Following his work with Swedish label Comorbid Records, Stockholm native Bård Ericson aka boerd has signed with Anjunadeep to release his latest mini-album, ‘Static’. Taking influence from his career playing double bass with the Swedish Royal Opera, Swedish Radio Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, his experience as a player in a significantly larger ensemble gives his music a unique vision and his arrangements a focus not easily realized by the typical bedroom producer. With nods ranging from Burial, Bibio and even Aphex Twin, the 26-year-old has developed a style that pushes the boundaries of atmospheric electronica with stunning attention to detail. Building his sound from samples he records himself, Ericson conjures a euphoric mix of subtle soundscapes that simultaneously breathe and play in awe. DMCWORLD dives in…
Boerd – or Bard – nice to speak to you, how are you today?
I’m fine thank you, I’ve been skiing in the north of sweden for a couple of days, it was really nice. I needed a little vacation.
Why is this project called boerd?
My real name Bård is pronounced “bored” in english, which is pretty funny I guess. “Hi I’m bored” etc. So I thought it would be nice to just go with my real name for this solo project, but “bored” isn’t very google-friendly so I just misspelled it on purpose. It’s supposed to be pronounced “bored” though, like my name!
How old were you when you decided to pursue a career in music and what did your famiy think of your decision?
None of my parents are musicians, but they have always been very supportive. I started playing the double bass when I was around 9 years old, and I think I learned stuff pretty quickly. I had some great bass teachers who eventually pushed me to apply for the Royal Music of College in Stockholm, so I did and got accepted when I was 18. I guess that was when I started thinking that maybe music is what I’ll be doing. I started making electronic music when I was 15, and also played in a couple of bands so even though classical music has been my main focus I can not imagine only doing that. I’m really happy doing both at the moment – playing double bass in Opera and Symphony Orchestras, and releasing my own electronic music.
Name your musical influences?
In electronic music, I think my biggest influences right now are Burial, Arca, Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, and Massive Attack. I think I get influenced by classical music too, from hearing so much of it when I work.
We’ve been listening to Fragment II, nice track! Tell me about how you put it together? Do you play all the guitar yourself?
Yes I played the guitars and piano myself. I worked with samples of improvisations that I recorded sometime, maybe even a couple of years old actually. I start a lot of songs with finding pieces of old improvisations
that I recorded, and start building the song out of that. The idea for Fragment II started with the piano that comes in about half way through the song.
I’ve been told that you play in the Swedish Royal Opera? How does it differ from playing a live show as boerd?
Yes that’s correct, I currently have a full time contract with the Royal Opera. It is extremely different from electronic music, of course. It’s more of a craftmanship than a creative job. The music is already written, and the
conductor tells you how to interpret it. You are like a cogwheel in a big machine. That might sound boring but it’s a lot of fun, I really love my job! I get to play some of the most brilliant music ever written, all day!
What do you prefer? The classical shows or the electronic performances as boerd? Be honest!
I probably play about 200 shows/year with operas and orchestras, and I have not played live with boerd yet in 2018. So it’s hard to say, right now I really look forward to come out and play my new boerd album!
It’s a much more unusual experience for me to play electronic music live, but if the vibe is nice I think it’s amazing. I also DJ a little bit in Stockholm, on smaller laid back places but that’s something I like doing too.
What do you think about the current craze in big name DJ’s like Pete Tong/Bonobo playing with live orchestras?
I actually opened for Bonobo when I played in Stockholm a couple of years ago, but unfortunately he did not have the orchestra with him then. I’m not sure what I think about the idea of having a full orchestra on stage, people probably think it looks really cool but often when I’ve played double bass on pop concerts you just sit there and think “what the hell are we doing?” since there is often a backing track that covers most of what the orchestra is doing. I think it works better in a small intimate venue and with only a few string players instead of an 80 man orchestra.
The ultimate musical collaboration for you?
Arvo Pärt! He is an 82 year old composer from Estonia. I’m sure you’ve heard his music in numerous movies. He is a fantastic composer, his music is like instrumental ambient.
Best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Good question. And idea that I like is to look for inspiration not in the same genre as what you want to create, but look elsewhere instead. If you want to create dubstep – get influenced by jazz and then make dubstep. Get influenced by choir music and then make a techno song. I think that’s when something original can come out.
If you could take one item to a desert island, what would it be?
A drumkit would be nice, I guess noone would be bothered by me playing loud on them on a deserted island. A drumkit is also very durable. Yes, I would bring a drumkit.
‘Static’ is out now via Anjunadeep…