Finn Harald Røed - blog archive 2009
Dec 29, 2009
My new song, the only one written and recorded in the whole of 2009, was released today on this website. The song is called "Anything for love", and is a blend of synthrock, new wave and, well... it's all me!
I'm quite pleased with the song, and I'm happy that I won't leave 2009 without a music foot print. The song is released as a MP3 CD single with it's own cover photo / printable inlay card. Please listen, download and read more on the dedicated page about my latest MP3 release "Anything for love
". Hope you like it. Feedback is always appreciated.
Dec 21, 2009
A few days ago I realized I hadn't written ANY music for more than a year. This made me decide to get my studio computer up and running again. I connected everything neccessary to record and mix a song, using only the CME midi keyboard and VST synths. It took me only a few minutes to find a new melody in my head, and I've been working a little bit every day with that one up until now. It's a pop-rock song with influences from both the 80s and 90s synth based styles, but absolutely with my personal signature.
I have now reached the final arranging, recording and mixing stage (which unfortunately still is a rather unstructured, blended and messy stage - as I've mentioned before). I'm pretty sure I will finish the song and then upload it to my website during December. It will be my only song written and recorded in 2009. Which is quite strange to think of, I must say.
Dec 11, 2009
I just uploaded 10 old songs in MP3-format. Please feel free to check them out via the MP3 download page
. There is now a total of 107 different MP3-songs on this website - free to download for all. The 10 "new" tracks range from plain demos from around 1991, to a rocking version of "Get ya crying" (written by me in 1987) which was performed and recorded by the band The Headlines in 1993. I sing and play the synthesizer on this recording. I also added "Let's talk about you", which was written and recorded during Christmas 1995 by myself and Thor Ivar Skaue. I also found an old song that I wrote and recorded on my Tascam Porta One 4-track cassette recorder in 1991/92. The song ("Det ække mer å si" is in Norwegian - which is pretty rare in my songwriting.
Dec 10, 2009
I'm now listed in the singer-songwriter database
Dec 09, 2009
Parents need to stop telling their kids repeatedly how special and unique they are. I believe such feedback in many cases results in personal problems for the kids themselves once they're grown.
Just imagine how painful it must be, after years of failure, to finally have to downscale your self esteem and self image from being a very special person that can become anything you want (and almost by destiny it should be something important and great), to finding out and striving to accept that you're just another average Joe. Ouch! That does something to a person!
I like the thought of developing each individual's potential, though. However, the myth that says everyone can become anything they want or anything they dream of, is simply not true. For most kids, being constantly told that they are special (indicating they're better or more special than others) is just a way of messing up their minds. It brings false expectations followed by years of frustration.
People should live up to their potential, but not everyone can become the President, Prime Minister, Elvis, Columbus, Bill Gates or Mother Theresa. Or Jesus, for that matter. Being down to earth is important in our quest for setting high, but realistic goals in our lives. Realistic step-by-step goals will make us happy because we're able to reach them.
Dec 5, 2009
My studio gear has been packed away in boxes, bags and cases for a year now, ever since we moved back to Norway. We have reserved a room that eventually will become a new studio, but it will to go through a complete redecoration from floor to ceiling before it's ready for action. A wall is removed and a new door is in place, but a lot of work remains before it's done. I hope to have it ready around April/May 2010.
Actually, I only have the el-guitar, el-bass and the digital drum set rigged up. This means I can jam with my oldest son (10) every now and then. He plays the drums, and is really talented. Anyway, that's about all the music I can do these days. No recording gear, no studio computer. No synthesizers. Quite strange and sad, but it will soon change and I'll be back in business.
Another thing: For years I've felt that a big and badly organized studio rig is a hindrance for my songwriting. I tend to turn blind among all the choices, alternatives, cable connections, instruments and sounds. It may be just a matter of organizing things in a systematic way, but even so I'm thinking of writing a couple of songs with a minimal studio setup. Keep things really simple in the song writing process, and then add extra tracks and layers of details and spice in the end - whenever needed. Normally I tend to do a lot of things in one operation, which can slow down the process because the different aspects of song writing, recording and mixing get in the way of each other, floating in all kinds of directions. My experience with writing the songs for the album "Breakable" was that having certain pre-defined rules and guidelines was a great trigger for my creativity. I became extremely organized and productive once I had decided which boundaries I was supposed to work within. I believe another challenge is that I often have too many ideas and projects/songs going on at the same time, and I need to choose a direction and limit the ongoing projects in order to get going. Right now I would love to write and record a Christmas song with my son and my wife - with just a really, really basic rig. Just don't know if there is time for it. We'll see. ;-)
Dec 4, 2009
The website was redesigned today. All the old content is intact, even though texts and images will of course change over time. I do run a living site, you know! Anyway, it was really time for a change.
The new background image is taken from the cover of "Magical". The logo and colors are really different from before, and I chose a logo with more focus on my name rather than the website's domain name. The quote is from "The world is changing" (1996). The main layout and navigation is the same as before. You can still see the site with it's old design (but with updated content as text and images) at www.replaceyourself.com/page_4des2009.pl.
Nov 30, 2009
I have a feeling this will be my best Christmas for years. It's time to just live the moment and let the kids enjoy their relatively short childhood. I'd love them to be able to look back and remember this particular Christmas as something special and memorable, and intend to do my best to let that happen.
Nov 26, 2009
It doesn't happen all that ofen anymore, but once in a while I hear a new song on the radio that really grabs my attention. Earlier this year, I had such an experience. While driving my car, the radio served me the rather strange line "Are we human, or are we dancer?" swept in a delicious synth dominated pop-rock arrangement. I fell in love with the song right there.
At the time I had no idea who was the artist, but later found out it was the American alternative rock band "The Killers". It feels like such a long time since something good came out of America (sorry, my American friends, I can't help myself), but I'm happy to say that this American band has come up with my new favorite song. I haven't felt that way since my last kick with Keane's "Everybody's changing". That's a while ago, I know. Anyway, "Human" has just about everything I long and crave for in a great track.
The lyrics make me think. They demand my attention. After having had some difficulties understanding what they were actually all about, I googled it and found out the main line of the chorus is a reference to a quote from Hunter S. Thompson who said that America was raising a generation of dancers. According to the rest of the song's lyrics, we're not talking about regular dancers, but rather a breed of people that are not only superficial and cold hearted, but also careless, robotic and ego-centric. And with little or no devotion. A lack of soul, virtue, grace and romance. As an opposite of being a free and happy human being. Free as the wind, making your own choices indepent from the ways others claim are the right ones.
Are we dancers that follow the pre-defined steps and do what we're told? Are we mind controlled? If so, we are typically afraid to find and be ourselves - and to take chances out of the ordinary. Afraid to make the wrong steps. "And sometimes I get nervous, when I see an open door."
Open doors are scary, because they offer other opportunities. This song has such a strong message, not only to Americans, but to the whole western civilization, and to the whole of mankind for that matter. I find it inspiring and thought provoking.
"Pay my respects to grace and virtue, send my condolences to good. Give my regards to soul and romance, they always did the best they could. And so long to devotion, you taught me everything I know. Wave goodbye, wish me well... you've gotta let me go."
Are we human, or are we dancer? After all, who would really like to be "dancer"?
The song's melody really sticks. It creeps under your skin and stays there. And it grows on you. It keeps getting better and more interesting as time goes by. A both sad, hopeful and catchy mood - all at once. The arrangement is inspired by the sound of the 80s, with a modern interpretation. The synth sound including the stringpads, blended with neat guitars and rythms. How can I resist it? It almost feels like I know these guys. There certainly seems to be some common ground. The vocalist, Brandon Flowers, has the perfect voice and feel for this perfect song. It sounds like the song was made for the singer, and the singer was made for the song.
The music video is available at YouTube.com. I am happy to see that it's just as great as the song itself. It was shot in Goblin Valley, Utah and ends with the band watching the sun setting in the desert. It all really goes well with the lyrics and mood. Quite irresistible. :-) Check it out right her: The Killers - "Are we human?"
. This just might be the closest I come to a spiritual uplifting experience this year. I find the song to have prophetic value. You who have ears to hear, listen! :-) This is God given art!
Oct 30, 2009
I stumbled across a few moments of personal grey normality the other day. It eventually passed, and I'm feeling much better now. The present is soon over, the past is irreversible, and the future unavoidable.
Oct 25, 2009
Is it likely or even possible that humans and aliens may share the same genetic foundation? For that to happen, first of all aliens would need to exist. Secondly, such a discovery would forever change the history, self consciousness and scientific theories concerning the earth, our origin and life in general. But would it for certain prove the existence of a creator and the principles of creation? If it would, such a link between humans and aliens is highly unlikely to ever be discovered. And on the other hand: Would a lack of genetic links prove anything else? Or would it just make way for new theories defined within the borders of science, religion and philosophy?
Oct 5, 2009
If people actually KNEW for sure that there is life after death, and that such an existence would take place with our loved ones under much better conditions than we now experience, a major purpose of religion would be to provide convincing theological reasons for why one shouldn't commit suicide to get to the other side the sooner the better. In other words, the veil of forgetfulness that was forced upon us to confuse our minds and memories when we entered this world is not only annoying. It may indeed be a basic necessity of life.
Oct 1, 2009
The well-meaning man who fell to earth just bounced straight back up. Home sweet home!
Sep 30, 2009
It seems I once was pretty naive and well-meaning. I'm becoming more down to earth every day...
Sep 21, 2009
Should you occasionally dare to admit that life is good, or should you simply proclaim the opposite just to make sure your enemies will leave you alone in their quest for keeping you down, stuck away and hidden outside in the dark?
Sep 14, 2009
The Norwegian Parlimentary Elections 2009 were held today. It turned out that the existing government lead by the social democrats will stay in power for four more years. However, I once again voted for the social liberals ("Venstre"). Sadly enough, it turned out that Venstre will loose most of their representatives in congress after this election, having received only 3,8% of the total votes nationwide. Because of the disappointing results, the party's leader, Lars Sponheim, announced that he will step down to let someone else take over his place. I truly regret that, having the greatest respect for Mr. Sponheim's meanings, his honesty and his colorful way of being.
It feels good to support a smaller party with the courage to stand up for some important values in a time when egoism floats freely in "the best country in the world". The more we get, the more we want. In a campaign where many other political parties have found it neccessary to convince the voters that they are worried about immigration and the refugees coming to take part of our wealth, it has been a tough task to focuse on the environment, small businesses and on ALL people's rights, value and freedom.
I voted for a party that fights for a greater perspective than lowering the prices of gas, tobacco and alcohol, or increasing the speed limits and straightening the roads so that people can drive to their local supermarket just a little faster. And not to mention, I voted for a party that isn't concerned about how many non-white people are living in their local neigborhood, but rather how we all interact in an open minded and resepectful way. Thank God there is still someone who have the courage to see the bigger picture. Many people, including myself, are trying not to be part of the river of self centered egoism. In times like these, we need politicians and leaders that dare to stand up and raise moral questions even when it's temporarily out of fashion.
Sep 8, 2009
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."
Sep 8, 2009
Just a few minutes ago, the two Norwegians Tjostolv Moland (28) and Joshua French (27) were sentenced to death in the Republic of Congo, Africa. This must be one of the most bizarre, corrupt and primitive known/documented trials against Europeans in our time. What a demonstration of a whole nation's immatureness and ignorance. A trial based on lies, constructed and fictious evidence and ridiculously false accusations.
I have no idea what the two Norwegians actually did down there, and for all I know they may be guilty in some sort of minor crime. Still, being convicted as "spys" from the Norwegian government and military is simply too far over the edge of all common sense. The Norwegians' cell phones had a few text messages written in Norwegian. The court found this to be proof of their spy activities. After all, Norwegian is not a language understood by most people in Congo, which proved they had something to hide. The Norwegians even had a GPS and a map, which was considered proof of their hostile motives. In addition, they found a picture of one of the men in his military outfit from the time he served in the Norwegian (mandatory) military. Obviously these men were secret spys, sent by the Norwegian government and king. Sure! It's all so hilarious. So childish. So surprisingly immature.
How embarrassing this whole process must be to any educated and intelligent African in general. All in all the trial and the surronding circumstances probably will give new fuel to old myths and prejudices about blacks / native Africans. People may be tempted to think that bad racist jokes may not be caused by racism at all, but rather a result of a certain amount of facts. I honestly hope the future will proove all such upset impressions wrong. However, right now an open mind and respect is maybe too much to ask for.
Sep 7, 2009
I see evil all around me, in the bigger picture. Or is it just my fears? Living in my peaceful, friendly neighborhood surely isn't the reason for the way I feel.
I've always been highly facinated by the WW2. It's power, and people's will to die for what they believed in - on both sides. It's drama, tragedy, unfairness, fright, pride, faith and glory. Now I see the same spirit in our time, the idea of superior nations, and the will to prove it. And just like then, we once again believe we are so wise. So experienced. So justified. And just like then, we are all wrong. Only this time the final fall will be more painful than ever, and only the spiritual dead will rejoice and celebrate what needs to be defined as victory. So yes, I see evil all around me - no longer all that far outside my safe, little circle.
Aug 21, 2009
I could have been a revolutionary, but being comfortably tucked in a warm, conservative environment just didn't contribute to bringing out the rebel hiding inside me. Every now and then I found room for sharing a little sceptisism and criticism, and added some offensive thoughts directed to the moralists.
I openly disliked right wing, narrow minded christians and modern day pharisees, especially those who cared more about the color of your shirt and your hair cut than what was inside your heart. Or those that actually found that to be of any importance whatsoever.
I never got my rebelious thoughts quite organised though, but then again - my experience is that basically all forms of preaching (especially on the web) is a waste of time anyway. Everybody seems to be interested only in their own voice and opinions, and turns the deaf ear to any other opinion or input. Not too late to try, though. ;-)
Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, and don't criticize what you can't understand. Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command, your old road is rapidly agin'. Please get out of the new one If you can't lend your hand, for the times they are a-changin'.
(Bob Dylan, 1963)
Aug 12, 2009
A new page about me and my music is now available at www.nrk.no/urort/FinnRoed
. "NRK Untouched" is a service offered by the Norwegian Broadcasting Channel (NRK) to artists that wish to present themselves on the web.
Aug 3, 2009
It's been a while since I read this, and it struck me more than ever how much it clarifies the relationship between good deeds and a good heart:
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am like sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and have all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I give all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing." (Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians, 13:1-3)
I guess it's all about the heart. Which voice do we let into our hearts? It's a choice that colors and shapes our behavior and feelings. The right voice will create focus on and strenghten the bright sides of our personality - instead of the darker sides.
The choice will influence our way of thinking in such a way that our good deeds no longer are something we do to be rewarded, nor because we feel we "have to" or are obligated to perform certain behaviour. On the contrary, our good deeds will be a result of God's work within us, performed with joy and acknowledgement of that all good is a direct result of God's influence and love. A love that now rests in our hearts, in our spirits, and brings out and magnifies the best of our existing personalities.
It seems like I never stop pondering about these mysteries of life. The meaning of being here. The basic questions man has asked himself for thousands of years: Where do I come from? What am I doing here? Where am I going? Even when you think you've found the answers, the same questions show up in new versions - the one more detailed than the other, and hopefully with more insight. But then again, what do I know...?
July 31, 2009
July is just about over and the major part of the Summer leaves with it. Strange how time flies faster and faster the older one gets. At least that's my impression. It may have something to do with that life in general seems to have less variation than before. Less things that stick out and make you stop and think. Less new ground to experience. Less curiosity. Less time by yourself. Less energy, adolescent dreams, enthusiasm and excitement. Less idols and less future plans and wishes. Less of most things, except for material stuff and life experience.
July 22, 2009
Ok... I've watched yet another movie that triggered some feelings and thoughts. The harsh taste of being the long time victim of gossip, rumours, half-lies and half-truths can really destroy a person. No matter what bad things people have done in their past, please don't feel free to add extra burdens once they have changed and recovered. Who are you to dig up old stories colored by your interpretations and fantasy? Leave alone old dirt that is better left dead and burried, and try to see the deeper perspective and meaning of repentance and forgiveness. Simply allow people to move on. We're all God's children, and lots of people that once stepped off the straight and narrow path are living righteous lives while daily striving to compensate for the past. We've all done something we're not proud of. Maybe last year, five years ago or twenty years ago? Just try to be a little God-like and show both yourself and others some mercy. Please...?
July 18, 2009
I wrote my first complete song around 1984. It was recorded "live" in my parent's living room with a small MC-player. I played the piano and sang. Not a impressive result at all, but it was a start. Since that I have written and recorded somewhere between 150-200 more songs, and released 6 albums. I've been wondering which song is my best song ever. Which one is my favorite? And which one would be considered to be the best by other people? Of course there will be a lot of variables involved, and there are many songs to choose from. My conclusion is that I'm not able to choose just one, but as of today I've picked out these 7 as my personal "commercial" favorites (even though the list may change according to my every day mood etc.):
- The world is changing
- Last summer
- I replace myself
- Wish you were my hero
- Things will never be the same
- Unconscious mind
- Modern car
The songs span a period of 15 years and were originally written and recorded as a full demo or more in the year listed in parantheses. "Last summer" is released in two very different version (1993
). I'm not quite sure which one I prefer. The version from 2008 of "I replace myself" is defintely the best one. And yes, I know some would replace some of these songs with others. I would guess that "Running out of faces" would be included by many. It would be fun to run a poll to see which songs are the favorites of the public, so I will consider that for the future.
I have to add that my list of personal favorites independent of "commercial thinking" probably would include these songs as well:
- Living without you
- Failures of the Mothers
- Please now
- I'm not fighting
- The last time
- Under your thought control
June 23, 2009
Three steps forward and two steps back usually means you're moving in the right direction. However, sometimes the gain of one step towards the planned destination feels like moving even further away from sanity than before. I'm pretty sure thoughts like these may be within the boundaries of normality. It's just my natural instinct warning me not to believe it necessarily is so. Who knows who to trust these days?
How strange it is to be old enough to think back and reconsider. A few old friends are still around. Some are forgotten. Some are gone. Some turned out not to be real friends at all, but rather just incidentally acquaintances fueled by circumstances that were misinterpreted as "friendships". Those misunderstood, unfortunate and fake relationships in which everyone would have been better off if they had never happened. Sooner or later, dark sadness is all they leave behind. A sadness in itself more enduring and all-consuming than the mistakes that caused it.
April 06, 2009
I have a disturbing feeling that somehow I would have been better off by leaving the most revealing questions in life unasked. I've lived my life for quite a while now, experiencing highs and lows - successes and failures.
There was a time when I wished I could turn back the clock. I'm not so sure about that anymore. Life is too complex to live without making mistakes. I have come to acknowledge that it never seems complete in more than just a glimpse of the eye every now and then.
It has been said that we should count our blessings. I believe this is a good idea in order to obtain a feeling of gratitude and content. On the other hand, do I really have the courage to ponder thoroughly about whether my first 40 years on earth all in all were satisfying or not? Has the result of these years of living been worth all the struggles? All the challenges? All the strain? Will the answer to such a question affect my choices in the future? Will it bring new perspectives and open the horizon, or will it simply bring me down? Will the answer even be close to the truth, or just a pale reflexion of the mood I was in when asking?
I can't help myself thinking that people rarely having these thoughts must experience a higher degree of happiness than "a thinker". I wish I could live each day without thinking too much about yesterday or tomorrow. Pondering too much about purpose, success, friendships, betrayal, sin, eternity, forgiveness, love, hate, faith, death, future, past, hope and such never really did me any good. I think. Unless there is a higher purpose suggesting we are supposed to ponder about all these things, that is.
February 23, 2009
I remember looking at the pictures of my favorite pop and rock artists, thinking I had all the time in the world to succeed before I reached their age. However, while looking at recent pictures of myself, I now acknowledge that time goes by so quickly.
By all means, maybe turning 40 doesn't matter all that much for my everyday health or doings, but the fact remains that my future perspective looks somewhat different from what it used to be when I was in my early twenties. I believe that in many ways I'm a more mature person and musician now then before, and that I will keep on improving. However, the rules of the "game" are simply different for a 40 year old then for a 20 year old artist (and person).
Oh well, life itself just works that way - we are all aging and changing. It's just that most people don't really understand what it means to age when they're around 20. They finally will understand, though.
Every age has it's charm. Turning 40 is charming in the sense that it makes you realise that some tough lessons and struggles from the first part of life's journey are history, while some other good things in life are waiting just in front of you. I can see what those things are now, things that had no part in my life 10-15 years ago. It makes me see things in a perspective that seemed impossible to grasp even just a few years back.
February 21, 2009
There's now a new page on Last.fm about me: www.last.fm/music/Finn+Harald+Røed