~ I wouldn't blame you if you were wondering if I ever plan to update my Magne F fan site, especially after all the (boring and/or technical) posts about the process of building it a few years ago. Things have been so busy on other fronts, but that doesn't mean I have forgotten one of my favorite projects - I've been keeping track of media links and dates, related projects, etc., but I haven't had time to do much with all of that lately. However in August I started on drafts for 10-12 posts that would get me caught up on this year's content, with the intention of going back to the more distant archive content later on. It is now 'later on' and my new goal is to have all my 2015 posts online by the end of the year, and then to try to stay current as things happen. The true archive stuff amounts to another 25-30 posts perhaps, and maybe after the a-ha tour is over I can spend some time tackling those. And now that I've put all this in print, I'll have to really try to stick to it!
There is a web analytics tool installed on the site, so I can see what kind of repeat traffic there is and what posts people are interested in. It's good to see that people are still visiting the site! It isn't as much traffic as other fan sites get, no doubt because of the lack of new posts, but I believe it is worth keeping up the site, for an audience of even a few. So to sum up: thank you to those of you who have visited there in hopes of new posts, and I definitely haven't abandoned the project.
~Just a quick mention of Magne's songs on the new a-ha album for now: I think they're all great, my favorites change from day to day, but 'Mythomania' and 'Giving Up The Ghost' seem to be the ones I skip to most often. It's interesting that they all have a somewhat dark feel to them (apart from 'The End Of The Affair' on the bonus disc), and while there is a nostalgia theme that crops up in various lyrics, don't look for any warm fuzzies here. There are barriers everywhere, some literal and some emotional, and as always the bonds between people in Magne's songs are complex and layered. More time with the lyrics may bring about new revalations (see my previous post ;-)), but for now I get the impression the overall message is one of 'no love lost'. That's not a negative statement, by the way; it's just about clarity and honesty, which definitely have their place.
~ Speaking of 'no love lost', I might as well finally admit that there is one song of Magne's that I do not like at all: 'Little Angels'. Early on this became a skipper for me, although I can't really explain why. I love the darkness, I love the way he evokes light and shadow, I am all about sinister notes and intricate mental landscapes. I should LOVE this song, but for some reason it rubs me the wrong way. The funny thing is that I remember in forum discussions back in the day that people thought 'little angels' meant people who help you, people who care about you, and that you are never truly alone because there are people ready to stand beside you; but I always saw them as people who drain you and take from you, people who welcome you in but not for the right reasons. The angels are obligations, they are regrets, they are weaknesses, they are fears. Maybe I am understanding it completely wrong, but until I know better, this song holds the distinction of being the only song by Magne that I actively avoid listening to.
Changing gears a bit:
~ If you want to see love: go here and here. There are bound to be more examples, these are fairly recent ones that were easy to find ;-)
~ If you want to hear love: go find 'Envelop Me' (Past Perfect Future Tense), 'More Than Good Enough' (A Dot Of Black In The Blue Of Your Bliss) and 'Everybody's Angel' (Martin Halla - Winter Days). Unfortunately I can't find links to listen to these because the tracks aren't on YouTube or US Spotify or US iTunes - but maybe wherever you are, you can find them on digital music sites in your country :-)
I haven't written about these three songs, because I don't think I can put into words what the kindness, understanding and tenderness mean to me. They're all beautiful songs, though, go listen and see if you agree.
~ The other day I saw this quote: "If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die." When an artist shares their love with others via music, poetry and art, in a way they make their love immortal - what a beautiful idea. Imagine listening to a song beloved by thousands and knowing it's about you; imagine looking at a massive ceramic sculture and seeing words, thoughts, feelings you inspired stamped there for anyone to see throughout the years, even beyond the span of your own lifetime; imagine being loved by an artist. So little has been said in the media and in art books/catalogues about the personal inspirations in Magne's life, despite quite a lot being written about the works themselves. Still, I suddenly feel grateful to Heidi (and Thomas and Filip) for being such an inspiration to him, and for supporting him as much as they do while he is busy creating music and art that continues to touch and inspire me (and so many others).
~ If you haven't seen this video yet, it's a really interesting look at Magne's creative process. I'd love to see more videos like this!
~ Last weekend was Magne's birthday! There are a ton of birthday greetings for him over on Facebook, you can add your own here. Also I had to share this photo - obviously two of my personal heroes have the same idea! ;-)