“Illusions” has taken me three years to complete and has been a long journey that has required more patience than I thought I had in me. I spent so much time searching around the world for new unique ideas, musical instruments and most importantly inspiration, but little did I know that it was the truly incredible vocalists that I would encounter in my venture that would shape the musical outcome. To everyone of you, I am proud, blessed and eternally grateful for your amazing musical contributions. I could not have done this without you.
So without further ado, allow me to introduce the singers featured on “Illusions”.
From Bulgaria, the wondrous voice of Vladislava Vasileva featured on both “Rada”, “Dreammaker” and “Femme Fatale” completely captivated me in a very profound way. Not only is her voice delicate like a leaf in the wind, but at the same time incredibly powerful, unique and with a sense of rawness to it that comes from the heart.
Another surprise along my way was Elitsa Todorova, a young vocalist from Varna, Bulgaria. Todorova is well known for her percussion work and vocal performances, authentic to the bulgarian folk lore sound. Her voice is bright, sparkly, incredibly controlled and magically beautiful. I feel blessed to have had the chance to work with such a talented woman. Elitsa is featured in “Soulseeker”.
Norwegian Merethe Soltvedt has the most angelic voice I have ever heard. Her voice is like sunshine, it inspires you, makes you feel wonderful. It is for good reason that her voice is featured on “Ocean Princess”, “Gift of Life”, “Merchant Prince”, “Promise”, “Immortal” and “Remember Me”.
Kate St. Pierre
Kate St. Pierre is not from this world, although she’s been known to work with earthlings like the good folks at Cirque Du Soleil! She has the ability to bring even the strongest man to tears. It is more powerful, more passionate and more unique than anything I’ve ever heard and I am absolutely thrilled to have her contribute on my album. You can hear her in “Hurt”, “Merchant Prince” and “Illusions”.
Jenifer Thigpen was introduced to me through a fellow composer and good friend, Colin O’Malley, and wow, am I glad he did! Thigpen has an incredibly pure and sweet, yet powerful voice that cuts through even the loudest orchestral parts without ever becoming strident. She can go from the softest parts to the loudest operatic sections without effort. Thigpen gave her heart in her performance on “A Place In Heaven”. Without her contribution the piece would be nothing.
Tina Guo is one of the most gifted musicians I’ve ever met. She plays her cello like it is part of her, and she embodies everything that music is about. An amazing woman and an amazing musician. Listen to her in “Promise” and “Gift of Life”.
Special thanks go to Mom, Dad and Sophie for their incredible support. Nick Phoenix & Claudia Phoenix, Troels Folmann & Tawnia Knox, Oistein Eide & Ruta Reinika, Colin O’Malley, Petr Pololanik for putting up with my difficult work, and for assembling a fantastic group of musicians, Jesper Krijgsman for his wonderful graphics work (as you can see on this website), all my Norwegian friends (you know who you are) and all my world citizen friends and colleagues, all the amazing musicians that contributed on the album, my absolutely WONDERFUL fans and all your encouragement, dedication and support, my computers for not crashing on me when inspiration hit its peak, life for being such an endless source of inspiration, and my wonderful girlfriend, Cassandra <3
HOW ILLUSIONS CAME TO BE
“”Illusions” has been my pet project for the last 3 or so years. Every time I wrote a piece of music I felt was a little more special than my usual output, I would put it aside for this album. I wanted to create a musical soundscape that transcended all ethnic boundaries, combining traditional western orchestras with folk music culture from around the world. The purpose was to bring all the wonderful musical wonders of the world together in a big collective hug. That is why you can hear traces of folk music, from my Norwegian heritage, to the mystical voices of the middle east, to the ethereal voices of the Bulgarian people, to the amazing lyrical woodwinds in Armenia. The list goes on. The amazing technology of today could not be overlooked, so I incorporated a lot of organic synthesized sounds into the music. It is the year 2011 after all, and I wanted to acknowledge that and pay my respect to the musical advancement in the technological field as well. In the end, though, it is the wonderful voices from around the world that really glue “Illusions” together. These girls have inspired me so tremendously. I truly could not have done this without them.
Music is all about expression. To me, music theory is an obstruction. I love composing music because it liberates me from social conventions and authorities. It is pure freedom to me. The last thing I want to be doing is follow academic guidelines and rules that directly inhibit my creative freedom. Music is my sanctum and theory has no access. “Illusions” reflects this 100%.”
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