seeds of hope

The other night I watched a video on YouTube recorded during the first rehearsal of Broadway's 'The Lion King' following 18 months of theaters being dark. I cried like a baby. There was so much emotion from the performers, crew and staff; the simple joy of being back together again, the shared grief of all they've lost over the past year and a half, the power of the music they were bringing to life which speaks to the journey we are all on. Not a single person was unmoved in those moments, the gratitude seems palpable. 

I challenge you to watch this and allow it to move you, too (crying is optional but highly encouraged):

Something that struck me while watching this is how it likely represents the feelings and experience of untold individuals who work in the performing arts as they attempt to take steps towards live shows of all kinds within our communities. Timelines and COVID mitigations may differ depending on local spread and many other factors, but the knowledge that artists around the globe and all those in the industry which supports them are preparing to perform again is so hopeful and (to me and many others, I'm sure) desperately needed. 

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do yourself a favor

I'm currently listening to Magne's Spotify playlist songs I wish received some more love. I'd previously liked it and added it to my favorite playlists, but never played it through before, mostly because I have all those songs downloaded and playlisted elsewhere. But I've discovered while listening that it is a pretty cool musical experience, and I definitely recommend it for any MF fan.

Random observations:

Hard to say if the track order has some meaning or logic behind it, but halfway through I am a believer — whatever led to this specific listening progression, it's super effective for setting a mood. I haven't hit 'This is now America' yet, I see it there in the playlist coming up, but I'm unsure if it will fit well or be jarring. We'll see in a minute (it's the next track). 

...oh hey, that works really well. Wow. 

Speaking of 'This is now America', it's interesting to me that only two of Magne's solo songs made the cut; all others are a-ha tracks he wrote or co-wrote. And the two solo tracks are from his most recent solo album, leaving out his earlier, similarly brilliant albums altogether. I'm wondering if there is a musical/compositional reason for this, meaning the list was very intentionally curated, or if there is a different reason those albums are not represented which have nothing do with with the music itself. 

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small joys 7

Head over to Instagram for some promising music related news:

Filip Clements is now just Clement, and he's edited his past Instagram posts a bit. In his pinned story he mentions an EP coming soon, which is great news. Follow him to stay up to date.

Jonas Bjerre (Mew, Apparatjik) is working with Tobias Wilner (Blue Foundation) on a project called Tachys, and they have a release called “When The World Wakes Up” coming out on June 18. Follow them on Instagram. 

The a-ha movie will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 12, and is apparently going to be streamed on June 13 (USA only). I bought a ticket and am looking forward to seeing the movie with my family. 

I am as interested in the story he will tell about the guys as I am in seeing parts of my story. There were a few occasions when the director was filming at events I attended, and he even filmed for a while at one of the official fan parties in Oslo.  The movie will no doubt include things I experienced in person and from afar, since by then I will have been involved for 20 years, and I was a fan for 15 years before that. For many of us the band's story runs in parallel with many years of our own, and I am sure the movie will be special for all those who get to see it.

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talisman part 1

Thanks in part to Facebook memories, and aided by my almost freakish memory for dates, May 2/3 brings up a lot of complex and pivotal experiences in my life. I usually approach these days with something like caution, and am relieved when they pass. Sounds a bit like superstition, but hey, I'm human. 

Eight years ago today I had what I realized much later was my first — and thankfully so far only — mild panic attack in a gallery in London, of all places. It took me entirely by surprise, so I didn't know the signs to look out for or how to react to minimize the impact of it. It took me a long time to not only realize what had happened, but to unpack why it happened, because the root cause was far away in space and time.  We're all a product of our history, but the two situations were so far removed from one another, that I didn't make the connections I needed to make until years later. Since then the knowledge of the potential for it happening again has held me back at times, much to my frustration. But as is usually the case with personal growth, it's a process I'm working on. 

Seven years ago today my father nearly died, and time stood still for two days while my family sat in a hospital waiting room as Army doctors worked a miracle to save his life. I've written about that here before, so if you've been around a while, you know the story. 

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in case you missed it

The Queen Sonja Print Award Gallery in Oslo has an Instagram account. The account features various graphic art, including this most recent photo of a work of Magne's:


The location of the gallery looks beautiful, I will definitely make a stop there next time I am in Oslo. The city has already changed so much since I was last there in December 2019 — the Munch museum will be another must-see. 

Also, there was this post from Ocean Sound Recordings in Giske:


I know you didn't miss the last two songs from Magne, including 'you have what it takes', posted nearly two weeks ago: 


The clip was viewed over 10,000 times in less than 24 hours, which is incredible. I wonder what Magne thought as he saw the views going up and up at a rate much faster than the previous songs. I never get tired of saying his songs are beautiful, they touch my soul, they bring me hope, and this one is no exception. 

More soon. In the meantime, happy spring!

P.S. I see that the embedded instagram posts only show if you're logged in to LiveJournal. Going to see if I can fix the way they display for those not logged in (I imagine that's most of you). 


sing me springtime

As I've said before, 'I'm In' was/is what my heart needed, particularly in the moments, hours, and days after its release. I will always love that song, despite the fact that it will always remind me of a time of great worldwide sorrow and difficulty. There is still more to say about it, one of these days...one of these days. 

In the meantime, now that we're in a kind of waiting and hoping mode for more songs, I can't help but think about what is coming next, and if it will evoke another truly personal response in me. I try not to hope for that, because I don't want to set myself up for disappointment, and because it's super unrealistic. Artists do what they do, and it's our job to simply receive the art and make of it what we will.

But if I were to hope, if I allowed myself to wish for a song from him to make me feel a certain kind of way...I would want a song that brings me springtime, a light at the end of the tunnel, the promise of new beginnings. 

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It's good to want things

(reused title, sue me ;-))

This new LJ editor easily embeds posts from social media. Look how easily. I may have to start liking this. 


Now this is more like it. Sure, it's a double-tease — first, the art is shown at an angle so we can't see it clearly; second, we can't have more songs until the previous one reaches 10k views?! can that be right? — but also it's promising of both new art and music, so that cancels things out nicely. 

If you zoom your browser in to 200% (haha) you can see a lot of the words in the piece:

  • colossal
  • vastly
  • bigly (and this is one of the smallest words!)
  • extra
  • super 
  • special
  • plus
  • brave
  • grand
  • new
  • bold
  • unusually
  • awesomely
  • limitless
  • sensational
  • shocking
  • boost

I'm getting an uplifting, encouraging vibe, so I'm sure any of the incorrect and/or missing words are similarly great :-) Now the mention of something 8 times as big could mean this piece is a scaled version of the full thing in a much larger format, or it's an extract from something larger. Or it's not part of the larger piece at all, I guess. Yet more mystery, oh how my brain likes to be occupied with this stuff, especially when I know the answers are forthcoming.

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I believe 2 / Small joys 6

Time for a topic mashup. Also I am using LJ's new entry publisher, and I have no idea how it works. Let's go. 

~ Check out the new IGTV track 'Time is on your side' posted last week here. I like the lyric animation effect on the video, I feel like it has its own message to layer on top of the song message, although that could be fanciful thinking. Layered meanings, multiple interpretations and alternate perspectives are all common in Magne's music. Need more time with the lyrics before deciding if I want to write more about the song, but I like the sound of it and how it fits with the other two songs he's posted recently. 

~ The video for 'God is in the details' reminds me of my family's first dog — a brown and cream husky with endless energy who loved to play in the snow :-) She'd lead us on wild chases around the neighborhood and joyfully jump into piles of leaves that we had spent hours raking for her amusement and attempt to hide under my bed when it stormed (despite the piles of toys and other junk) and watch Orioles games on TV with my father and sister on long summer evenings. Random thought: Magne is 10 years older than me and he has more energy to play with this wonderful puppy/dog than I could probably muster these days ;-) I'm inspired by watching that snowy play session to find more playfulness in life myself, it would add greatly to my ever growing list of small joys for sure. 

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whatever it takes to be free

I set aside time tonight to write about 'I'm In'. Knowing time is short, knowing I have too much to say and not enough time to craft the words in a way I'd be satisfied with. I thought maybe if I gave myself a deadline, I'd get it on paper. You'll see how that went!

I listened to the song twice. As I normally do. Twice, ok, three times. As many times as I needed to.
Wrote up the lyrics, with question marks in a couple of places ('whatever you want or mean' or 'whatever you want or need'? or something else?).
Sat in the quiet for a minute. Went over to Twitter because I can't stop doomscrolling these days.
Ok the doom is mixed with hope, because soon the Trump presidency will be over, but in truth that won't be the end of the work our country and the world needs to do, there is so much more to do. But I am hopeful that the right people will be empowered to lead and to help bring about the change we need, over time.
As I scrolled my feed, I saw a post from Playbill sharing a new Spotify playlist, 'Broadway Lullabies', with "Let some of the theatre's gentlest tunes lull you off to dreamland tonight." Following 'I'm In', this seemed like just the thing I needed. I immediately opened up and scanned the song list, which is absolutely wonderful.
Just played 'Not while I'm around' and almost burst into tears. Don't we all need that kind of devotion and that feeling of being protected? Especially now?
Next I skipped to 'Dear Theodosia' to round out a heartbreaking, yet uplifting, trilogy. I need a 20 minute hug now.

The truth is I have too much to say about 'I'm In' to do it justice quickly. I need more time with it, with every word and every note. I guess I can quickly say what I said before: my heart needed this song, especially now. I wish everyone could have this song, and it makes me sad that the audience for it is so limited when so many people are in pain, suffering, alone.

What a gift of beauty and honesty.

No doubt I will write about the Oslo concert and the IGTV tracks in more depth soon. You know how blogs won't let me go until I get them written.
I had thought we'd have more songs from Magne around this time, based on his posts, but maybe he changed his mind or is deciding what to share next. When you have a lot to say, sometimes it takes time. I know all about that, and I'm happy to wait - on both him and myself ;-)

Oh and happy new year x