And so this series is finally complete! It took me a while, I know, but quality just takes time I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed discovering my debut album I’m not lying. I’m telling stories just as much as I have enjoyed making it.
Some of you may know I have some pretty huge things happening over the next few months, which inevitably will distract me a little from my usual business. But that’s a good thing! Nothing spurs creativity more in me than new challenges and experiences.
Following on after that will of course have to be a new record, and let me assure you, it is on its way. I won’t give you girls and guys a definite time & date just yet, but let’s just say my sophomore effort will drop sometime between now and later.
By the way, if you’re into (other) really good music, check out Sheryn Binks. She’s a very local girl from Perth, but oh so international in her sound. Sheryn’s captivating voice of meaning and substance will leave you humming along all day long.
This is the ninth and final post (for this album) in a series called The Music of Life which details the songs and videos produced by me and the stories behind them.
We Began As Wanderers
The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us – there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries. – Carl Sagan
This is probably the greatest song I’ve ever written. It’s definitely my favourite on this album. And it has to be, because it’s in honour of one of the greatest scientists the world has ever seen: Dr. Carl Sagan.
I wanted to make a song that captures the brilliance of Carl Sagan and his epic Cosmos series. Anyone who’s come into contact with Dr. Sagan knows how captivating his persona was and how much he loved exploring the vastness of space. I was myself captivated by this dreamer of a scientist after having been introduced to his work a few years ago and have since read many of his books and watched all thirteen episodes of Cosmos a fair few times.
The song itself started with just a simple drumbeat picked at random. I then proceeded by slowly adding layer on top of layer, and part after part, over the course of a month or two until the song was over eight minutes long. I remember when I wrote this song it was the deepest of winters and I used to walk to work through the snow listening to each new rendition. Finally, I arrived at this final version. To this day I still see myself walking through the snow each time I hear it.
If you’re interested in science, of any kind, I highly recommend picking up copies of Cosmos, Pale Blue Dot and Billions & Billions. They’re all brilliant books and cover a vast spectrum of topics that will leave you in awe and wonder about our beautiful world.
We Began As Wanderers is featured on my debut album I’m not lying. I’m telling stories.
This is the eighth post in a series called The Music of Life which details the songs and videos produced by me and the stories behind them.
Turn Them Off & Leave Them Off
When I returned to Sweden after having spent some time studying abroad, I built myself a bedroom studio and purchased a new iMac to go along with it. The first song I produced with my new gear was Turn Them Off & Leave Them Off. I’m pretty sure the song began as a simple experiment which happened to evolve to something more substantial. One of my friends introduced me to Network, an absolutely brilliant movie about the perils of television and commercialisation, which I felt would fit perfectly with the song I was creating.
The first half of this tune came to life pretty quickly. I was still under the influence of my previous band Spirits Of Old and rode on a tidal wave of leftover inspiration. I then hit a roadblock I couldn’t get passed. I wanted to make this song powerful enough to leave a dent in the mind of the listener. But for whatever reason I ran out of creativity and lost interest in the song. It wasn’t until many months later that I picked it out from my collection of unfinished songs and began playing with it again. By that time I had forgotten most of song and was quite surprised by what I heard. It did sound very powerful, it was fresh and different from my other stuff, which reignited my creativity.
It is interesting to consider that when this movie was made, back in 1976, television would’ve been nowhere near as intense as it is today. But the story captures so perfectly the essence of commercial broadcasting that it could’ve been filmed yesterday. The mindless generations are not unique to our time it seems…
Turn Them Off & Leave Them Off is featured on my debut album I’m not lying. I’m telling stories.
This is the seventh post in a series called The Music of Life which details the songs and videos produced by me and the stories behind them.
The name Mailah is a fusion of two words, written just like they’re spoken. The initial idea for creating this word came from a fabulous Danish band, but was ultimately fuelled by the love of my life. I invented it because I wanted to express myself without being too blunt about it, leaving some mystery to play around with.
Both number one and number two were inspired by the same source and serve the same purpose. A rather beautiful purpose I might add. The reason these songs are both instrumental is I just couldn’t make myself write lyrics for the occasion. It just didn’t feel right. But I recognised fairly quickly that these songs don’t need any lyrics. Some songs don’t. This time, I thought, the music should speak for itself.
This song is the first to feature a short but sweet section of slide guitar. Since I didn’t have a proper slide at the time and couldn’t be bothered driving to the store to get one, I just turned my capo upside down and used that instead. I’m sure professional sliders can tell the difference, but to my ears it’s not the technique so much as the passion that makes a piece of music good. Besides, I’m just thrilled to have played slide guitar
Mailah II is featured on my debut album I’m not lying. I’m telling stories.
Today I decided to expand my guitar collection! So I went to my favourite music store and started playing everything that was available. Sorting out the good from the bad was pretty easy since I had very specific requirements. After an hour I got the choices down to two Martinez’, instruments that can only be described as pure magic.
Just like my previous ones, I wanted a steel string acoustic, which is my personal preference when it comes to acoustic guitars. Before settling for Martinez, I was very excited to try a few models by Cort. My favourite guitar to date is a Cort Earth-100, which has been with me for seven years and is featured heavily on my debut album. But when I laid hands upon this Martinez TRC-7-NST (how catchy) I was awestruck.
I have never been a fan of light-weight guitars since they tend to fly around too much when played. The one I bought today is of a heavy breed. I felt it immediately when I took it off the stand that it was heavier than all the other guitars I’d tried. It felt extremely solid and sat perfectly in my lap. I just had to get it!
My fingers glide across the fretboard with ease and the action is perfect for my style. It might be a bit hard to see in the photo but the neck on this beast is absolutely gorgeous. Clearly a lot of attention to detail went into making this guitar, which is even more evident when playing. It has a warm and crisp sound, and the 12-gauge strings together with the sturdy neck and body produce a solid tone whether I’m picking or slamming it.
Yes, this is an excellent addition to my collection and I’m eager to try it out in the studio to see what it can do
This is the sixth post in a series called The Music of Life which details the songs and videos produced by me and the stories behind them.
Precis Som En Dröm
The second Swedish song on my debut album. Its name translates to Just like a dream, and that might just say it all. It was just like a dream, although that’s something I had to wait quite a long time for to see. This song, together with Olga, is very close to my heart. It’s actually a rather simple song if you listen closely. The chords are simple, the melodies are straight forward and the lyrics are direct and honest. But sometimes that’s all you need. Sometimes the story is so special that it carries the whole song without effort.
It tells the story of two lovers, desperate to escape the cold, and drawn together by nothing less than magic. It was one of those never ending nights, where time seemed to stand still, and you wished with all your might that daylight would never return. Of course, deep down somewhere you knew that the next day was approaching with relentless speed, threatening to destroy what the night had fused. And destroy it did. Years later only reflections remain, but they’re reflections you’d rather not forget.
Precis Som En Dröm is featured on my debut album I’m not lying. I’m telling stories.
This is the fifth post in a series called The Music of Life which details the songs and videos produced by me and the stories behind them.
I don’t even know where to start describing this song. I feel like any description would never be good enough. Because it’s big, very big. It is one of two songs on this album closest to my heart and it means the world to me. Without revealing too much, it’s a song about remembering someone you love. Someone who’s been with you your entire life. Someone who takes up a large part of your soul. Someone you have to thank for so much in life. Someone who will never be forgotten. Someone who, although no longer around, is always and forever present.
There are several other versions covering this particular theme in my songbook, but only one I felt was worthy the title and the message I want to convey. Because this kind of beauty doesn’t come often, and I want to make sure that my appreciation and gratitude shine through.
I will always remember.
Olga is featured on my debut album I’m not lying. I’m telling stories.