This is a side step to what I will be typically reviewing and covering, but seeing how Green Elder is a folk based project musically…they have members in Twilight Fauna and Crown of Asteria – two US based black metal projects that have multiple releases on RedRiverFamily & Sylvan Scream Analog. I have worked with both of these bands putting out their releases in the past, and when I heard they were going to collaborate together on a project, I was more then excited. Both are extremely talented musicians and the combination of their writing style… I knew was going to be something of greatness. I pre-ordered the limited lathe cut record release, which got my access to listening the albums mp3s that Paul Ravenwood sent over to me. And I have been listening to it now stop. The album flows from one song to another like you are on a journey along with them in the woods. And come to find out, that is actually how they wrote the album. With the mixture of traditional instruments: Acoustic Guitars, Accordion, Dulcimers, Flutes, and a bodhran. This release is very comforting to listen to, and very inspiring to get you to get into the woods and just walk until you are lost.
FFO: River, Novemthee, Will O’ The Wisp, Nulla Cur.
Paul: I’m located in the southern Appalachian Mountains.
Meghan: I reside in the countryside of the small village of Bancroft.
Meghan: After working with Paul on the Spirit of the Wildwood split between Crown of Asteria and Twilight Fauna I felt we developed a deep respect for one another both being DIY Musicans/Artists. We share a very strong connection to our homelands and the stories they are built upon. I felt Paul was a very honest and authentic musician with a very open mind. This lead me to ask him if he would be interested in working on the project with me. I felt he was such a great story teller with TF he would surely would be able to share his talents in Green Elder.
Paul: I’m not really one for having a bunch of different projects going at once because I devote myself completely to what I’m working on but sometimes everything just comes together. Maybe the stars were aligned just right who knows? Our skill set of playing a lot of different traditional instruments really complements one another combined with our friendship and mutual respect for one another really paved the way to an amazing working relationship. I couldn’t really imagine Green Elder working with anyone else.
Paul: It was definitely a challenge but it was amazing to find someone to work with who has the same vision. It takes a lot of trust to craft an album together over such a long distance but I feel like we achieved something great with the first album. A lot of bands have a hard time making an album when they’re all in the same room so to go through the entire process a thousand miles apart and have it be a true 50/50 collaboration says a lot about how well we work together. The biggest obstacle recording wise was the sheer amount of instruments we used. There are a lot of traditional instrument combinations people might not have heard before. It’s part of what makes Green Elder unique, but it was also a lot of effort from a production standpoint.
Meghan: At times yes, it was challenging. However, our working relationship from the very beginning was great. I don’t think I could have asked for a more passionate band mate. In the end that is what wrote the album. There’s so much passion, and it really fueled the writing sessions through any challenges or obstacles. It was a very positive and productive experience.
Meghan: Well it started with just throwing ideas back and forth. One of us would write something and then the other would add to it. It was really organic and fluid. The concept came a little later after we exchanged lyrics which were arranged out of some poems I had written while at many of the places the music is inspired by. As the lyrics came into play we started to realize we could turn it into a story which is about traveling to a very special Cabin during the Summer/Fall Months and the memories there. We wanted to write music that was organic and could be played anywhere, no restrictions of anything electronic pertaining to instruments of course. Just something you could pick up your guitar sit down and play as soon as the inspiration hit from the immediate wild environment. The beauty to be found in the simplicity of it all.
Paul: Meghan summed that up pretty well with the word organic. We both feel a strong connection to the natural world and wanted to express that using traditional instruments. We tried to shy away from programming and the use of electronics. These songs are something you could hear around a campfire or sitting on a porch in the countryside. We didn’t really set out to make anything sound a particular kind of way. When you take our mutual interests and our writing styles and put them together, Green Elder is the organic result.
Paul: Right now lathe cut vinyl is what makes sense for us financially, but we would certainly be open to someone helping do a larger vinyl release, but those who miss out the vinyl can always pick up the download from our bandcamp page. We’re really just humbled people are interested in what we’re doing.
Meghan: Right now lathe cut vinyl is what we agreed on. As Paul said, we are open to a larger release. We are very humbled for those that are interested in our work. We really appreciate it.
What does the future hold for Green Elder?
Meghan: Right now each of use have our main musical outlets to keep us busy for the time being. However we have plenty of ideas and more Green Elder will be worked on when the time is right again.
Paul: We’re both learning to balance working with our metal projects and keeping Green Elder moving forward. There is great potential in Green Elder and we’ve only scratched the surface. There will be more from us in the future, and like Meghan said, when the time is right it will happen. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, and thank you to all those who take time to listen.