2016 Dec 26 9:19 AM
Ste van Holm presents: If Ghosts could Photosynthesize

A few months ago, musician Emil Rønning visited my studio. He brought along a new gadget called a Midi Sprout, which was able to interpret biofeedback from plants and send it out as midi signals.
At first I thought it was too gimmickry, but soon I was mesmerized by the strange sounds that filled the studio.
In the days that followed, I recorded all the plants in the house and it became 45 minutes of strange, beautiful ambient music.
My input was minimal. All I did was to choose the sounds, and then turning layers on and off.
Since I cannot take credit for this, and my plants don't need any money, the music will be available for free on the bandcamp website from january 1st 2017.

 

https://stevanholm.bandcamp.com/album/if-ghosts-could-photosynthesize

 
2016 Nov 01 1:51 PM
'Illusions' Track by track

'Illusions' my 7th solo album was released yesterday. Here's a few words about the tracks.



Hello Neighbor - Vocals by Josefine Malmkjær-Andersen & Nicoline Asmussen

I've never been interested in writing about sex. It's not that sex doesn't interest me, because it does, but I've never thought of it as a topic for lyrics. Nikola Tesla, however, was asexual and when I wrote the lyrics for 'Tesla', I was very aware, that I couldn't write anything remotely connected to sex. And that somehow provoked a desire to do a song about it. When I began writing 'Hello Neighbor', I remembered a couple of friends who lived on the third floor in central Copenhagen. Across the street a couple had regular, but very short intercourses and never closing the blinds. And I thought, wouldn't it be fun, if such behavior became the evening pastime watch instead of TV? And what if they invited their watcher over?


Meltwater - Vocals by Maria Søbæk Lykke

The frame of the body for this album was concieved deep inside the swedish forests, where I spend some time in a hut. I brought my laptop, but on purpose I didn't bring the usb key  lock for the music software I use. This meant that I could only use the software in demo mode, where I could save, but not open files. I have a tendency of returning to the same track over and over again, and this little trick prevented me from doing so. I came home from Sweden with a handfull new tracks including this one. The lyrics were written on the plane back home from a trip to the Faroe Islands.


Sign here with Blood - Vocals by Svante Wettergreen & Marie Hobitz

My favourite Pink Floyd album is 'Wish you were here'. The opening of the B-side is called Have a Cigar, a reflection on the record industry. Though I do not like that song in particular, I do like its lyrics. When it dawned on me, that the theme for this album should be deception, I felt that I should do my own version of Have a Cigar. The music owes more to early Peter Gabriel than Pink Floyd. I've always loved the way Peter Gabriel used marimbas, a kind of Robert Fripp on marimbas.


The Lighthouse - Vocals by Svante Wettergreen & Josefine Malmkjær-Andersen

This song is in part inspired by the Shoegaze music of the late eighties. In particular the band Slowdive. The song doesn't sound very shoegazed, but if you pay attention, you'll notice that the guitars are soaked in reverb and delay.
The lyrics is a reflection on Jean Guichard's 1989 photo of La Jument lighthouse off shore Brittany.


Capsize - Vocals by Marie Hobitz

This is a song from the archives. It was originally written for the Constructions album, then reworked during the Harvest sessions where it got its lyrics, and now, finally, found its way onto an album.
The lyrics are about australian explorer Andrew McAuley who attempted to cross the Tasman sea in a kayak, almost making it but capsizing 30 kilometers from Milford Sound.


Connect the Dots - Vocals by Ste van Holm & Marie Hobitz

This is the first time on any of my albums, where I sing. Albeit through a vocoder. An instrumental version of this song was used in the TV documentary 'When 2 sexes aren't enough' on danish national broadcast. I've had a fascination with tounge drums lately, and I've sampled a Hang Drum, which I did a few tracks with. The first track to use the Hang was Synesthesia from Tesla. The second is this.


Pareidolia

This little instrumental is based on a chord sequence played on Orchestron and me playing a keyboard solo on top of it using a VCS3 synthesizer. Not a real VCS3 though, but a very well constructed digital replica. The song has a close kinship with Voltage Control from Tesla.


Lights in the Sky - Vocals by Søs Maja

There's a strange natural phenomena happening in the norwegian valley of Hessdalen, where ghost lights will appear seemingly out of nothing. So far, scientists have been unable to explain what is going on.
The music is based on a unreleased track by my friend Klaus Schønning. I've tried to sample Klaus' music for years, putting it into a new context, but this is the first example of something coming out if these attempts.


Road Movie - Vocals by Maria Søbæk Lykke

The working title for this song was 'Americana', and to be honest there's not much of me in it. It is a test to see how well I was at the songwriting craft, and I wanted to do something with an american feel. It turned out well enough to end up on the album.


To pin a Butterfly

Another one from the archives. This one turned up on my homepage in 2003, titled 'Men of Power' and contained samples of politicians. It has been an orphan ever since. Until now.
It is barely audible, but I play the Chapman Stick on this track.


Deus ex Machina - Vocals by Marie Hobitz

Nikola Tesla was obsessed with the number three, and I thought the Tesla album should have a song in 3/4 time signature. It didn't fit the rest of the album and ended up here with new lyrics instead. The lyrics are about Isaac Newton, Rene Magritte and Steve Jobs all tied together by apples.



Here we are safe - Vocals by Svante Wettergreen

This song isn't really about anything. I could make up a lot of deep nonsense about transience of security and witch burnings etc. But this song is more about the sound of the words than their meaning. It took me quite a while to figure out how this song should be constructed musically. Maybe I haven't come up with something yet. I do like the chord structure of the verses, though.

 
2016 Oct 31 8:24 PM
NEW ALBUM: Illusions

So, today's the day!
'Illusions', my 7th solo album is out through digital retailers worldwide.

Spotify:
https://play.spotify.com/album/4byp7z852idY4NiZYTJG68

Apple Music:
https://itunes.apple.com/album/-/id1156273185

 
2016 Sep 12 4:17 PM
Sign here with Blood

Here's the last song from 'The Deception Project', before the whole album is released. By the way, the album is called 'illusions' and will be out october 31st.
Sign here with Blood is a comment on my experience with record labels.
It features the voice talents of Svante Wettergren and Marie Filtenborg.
I hope you enjoy it!

 
2016 Aug 18 4:15 PM
Hello Neighbor

August is here, and it's time for this month's song from 'The Deception Project'.
This is a song about a voyeur and an exhibitionist couple. A bit frisky in fact...
Josefine Malmkjær-Andersen - Vocals
Nicoline Asmussen - Backing vocals

My plan is to release one song a month until my next album is completed.
The songs released prior to the whole album and those who end up on the album might and might not be the same versions.
lyrics

 
2016 Aug 07 9:55 AM
Synesthesia Music Video

From Wikipedia:
"Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway."

How do you make a music video about synesthesia?
It would probably be possible with a lot of cgi, but on a low budget it seemed hard to do.
Then it dawned on me, that I constantly look at waveforms in the studio - visual representations of the sound files I'm working on. And I thought about the Fairlight CMI and its green/black aestetics.
Then this video grew out of those thoughts.

 
2016 Jul 05 9:25 AM
To Pin a Butterfly

The July release from 'The Deception Project'.
This track originally appeared on my website in 2003. It was called 'Men of Power' then, and I allways felt, that it belonged on an album. It just didn't fit anything I was doing. Finally, in this new arrangement, it found a home.

My plan is to release one song a month until my next album is completed.
The songs released prior to the whole album and those who end up on the album might and might not be the same versions.

 
2016 Jun 18 7:59 PM
Deus ex Machina

It's time for the third release from 'The Deception Project'.
This is a song I worked on for the 'Tesla' album. Nikola Tesla had an obsession with the number three or numbers that could be divided by three, hence the track's time signature. I have rewritten the lyrics which is now about apples. Three of them, actually.
Vocals are performed by Marie Filtenborg.

My plan is to release one song a month until my next album is completed.
The songs released prior to the whole album and those who end up on the album might and might not be the same versions.

 
2016 May 18 5:15 AM
Meltwater

The second release from 'The Deception Project' is a tale about a failed relationship on a North Atlantic archipelago.
It features vocals by Maria Søbæk Lykke.

My plan is to release one song a month until my next album is completed.
The songs released prior to the whole album and those who end up on the album might and might not be the same versions.

 
2016 Apr 27 8:00 AM
The Deception Project

I'm very pleased to announce my new album with the working title 'The Deception Project', planned to be released over the next months.
With the release of 'Tesla' only six months ago, this is the closest succession of an album I've ever made.
The album isn't finished, but some of the tracks are. Usually I would wait until it was all done before I'd release anything, but this time I thought I'd do it a bit differently.
My plan is to release one song a month until the whole album is ready.
The songs released prior to the whole album and those who end up on the album might and might not be the same versions.

The first song to be released is in fact two songs: Connect the Dots and Pareidolia. The first one features vocals by me (through a vocoder) and the lovely Marie Filtenborg. The latter is instrumental.

 
2016 Jan 07 6:34 PM
'Tesla' reviewed

Progstravaganza have posted a very nice review of the 'Tesla' album:

 

Being open-minded when it comes to art always brings new and cool things. Danish musician Ste Van Holm is a great example for that. The experienced artist released six albums so far, and this past November he came up with the release of a progressive rock record. Each of Van Holm’s albums has a different concept, different style (ranging from pop to rock), and different personalities. That is what makes Ste Van Holm and his art special. He doesn’t follow any paths except his feelings.

”Tesla” is the latest release from Van Holm, and as mentioned above it is a progressive rock album crowned with jazzy melodies and partly some electronic/ambient touches. The album is all around Serbian-Croatian scientist Nikola Tesla, his life and work. Conceptually and lyrically you feel the dedication of his works. From the first track until the closing piece, the concept of “Tesla” is very well thought.

The thunderstorm in the intro “St. Elmo’s Fire” announces the story in a right way. “Electrical Storm” and “Macak the Cat” attract attention with its jazzy vocals built on a progressive rock structure. “Transatlantic” turns a bit to electronic while keeping the same prog rock structure, especially in the rhythmic segment.

The album keeps on with a 20-minute epic “Oscillations,” which for the better part shows amazing craftsmanship and performance by the band. It is a piece that musically summarise what “Tesla” represents. The album triumphantly comes to an end with an 11-odd minutes “A Piece of Empty Sky,” which closes this brilliant biopic about the man who changed the world for better.

Ste Van Holm has crafted the most demanding record in his musical opus with “Tesla”, and having chosen progressive rock as a foundation contributed further in how well the story of the album is submitted to a listener.

 
2016 Jan 01 8:48 PM
Hi there 2016
Happy New Year!

As a little treat, my first four albums are available as a "pay what you want" deal over at Bandcamp:

stevanholm.bandcamp.com

So if you think my music is worthless, this is your chance to get it for nothing at all. But you could also support a poor artist by donating some of your hard earned pay in exchange for the music.

The choice is yours - happy new year!