Paleowolf is the sort of music project that comes along once in a blue moon, and as much as Facebook annoys me a lot of the time, I have to thank it for introducing me to this beautiful, transcendental endeavour. During my first read thorough of the interview you’re about the encounter, my smile threatened to split my face in two. The intense passion and spirit that is behind this project is truly enlivening.
There is a long and a short story. The long story is that I was always inspired by humanity’s past, especially with the life of early humans. I always pondered about their lifestyle, their thoughts, feelings, spirituality, and of course, artistic expression. And I always wanted to somehow be able to feel that ambience, to transport myself back into those times, to know what’s it like from the first hand. This was the initial inspiration for the concept, because music is the best tool to transmit and create any kind of atmosphere, and it’s a medium for travelling between and out of worlds. The short story goes like this: one day I was sitting and listening to some shamanic chanting, and (naturally) started to sing along. Next thing I know, I took the microphone, started recording, later added drums and rhythm to hear how it will sound – and the first Paleowolf material was born. I love creating music and having a decent amount of experience in music making, it was not a hard thing for me to continue developing it in a full track (well, it was not that easy, but I consider music making a pleasure, so I can’t say it was hard either). And when I realized that it actually sounded really good to my ears, I went and made another one. While I was doing that, the images of primordial man and life of our ancestors constantly reflexed onto my mind’s mirror, and I just channeled that energy. This was all one great wave of inspiration and it was a kind of experimental and meditative journey for me.
What is the story behind the name Paleowolf, and has the project always had this title? Why was it the perfect choice?
Yes, this was the first and the only title. At first, the music had no name, I put the recordings into one untitled folder. I felt that if I want to name it, it should have something to do with wolves. I don’t exactly know why that was, possibly because wolf is my favourite animal, he’s been with us (humans) through the ages, and we’d probably never been the way we are if it wasn’t for that great being. And I also consider wolf my, so-called, “shamanic totem animal”. But the thing was, it didn’t came up quite clear to me what exact words to use. Then one day the word “Paleowolf” came as a flash to me and I thought “this is the perfect name for the project!”. I know, it’s not even an existing word. It’s a neologism, made of two words-“paleo”, which means old, archaic, ancient and “wolf” – so roughly taken, it means “archaic wolf”. And the title “ancient / archaic wolf” is a perfect title to represent me and my music.
Your music is inspired by the ages when humans were still living as hunter gatherers. When did these times first become important to you, and how do you further your knowledge in order to understand what life was like back then?
Like I said, I’ve always wondered how was life when all what we have now – concrete buildings, electricity, machines, technology – was not part of human life. Can you imagine your life without electricity for a couple of hours, not speaking of several days, weeks, a few years? It must’ve been a completely different experience, both physically and psychologically.
Even as a kid, I asked myself and daydreamed about how would your life look like if you lived in a forest, with no house of concrete. Nature all around you, no noises, cars, street smell… Everything’s gone except the sounds of nature. You’d sleep in some grove, maybe on some planks of wood, or in a modified shrub, a secluded cave, covered with a leafy blanket. You’d wake up by sunrise and with the call of the wild birds and beasts. You’d then probably go deeper into a forest to forage or hunt… and so forth. Being a great lover of nature, especially forests, it seemed like a magical era to be alive. Of course, this kind of lifestyle also has its hard moments, but that’s part of being alive. I also read various books on the theme, ranging from anthropology, palaeontology to evolutionary biology and psychology, and these also helped me form a clearer picture of how was life back then.
One of the very first things that struck me about Paleowolf was the flawless production of your music, and the professionalism of your design work. Did you already have the necessary design and production skills before you started Paleowolf, or have you been acquiring them as and when they’re needed?
Well that’s a real compliment to me, thanks! Yes, I had the skills, but you always learn something through every experience. For example, I didn’t use much of my vocals in music making until now, so I guess that was a new experience and a lesson for me. Being an ‘artistic soul’ I always created something, from simple paper-pencil drawings to Photoshop designs, music included. This is my passion and my hobby. Being creative is what defines me, so I was proficient in, and “practiced” musicianship and design before I started with this project.
These lands were home to one of the oldest and at a time, one of the most developed cultures in Europe, the glorious culture of Vinca. The symbols used by these ancient people are the ones you can see in Paleowolf logo. The area also has some of the most stunning and beautiful nature, and this is a great inspiration for me.
The ambient atmosphere created through tribal drum beats and ancient instruments stays with me for hours after I have finished listening. How would you describe your mental and emotional state when you are creating your music, and how do you feel when you listen back to what you have made?
Making music is something I really love doing, so no matter what kind of music I make, it always both empties me (physically relaxes me) and fills me with ecstasy and a new energy. I also consider it as a sort of a sacred work, and I project my entire being (both emotionally and spiritually) into it. When it comes to Paleowolf, it’s hard to describe it. It’s my own personal way of getting “high” (although I don’t know the exact meaning of the word, since I never got “high” in the classic, drug-using sense). I’m filled with some strange energy while doing it, and afterwards I feel great. The feeling is better if the sound is the way I wanted it to be. It’s exciting, satisfying and fills you with a positive vibe. It’s a great feeling, and you can know how it is only if you make music. So, my advice to everyone reading this – be creative and make music!
The first and most important source of inspiration for me is, of course, mother Nature. There you can find all the inspiration for everything you want to do in life. Especially making music of this kind and style. Also, I find my inspiration inside myself, or better yet, by travelling deep inside the collective unconscious deep inside my mind. I support the view that, even today, we have memories dating from the first experience of the first human, buried deep inside our brains. It’s like we have physical characteristics transmitted through generations, only here it’s about the transmission of psychic states (some call it the “genetic memory”). To me it’s absolutely logical that collective experiences are in some way genetically transmitted, and I oftentimes can feel that.
Well, it has to do with the notion that, lately, I’m not much of a fan of words in music myself. I mostly listen to ambient music which has very little words. I also listen a lot to shamanic, throat-singing music, so that was a great influence. Secondly, the best instrument you can have and the most natural one, is your own voice. So I use voice as an instrument, playing notes with it. And lastly, the age of which the music of Paleowolf tells is an age where humans used no language, words and grammatical structures in the sense we use them today. Communication was mostly non-verbal and paralinguistic (the usage of vocal characteristics such as voice pitch, vocals production rate, etc). I think vocals without words are the main factor responsible for this primordial “vibe”, which starts resonating with listeners the moment they start playing the tunes.
You aim to create music which is unique, and I personally think you’ve achieved this with every track you’ve released. How do you ensure that the music you make doesn’t replicate the music coming from other projects which create in a similar vein?
To be honest, when I started working with the material I didn’t think much about how my creations will sound to other people. I even wasn’t sure if I should put it online or just keep it for myself. Now, I’m really glad when I see people like it and when someone says some nice words about it, it’s really a great gift. But I don’t try to make it this or that, I make it for my own amusement and joy, it’s my own personal moment. The final product is just an expression of my own creativity, my own inner being, my own states. And they are in constant flux, they’re never static. I think that’s the formula to make your music sound unique and fresh – let your inner being express yourself freely and let it flow and evolve. The moment you try to achieve a specific influence and effect on people, that’s the moment you ruin it. It’s like when you try to make an impression on someone – the harder you try, the ‘faker’ you’ll turn out to be.
Do you have goals set in place for Paleowolf? What can we expect to see in the coming months?
Well, the main goal is to now please the requests of the fans and release a physical CD. I put most of the tracks for free listening online (I’ve kept a few secret ones, to have a chance to surprise the listeners on the release), but having a physical release is something different, it’s a special feeling. I’m still searching for the right label and I hope it’ll happen soon. I also plan to begin working on a new material (the tracks you can hear online are a part of one whole), so people can keep their heads up. When I created the concept, I also planned to connect a special blog with it, where I will write about the connection of man and nature, to now express my thoughts through a different channel – words. So I hope that the times to come will be the times of great joy for both me and the listeners of Paleowolf.
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