Finn Harald Røed – blog 2017-2018
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.