April 25, 2011
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Music is very important to me. I almost always listen to music. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is turn on the stereo and I almost never go anywhere without my iPod. I love walking or traveling around in the city with my very own soundtrack. Sometimes I’ll even refrain from taking a call on my mobile just because I don’t want to break that very special magic of the sound mingling with my visual perceptions of what’s happening around me. At home it’s a bit different. There it’s more about filling the room. Without music there’s just this very uncomfortable feeling of emptiness, like a void that needs to be filled. But both situations share the aspect of creating a barrier between me and the outside world, a barrier that allows me to retreat into my own space, my own mind. That’s why I almost always listen to music when I write, it helps me focus, helps me enter that realm that I need to be in to be able to do it. It helps me construct my own bubble where I can create my own universe. Read more of this post
November 7, 2010
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Why do some musicians get worse instead of better? I have stated this as one of the great mysteries in life, and in a way it actually is. At least it’s something that I have spent quite a lot of time thinking about and discussing with my friends. It really puzzles me. How can you have a downward curve in your development as a musician? It just seems bizarre. I mean skills should improve with practice – practice makes perfect, right? Well in some cases, wrong. And why is that?
In a lot of those discussions we have come to the conclusion that it has to do with guts, bravery, staying true to yourself. And I think we’re actually on to something here. If you have a certain amount of success with an album you naturally want to repeat that success with the next album and in some cases musicians then decide to play it safe and just deliver more of the same. But art isn’t really about producing more of the same. Art is about exploration. And when you opt for the same approach the likelihood of creating something interesting drastically diminishes. Art has an evolutionary aspect in that sense, it has to keep developing in order to not grow stale and superfluous. Sticking with the known is rarely a good idea when it comes to art. Read more of this post
October 20, 2010
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I am greedy when it comes to art. Very greedy and very curious. If I like something I always want more. This presents itself in what can only be described as gluttony. I will devour everything the artist has done. Be it paintings, books or songs. I want to take it all in. I am not a collector in the sense that I need to own it all, for me it’s all about the experience. I don’t mind if I only have the music as mp3 or if I borrow the book from a friend or see a painting at a gallery. The important thing is that I do get to experience it somehow. All of it. Particularly when it comes to music and literature, my two biggest passions. There I will get completely obsessive. I will read all the books and listen to all the recordings that exist. I will dig my way through the entire body of work. Passionately. But not blindly. When it comes to art I don’t believe in unconditional love. Even the most talented people will do things that aren’t brilliant. And people develop. Sometimes in a good way, other times in a not so good way. Very few people manage to present a body of work that’s amazing all the way through. There are some, but they are not many. And of those, most are dead. Read more of this post
October 18, 2010
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Some moments in life are weirder than others. Moments that just seem overloaded with symbolism and meaning, stand out like technicolor in a black and white movie. Scenes that just get etched into your retina. Like little clips you can play in your head again and again until you’re almost not sure if they are true, if it really happened like that, because it all just seems so surreal. Almost. Because reality is always stranger than fiction. And a lot more cliché.
I had a moment like that. Years ago. And that moment has been haunting me from time to time ever since. A moment so surreal that it really felt like being in a movie. A moment that had me looking for hidden cameras. At the time I was having a ridiculously complicated affair with this guy, a musician. And we’re sitting on a bench, in Paris of all places, talking about what to do with the mess that is our affair. Read more of this post
January 13, 2010
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Being a writer words and language and books and the act of writing itself are of course a few of the things closes to my heart in this world. They are my weapons of choice so to speak. How I make sense of everything. But music is equally important. And in a way it fills a similar function. Music helps me get grounded. And by that I don’t mean that music keeps my mind settled in any way, it doesn’t tie me down, quite the opposite. Music liberates my thoughts and my emotions. It helps me through life. And as dramatic as that may sound, it’s actually true. I can give a list of albums that has been the soundtrack of my life for certain periods. Albums that I honestly think were instrumental in keeping what can arguably be referred to as my sanity. Without these records I really don’t know how I could have pulled through. And in some cases it took me years before I could listen to them again. I talked about this with a friend of mine, about how music can get so intimately connected and intertwined with your memories that you just can’t listen to certain records anymore. They are somehow tainted with the past. A past you don’t want to relive. He threw all those records away. He went into the woods and screaming at the top of his lungs he hurled them into the dark of the forest. I can fully understand this act. I can understand the cathartic effect of doing something like that. But I could never do it. Never. I need to keep all these tainted records. I need to have them with me. And it’s not because I want to dwell in the misery that they recreate, it’s because I am so immensely grateful to the people who made them. Their art guided me through a certain time in my life, helped me pull through to the other side, back to firm ground, so how could I ever throw that art away? I am not a religious person, but for me that would be blasphemy. And I also know that there will come a day when I can listen to that record without the pain. When I can once again really listen to the music and appreciate all those qualities that drew me to it in the first place. Because I still love these records. I just can’t listen to them. Read more of this post
January 4, 2010
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A while back I saw Slipknot live. The venue wasn’t very good, nor was the actual concert, but this is not a concert review. And on a side note, I actually don’t think I would be able to write a concert review in the normal sense. Unlike a lot of people I know, I can’t remember the set list after a concert. I am not even sure of what songs were played, let alone in what order, even if it is a concert with a band whose entire body of work I know. I wouldn’t even be able to do it at gunpoint. My brain just doesn’t register the music that way. But what my brain did register was an event that took place at that particular concert.
At one point Corey Taylor, the singer, asks the audience to squat down. And everyone does. Everyone is squatting down on the floor and Corey is cheering them on up from the stage. I am just standing there. Looking at the bizarre event taking place in front of me. And I remember thinking “are they insane?” Read more of this post
November 9, 2008
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i have a thing for voices. i have had it as long as i can remember. i remember how i used to love to my grandmother when she was telling us stories. sure, it was about the stories, but it was just as much about her voice. the way the sound of her voice could just send me off into another world. i just loved to listen to her voice. loved they way that voice made me feel, the places it took me to.
and as i grew older i found more voices like that. many of them in music. like blixa bargeld, pj harvey, david bowie, björk. or jeff buckley. one of the absolute giants. all the nuances, the desperation, the passion. the amount of expression. all the emotion conveyed. it blows me away. the places he must have gone to to get that sound, find that flow. the waves he must have ridden. what he did was simply magical. what he still does. i just wish i could have experienced it once face to face. to actually have been in the same room when he was riding those waves. but when he died i didn’t even know he existed. Read more of this post
November 8, 2008
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i am trying to figure out if there is any connection between the music i like. is there anything linking jeff buckley, carcass, aphex twin, beastie boys and mussorgsky? and i am thinking there must be. either music moves me or it doesn’t and i wonder what it is that stirs me.
i pay a lot of attention to music. if i hate the music that’s on i really have trouble holding it together. it gets to me. gets on my nerves. if i am in a place where i can’t stand the music is being played i really have to get out. bad music really makes me feel like shit. and i think that where music hits me – in my mood. that’s why the music has to fit. i can’t listen to isis if i don’t feel like isis. and i can’t listen to the hidden cameras if i don’t feel like the hidden cameras. but i really like both bands. do they have anything in common? well i suppose so. Read more of this post