Finn Harald Røed - blog archive 2018

December 8, 2018
I've had a feeling for years that just won't go away. A feeling that I should write songs for a whole album with uplifting, positive and spiritual lyrics. Songs about the relationship between man and God, about the gospel, faith, repentance, mercy and the plan of salvation.

Since I can't seem to get that thought out of my head (and heart), I have decided to do something about it. Accordingly, during November I recorded about 10-12 brand new song ideas. In fact most of them were so "ready", that I basically just need to write the lyrics and start the recording process. I simply have this idea growing inside of me that says I'm supposed to write and release these songs, and that it has a higher purpose. It feels very warm, humble and just... good. It may be a way of spreading the good news to the world, both here in Norway and abroad, an alternative to traditional missionary work. I even feel like I may be performing some of these songs live in the future. Time will show. I just wanted to document this in my blog, and then we'll see what it ends up with during 2019.

November 10, 2018
For the sake of documentation, I feel the need to write down a couple of thoughts about the online / streaming services having replaced the physical music formats (like CD, MC, vinyl). Even though it is incredibly practical and easy to find and listen to music on Spotify and similar streaming services, I strongly think that experiencing music and having a relationship to the musician, band or artist is not the same as before. In a negative sense, that is. My sons and teenagers in general barely have a relationship to artists or album releases, because of the lack of a physical album format. They listen to play lists on YouTube or Spotify, with songs from different artists in the same genre etc., with the songs being presented in a random order, or in the order defined by whoever made the play list. They normally don't know much more about the music than that they've heard a particular song before, and that they like it. And that's it, with a few exceptions.

When you no longer have anything physical to relate to (like a LP vinyl album or a CD with paper cover art, inlay cards with printed lyrics, info and photos or other graphics), it is hard to get beyond the "I've heard the song and I like it" stage. Of course it helps if you go to a concert, but since kids and teenagers don't know the name of the artist performing the song you like anyway, going to see them live doesn't seem like a first choice. The dimension and experience of being being a fan of a band or an artist, and to hold (and read, and look at) the latest album release while you listen to the music and read the lyrics, an album you bought because you're a fan and have been looking forward to the next release... none of that can be replaced by the "background music" experience we get from streaming services. But of course, no rule without exceptions.

September 21, 2018
I was invited by one of Norway's largest newspapers to write about my music and my life as a musician. I accepted the invitation. The result (written in Norwegian) was a rather long and detailed newspaper article, describing important aspects of my song writing and my music history in general. The article also includes brand new photos taken during the process of filming the scenes for the "Love imagination" music video in July 2018.

August 15, 2018
Finally! My new music video is done - and was released today on YouTube! The song "Love imagination" was written and recorded the first week of July 2018. The accompanying music video shows four band members performing the song (vocalist, bass player, synth player and drummer), where all four of them are performed by Finn Harald Røed. The numerous scenes from different angles and distances of each band member were filmed separately between July 17 and July 22, 2018. During the next few weeks, the different clips were edited and combined into the final music video which was released on August 15, 2018. It's a somehow disturbing thought, but this song and video will most likely be the last thing I release while still being in my 40's. However, the plans I have for releasing music and videos the next year or so are pretty extensive, so no matter what, this will NOT be my last release ever! :-)

July 22, 2018
I've spent the last two nights finishing the filming of character three and four (synths and vocals) for the music video "Love imagination". I've seen the sun rise four times this week, before eventually going to bed. My two youngest sons, Simon (16) and Benjamin (12) have been helping out with starting/stopping the sound playback and video camera between the numerous takes which has resulted in about 250 GB of footage, filmed in 10bit HD 1920x1080, 50.00p, 200Mbps.

During the process, quite a few photos have been taken as well, of each of my "band member" characters: The bass player with a beard, mustache and a Harley Davidson t-shirt (thanks to Matthew Q. Jackson for that gift!), the rather youthful drummer with a headband of silk, white shorts and sandals, further to the synth player with slicked back hair and mirrored sun glasses, to eventually the somewhat goth like singer with a side part hairstyle and black jacket. It's now all on film and images, and I'm moving on to the video editing process!

A video project like this is a time consuming process. My living room has been working as a film studio for about a week now, with a large green screen, video lights/softboxes on stands, the video camera (Panasonic Lumix GH5) connected to an external monitor, tape markers on the floor for camera angles, different instruments for the characters, cables all over the place, etc. I've spent four long nights of filming, plus testing/failing, preparations and considerations during the day time / before and after the actual video shooting.

Making such a music video requires at least four times as much work and footage compared to filming a band with four people at once. It also requires quite a bit of additional preparations and considerations. All four versions of myself (the characters, or "band members") are filmed individually from 3-5 positions (90 left, 45 left, front, 45 right, 90 right), in order to create the impression of shifting camera angles. In addition, several close ups and various details have been filmed separately from different angles, like f.ex. the synthesizer solo and some drum fills.

I have now just started on the rather heavy video editing. My computer will most definitely have a hard time processing and rendering the huge collection of video clips I am planning on using, but I will get there, sooner or later, and my expectations tell me the final 3.5 minutes long end result will be worth the efforts!

July 19, 2018
I'm in the middle of the filming/production phase of a music video for my brand new song "Love imagination", which was written, recorded and mixed late June/early July. It will be a band like performance of the song with different camera angels, close ups etc. with me acting as all four band members: Bass guitar, drums, synthesizers and vocals. I must admit that I have a certain amount of great expectations for the final result, both when it comes to the music and the video.

June 10, 2018
My brand new single "Nothing is sacred" is now available on Spotify, iTunes and the other main streaming services and online music stores! Please feel free to send me feedback and impressions. Detailed info, free mp3 file, cover art and more is now available on the official release page for Nothing is sacred.

May 30, 2018
It is finished! My brand new single "Nothing is sacred" is now on it's way to all the major online music stores and streaming services, where it soon will be made available to the public. I spent more time than planned on the cover, since I wasn't especially pleased with the photo alternatives at hand. It ended up with a new photo session a couple of days ago, so the picture of me on the cover doesn't get any fresher than this. :-)

Also, out of nowhere I got the idea that I wanted to combine this song with a written text of some sort, something that would expand the song's meaning and value, both contentwise and artistically. I wrote a mini short story that ended up on the singles front cover. I will also include it on the upcoming info page about the album. Also, I am still planning on making a music video for this song in the near future, but decided to publish the song itself before the video.

All in all, it feels great to be able to work on multiple artistic platforms within the one and same project, like in this case, where the release consists of 1) music & lyrics, 2) the accompanying mini short story, and 3) the music video. Of course, none of the others would exist without the song itself, but as I said, they add so much to the music compared to simply releasing a single and that's it. It's like a complete meal with several dishes, compared to a snack.

May 5, 2018
The last few days I've been working on a brand new song called "Nothing is sacred". I'm done with the recording, including the vocals, and the mixing and mastering is just arond the corner. I will relatively soon release this song as a single, accompanied by a music video. The planned video will take some time to shoot and edit, but I think it will be worth the effort. :-) I must say it feels great to be able to break free and split up from the tedious process leading to full album releases, in accordance with the principles I explained below on May 1.

May 1, 2018
I've always found all the work related to an album release to be both long, time consuming and hard. The songwriting (music and lyrics), arranging, recording, mixing, mastering – it's a lot of work that takes a LOT of effort. That goes with all my eight albums, some of which I've spent more time on than others. The biggest challenge seems is to start all over from nothing with "my next album" once an album is released. From experience I know it's a long way to go, and that it will take time to get there. The only exception is my "Breakable" album from 2006, which I did in only a couple of weeks, from scratch! However, recently I've read a few articles and seen a some YouTube videos about releasing singles, which have made me rethink how to write, record and release music.

I have now decided to release singles on a regular basis, some of with a music video. When I have released f.ex. four singles within let's say 6-9 months, I expect that I also have written and recorded 5-7 other songs that weren't typically single material. I will then release an album with the singles plus the other songs as an album. And the restart with working on my next single (which will also be the first song for the next album). There are three main reasons why I want to do this:

A lot of people aren't interested in or don't have the time to listening to a full album with 10-15 songs, unless they are devoted fans and the album release is something they've been waiting for and looked forward to. On the other hand, listening to one song, as a single release, is a different story. A song lasts for 3-4 minutes. My idea is that releasing one single actually will reach a bigger and broader audience than releasing a full album. Let's say twice as big. Which again means that releasing four singles within a few months will reach a hugely bigger audience than one full album, let's say eight times as big. When I've relased these four singles and eventually put them on an album with the rest of the songs recorded within the same period as the singles, more people will be aware of and interested in listening to the album. They will also have a relationship to the album before it is released because of the singles, which may create anticipation and hopefully an interest in finding the time and motivation to hit play on song number one, and let it play through the whole album.

To build an audience one needs to be active and visible on a regular basis. Releasing a new single and music video every 2-3 months generate a lot more attention and marketing possibilities than simply releasing one album every 1-2 years, especially when there are little or nothing else happening in between. Actually, releasing the singles will not reduce the value of the album release, but on the contrary strenghten the interest and attention it gets because everything else that has happened the last year or so has been leading to the album relase.

Starting from scratch with a new album, knowing it won't be released until maybe a year or more later, has a demoralizing effect on me. After a month or two, when I'm still at song nbr. 2, 3 or 4, it's really hard to feel like I'm almost there. This often causes me to work quite effective for a few weeks, but then I take a break for several days, weeks or sometimes months. One main challenge, is that my family situation and dayjob prevents me from working with music 24/7 (or even 24/1), and I'm not able to finish more than a couple of songs a month. So, the really, really liberating part of going for the single release idea, is that I get rid of the feeling "it's such a long way to go, so there's no point in speeding up things". From now on, this is no longer an issue. At any time, I am only ONE SONG away from my next music release. And, potentially also only one song away from my next music video. What a relief! At the same time, I know that everything I do brings me systematically closer to my final goal, which is the next album release.

April 2, 2018
Today I started recording "Things get broken" for my next album, which hopefully will be ready late Summer this year. As a part of the song recording process, I finally got the arpeggiator / sequencer in Moog Sub 37 to sync with Cubase. It was a lot easier than I imagined, in fact not complicated at all. Several of the upcoming songs will take advantage of my analog synthesizer's step sequencers and arpeggiators, synced to Cubase, including "Things get broken". I also installed the Sub 37 editor, and will build a library of my own presets there as the recording process gets going.

As always, I'm very excited about how my next album will turn out. It will be very synthesizer based, somewhere within the electro pop genre with a rather analog, dark and gloomy sound. Style wise, I guess "Somebody precious" from my 2017 album probably will be a good comparison.

March 30, 2018
I am now the happy owner of a Native Instruments Maschine MK3, plus the full version of the 155 GB software bundle NI Komplete. My main intention with Maschine is to use it as a drum machine and rythm composing tool, integrated with my DAW Cubase Pro 9.5. So far I have only scratched the outer layers of the surface of Komplete, but I'm starting to get an impression of Maschine MK3's fantastic drum possibilities. One thing that strikes me, is that even though the included kit's beat examples (midi loops) are fantastic, it is clear that they are targeted towards the rap / hip hop genre. However, the samples are of such an impressive combination of classic and modern sounds, that they fit very well with the two reasons why I bought Maschine in the first place:
1) Get a serious collection of high quality sounds in one physical drum machine (yes, I know the samples/files are located on the computer, and that Maschine is simply a controller, but it actually LOOKS and FEELS like a stand alone unit!).
2) Expand and add to my way of working with drum sounds, beats and rythms, in order to obtain the modern impression that Maschine offers. This includes both the new and modern sounds, and the phsyical way to work with the Maschine software and to experiment/play/record on the very playable 16 drum pads.

March 7, 2018
I now have about 20+ brand new song drafts recorded on my cell phone. I have wanted to write the songs for my next album basically without using any instruments, but simply by recording the ideas, melodies and generally what I hear in my head and heart on the cell phone, as finished as possible, before I bring them to the studio. Namely, several of these songs are a lot more than just drafts or sketches. The lyrics are more or less written, and together with me singing the melodies for verses, choruses etc, I have also added numerous and sometimes detailed and accurate info about and descriptions of the arrangement, f.ex. what each instrument is supposed to play. One of the songs, "Things get broken", is documented with so much details about vocals/melody, arrangement interpretations/explanations and lyrics, that the only thing remaining is to do the final studio recording process. Actually, I am very excited to hear that particular song being born from it's current pre-birth pregnancy state.

January 28, 2018
Today I released an edited version of the music video for "See you". Some extra scenes are added, one of the clips with the Moog synth is replaced with one where I actually play what you hear. Also, the audio file is replaced with the final song track, i.e. the one relased on the album in September (with only minor mixing and matering changes). You can watch the new video version on my Facebook page.

January 21, 2018
I guess we all can agree on that we're going out the same way we came in. We are all born, and we will all die. But what about all the time in between?