Finn Harald Røed – blog 2017-2019
June 13, 2019
This week I recorded two of the songs for my planned piano & vocals based album: "The Road to Paradise" and "Stay with me". I am humbly excited and grateful. Message wise, this album will contain the most important songs I have ever written, and honestly maybe even my first truly meaningful album seen from a larger perspective.
The music style will be a huge contrast to what I have done the last couple of decades or so, but to me piano ballads are familiar ground. I started out writing music on my parent's piano as a young boy, and lots of my newer songs have been originally written the same way, but then arranged and recorded with other instruments.
I haven't written or released music with faith based lyrics since I wrote the music for the Norwegian history play "Hearts of the Fathers" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints back in 1996. For years I've felt a strong need to document and testify of my deeply heart felt faith, my trust in God and how He has influenced every good and right choice I have ever made, as in contrast to my less good choices.
I have come to the conclusion that my life has a purpose that I have stood against or even fought against for decades. I believe my purpose and mission in life is to share the gospel and beauty of faith in God through my music talent, in a style and with lyrics that broaden the perspective and meaning of life way beyond the influence and power of the physical or tangible world we're all so caught up in.
I strongly believe there is a spiritual world that we cannot see, hear, taste or smell. I have experienced it's reality several times throughout my life, but not with my physical senses. The spritual world is just as real as the physical one, but it requires us to focus on something else than our worldly routines, career plans, greed, lust, pride, selfishness and physical needs in general.
The spiritual world is a wonder of God's universe. I think of it as a parallell universe, invisible to us without the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. My experience in life is that I become happy, harmonic, balanced and peaceful every time I respond to the Spirit's whisperings, and stay close to our Heavenly Father through prayer, reading the scriptures, going to Church and letting Him inspire me to see the happiness and harmony I receive from keeping the commandments. I know the hurting difference between living life with and without God. I know from experience the the peace and blessings that come from accepting and receiving the gift of Christ's atonement and it's healing powers. I know the freedom that comes with both forgiving others and being forgiven by God through Christ, and I know the void, loneliness and darkness in life that come from the opposite.
In short, since the Autumn of 2018 I have felt strongly inspired to proclaim my faith experiences and the gospel of Jesus Christ through my music and lyrics to all who may listen, with the hope and wish to serve God, and, despite of my iniquities and short comings, give back something to him and my fellow men by being a tool to inspire other souls to let God into their lives, and to experience the beautiful consequences of harmony, strength, focus, change of heart, change of mind, change of choices, change of perspective, and the meaningfulness that only faith in God and the gospel of Jesus Christ is able to offer to all mankind.
I can only do my very best, and I hope to relatively soon release a full album with 10 brand news songs written between October 2018 and May 2019.
March 26, 2019
Due to some major changes in my life since early January, I haven't been able to find much time for song writing or recording. Still, I have written the lyrics for some of the songs, but that's about it. I miss my nice studio in Kristiansand, but have to learn to live with the current very simple and cramped studio setup in the appartment where I am living just outside Oslo. However, I still plan on finishing my album nbr. 9 (syntpop/rock), AND an album with reflective, spiritual, contemplative, faith centered ballads. First of all, I hope to release one or two singles within the next 2-3 months.
December 8, 2018
I've had a feeling for years that just won't go away. A feeling that I should write songs for a whole album with uplifting, positive and spiritual lyrics. Songs about the relationship between man and God, about the gospel, faith, repentance, mercy and the plan of salvation.
Since I can't seem to get that thought out of my head (and heart), I have decided to do something about it. Accordingly, during November I recorded about 10-12 brand new song ideas. In fact most of them were so "ready", that I basically just need to write the lyrics and start the recording process. I simply have this idea growing inside of me that says I'm supposed to write and release these songs, and that it has a higher purpose. It feels very warm, humble and just... good. It may be a way of spreading the good news to the world, both here in Norway and abroad, an alternative to traditional missionary work. I even feel like I may be performing some of these songs live in the future. Time will show. I just wanted to document this in my blog, and then we'll see what it ends up with during 2019.
November 10, 2018
For the sake of documentation, I feel the need to write down a couple of thoughts about the online / streaming services having replaced the physical music formats (like CD, MC, vinyl). Even though it is incredibly practical and easy to find and listen to music on Spotify and similar streaming services, I strongly think that experiencing music and having a relationship to the musician, band or artist is not the same as before. In a negative sense, that is. My sons and teenagers in general barely have a relationship to artists or album releases, because of the lack of a physical album format. They listen to play lists on YouTube or Spotify, with songs from different artists in the same genre etc., with the songs being presented in a random order, or in the order defined by whoever made the play list. They normally don't know much more about the music than that they've heard a particular song before, and that they like it. And that's it, with a few exceptions.
When you no longer have anything physical to relate to (like a LP vinyl album or a CD with paper cover art, inlay cards with printed lyrics, info and photos or other graphics), it is hard to get beyond the "I've heard the song and I like it" stage. Of course it helps if you go to a concert, but since kids and teenagers don't know the name of the artist performing the song you like anyway, going to see them live doesn't seem like a first choice. The dimension and experience of being being a fan of a band or an artist, and to hold (and read, and look at) the latest album release while you listen to the music and read the lyrics, an album you bought because you're a fan and have been looking forward to the next release... none of that can be replaced by the "background music" experience we get from streaming services. But of course, no rule without exceptions.
September 21, 2018
I was invited by one of Norway's largest newspapers to write about my music and my life as a musician. I accepted the invitation. The result (written in Norwegian) was a rather long and detailed newspaper article
, describing important aspects of my song writing and my music history in general. The article also includes brand new photos taken during the process of filming the scenes for the "Love imagination" music video in July 2018.
August 15, 2018
Finally! My new music video
is done - and was released today on YouTube! The song "Love imagination" was written and recorded the first week of July 2018. The accompanying music video shows four band members performing the song (vocalist, bass player, synth player and drummer), where all four of them are performed by Finn Harald Røed. The numerous scenes from different angles and distances of each band member were filmed separately between July 17 and July 22, 2018. During the next few weeks, the different clips were edited and combined into the final music video which was released on August 15, 2018. It's a somehow disturbing thought, but this song and video will most likely be the last thing I release while still being in my 40's. However, the plans I have for releasing music and videos the next year or so are pretty extensive, so no matter what, this will NOT be my last release ever! :-)
July 22, 2018
I've spent the last two nights finishing the filming of character three and four (synths and vocals) for the music video "Love imagination". I've seen the sun rise four times this week, before eventually going to bed. My two youngest sons, Simon (16) and Benjamin (12) have been helping out with starting/stopping the sound playback and video camera between the numerous takes which has resulted in about 250 GB of footage, filmed in 10bit HD 1920x1080, 50.00p, 200Mbps.
During the process, quite a few photos have been taken as well, of each of my "band member" characters: The bass player with a beard, mustache and a Harley Davidson t-shirt (thanks to Matthew Q. Jackson for that gift!), the rather youthful drummer with a headband of silk, white shorts and sandals, further to the synth player with slicked back hair and mirrored sun glasses, to eventually the somewhat goth like singer with a side part hairstyle and black jacket. It's now all on film and images, and I'm moving on to the video editing process!
A video project like this is a time consuming process. My living room has been working as a film studio for about a week now, with a large green screen, video lights/softboxes on stands, the video camera (Panasonic Lumix GH5) connected to an external monitor, tape markers on the floor for camera angles, different instruments for the characters, cables all over the place, etc. I've spent four long nights of filming, plus testing/failing, preparations and considerations during the day time / before and after the actual video shooting.
Making such a music video requires at least four times as much work and footage compared to filming a band with four people at once. It also requires quite a bit of additional preparations and considerations. All four versions of myself (the characters, or "band members") are filmed individually from 3-5 positions (90 left, 45 left, front, 45 right, 90 right), in order to create the impression of shifting camera angles. In addition, several close ups and various details have been filmed separately from different angles, like f.ex. the synthesizer solo and some drum fills.
I have now just started on the rather heavy video editing. My computer will most definitely have a hard time processing and rendering the huge collection of video clips I am planning on using, but I will get there, sooner or later, and my expectations tell me the final 3.5 minutes long end result will be worth the efforts!
July 19, 2018
I'm in the middle of the filming/production phase of a music video for my brand new song "Love imagination", which was written, recorded and mixed late June/early July. It will be a band like performance of the song with different camera angels, close ups etc. with me acting as all four band members: Bass guitar, drums, synthesizers and vocals. I must admit that I have a certain amount of great expectations for the final result, both when it comes to the music and the video.
June 10, 2018
My brand new single "Nothing is sacred" is now available on Spotify, iTunes and the other main streaming services and online music stores! Please feel free to send me feedback and impressions. Detailed info, free mp3 file, cover art and more is now available on the official release page for Nothing is sacred
May 30, 2018
It is finished! My brand new single "Nothing is sacred" is now on it's way to all the major online music stores and streaming services, where it soon will be made available to the public. I spent more time than planned on the cover, since I wasn't especially pleased with the photo alternatives at hand. It ended up with a new photo session a couple of days ago, so the picture of me on the cover doesn't get any fresher than this. :-)
Also, out of nowhere I got the idea that I wanted to combine this song with a written text of some sort, something that would expand the song's meaning and value, both contentwise and artistically. I wrote a mini short story that ended up on the singles front cover. I will also include it on the upcoming info page about the album. Also, I am still planning on making a music video for this song in the near future, but decided to publish the song itself before the video.
All in all, it feels great to be able to work on multiple artistic platforms within the one and same project, like in this case, where the release consists of 1) music & lyrics, 2) the accompanying mini short story, and 3) the music video. Of course, none of the others would exist without the song itself, but as I said, they add so much to the music compared to simply releasing a single and that's it. It's like a complete meal with several dishes, compared to a snack.
May 5, 2018
The last few days I've been working on a brand new song called "Nothing is sacred". I'm done with the recording, including the vocals, and the mixing and mastering is just arond the corner. I will relatively soon release this song as a single, accompanied by a music video. The planned video will take some time to shoot and edit, but I think it will be worth the effort. :-) I must say it feels great to be able to break free and split up from the tedious process leading to full album releases, in accordance with the principles I explained below on May 1.
May 1, 2018
I've always found all the work related to an album release to be both long, time consuming and hard. The songwriting (music and lyrics), arranging, recording, mixing, mastering – it's a lot of work that takes a LOT of effort. That goes with all my eight albums, some of which I've spent more time on than others. The biggest challenge seems is to start all over from nothing with "my next album" once an album is released. From experience I know it's a long way to go, and that it will take time to get there. The only exception is my "Breakable" album from 2006, which I did in only a couple of weeks, from scratch! However, recently I've read a few articles and seen a some YouTube videos about releasing singles, which have made me rethink how to write, record and release music.
I have now decided to release singles on a regular basis, some of with a music video. When I have released f.ex. four singles within let's say 6-9 months, I expect that I also have written and recorded 5-7 other songs that weren't typically single material. I will then release an album with the singles plus the other songs as an album. And the restart with working on my next single (which will also be the first song for the next album). There are three main reasons why I want to do this:
1) THE AUDIENCE:
A lot of people aren't interested in or don't have the time to listening to a full album with 10-15 songs, unless they are devoted fans and the album release is something they've been waiting for and looked forward to. On the other hand, listening to one song, as a single release, is a different story. A song lasts for 3-4 minutes. My idea is that releasing one single actually will reach a bigger and broader audience than releasing a full album. Let's say twice as big. Which again means that releasing four singles within a few months will reach a hugely bigger audience than one full album, let's say eight times as big. When I've relased these four singles and eventually put them on an album with the rest of the songs recorded within the same period as the singles, more people will be aware of and interested in listening to the album. They will also have a relationship to the album before it is released because of the singles, which may create anticipation and hopefully an interest in finding the time and motivation to hit play on song number one, and let it play through the whole album.
2) THE UPDATE FREQUENCY AND VISIBILITY:
To build an audience one needs to be active and visible on a regular basis. Releasing a new single and music video every 2-3 months generate a lot more attention and marketing possibilities than simply releasing one album every 1-2 years, especially when there are little or nothing else happening in between. Actually, releasing the singles will not reduce the value of the album release, but on the contrary strenghten the interest and attention it gets because everything else that has happened the last year or so has been leading to the album relase.
3) THE PROCESS:
Starting from scratch with a new album, knowing it won't be released until maybe a year or more later, has a demoralizing effect on me. After a month or two, when I'm still at song nbr. 2, 3 or 4, it's really hard to feel like I'm almost there. This often causes me to work quite effective for a few weeks, but then I take a break for several days, weeks or sometimes months. One main challenge, is that my family situation and dayjob prevents me from working with music 24/7 (or even 24/1), and I'm not able to finish more than a couple of songs a month. So, the really, really liberating part of going for the single release idea, is that I get rid of the feeling "it's such a long way to go, so there's no point in speeding up things". From now on, this is no longer an issue. At any time, I am only ONE SONG away from my next music release.
And, potentially also only one song away from my next music video. What a relief! At the same time, I know that everything I do brings me systematically closer to my final goal, which is the next album release.
April 2, 2018
Today I started recording "Things get broken" for my next album, which hopefully will be ready late Summer this year. As a part of the song recording process, I finally got the arpeggiator / sequencer in Moog Sub 37 to sync with Cubase. It was a lot easier than I imagined, in fact not complicated at all. Several of the upcoming songs will take advantage of my analog synthesizer's step sequencers and arpeggiators, synced to Cubase, including "Things get broken". I also installed the Sub 37 editor, and will build a library of my own presets there as the recording process gets going.
As always, I'm very excited about how my next album will turn out. It will be very synthesizer based, somewhere within the electro pop genre with a rather analog, dark and gloomy sound. Style wise, I guess "Somebody precious" from my 2017 album probably will be a good comparison.
March 30, 2018
I am now the happy owner of a Native Instruments Maschine MK3, plus the full version of the 155 GB software bundle NI Komplete. My main intention with Maschine is to use it as a drum machine and rythm composing tool, integrated with my DAW Cubase Pro 9.5. So far I have only scratched the outer layers of the surface of Komplete, but I'm starting to get an impression of Maschine MK3's fantastic drum possibilities. One thing that strikes me, is that even though the included kit's beat examples (midi loops) are fantastic, it is clear that they are targeted towards the rap / hip hop genre. However, the samples are of such an impressive combination of classic and modern sounds, that they fit very well with the two reasons why I bought Maschine in the first place:
1) Get a serious collection of high quality sounds in one physical drum machine (yes, I know the samples/files are located on the computer, and that Maschine is simply a controller, but it actually LOOKS and FEELS like a stand alone unit!).
2) Expand and add to my way of working with drum sounds, beats and rythms, in order to obtain the modern impression that Maschine offers. This includes both the new and modern sounds, and the phsyical way to work with the Maschine software and to experiment/play/record on the very playable 16 drum pads.
March 7, 2018
I now have about 20+ brand new song drafts recorded on my cell phone. I have wanted to write the songs for my next album basically without using any instruments, but simply by recording the ideas, melodies and generally what I hear in my head and heart on the cell phone, as finished as possible, before I bring them to the studio. Namely, several of these songs are a lot more than just drafts or sketches. The lyrics are more or less written, and together with me singing the melodies for verses, choruses etc, I have also added numerous and sometimes detailed and accurate info about and descriptions of the arrangement, f.ex. what each instrument is supposed to play. One of the songs, "Things get broken", is documented with so much details about vocals/melody, arrangement interpretations/explanations and lyrics, that the only thing remaining is to do the final studio recording process. Actually, I am very excited to hear that particular song being born from it's current pre-birth pregnancy state.
January 28, 2018
Today I released an edited version of the music video for "See you". Some extra scenes are added, one of the clips with the Moog synth is replaced with one where I actually play what you hear. Also, the audio file is replaced with the final song track, i.e. the one relased on the album in September (with only minor mixing and matering changes). You can watch the new video version
on my Facebook page.
January 21, 2018
I guess we all can agree on that we're going out the same way we came in. We are all born, and we will all die. But what about all the time in between?
December 27, 2017
I can't get rid of the feeling that I'm living below my own potential. It's haunting me. There's so much I could or should do that I never find the time nor energy for. If I had never been tired, but pocessed limlitless strength, willpower and time, only my imagination would set limits for what I can sense I would be capable of achieving. It's frustrating, but at the same time a witness to me that there is so much to be done, so many amazingly exciting options to choose from, and it's only up to myself to decide what to do next. The only problem is that choosing can be so hard that I too often end up with doing nothing. I guess sometimes making a poor choice is better than making no choices at all.
December 18, 2017
I've been thinking about the following ideas for a few weeks now.
Don't mix up love and lust. Falling in love is not the same as loving someone. Lust doesn't care about love, it only cares about itself. Love, however, will be just fine without lust, and mainly cares about the other person's well being and happiness, independent of sexual related matters.
Don't waste your time, energy or focus on dedicating a considerable part of your life to a team sport, or to any other sport for that matter, unless it is for pure fun and recreation only. Use your time on education, creative activities or socializing with people who make you want to be a better person, share your best values and will not try to become better than you at anything. Competition is good for business, but bad for private relations.
Never try to win someone's respect, love or gratitude by giving them money. It will only last until your latest gift is spent, and you eventually say no when yet again being asked for more.
December 6, 2017
I believe one of the main reasons so many people are unhappy and victims of various degrees of depression in our time, is because most of us somehow expect happiness to be the rule rather than the exception in everyday life.
November 22, 2017
Earlier this month I could no longer resist it. I let a young, extraordinary good looking frenchman move in with me. He's name is MatrixBrute, and playing with his knobs and faders is a delight beyond compare. Ok then, yes, he's a synthesizer. An analog wonder of a mono synth with 49 keys, a superb modulation matrix, fabulous sequenser and a fantastic layout, look and feel. This might be the coolest synth I've ever owned or played, and I've owned and played quite a few between the mid 80s and up until now. I think it's safe to say that it's the coolest and most advanced synth on the market at the moment. Well, of course my DSI Sequential Prophet 6 and Moog Sub 37 are awesome instruments as well, with lots of personality, but the Matrixbrute is just something very, very special.
I can't wait to use it on future songs. I must admit that after having re-entered the world of hardware synthesizers, there's no doubt that having a physical instruments with all the knobs and faders at your fingertips can't be compared to the lack of personality and emotional connection which I don't get with a software synth on my computer screen. Arturia has done a wonderful job with this one. It is predetermined to become a classic.
October 29, 2017
A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by a journalist from the local newspaper. On Oct 25 an article was printed in the local newspaper. It was about my new album, the latest music video for Somebody Precious, some flashbacks to back in the day when I did concerts in a local gym, a mention of my children's book Poff and Pia that was published 10 years ago and more. The article was also published in the online newspaper
today. The same newspaper made an online article
about the music video for See you in April.
October 5, 2017
After some really, really late nights turning into early mornings, my new music video for "Somebody precious" is now finished, and available on YouTube. I believe this to be my best work ever, and I'm happy about the result. The combination of footage of me singing/playing and clips from old horror movies, broadens and widens the perspective and each viewers interpretation of the song. The mood and feel of the video and the music triggers thoughts, impressions and feelings that expand and go beyond the lyrics. The music video is right here:
October 2, 2017
Two days ago Southern Norway had the worst rainstorms for more than 40 years. Since 1976, to be exact. It rained more than 100 milimeter in one day where I live. My 16 year old son Simon and I spent part of the day outside in the pouring rain to shoot the scenes for my new music video for "Somebody precious". It was extremely wet and grey, which set the mood we were looking for.
The video editing is now moving forward, and is a mix of footage of me singing / playing etc., and clips from old horror movies that are now in the public domain, some of them being almost 100 years old. The combination adds something unique to the interpretation of the song. I've been planning on doing this for several months, selecting clips and writing the script in between all the other tasks that comes with making a full album.
As always when I'm creating something new, I'm excited and look forward to publishing it. I think that production wise, this will be my best music video so far. As for the song itself, it certainly is very "me", the style having roots all the way back to The Kingdom X, but with the fresh touch of 2017, and in my opinion it brings me as a song writer several steps forward, both when it comes to music, lyrics and performance.
September 28, 2017
Finally! My new album Pieces of life
is now officially released, both on this website and on Spotify
. It will soon also be available on Tidal and other major digital music streaming services and online music stores.
I'm glad it's over. Making an album is a tremendous amount of work, and I'm proud of that all the 12 songs were both written and recorded in just 8-9 months. I'm saying "just", since I'm quite a busy bee, with lots of other things going on outside the music sphere that I love to be in.
When making music, there's always something to put your finger on, something that can be changed or may or may not be improved. It's not only the music itself, but also the recording and mixing. The adjustments and edits can go on forever, if I let them, but eventually I just have to "This is it, it's finished. I'm done.".
This is my 8th album. The number of downloadable songs in mp3 format on my website is now rising towards 150. I am becoming more and more aware of my need to leave something behind, something to remember me by when I'm gone. This is becoming a challenge considering that I'm not really ever totally pleased or satisfied with what I do. It's not about the songs, really. And not about the vocals or the music itself. It's nearly always various concerns about the production side of things. Like the mix and the sound quality. Stuff like that. However, soundwise I think I have moved in the right direction with this album, f.ex. with "See you" and "Without your love".
I hope you like the album. Feel free to share the link to the album page, and to send me comments and feedback!
PS! It seems like I'm able to release a new album about once every three years or so, but I hope to break that barrier and release yet another album in about a year or so.
September 27, 2017
The album is now on it's way to Spotify, iTunes, Tidal and the other major online music providers, and will be available in just a few days! Also, I'm glad to announce that from today, my music website will have a brand new address:
September 22, 2017
All twelve songs are now mastered, mainly by using the standalone version of the iZotope Ozone 6 mastering software. The complete, downloadable CD cover including a booklet with lyrics was also finished today. The final release of my new album "Pieces of life" is right around the corner! Yes, I am excited! I'm also both grateful and somehow humbly proud about the process and result. I believe this might be my best album ever, both production wise and musically speaking.
September 5, 2017
Finally! The recording and mixing of song nbr. 11 and 12 is completed! However, I've decided to re-record the bass on a couple of the songs. For example I will change from a synth bass to an el-bass on "Inside your head", which I believe will fit the song better. Nevertheless, although it's almost hard to realize that the album release is within reach after having worked hard for more than 8 months, I'm really excited to say that in just a few days the time has come start the mastering process. This also means that the album most likely will be ready for release by the end of September! Hopefully I will also have a new music video ready by then.
September 1, 2017
No matter what bad anyone else do to you, there is always something positive in life. Something or someone to live for. Something to dream of, work for and look forward to. Something to look back on and be grateful for. An interest or hobby that brings mening to life. The acknowledgement of the non material side of your existence. The only thing that can take away all of, is a person's own self pity and self-destructiveness.
August 21, 2017
I'm now done recording ten of the songs for the new album. "Too many chances" is musically and vocally one of the more experimental ones, and I'm quite pleased with how it adds some extra spice and debth to this collection of tracks. I guess that can be said about several of the new songs, but the album wouldn't be the same without this particular one. :-)
August 18, 2017
Things are moving forward now. I finished the lyrics for the ballad "No problems" yesterday, and had a long recording session right after that and today. The whole song is now recorded and mixed. This is the only track on the album without any kind of drums or percussion. I believe it stands out in many ways. I would love to make a music video for it. Nine down, three to go!
August 16, 2017
Song nbr. 8 is now fully recorded, and ready for mastering. It's called "Inside your head". I will now start working on the final lyrics for the four remaining songs. Most of them are more or less recorded, except for the final vocals. Considering it is now mid August, I have realized this album release will not find place until September.
August 3, 2017
Yet another song ("All falls down") is now fully recorded and mixed, bringing me to a total of seven out of twelve for the new album. The first verse goes like this:
Pieces of life
from a world we used to know
Shades of delay
and a hope of letting go
Pictures of innocence
and a game of domino
in the fading afterglow
It all falls down...
July 31, 2017
There's no such thing as a fresh start.
July 22, 2017
I've recently written two more songs for the new album, finishing one of them today ("Sometimes I get nervous"). Five songs are now 100 % mixed and ready for mastering, while five more only lack the recording of minor vocal parts before they enter the final mixing mode. In addition I have four songs that are still missing some of the lyrics, or parts of the songs or arrangements are not 100 % completed yet. I am thinking the new album will end up with a total of 12 songs, all written and recorded in 2017. The release date will hopefully be sometime during August.
June 11, 2017
Why would I write the same kind of music like everyone else? Isn't it enough that everyone else does that?
May 1, 2017
I've never been able to, or motivated for spending the time to be able to, play speed guitar or perform music which focuses on tremendous and impressive technical skills. I believe all the practise hours would have consumed the time I otherwise have used for writing, recording and releasing music.
For a couple of years back in the 90s, I tried to focus on becoming what I thought was "a better musician", meaning I wanted to improve my knowledge within music theory and becoming more schooled. Which I did. The only problem was that I started thinking too much. My music went in a direction that made me less creative, less productive and less original. I was more focused on what was "correct" than simply opening up the door and let out the vast amount of music that was waiting inside me. I was thinking a lot about which chords would combine the best from a theoretical point of view, instead of trying to "hear" it in my head. I spent time and energy on thinking about which scales I could use, based on theory, which rythmic patterns would fit or challenge the listener (or the record companies), and so on. It was a great contrast to the rather free and unrestricted way of making music I had done up until then. And yes, restriction is a good description of the situation. Although it did bring some new ideas on the table, it also kept back my strongest card, namely being able to simply write down the music that came to me naturally. In many ways, my new knowledge and skills made me less creative, less productive and actually... less me.
Many years later, I still have some of these thoughts when writing music, but they are residing comfortably in the background as matured knowledge, rather then dominiating the process.
I believe some music should and must rightly be performed with great technical skills, and that such skills deserve admiration and praise from the public. The musicians (and composers) have dedicated a large part of their lives in order to do what they are doing. Most of them are great music talents blessed with a personality giving them the possibility to spend hours, days, weeks, months and years on devoted practise and repetition.
However, I also believe that the most important part of being a composing musician is the ability to simply write great songs, and perform or record them in a memorable way. A surprisingly huge amount of the most respected musicians of our time aren't incredibly skilled in a technical sense of the word. However, they may be tremendously blessed with the ability to have a unique sound and character, or the ability to write songs with melodies, sound and lyrics that touch people, and make them want to listen to the song over and over again. They aren't by definition great musicians compared to the most skilled classic performers, but their music is true, honest and soulful. Sometimes in a simple way, sometimes in a detailed and sofisticated one. However, the human emotions are very present indeed, either the song's mood and/or lyrics are based on love, rebellion, rage, happiness, depression, lust, anger or frustration.
April 30, 2017
I've spent the last couple of days writing and recording yet another song for the new album. It's called "Somebody precious". I started writing it the same day I received a letter from the local authorities stating that the case about my wife's application for divorce was now closed, meaning that the decision was formally final and permanent, and that 20 years of marriage is now over. It made me realize even more than before that I'm now totally single and alone, and that it may stay that way for the rest of my life, which again led to the song's lyrics.
April 15, 2017
Finally, the new version of my website is published, with a so called responsive design. That means the pages will adjust to different screen sizes, including cell phones, tablets etc. The content of the site has also been thoroughly updated.
April 13, 2017
I'm happy to announce that my brand new music video with my new song "See you" now is officially released on YouTube. I feel really good and excited about both the video and the song, and consider this to be both one of my better songs and by far my best music video
to this day.
April 12, 2017
The ongoing music video project really has been a great experience to me. I feel like I've discovered a whole new dimension to making and presenting music. As with everything else in this life, it needs to be experienced in order to be appreciated and understood. Right now I'm thinking it will be hard NOT to release music videos for at least at couple of songs pr. album in the future. The release of "See you" is close at hand now, and I'm really looking forward to make it public on YouTube. Oh, by the way, I already have new ideas for at least one more music video, which I'm hoping to find time for making during 2017.
April 10, 2017
Things slowed down a bit in March, but I definitely did wake up again (musically and artistically speaking) in April. The main parts of yet another song was written a week ago, but the most exciting thing right now is that there WILL be released a music video for one of the songs from the upcoming album.
I've been planning on making a music for a very, very long time. I chose "See you", a medium tempo, melodic song with a rather modern sound. I can safely say it's one of my favorites among the tracks I've written and recorded in 2017 so far.
I've been lucky to have my two youngest sons (Simon and Benjamin) to help me out with filming most of the video shots needed to create the "story" I've visioned for this video. In addition, Benjamin appears a couple of times in the video, fullfilling an important part of the story. So, after two days of outdoor shooting sessions, we ended up with a little more than 100 video clips, and 15 minutes before I started writing this a draft version of the whole music video is completed.
So yes, I am very excited, both about "See you" by itself, but just as much about what reactions I will get when people see the song's video, and how they will interpret some of the more abstract scenes in it. As for me, I believe I have artistically achieved what I was hoping for, which probably is reason enough for being satisfied.
Oh, by the way. I'm building brigdes between the dedades in a long life of music. My orange/red/white Diesel jacket has ressurected from the closet. It was one of my standard outfits from the days of The Kingdom X.
February 22, 2017
I've spent the last couple of days making new mixes of some of the songs from the "Painted world" album. I've also started re-mastering the whole album.
It really is fascinating being able to work on backups of 10-15 years old recordings, using different reverbs, EQs etc. On "If she can't sleep" and "Painted world" I have changed several of the synth sounds as well (MIDI surely is a wonderful thing), while keeping most of the original playing / MIDI notes, and all of the original vocal recordings.
I will soon upload the adjusted songs, which will then replace the 2011 version of the album.
February 11, 2017
Song nbr. 10, "I'm different" was written today, except for some minor parts of the lyrics and arrangement details. The next step towards the new album will be to finish all the lyrics and re-record the vocals where needed. Then the final arrangements and mixing.
I must add that the songs for this album will be the most honest and typical "me" that I've made and recorded since I was in my early twenties. Actually that brings me back to and before the Kingdom X period, which was a time when I wrote loads of songs, without any commercial motives. The last month and a half, like then, I have simply sat down with my synthesizers, microphone, sequenser etc. and written whatever music that came to me and that I felt good about. Anything that has come natural to me. It's been a flow of melodies in the same genre which I feel very comfortable with.
I've reached the point in life where I can't see no reason to do it otherwise. If someone else enjoys what I've created, then that's a much appreciated bonus, but not my main reason or goal for releasing yet another album.
February 1, 2017
I guess it's time to move on, one way or the other. I'm writing and recording again. Nine brand new songs saw the light of day in January. Most of them are already recorded on a pre-details level. On some of the songs, the lyrics are only partly written. Still, I haven't been this creative for YEARS! Writing and recording nine songs in such a short time feels really, really good. In fact I also have recorded 5-6 additional song sketches / drafts.
All the songs are synthesizers / samplers and vocals only. No guitars or other instruments, as a contrast to my 2015 album. I also have upgraded my studio with some new gear not long ago. A Sequential Prophet 6 and Moog Sub 37. It's so good to play hardware instruments, even though I also do appreciate the benefits of VSTs / softsynts. A Roland Integra-7 also found it's way to my new DIY studio desk. I'm recording and mixing with Cubase 8.5 Pro now. Anyway, I'm back, excited about the new songs. As for now it seems like I will be releasing a new album sometime during the first half of 2017.