tEitUR gehört zweifelsohne zu den bekanntesten Menschen von den Faröer Inseln. Seine Songs vereinen die Qualitäten eines begnadeten Singer-/Songwriters mit der Gunst eines einfühlsamen Erzählers. Im Interview mit Watte pusten sprach Teitur Lassen unter anderem über sein aktuelles Album „Let the Dog drive Home“, Wikipedia, Inspirationsquellen und seine Heimat.
You and your music are known as classical folkmusic. The new CD “Let the dog drive home” sounds electronic sometimes. Is this a new side of you or something you’ve hidden before?
Teitur Lassen: I guess that makes some kind of sense, but I don’t really look at my music as a particular style of music that must only use a certain type of instruments. It’s just sounds that are out there and it’s my music… I haven’t tried to hide anything in the past and I don’t look at the use of synthesizers as something new. Anything I do will still come across as my music, even though the sounds may change from time to time.
Your music sometimes sounds like a whole orchesta. Are you doing these extensive arrangements on your own?
Teitur Lassen: I do it as much as I can and also get help from friends who are better at writing scores than me for some things, to make sure that it sounds as good as possible. Usually, I talk to my friend Tróndur Bogason about what I want and we work it out. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years and I am getting better and better at it because of working more and more in scores. Just writing a song cycle for an ensemble and choir now. I’m beginning to feel more confident. Let’s say I’m still in training and that I am very careful and thorough.
Have you ever had music lessons on instrument or arrangement?
Teitur Lassen: Yes, I’ve studied piano, theory and voice training. I still study composition, almost every day. I’m glad to know music theory very well. It’s a great thing for a songwriter to know about counterpoints, sounds, form and how to make a score for different instrumentations.
You’ve said that it’s not possible to explain music in detail. What’s the difference between music and words?
Teitur Lassen: Did I say that…? I guess it depends – I could describe most music in details, but it would often be my opinion and someone else with a different background or taste could disagree… I think that music is the most abstract art-form, but I also think you can be very subtle in describing musical qualities, timbres and I am not afraid to – I think most musicians are afraid of putting into words what the music should do or is doing, because they are just fascinated by the whole process. Regarding words and music, in popular music there is a great divide between what music is driven by words and what music is driven by sound, amosphere, style etc. For me it’s about making 1 + 1 = 3. I’m very old school and I am not just trying to make something that no one’s heard before, I’m more into making something that will stand the test of time.
What kind of inspirations do you need for songwriting?
Teitur Lassen: All you need is to figure out what you want to say and say it. Then you can go to work and figure out how you want to say it and why. Inspiration is a vague thing and it won’t get the song done alone. It’s work.
You’re from the Faroe Islands. Right now you’re living in London. Do you get more impressions for your music and songs in this big city?
Teitur Lassen: Are you getting this from Wikipedia? I actually live on the Faroe Islands and Copenhagen now. I like the mix between being in nature and being in urban environments. I get that a lot from touring, so it’s a good contrast to be based on the Faroes for a while.
What are you thinking of when you’re thinking of your home country?
Teitur Lassen: My house, my dog, family and friends I suppose.
How important is the internet for you as musician in the year 2011?
Teitur Lassen: It’s great for communication, collaboration and information. YouTube is a great place to find music and performances too.
Do you search your name in the internet? I’ve seen that your site at Wikipedia is not really up to date…
Teitur Lassen: Yes, I know… It’s annoying. But that’s how Wikipedia works. I donated 20 dollars the other day, maybe it will help. It’s one of the best sites on the internet, but mine is out of date. It’s not my job to write it. I think someone spammed it a while back.
Thanks a lot for answering!