~ This picture is really awesome. Talk about a unique perspective - as someone said in the comments, it's a view we're not likely to experience once the works are completed and installed. We get a real impression of the size/scale of these jars for the first time, and to me it's almost dizzying to see the jars from above like this. They're certainly very solid and the one on the right is securely anchored from above, but I couldn't help wondering if they are reinforced some other way so that the constant barrage of letter imprinting doesn't disturb their balance. Yet again, stuff only I would think of ;-)
If you look closely at the top of the jar on the left, you can read a bit of poetry which comes from Payne's Gray:
With everything so neatly planned / there’s something you should know: / That each and every little yes / just leads to bigger no’s
And something about Magne's open-armed stance is really touching, somehow. He so rarely gestures like this in photos, and never (that I can recall) in an a-ha related photo, posed or otherwise. There is a quiet confidence and an active, warm invitation to the gesture in this new picture which is really nice to see. This work is extremely important to him, so much so that he has been sharing it visually before it is completed, which I think is also quite rare for him. I am so glad he's letting us have these glimpses of this project's journey.
~ There is a translation going around for this article from the guys' interviews recently in Berlin. Some quotes from Magne:
"Cheery music makes me sad. I immediately think of suicide." (I am *so* never getting a happy song from this guy - and you know what? it would probably sound weird coming from him anyway LOL)
"Melancholia is not a disease, it is a source of energy."
"Every sad song I write makes me less depressive."
"For many bands, the band is more important than the single members. That is different with us. It's either the three of us or nobody."
~ This picture makes my inner fangirl sooooo happy, all the more so because it was taken by Magne. Can't wait to see what kind of stuff he posts from the tour.
~ I assume you've seen the 'Cast In Steel' track list and songwriter credits? Four songs from Magne on the standard CD, and an additional one on the deluxe editions:
Objects In The Mirror (anyone else remember this? is it weird that I do?)
Giving Up The Ghost
The End Of The Affair
I think we can assume these songs will be some degree of heartbreaking, yes? Especially the last two, from the titles it's clear they are about endings. Not long now until we finally have the album in our hands and can be depressed together! It'll be like old times ;-)
~ Diving back into the archives a bit, I found some interesting stuff while doing research for my fan site. Check this stuff out:
October 2001 - I must have read this article at the time, but I had completely forgotten about it. Magne collaborated with Knut Bry and Trond Moi on a cookbook project for which he composed some music, and he also provided artwork for the TV show 'Tid for Mat'. The cookbook is probably available in book stores in Norway, here it is on Amazon.
December 2001 - "The novel ‘Fire dager før sommerferien’ (‘Four days before summer vacation’) is Bjørn Lindstad’s writing debut and tells the story of the boy Oscar. The artwork on the book cover is made by Magne, and marks the latter’s first assignment as a book illustrator." By now, Magne has designed several book covers, but I didn't recall this one at all.
April 2002 - A couple of really good, long quotes, which are actually strangely on topic given the comments Magne made above about melancholy and sad songs. Check it out:
Q: The title song ['Lifelines'] is very personal.
A: I would have liked to see it as the first single. The song is indeed very personal; it’s about decisions you take in life. Sometimes, you sit in a restaurant and you look at other people. You think about how your life could just as well have taken a completely different course, and you wish you could step into the lives of those other people, to find out what effect completely different circumstances would have on you. I often regret not to have tried certain things, because I feared the consequences. Maybe I would have completely different friends, lead a completely different family. I don’t want to change my life, but I am fascinated by the fantasy about how things also could have been. I don’t want to exaggerate, but I carry this fundamental sadness about perhaps having lived my life in a too one-dimensional way.
Q: Oy. You’re pretty philosophical.
A: All Norwegians are. We’re not especially simple or open people. In Norway, people have the tendency to muse over things and they easily get melancholic. We are a thinking people. I can also never write or compose when I am happy, because then I’d rather play with my kids. Writing songs when I’m feeling sad also offers me a way to get into my own feelings. Or at least it’s an attempt to. When other people can then do something with it, when my thoughts and emotions find a resonance in their heart and head, then we have arrived at the point where art begins to work.