L I N E R N O T E S
ON THIS DAY, 2019
1 ON THIS DAY
This solo guitar thing has evolved over time into some kind of instrumental cinematic pop music, with a nod to the sounds of folk Americana, minimalist music, and sometimes even some West African highlife. A lot of that is represented in the tunes on this EP. Looping is at the heart of it all, so these songs follow pretty much the particular kind of structure and development of form that loop pedals seem to suggest. This is especially true for the title track.
This one contains a lot of the elements that I tend to gravitate toward in this context: looped riffs, jingle-jangle pop ostinatos, Americana-esque acoustic strumming guitars, some pick scratches and noise, and bittersweet slide melodies…
2 WITH YOU
This one is more of a chord based ballad, and doesn’t use layers of rhythmic loops as much as the other tunes, apart from the one ostinato that starts it off and stays somewhere in there throughout the song.
Shout out to Christoffer Wadensten, who once showed me the “shimmer” effect created by overdubbing lots (lots!) of guitars played with a kind of funny looking but good sounding thumb tremolo. You can catch a glimpse of it in the promo video for this song. Anyway, I shamelessly stole that and have used it from time to time, for example in this song.
This one also has a lot of slide melody stuff going on, so if you like that then this one’s for you.
3 LIGHT YEARS
Lately I have found a lot of inspiration in certain elements of West African highlife music. Especially the kinds of harmonic patterns used, and the way the guitar typically functions in that style. There are some specific ways of dealing with chord arpeggios in a very rhythmic riff-like manner, and an approach to voicing the chords that I really like. There is also of course the element of repetition and ostinatos, both with regard to chord progressions and melodies, which is an essential part in this music and that lends itself very well to live looping. So quite a lot of my stuff tends to have a bit of this touch to it, and this song in particular.
In the end section, the chord progression changes and an ascending bassline enters, which makes the whole thing take on more of a pop song character. Creating this kind of shift in perspective by changing the bassnotes or chord sequence over a set of repeated riff-based loops is another thing that is very effective in a looping context.
ROSEMAN BRIDGE, 1965
The title track was originally commissioned by an architect named Wiktor Kudzin who needed music for a project presentation he was putting together for an architecture competition. His project was based on the concept of bridges, both as physical structure and, metaphorically, as something that connects people and places. The tune’s title ties in with that, and is a reference to a famous bridge that plays a central part in one of my all time favorite movies (based on a book, but the movie is better in my opinion. Anyone knows which one?)
Also included in this release is a new version of an old tune called Once (the original take is on We let go). The sounds and vibes in these two songs seemed to fit well together somehow. Listen to the single here.
MUSIC FROM A PLAY
Back in 2010 I wrote the music for a play produced by Teater Martin Mutter and Västerbottensteatern, based on the short story ”The man in the boat” by Swedish author Per Olov Enquist. The music was to be performed live on stage, accompanying the acting, so it was an easy decision to compose all of it for guitars. I used loop stations quite a lot as well, mostly playing back pre-recorded guitar parts.
This was a really special project for me, in many ways. It was the first time I was hired to write music professionally, and the chance to get to play theater music live on stage interacting with an actor and be a part of that kind of story telling, was a great learning experience in terms of timing, expression, stage presence and listening.
During 2010-2011 we played in lots of different places, including a couple of tours in the northern parts of Sweden. The premiere was held in the village of Hjoggböle in Västerbotten, in the chapel just nearby Per Olov Enquist’s childhood home. The chapel, built by his father, is mentioned on several occasions in Enquist’s writing. There is even a scene in ”The man in the boat” that takes place there (the whole story is set in the surroundings in which he grew up).
”The man in the boat” is a story about a young kid who faces loss and grief after a traumatic event with his best friend. During an adventurous journey across the lake on a home made raft, things go terribly wrong. On another level, it’s a story about having to grow up too soon, how the innocence of childhood is lost when you find yourself suddenly having to deal with, and ultimately accept, the sorrow of losing someone. I felt that the tone in the story and the rural surroundings in which it is set suggested a kind of roots/country/Americana sound to the music, and also something of a melancholic, nostalgic quality that a lot of Swedish traditional folk music is known for. The blending of those influences made for a good musical environment for the story to unfold within.
A while into the project, I began recording the music in my home studio, mostly for documentation purposes. I found that the main musical themes and motifs from the play was adaptable to lots of more variations and further thematic development. Inspired by soundtrack albums such as Pat Metheny’s A map of the world, Mark Knopfler’s Local Hero, and Bill Frisell’s All Hat (and even his album Disfarmer, which is not a soundtrack but has the structure of themes and variations), I wanted to not only record the music performed in the play but also include additional music inspired by it and the fictional world in which the story takes place (the tracks Chapel gospel and Pious people being good examples). The result is this album. Listen to it here.