It's hard to overlook Elin Palmer. She has steadily contributed to, collaborated with, and been her own musical beacon high on the hill from her adopted home of Denver, Colorado. Elin has worked with the likes of Devotchka, The Fray, and M. Ward, offering her talents on a range of insturments. A native of Värmland Sweden, Elin is preparing for her first solo album.
Gigbot got Elin together with Esmé Patterson, another musical luminary of the band Paper Bird, to help shed some light into the world of Elin Palmer.
Esmé -Your songs have a real air of somnambulence. The imagery and the lilting melodies are very dreamlike. Do you often remember your dreams? Do they make their way into your songs?
Elin - What a cool question. I used to have a dream book that my violin teacher gave me, and we would spend lesson time talking about our dreams. Maybe there is a connection there. She is my idol.
- Elin Palmer
Esmé - As a Swedish native who has emigrated to the states, as well as a touring musician, you must certainly be used to traveling quite a bit. Do you find that you are more creative or less while you are on the move?
Elin - I find that there are profound inspirational moments that happen on the road, but often I have an easier time putting them together into a creative piece when I am in my own space.
Esmé - What would you be doing if you weren't playing music? (as a career, i mean)
Elin -Gynecology. I like words. And I enjoy using big words like bacterial-vaginosis-candida-vaginitis.
Esmé - Do you feel that going to see live music often influences, or pollutes what you do?
Elin -I think seeing live music more often influences and inspires than anything else. I am pretty sensitive to sound, though, and can sometimes feel that stuff gets polluted if there is an army of music that is being pushed into my surroundings. Sometimes it is too overwhelming to hear so much beauty. Also, I don’t often care for grocery store or elevator music and sometimes feel like vomiting in tune with main stream radio.
Esmé - Is good music a product of nature or nurture? To say it another way: does the quality of music depend on where and how it is written, or more why?
Elin -SMusic has elements of both math and feeling. Good music can be written using basic formulas . The where and how can be great points of inspiration. The why may be magic.
Esmé -If you could go on a picnic with any living musician, who would it be, and where?
Elin -Today I would say Björn Ulvaeus, picnicking in Somalia at a comfortable distance from those deadly pirates.
Esmé -You play with many bands as a complement to the ensemble, but not at the forefront. What moved you to pursue your own project? What are the ups and downs of this?
Elin -I just had to get brave and try my own thing. I love playing with people and exploring music in that way. Collaborating is my favorite journey. It takes a different kind of work to do my own thing, in some ways it is less of an immediate reward.
Esmé -Why have you chosen Denver, in all of the wide world, to live and make music in?
Elin - Because of neuroscience. My mom married an Ameican scientist and brought me here. And the Queen City has an amazing, supportive, creative, music scene that is blooming. I love it.
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