with Rune Flaten of Origami Arktika
May 13, 2007
Name: Rune Flaten
Band: Origami Arktika
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?
Rune – It was an accident. I just had some time on my hands & a band to go on tour with. But when I had experienced playing live for an audience, there was no way back.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Rune – Oh. Mostly that would involve playing with other bands or people, like the Naro Giraffe Group at Riddu Riddu festival. Or with Tanya Tagaq, or the amazing Jen Paches. Yes. & Lee Pui Ming. Interaction with unknown (or known) people is good. Ah! & there’s the infamous “rar musikk festival” in the woods here in Norway. We were for some mysterious reason scheduled as “origami fururama” some years ago, & played the part. Ha! Vancouver Breakfast TV after a long night of anything but sleep. Trust me, kids; it is great to play in a band.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Rune – Once again, I didn’t as much decide that I wanted to become a father. It was more like deciding not-to-not want kids. All my kids are happy & wonderful accidents.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Rune – The obvious positive thing is that having a family alters your views on most things in life. You have to put your own needs in the back seat, & try to see the bigger picture of what’s important for everyone. I think that has affected my view on how to make music as well. Another thing, with small kids there is not much time left for doing other extra-familiar activities, like playing music. So the time available for playing music is very valuable.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Rune – Well, they are not very happy when I leave them to go out drinking & playing. & it’s not like they are great fans of my music either. But the kids love to play around with my instruments & stuff.
QRD – Have your children effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Rune – I think it has affected my music, but it is difficult to tell in what direction. I certainly know & have recorded more lullabies since I started singing them regularly at home. & I cannot listen to all the wonderful noise I like whenever I like. So the music I listen to has changed a lot. But that is also for the good, as I have explored other directions, learning about folk music from around the globe.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Rune – I’ve never had much money. Not a problem. Keep your expenses low.
QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on being a touring musician, would you have toured more earlier in life if you’d known?
Rune – Certainly. But the time is approaching when touring is easier again, as the kids get older & more independent. It is a period of five to ten years, when touring is difficult. After that it gets easier.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Rune – What is my community? I think I live several lives, in different communities. & in some my role as a father has greater impact than in others, where people know me as a musician.
QRD – Would you rather see your child eventually become a musician or parent?
Rune – Both, preferably. But I don’t think people/my kids have to have children of their own. It is not like you are necessarily made a better person if you have children. Everyone doesn’t have to become a parent, it is very okay not to.
QRD – Both family & music seem like things that will take up as much of your time as you’re willing to put in. How do you end up dividing your time?
Rune – Family is more important than music.… Whatever spare time is available goes to the music. But then again, the spare time available increases when the kids get older.
QRD – What do your children think of your music?
Rune – They think it is strange, but some of it they like. I mostly sing traditional folk tunes, & the kids know most of them as I sing these around the house most days.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your children?
Rune – Naturally! I have recordings of them, & as they are getting older, I want to do things together with them. Hell, I’ve got three boys. That’s drums, bass, & guitar right there.
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Rune – No. Go figure it out yourselves.
It’s not like you’d listen to me, anyways.