I've moved to a new place, and has had a lot to do painting and renovating the house.
I have also found time to record a lot, and new the new album is very close to completion. The penultimate session was held two weeks ago, and featured Ann Reena, the fourth and final singer to perform on the album.
The tracklist is done, and I'm currently working on the sleeve and on the first promotional video.
'Garden of Exile'
'Blue Sky CafÃ©'
'The Glow and it's Shadow'
'Where are you now?'
Cloudberries are a boreal delicacy and one of the symbols of SÃ¤pmi (that used to be called Lapland). A cold, windswept place too far north to care for some, perhaps, but to me it'a an enchanted place that I daydream about a lot.
The session was very relaxed, and I think Edith's voice suited the track perfectly.
Now I have to edit Edith's session... Sorry, couldn't help the pun...
Edith with a cloudberry jammed waffle.
I've started working on a promo clip for the new album. This is the first time since last summer that I'm working on a music video, and the first time since spring 2007 that it'll feature my own music. This time, it'll require quite a lot of work, as I'll try to make it a stop-motion clip.
So far, Stina has been filmed playing ukulele and singing to a track called 'Where are you now?'
Miss Madelaire at the set
We also spend some time working on a demo for one of Stina's songs called 'Dancing'. I'm not quite sure how it happened, but suddently it sounded a lot like 80ies disco... I think it requires some doctoring.
Furthermore I have been preparing 'Traumfestival' for upload on YouTube. 'Traumfestival' is the 30 minute feature I did on Einstürzende Neubauten in 2003 while the band was mixing their 'Perpetuum mobile' album. Slicing and scaling the film for YouTube was the easy part. An email have been send to the band, and I'm now awaiting their approval.
Fortunately, my brother had no problem in keeping calm, and phoned the harddisc manufacturer. When he finally got an engineer on the phone, we were asked to send the disc to Holland, as the disc was simply a malfunctioning series.
A few weeks went by with data recovery at their expence, before the disc was sent back to me.
Unfortunately the currier was not able to deliver it for days, as they did not understand the simple request of adress change. On the third day of delivery to a wrong adress, my wife descided to pick it up for me and hence avoiding me making a scene...
The album is back, and it's in good shape...
Now backing up!
The currier who could not figure out where to deliver the parcel
Oh, there's something inside...
Me with a Fairlight Series III in 2000
When I, in my early teens, developed an interest in music production the Fairlight was in it's autumn. But it was still, despite DX7s and affordable samplers THE machine. I was so fascinated by the myth of this machine. All of the artists/producers I admired used the Fairlight: Oldfield, Jarre, Parsons, Gabriel, Bush... All of them had the Fairlight. But none of the instrument shops had it. That was how mighty it was. Out of reach, only available to the greatest. I dreamt about Fairlights.
In 1991, and without any production skills at all, I tracked down the danish Fairlight dealer, and went to his office and asked if I could please see one. He told me, that he didn't have any, but was kind enough to give some brochures. As I walked away I peered through the windows and saw, that he actually did have a CMI. That was how close I came.
Nine years later, as the Fairlight had gone into the historybooks as a difficult, bad sounding machine, the opportunity finally came, and I was invited to spend a few hours with the Series III Fairlight. And I was disappointed! It was so slow, and the 8 bit resolution sounded so wacky (the Series III was a 16 bit machine, but I worked mostly with the IIx library which was 8 bit).
I guess the strenght of the Fairlight belonged to the artists who used it, and not - as I thought - to the machine.
I am still a bit fascinated by the machine, and I have bought the Fairlight IIx sample library, but I guess I'm more fascinated by the myth and the artists of the 80ies...
I doubt that is possible.
I am even beginning to doubt it will be a 2009 release.
The editing of the last two vocalsession is proving difficult, and I have turned to Oblique Strategies for help.
I don't know if it helps...
Stina with the Moroccan tea that helped the session go smoothly.. or... anyway...
6 am: Getting goosebumps. Listening to a cue-mix of the Leonid section from the 'Two Suns' project. This is really something.
6.30 am: Daydreaming myself away to Lapland.
... Edith claims, that she has never recorded before, but she seemed very confident...
...Edith didn't really like the lyrics I'd written for her, so I rewrote the batch, and she was right: it's much better now...
...Something new for me was the drama Edith was able to put into her performance. A truely great session!
Now: preparations for the next session on sunday...
This might turn out to be the best thing happening today, as I do feel a bit tired after last night's execution of social behavior.
Furthermore, I didn't finish the lyrics anyway...
Klaus Schønning doing some parisian moods for 'Sleepwalking':
Streetart in the suburb of Herlev;
The opening of an art exhibition:
displaying the works of MartinLars:
who presented this piece:
Art was also present at the parking lot:
The building 1:
The building 2:
Tweaks and ajustments on the album:
I have a few vocal sessions planned for the near future, which means a few hectic days of lyrics writing.
My aim for this album is to have lyrics that focuses on getting from A to B. Either in the physical sense or in a more psycological way. So far I have managed, but I still have too many lyrics to write, so the focus might blur.
Last week I went to Vega in Copenhagen. I consider it the best venue in Denmark for two reasons: 1) It is a beautiful, beautiful venue, and 2) they have some really great names on the bill. Last week it was Fever Ray from Sweden. The concert stunned me. It was so strange, yet amazing, and I felt very inspired as I left. Actually, scandinavian acts seems to be what inspires me at the moment. I'm very fond of Karin Dreijer's works, both Fever Ray and The Knife has been on heavy rotation here. Also RÃ¶yksopp, Anna Ternheim, A-ha and Abba has dominated the output of my iPod lately.
I've been quiet for quite a while...
I've been struck by work, and have spend all of my time writing a scientific paper... Well... that should ensure my income, and that is what being an internationally ignored artist is all about; making money elsewhere...
I presented one of my visuals at an arrangement called INKsunday on sunday the 8th of march.
We were four artists on display, and I must admit that I was the odd one out as the three others were painters. The challenge for me was to present the video installations I do, and make it fit the rest of the items on display.
I did that by making a cube of painters linnen andhiding the projector inside. I thought this was a good idea, but the pavillion in which the exhibition was held prooved to be too light. This meant that my installation looked like a washing machine....
When we arrived at the pavillion, it was not more that four degrees celcius, and we had to light a few hundred candles to try to get it a bit warmer. It was raining outside, and the structure was leaking which ruined some of the paintings.
Well, it was quite a nice day anyway, and it was great to present what I do to an audience.
It's starting to look like an album!
Yesterday the second vocal session was held at my studio. This time Eva Rotenberg did some airy vocals for a song called 'Sleepwalking'. The song is inspired by Phillipe Petit who walked on a tightrope suspended between the two World Trade Center towers in New York in 1974.
Today I visited Klaus Schønning in his 'Lydlaboratorium'. He had been working on some ethnic sounds to flavour the track 'Garden of Exile', a song whose story takes place in Morocco.
The next few days I will spend editing Eva's and Klaus' work, and then I'll move on to other tracks...
My last blog promted a suggestion to release 'Constructions' on the now-again-hip vinyl format.
An Lp is able to contain a lot more soul than a Cd, and I am convinced it would feel a lot better to release an Lp than a Cd or just a download.
I have been looking into the posibillities, and I have narrowed it down to two possible scenarios:
1) 100 copies of 'Constructions' is released in a gatefold sleeve.
2) 10 copies is pressed of each of my albums, they will be numbered and signed and auctioned off.
Both of these possibilities are costly - the latter means that each item will cost approx 150 euro.
If I choose to do either of these two models, it will effectively cause the sessions for my next album to come to a halt, as I would simply not be able to deal with the production costs.
A few days ago I wrote that I would not reissue 'Odyssey', because the original multitracks had been lost. And before I say anything else, I'd like to point out that they ARE lost.
In the autumn of 2001 my harddisc died, and with it I lost all the Odyssey sessions. I knew that I had som old Cd-roms hidden away in a cardboard box somewhere, and after posting on my blog two days ago, I started wondering if those cds actually had some Odyssey on them.
I was taken aback when I found the cardboard box, and realized, that I had a lot of back-ups from the sessions. I didn't find any of the final sessions. They are lost, but amongst all the demos and crap I found some penultimate sessions. Enough to enable me to fix at least some of the not so good parts. So now I'm not so sure, that I won't rework Odyssey. I might. And perhaps I'll rerelease it along with next years 'Two Suns' album... It's a definite maybe...
The long version is, as might have been indicated, a bit longer:
I have currently no plans for a rerelease of Odyssey in any form. Neither as cd nor as download. Odyssey does contain some good ideas and it is much more aggressive than most other ambient music. This would, in itself, justify a rerelease. However, it is very poorly produced. And especially the guitar parts annoys me. If I was to rerelease Odyssey, I would have to do something about those guitars. And this, cannot be done, as I do not have the multitracks any more. If I did (and I might have some), I could revamp it just as I revamped Tabula Rasa before last years rerelease. But without the actual multitracks, this cannot be done. I could start all over again and rerecord the worst parts, but honestly, why bother? So, why can't I just release it as the document of its time it is? Because I don't think it's a very good document is why. I have come a long way technically as well as musically since Odyssey. I will, however, not say never. I might rerelease it some day, but I wouldn't count on it...
So it's 2009, eh? What happened in 2008? A lot actually... I started working on a new album, I engineered a bit here and there, directed three music videos and revamped my 2004 album 'Tabula Rasa'. That's ok, isn't it?
I will hesitate a bit when it comes to any guessing about what 2009 will bring. I hope I'll be allowed to do some more music videos, and I hope that I'm able to release the new album this year. No promises made. But the first vocal recording session for the album did happen today, so it might be released this year.
Stina Madelaire, a singer I've known since my time in the Media Sound Studios, popped by today to do the vocals for a track called 'Garden of Exile'. One of the moodier pieces on an otherwise upbeat album...