Merry Christmas, happy holidays, or whatever it is you may celebrate, or perhaps you don't. Either way, I hope that your time through this festive season is a positive one. It can sometimes get a bit overwhelming or feel a bit capitalist... a pressure to make everyone you care about feel appreciated, or to not feel forgotten. Pressure to get everything right, if you're tasked with hosting Christmas for a large family. But in the end, all that matters is that the people you care about are together, and if not physically, then emotionally and spiritually.
After today's celebrations and as we swiftly approach a new decade, I'm sat here at gone 3am, reflecting on the past decade. Forest Elves came into being right at the start of this decade, sometime in 2011, when both Merry and I were but fledgling musicians... seeds of our current selves. Still, we both recognised the heart and soul we both put into our arrangements, even back then. I saw something in the way Merry approaches her craft, and I think she saw something in my approach too. Forest Elves became Forest Elves on a bit of a whim really; we had no idea what it would become, yet we wanted to see what would happen if we combined our sounds, our hearts and our minds.
Never in a million years would I have imagined Forest Elves would have become what it currently is right now. How so many people seemed to have found our original songs that compared to our current production skills, were comparitively poorly mixed and quite messy, I may never truly know. What I do know is that I can't really put into words how much I appreciate that we managed to reach so many people that found a place in their lives for what we have created together.
Forest Elves is a project without many rules or expectations, but I think the one thing that both Merry and I have always been sure of, is that we always want Forest Elves to remain that way. A stress-free, obligation-free project that we can dip in and out of whenever and however either of us wish. Something to come back to in times of inspiration, or something to remain there even in times where our inspiration or motivation dips, yet we are quietly aware that it is always there and waiting for us, when the time is right again.
Because of this, we may not produce as many songs as other artists, and we don't really care to force our inspiration in order to churn out song after song in the hopes of getting views or whatever. I mean, we could, but it would never bring us happiness. That's not why we do this. But, working in the way that we work, it means that you can be sure that the music we bring to you truly comes from the heart, every single time. We simply do it because we want to, and because we love to. It's so important to take a step back creatively, or any which way, whenever you need to. Our health should always be our priority, so that one can continue to be the best 'you' one can be. That way, we have the space emotionally to keep on top of things, and give love back into the world.
Let this new decade be an exciting and special one. No doubt, many life changing things will happen to every single one of us, some bad, some good. But let's try our best to approach each opportunity with a positive mindset! Remember, we must take life by the reins and ride the waves with great confidence. We shall take the knocks and the hits, but keep riding - It's okay to fall, as long as we get back up.
So much love to you all, seriously. You're all so wonderful!
- Jordi ♥
Happy Holidays from me as well! An entire decade of ups and downs. I honestly barely remember any of it except some highlights, one of them being the creation of Forest Elves, meeting Jordi and another friend who I never want to miss and some downs like the loss of my father, trauma and chronic illness. But there was also music. Be it my own or Forest Elves stuff.
It has been quite the journey and I learned a lot, yet there is still so much to learn.
It was this decade that I actually found out about my 'natural talent' - for a lack of a better term - for composing music. Before I used to play around and dabble just a little with piano, or recorders and our home organ we had when I was a kid but I never really got into composing music or even singing, on my own until I found Erutan and considered trying to make my own covers. Funny, how this very random discovery changed so much. But discovering her gave me a push to tap into my own creative mind, unveiling a vast and unseen potential I didn't even realise I had and I'm incredibly grateful to her for this.
2011 I also met Jordi, who commented under my first few Youtube videos. He was so supportive and nice and we quickly got to talk, bonding over our instrument collections, lol. I still remember our very first conversation over on Skype. I could barely understand him, because my English was extremely broken (especially my output just wasn't really good) but we managed to communicate and I remember him singing 'A whole new world' to me. Having someone to talk about music like this was truly something so special and I remember how happy I was. It's funny actually, I found Jordi's music just a few months before we met but I never contacted him (I'm incredibly shy), so imagine my surprise when I received a comment from him. I was overjoyed because he too, was a reason I got into arranging music in the first place. His music just inspired me so much and there was so much more potential to discover.
Would you believe that we started Forest Elves on a whim?
We just talked endlessly about making music until we decided that we would totally cover lots of songs together... before even doing any covers at all. We quickly went on Youtube, searching for a name for our little duo and I suggested Forest Elves, which wasn't even taken. What a coincidence! I remember how proud and happy we were that we got this channel name, haha.
Our first cover we planned was a song from Erutan actually. We wanted to do 'Round and Round' and I still have the instrumental for it. All made of instruments I played myself back then...
Life sometimes does weird things and while we considered making lots of music together we never really got the chance to do it and barely even talked that much until 2013 came around. We had the channel Forest Elves for 2 years and didn't do ANYTHING with it. Can you believe it?
I approached him with my instrumental for Cry of the Forest, which I had made after just bouncing back from an incredibly awful year, which I barely even remember. I just know I almost got hospitalized at some point, but refused because it didn't feel like it was the right way to go for me. I've always been someone who preferred to fight my battles alone.
It was a hard time, considering that I had trouble with one of the few people who were still left in my life. Eventually everything did crumble and I had a few very rough years ahead of myself with mental and physical ailments becoming almost entirely bedridden until 2018 where I finally got a little better and reclaimed my life as much as possible. I continued making music and even art throughout these years. But 2018 I've finally gotten used to dealing with my situation in much healthier ways and I can say, although 2019 wasn't that good of a year for me, my chronic pain and depression came back with a vengeance, making me almost bedridden once more, I'm ready to take on 2020 and hope that it'll be better.
I'll try my best. I will fight.
I hope that this next decade will be a good one for us. For Forest Elves, for you dear reader and everybody else. Of course, life always has its way. There will be obstacles, but they are chances to grow, if we want them or not. We all just have to keep on going one step at a time and sometimes it's ok to look around and see how far you've already gone. Just like time, life never really stops. Even if it seems like you're standing still. You'll grow. Change is always happening around you. And you change as well.
I know I will do so too. Sometimes it just takes time.
At this point I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for listening to our music, for reading this post if you read this far. Thank you for all your support and love. It truly is a joy making music for all of you and I hope we can continue so throughout the next decade as well. If we can bring just one person joy with our music, it's worth it.