Harlequins Enigma Interview

Introduce yourself to our readers.

hello neufutur staff & readers.. i am åge riisnes, owner of harlequins enigma. i have been running harlequins enigma since the band`s origin in 2008. i am weaker then since i started & have taken some beating & bruises in a tough profession.. i am male, hetero & have reached the age of 43. i live in bergen in norway a city in the west by the coast.

when you look down at your brothers grave at the funeral the other day & ask yourself why, i could only listen to the priest who seemed to be a robed man on god`s side searching for an explanation of this robbery. my brother had been ill for a long while & is dearly missed. my weakness is a weird one which seems to be death chewing on my flesh & filling the holes up with sement, just to bother me one last time before i depart also. i will never understand death the reaper i guess, only that he can be a pain in the arse.

Given one sentence, how would you define yourself as a performer?

i don`t perform very well, i have always looked at myself as a composer. i am not happy with my daw & lack of midi functions, but i guess in time it will be straightened out via new vst plugins like dune 2, which sits the modulation wheel in locked positions – something that non grand performers will benefit from.

Can you describe your creative process to us? How does a song go from an initial germ of a thought to a finished song?

back in 2008, 2009 the process was mainly sessions that lasted for 30 minutes till 3 hours. after i purchased some gear in my comeback in 2013 my tracks got a lot of extra saves & got more polished, something that can be easily identified in comparison. a track never or seldom has a recipe, but is modeled based on my destiny selections via presets. some presets are tweaked upon to suit the track better, but i have always loved the fast process of presets, which means you have to have a large selections of sound which i more or less got these days. all summed up it is very much destiny based material in impulsive form that reigns harlequins enigma`s sound.

In a similar vein, how has your style evolved and changed over the period since you first started?

my style was changed in 2013 since i was more or less on my own. in 2008 till february 2010 i had visiting musicians in my mind that helped me out via telepathy & spiritual contact. the contact is not entirely broken at todays date. back in 2001 a senior doctor referred to me as a medium at haukeland sykehus, psychiatric division post 4 in bergen. i more or less agree since i grew & grew as a musician with the help of vangelis, klaus schulze, tangerine dream, jan garbarek, dave weckl, kitaro, kate bush, my family & others in this period, with all our coops. i have much to thank them for. myself in my baby state forged my base notes via protracker on the amiga competing in the amiga scene back in the 90`s with names like boom jinx, atjazz, jesper kyd, audiomonster (raphael gesqua), jochen hippel, mantronix (martin wall) & others. the tracking music is recommended for everyone as it forge your music from different perspectives – than via midi. it can be a spicy experience, & very quick too.

What story or set of stories do your singles tell?

my singles & tracks in general is taken with reality in mind (many from my own life) with a few exceptions (gotta breath too), since harlequins enigma was forged in 2008 the name has always stood for the hope of something better, & the mystery of not being 100% real. harlequins enigma can also mean destiny & also an ancient demon rider via the oxford dictionary, which again makes me think of mr. destiny himself, oberon. there is also the dolls around in adults & children`s homes which resembles real people from the past & present, a mystery itself, which grow large if you think of the dolls stretching into the future as well.

What artists are the greatest influences for you and your music?

maybe atjazz, jochen hippel & maniacs of noise on the amiga platform & in the 16 bit league: vangelis, jean michel jarre, klaus schulze, tangerine dream, kitaro, røyksopp, depeche mode, king diamond, ultravox, abba, kiss, mike oldfield, pink floyd, tori amos, kate bush, jan garbarek, kitaro, yes, bruce springsteen, rush, metallica, garbage, saint etienne, britney spears, lady gaga, sade, yello, yoko kanno, the beatles, john lennon, the doors, michael jackson & many others. 

Everyone is on social media these days. How has social media helped your career out?

i felt as when the #egypt situation appeared in egypt, i had a mini-egypt situation here in my home, where the internet refused to allow me as a player vs social media. maybe it was poor management, but i do think that something odd has been going on, like no likes on facebook & youtube basically all the time. then again our promotion has not been great…

What are your plans for the rest of 2014?

for 2014 i have planned a re release of td sound 2, & a collection of reverbnation tracks, that has been reviewed & got a score 6.0 or higher then 6.0 out of 10, in a collection called: “pale justice – natural beauty”. i might start composing again after this is done, but right now i feel it is important to review most of my music at reverbnation.com based on common public

How do your fans find the latest news and music?

fans may find us on reverbnation.com, our homepage: www.harlenia.com — or on facebook (harlequins_enigma)

Do you have any other words to say to NeuFutur’s readers?

as limp bizkit once called me.. it is not easy being “chocolate starfish”.. i have gone through hell & i have wanted death at times in my pains, but i am still here, though i am weak. a chocolate starfish woven into the truman show is not exactly a dance on roses. but my mind has expanded in this period & i am much stronger mentally then before. but my body went down the drain.. maybe hackers think of it as luxury. i can offer a non-luxury prison in return 🙂 — as for the limp bizkit album, they just showed me the way, & i wish them well. how insane must one become looking at a grim girls green long tongue in the back of my head all day long? someone in the psychiatry once said that christian`s on private meetings speaks in tongues, it sounded to me much like the tongue in my head, but mine comes with anxiety as well in brutal forms. i myself is an agnostic & think heaven is high tech, (easily identified via the sun`s radioactivity).  i do not support the jesus stuff, though my dead brother seemed to believe in it. love you brother, r.i.p.


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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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