Music For Vikings
Wardruna Revives Ancient Nordic Folk Traditions
There was a time back in the ‘80s and ‘90s when radio stations and MTV were great outlets for discovering new music. But these days, more often than not, I find my favorite artists through film and TV soundtracks. Such was the case with Wardruna, a Norwegian musical project created by Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik.
Selvik, formerly the drummer for Black Metal band Gorgoroth, created the project in 2003 to pursue his passion for Nordic spiritualism. Profoundly influenced by the runes of the Elder Futhark, the world’s oldest runic alphabet, he began working with former Gorgoroth frontman Gaahl (a.k.a. Kristian Espedal) and vocalist Lindy Fay Hella to craft an epic, ambient sound rooted in ancient folkloric traditions.
Their second album, Yggdrasil (named after the tree that connects the nine worlds of Norse mythology), was released in March of 2013. But it wasn’t until Wardruna’s music was featured prominently in the History Channel TV show Vikings that the band began building buzz. The show’s producers eventually contacted Selvik directly, asking him to collaborate with composer Trevor Morris (The Borgias) on Vikings’ season two soundtrack.
After tracking Selvik down via his website, we were delighted to get a chance to speak with him about his interest in Norse history, the challenges of making his own reproductions of ancient instruments, and how his success with Vikings will impact Wardruna’s third album, which he hopes to release next year.