The Chronicles of Father Robin
The first sprouts of this concept grew out of a teenage fellowship who shared a joint interest in folk tales, mythology, fantasy literature, psychedelia and adventurous music. It was an exhilarating time filled with fiery discussions where they introduced each other to their latest discoveries and tried to win each other over. After a while, the fellowship spun its own thread and made a patchwork of the thoughts that inspired and besieged them.
The Chronicles of Father Robin (TCOFR) emerged from the remains of the band Fangorn back in 1993-94. The classic bands and albums of the early 1970s progressive music scene was the main inspiration, alongside contemporary bands like Änglagård, Anekdoten, White Willow and Landberk.
During the years, much like laying bricks when you are building a house, the boys created the story of the entity Father Robin. The root idea was that this creature embodied all the members of the band into one being. And as the members experienced challenges in life and their development as human beings, this translated itself into the story of Father Robin, sprinkled on top with a fair amount of inspiration from different mythologies and such.
Through lengthy jam sessions and then more finely tuned arranging and structuring, the band developed an ongoing system where every song linked itself to the others. Holistic impulsivity and ideas, altruistic friendship, music, fantasies and coherent concept – all melted together in one pot.
Andreas, Jon and Henrik founded the band, and were the core members the first 4 years. In 1995 they spent a year on a Norwegian folk high school studying music and working out the main frame of what would become the full concept of the Father Robin trilogy.
Here they met sound engineer extraordinaire Eirik Bekkeheien. They quickly bonded and in 1997 the first recording sessions started at Bekk Studios in Jæren on the western coast of Norway. The studio was actually a redesigned garage, but even if the recording room was DYI, Eirik’s equipment was top notch high end gear.
The following years TCOFR went went back to Eirik and his Bekk Studios to record an ever growing bouquet of songs. The band was now a quintet with the addition of Regin on flute and keyboards (ex-Tusmørke) and Thomas on different guitars (Samuel Jackson 5, Macho Savant). The garage was history, now the recordings were done in an old stone house and in a triangular shaped church an arrows flight from the shores of the North Sea.
«After a session we would typically walk down to the nearby beach. We discussed what we had done that day, but very often we started talking about what Father Robin would do next in the story we were continually writing. Where was he really going? Which implications and consequences did the choices we made that day had to say for the road and songs ahead?»
The last pieces of the puzzle were recorded at Andreas’ studio, Vilthagen Studios. The contributions from Lars Fredrik Frøislie (Wobbler, In Lingua Mortua, White Willow) folksinger Aleksandra Morozova (Mt. Melodie, Oslo Philharmonic Choir), Krizla, the Lord of Ambience (Alwanzatar, Tusmørke, Les Fleurs du Mal) and Håkon Oftung (Jordsjø) completed this megalomaniac project.
«The impulsive creative process and “collective brainstorming” that started in 1993 has more or less been the same all along. The ideas and the becoming concept has matured like an old wine in an abandoned fortress. We are now what we set out to be 30 years ago, and it feels bloody fantastic.»