fredag 17 maj 2019

The making of an album...

After recording a bunch of albums, and lately one that I'm more than usually happy with, I have come to the conclusion that there are a few key aspects in the process that greatly influence the end result. These are of course just my personal reflections and others may find they have very different ones, and if so I'd be very interested to hear more about them.

1. Foundation. This can be demos, rehearsals, a concept idea or just about anything else that is your inspirational starting point and creative lead for the project. I realize that for some people this step might not be the most important one, but to me at least it serves as a crucial focal point for how to approach the work and how to deal with issues that come up along the way. If you are unsure about what it is you want to achieve and what you want to express I think you are making it a lot harder for yourself to get a good result no matter what. On top of that, I suggest you learn more about your subject or concept. If you stick to what you already know you may miss out on a lot of inspiring knowledge – don't be a hostage to your own preconceptions.

2. Hard work. Yeah, there you have it and there is no way around it. If you want to take your demo tracks, rehearsal ideas, great artistic concept etc to the next level there is no other way than to spend a lot of time polishing them in the studio, in front of the computer or in the rehearsal room. Some people find this the most rewarding part of the process, others hate it with a vengeance, but trust me – you won't achieve a result that you can be lastingly happy with without grinding through those long hours of practice, takes, editing and most of all listening. If YOU don't like it, neither will others.

3. Flow/Luck. On a final note there is another aspect of recording that is a bit more hard to pinpoint, and also harder to achieve by one own effort, and that has to do with how all the foundation work and studio efforts eventually come together to create something that is more than the sum of its parts. By this I mean how to come up with not a good album but a great one. The only way I have found to get to this point is to really immerse yourself completely in what you are doing, to trust your instincts and not to stop working until YOU yourself really love to hear the result. Only then will that sense of satisfaction and achievement carry through to the receiver.

Like I said, these are just a few key notes on my part, and I'm by no means an authority on recording music – but they ring true to me and I'd be more than happy to hear what you think about them and what you do differently.

onsdag 26 november 2014

'I am dragged towards a clearing in the jungle, half stumbling, half walking... Just ahead I can see there is a borken circle of natives in the clearing where I am being taken to. The fear begins to rise in my stomach. I am taken through the gap in the circle towards the throne. Panic has set in and I am really trying to break free - I just do not want to see this figure... the face is grotesque, almost bone like'

The above is a short, slightly edited part of the dream that inspired this track. The video was made as part of a stage backdrop for a live performance at Volkspalast, Leipzig in 2014.
Hypnosis - 71st Cycle 2014

Since about one month the new 2CD album 'Hypnosis' is out on Cyclic Law. I am really pleased with the result, even though it took a while lIt feels as massive to see and hear it as was the undertaking of creating it. I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some links reviews of it, all of which have so far beeen very favourable. I am most grateful to all of you who have taken the time to listen closely to this work, and have been kind enough to share your thoughts and impressions of it. Your efforts and feedback is much appreciated!

R E V I E W S :

Heathen Harvest [english]

Santa Sangre [english] [english]

Lux Atenea  [spanish]

Son of Flies [italian]

Q23 [german]

L I S T E N :

There are a selection of full-lenght tracks available for listening on my Soundcloud page:

D O W N L O A D / B U Y :

I also have a Bandcamp page where you can purchas downloads of my complete back catalogue that are currently out of print. This is a great and easy way to support any musical project as it means all money goes straight to the artist, instead of some shady third party dealer at best. Your support is important, now more than ever!

lördag 19 oktober 2013

Hello and welcome to this my first real blog post! The intention of this blog is simply for me to be able to share, in some length, thoughts on the process of artistic creation in general, and about music making in particular. It is of course also a means of keeping those interested updated about my current whereabouts with Desiderii Marginis. Here I’m also open to questions, discussions and your own ideas on this and related topics.

Well, enough about that. At the moment I’m busy adding the final touches to the next 2CD album ‘Hypnosis’ which is planned to be out before 2013 becomes 2014… As some of you may know already, I have asked people to send me their dreams which then has served as material for musical interpretation and inspiration. I must say this has been a truly great experience for me, and I’m most grateful to all who contributed to this project. I belive one’s dreams (and nightmares) are some of the most personal aspects of oneself, and it’s a humbling and precious thing to be able to put music to them, albeit it’s just my take on it.

It’s a new experience to me to draw inspiration from outside myself in this way, but it has proved to be a very rewarding one. Of course not every dream lends itself easily to musical interpretation, some on the other had do that almost by themselves. They most challenging part of this has been how to capture the mood of each dream, whether it be frightening, detached, confused, or peaceful… My ambition has been to try to convey the feeling and imagery of each dream, so the listener can in some way relate to it and picture it in their mind (since many dream elements are common to most persons). At the same time I didn’t want to make the elements obvious to a point where they turn a cliché – which has required a bit of extra concideration indeed.

Just to give an example there was one part of a nightmarish dream about a person being dragged through a dense jungle, to the sound of increasingly intense drumming. So, how does one make music to that? First thing I tried adding jungle sounds, which turned out most unsuccessful, as it instantly sounded like a spa or beauty parlor soundtrack… Goes to show that the most obvious approach is by no means the best one. I took it back to the drawing board and after some lenghty experimenting with various sounds found something quite unrelated that still perfectly captured the scary feeling of the dream and it’s setting.

To be continued…

/ Johan
[Photo by Birthe Klementowski]

torsdag 17 februari 2011

Starting up

This is my first post on this blogg, my first picture upload etc, etc... just trying it out.