Blackened Sky by Rioghan
The current situation with covid didn’t affect our work at all. We did most of the writing before the pandemic hit, and it took a while before it came to Finland, so we were “spared” during this particular process. Of course, live shows are non-existent right now, but that didn’t matter as I don’t have a live line-up gathered yet. When writing for the full album, we have done everything through the web, sending ideas back and forth via Dropbox, Zoom calls etc. And actually, I have found that much more efficient than three people sitting in a room for the whole weekend and coming up with something or maybe nothing. So that is one practice I am going to keep despite the restrictions getting easier at some point.
‘Blackened Sky’ refers to lyrics of the opening track Hollowness, and I thought the phrase captures nicely the ominous presence hovering over the songs throughout the EP. I have grown up with progressive and symphonic metal and listening to bands such as Opeth, Ayreon, Pain of Salvation, Dream Theater, Nightwish. So I think that has been moulding my perception of music very much. Aside from different kinds of losses, I sometimes write about dreams and some weird stories they tell. Usually, my writing is self-reflective to some point, but I often get caught in another person’s story or emotion and want to write about some particular moment.
In regards to life events that have influenced my creativity? Tons of them and probably the unhappy ones always boost creativity the most. I have been writing poems for a bit over a decade that has been my way to let out my feelings and reconcile with all kinds of life events. Now the music and singing give more depth and options.
My initial thought was to get a new approach to my writing and try to get more layers to poems by making music to go with them, and the result turned out to be very pleasant, and I will continue with this method for a full album.
You have to find your own thing that helps you concentrate and flourish your creativity. Is it a certain time of day, a certain place or place, a mood or listening or playing some music. My favourite place is to be in my workroom or my living room, sitting by the window in the dark; also, silence is very important to me to get my thoughts running. And often solitude, if I want to write or maybe try out some singing melodies or techniques, I don’t want anyone to be there.
We shot the cover and promo pictures at a nearby location from my home with Heini Ylä-Vannesluoma behind the camera and Viivi Kiilunen doing the make-up. Also, my pet goats were present at the shoot, which brought a few challenges and interesting results.