN: I got the idea for this album, when realizing that I actually
enjoyed playing electric guitar again. I hadnt owned an electric
guitar since the 70s so it took me about seven years and seven
guitars to explore that world of sound and to transpose my songs for
that instrument. It was only after I met Niklas Höglind and Kristoffer
Johansson (ex-Jazzunit) and started to collaborate with them that
the music got the feedback I felt it was in need of.
I allowed my guitars to twang while Niklas, who is a master of generating
unexpected sounds from his eight-string guitar, used a vast amount
of pedals. As a fourth member in the process, violinist Géza
Polony became involved. He started his career in the opera house in
We started recording the group in Spring 2009 in a barn on the countryside,
half an hour north of Kalmar. Some songs were recorded at my home
studio and some at the theater studio at my job.
MWE3.com: Were you still making music during the years after you left
Ragnarök in the late '70s, before you rejoined them for the Path
album and how did you decide to rejoin Ragnarök again?
PN: I left Ragnarök 1979 and started art school in photography.
I was even a student at San Francisco Art Institute for a while. But
found my way back to composing for theater, performance and modern
dance. In 2002 I invited the original lineup of the group to a dance
performance to show them my work. Eight months later we had a successful
reunion, in August 2003.
MWE3.com: Is there a story about the Ragnarök Path album
and what did you think of how the Path album turned out? What
is the current status of Ragnarök and is there a plan for a follow
up studio album or live album to the Path album?
The most fantastic with Path is that it is sponsored by rich
businessman called Alexis Lope Bello from Venezuela, that operated
from Switzerland at that time. We never met him. He was very rich
and then there was this financial crisis one month after the CD-release.
Then he disappeared from Europe. We havent heard from him since
then but we are grateful to him.
MWE3.com: Are you playing more guitars than keyboards these days and
can you tell us something about your guitars and keyboards featured
on both the Path album and the Nattens Prinsessa CD?
PN: I do always have my custom-homemade Tele on my knee while watching
TV. Its built on a neck from 71 and has hand wound pickups.
One fretless tele and a Gibson ES 175.
Recently my interest for vintage keyboards has increased again. My
Rhodes piano from 1976 stands beside two Wurlitzers, a Clavinet D6,
a pianet, and some combo organs including a UK Vox Continental .
MWE3.com: I admired your work on the first two Ragnarök albums.
Will the Fjärlar I Magen album ever be officially reissued
PN: You are not the only one asking. Silence is on low jets. I think
Path is their last release. I look forward to seeing a Ragnarök