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April 17th2014
User Icon - A-Ha Official SitePosted By: Catherine

‘Manmade Lake’ remixes

Thank you to everyone who sent in a remix of ‘Manmade Lake’ so far!

In order to share the tracks with you all, we’ve set up a Soundcloud account for a-ha.com. Listen to the ‘Manmade Lake’ remixes in this playlist:

Tracks which were not already hosted on Soundcloud have been uploaded to the a-ha.com account. If you made one of these mixes and prefer to host your track on your own Soundcloud, please send us a link to your upload and we will make the changes so the playlist includes your hosted track :-)

The deadline for submitting your remix is May 7! For details about the remixes and to download the stems, click here.

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April 14th2014
User Icon - A-Ha Official SitePosted By: Catherine

Save the date: 2014 Fan Weekend

We are starting to organize a special weekend for international a-ha fans in Oslo on November 14-15. The weekend would include a fan party on November 14 and an ‘intimate’ concert with Morten.

We have some great ideas for other special events for fans during the weekend as well. More details will be announced soon, in the meantime be sure to save the date!

In order to find out how many people are interested, so we can begin to make arrangements and confirm the program, we ask that you please sign up to the fan weekend mailing list if you are thinkning of joining us in Oslo this November.

We advise that you do not book travel arrangements until the full program is announced and tickets go on sale. We will try to get all the information confirmed and posted as soon as possible so you can make plans to attend :-)

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“I have learned a lot from working with Morten”

Thank you to everyone who posted and e-mailed questions for Peter Kvint!

Peter’s responses to your questions include some backgrounds and experiences connected with many of the songs on Morten’s new album ‘Brother’. We hope you enjoy the result!

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From María Gabriela Solimano:

Hello Peter,
I’m Gabriela from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I saw the tracklist of the new album “Brother” at Morten Harket’s official page.
I noticed that the song “Did I leave you behind” is not here.

1) Why?

Hi Gabriela, thanks for your question! We decided not to include “Did I leave you behind” on the album because we felt that it stood out a bit from the rest of the material. It sounded a bit different from the rest of the songs. However, it’s fully produced and mixed and will be released later in some form, probably as a single.

2) It will be in another next album?

Hopefully! :-)

It’s a beautiful song!

I’m very glad you like it!

Thank you very much.

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From Maria Hoppitt:

After watching Morten and the Scorpions sing ‘Wind of Change’ a few times, was ‘Brother’ influenced by this song?

“Brother” was the first song we wrote for the new album and I can’t really say that it was influenced by “Wind of change”. It was written before Morten did his guest appearance with Scorpions and as I recall it we were listening to Radiohead the day we wrote it. We were in a boathouse by the sea in Kristiansand, Norway, where we had two great writing sessions for the album. Hopefully we managed to capture some of the beautiful scenery and put it into the song. :-)

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From Nadin Alladin:

Hi Peter, thank you for your collaboration with Morten :-)

What kind of new experience have you got out of co-working with Morten?

I have learned a LOT from working with Morten. He’s very demanding – and why shouldn’t he be? He really doesn’t want to let anything go before he’s happy with it. And in my opinion I think more artists should think that way. I also really like his way of writing lyrics – rather than looking for hooky words and fancy phrases he’s always looking for lyrics that are not only sounding good but also adds a dimension to the music. And sometimes adds that “astral” quality which we all love. :-)

Is your collaboration with other musicians in some way influenced by that experience ?

I think you always carry a bit of every collaboration with you into new projects. Morten is a very, very dedicated fellow and we have had a great time together. I hope I can take some of his commitment and energy with me into other projects as well.

Were there any difficulties in your work on album “Brother”?

I think it’s fair to say we are two quite stubborn fellows and that sometimes leads to difficult situations. But we also did our best to understand each other’s views and so we always pretty quickly reached mutual agreement.

Were there any funny situations in the working process? If ‘yes’, what were they?

We’ve had loads of fun making this album! Our writing trip to Ilha Grande, Brazil, was quite an adventure… The monsoon rains and extreme humidity made my recording equipment break down but we really really wanted to write and record. And there was no way of getting new equipment, far from civilization as we were. So I have a couple of pictures of Morten singing straight into my computer, which was the only thing that was still working. I also recall quite a lot of late nights in the studio with Morten doing his notorious cockney imitation. :-)

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From Vera Weston:

How does the songwriting process with Morten work? Does he come into it with ideas or segments or do you or both or does it all result from spur of the moment improvisation?

The songwriting process with Morten has felt very organic. Sometimes he brings an idea, sometimes I, and sometimes we’ve just improvised and recorded. The very first embryo for what was later becoming “Brother” came out of one of those improvisational sessions – I was at the piano and Morten on the sofa with a guitar. Suddenly something came up which sounded good and I reached for my phone to press record. It was maybe one out of ten embryos we recorded that day. Later I listened back and made a note that I should play it again to Morten. And when we brought it up again we finished the chorus together. Morten likes to write lyrics with Ole Sverre Olsen, so most of the time they were doing Skype sessions while I was doing tracks and recording.

It was nice seeing you on stage at the Spellemann Awards.

Thank you.

Are you going to tour with him?

I’ll be joining Morten and the band for the spring shows in Europe! :-)

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From Le MagicChair Yelland:

Which song is your favorite that you co-worked with Morten Harket on the new album, and why?

Hard to pick a favourite… But one that gets me every time is “Heaven cast”. I suppose part of it has to do with the fact that the original idea for the song came into my head at a particular moment. I was in my car and for some reason I was playing an old Carole King cassette that was lying around. And out of the speakers came suddenly the voice of my step brother, who unfortunately died 13 years ago. We were best friends when I was little and he was the main reason I started playing music. We had used the Carole King cassette to do sound-on-sound recordings and there his voice was… Booming out of the speakers after all these years! Morten did a very fine job integrating that moment into the lyrics, so that both he and I could relate to it. The post-chorus, which is now probably my favourite part of the song, we wrote on a sunny morning on the jetty by the boat house in Kristiansand.

Kristiansand

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From Dave Condick:

Peter…. How was working with Morten Harket? Is he a nice guy?

He is definitely a nice guy. There are not that many people you can spend the better part of two years with and still really look forward to seeing the next time… Very generous and anxious to make everyone in his company feel good, and with a great sense of humour. Things will happen around Morten – all kinds of things! Very dedicated to his music, and with very high standards. They can sometimes be demanding and time-consuming to reach… But the thing is (and it’s very irritating): he’s always got a point! :-)

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From Clara Dodson:

How do you and Mr. Harket choose which songs are the “Right” songs?

Morten, me, and Morten’s manager Harald have chosen the songs that we felt made up the best unity for this album. We had fifteen finished songs (written and produced) and out of those we chose the ten songs that made it to the album. Some of the other songs (like “Did I leave you behind”) will be released later in some form.

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From Eva Figel:

Hi Peter! This is my question: The two new tracks that Morten presented at Night Of The Proms (‘There Is A Place’ and ‘Did I Leave You Behind’) hit me immediately, both for the melodies and for the lyrics: I love them! What are the stories that inspired you and Morten to write them? :-)

Hi Eva, very glad you like the songs that Morten performed at Night of the Proms. “There is a place” was written in Stockholm – on the third writing session we made for the album. I had a chorus melody for a song that sounded completely different. Morten really liked the melody and when I went home for the night he had a Skype session with Ole Sverre Olsen, and the next morning they had written a lot of lyrics for that part… So we decided to turn that part into the verse, and then Morten and I together wrote the melody for the chorus. The little instrumental part after the 2nd chorus was written much later, right before we mixed it. “Did I leave you behind” was written during spring -13, also in Stockholm. I had a verse that Morten really liked, and we wrote the chorus together. Later during the session he went on Skype with Ole Sverre and as I recall it the lyrics were finished very quickly. It all came together really fast. At first Morten was not pleased with the demo production (I think he considered it to be a bit cheesy) so I quickly changed it around to a more “down to earth” kind of sound.

In studio

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From Dawn Wright Probst:

It seems as though, as we say in the US, you “wear a lot of hats” in what you do, especially with this album working with Morten. What has been your favorite role so far, and why?

I love the moment when you can feel a song coming together. It usually happens quite fast, and then a couple of hours later you lean back, listen, and think: where did that come from?? For instance, when we wrote “Brother”, we had just nailed the melody and the chords and Morten left me alone for a while to do the background track. Then when he came back and listened to what I had done, I could tell from the expression on his face that he LOVED it. Those moments are really what makes it worthwhile for me.

Much later, we recorded drums and strings in Atlantis Studios in Stockholm. Recording strings, especially, is always very emotional, and to hear the feedback from the musicians was so great. Morten and I had been spending so much time working just the two of us, and to finally get out there and record with other musicians was really exciting.

And, if I might ask another question, how difficult is it to hone and rework a song without losing an artist’s signature style in the process? If the song “Brother” is any indicator, it would seem as though Morten’s style is coming through quite clearly in this album. :^)

Thanks! I always try to keep the artist’s best interest in mind – I don’t want to force someone into having a sound that he or she is not comfortable with. For this album, we did a lot of talking before we started. Morten wanted to make sure the sound of the album correlated to the place he is in now (in life).

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From Pilar Bustos Delgado:

Is Morten perfectionist in his work?

Very much so. :-) Especially when it comes down to his own vocals. If he feels he can do it better, he won’t stop until he’s satisfied.

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From Anna Pettiti:

Hi Peter, I would like to know if you were/are an a-ha fan or if, for you, this collaboration is only a job. Please, say hello to Morten for this Italian girl.

Thank you Anna, I will say hello to Morten. To tell you truth, I wasn’t a big A-ha fan at the time. After their debut album, they never had a huge fan-base in Sweden… Might be a case of Swedish “big brother” mentality. :-) So when we started working I had to listen through their albums and I realized I had been missing out on a lot of great songs. I have tried working with some of the Swedish artists that I was a fan of as a kid, and sometimes it’s harder to work with the people that you have a lot of respect for – too much respect can be an obstacle in a working relationship.

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From Sheila Whalley Buck:

What other artists have you produced for?

I’ve worked with a lot of Swedish artists like Andreas Johnson, The Ark, Magnus Uggla, Orup, and with international artists like Britney Spears, Natasha Bedingfield, Sertab, VanVelzen.

What is the inspiration behind some of the songs?

Morten was very determined to have the songs on the new album come from a real place, so there’s a lot of inspiration from Morten’s own recent experiences in there. And also some of mine, like in “Heaven cast” (which I wrote about in an earlier question).

Why is “Did I leave you behind” not included on the CD?

We decided not to include “Did I leave you behind” on the album because we felt that it stood out a bit from the rest of the material. It sounded a bit different from the rest of the songs. However, it’s fully produced and mixed and will be released later in some form, probably as a single.

Will Morten include Canada in his tour?

To my knowledge there are no shows planned in Canada at the moment. But, hopefully, in the future! :-)

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From Nathalie Durand:

How do you find inspiration? Could you talk about the writing process with Morten?

The songwriting process with Morten has felt very organic. Sometimes he brings an idea, sometimes I, and sometimes we’ve just improvised and recorded. The very first embryo for what was later becoming “Brother” was from such an improvisational session – I was at the piano and Morten on the sofa with a guitar. Suddenly something came up which sounded good and I reached for my phone to press record. It was maybe one out of ten embryos we recorded that day. Later I listened back and made a note that I should play it again to Morten. And when we brought it up again we finished the chorus together. Morten likes to write lyrics with Ole Sverre Olsen, so most of the time they were doing Skype sessions while I was doing tracks and recording.

Kristiansand

Some songs are tainted with nostalgia or melancholia. How do you choose song’s theme?

Most of the time when we first start working on a song we just improvise lyrics, and sometimes we’re lucky enough to get a key phrase that defines a theme. Where that comes from – who knows? But of course it has to be something that we can relate to and that triggers imagination. As I said earlier, Morten was very determined to have the songs on this album come from a real place, so there are a lot of Morten’s own experiences and emotions in there (and some of mine).

If you have to describe this opus, what would you say?

It’s surely the best record I have had the honor to be involved in, and I heard Morten say something similar the other day…

You have collaborated with many artists. What is particular with Morten ?

The voice, the passion, the mind, the generosity… and the persistence! :-)

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From Melissa Wright:

Hi Peter, was there any songs written together you both felt not quite right for this new album but maybe perfect for later on?

Hi Melissa, yes – “Did I leave you behind”, which Morten performed at The night of the proms shows will be released later in some form. And there are a couple of more songs, more or less produced, which we saved because we felt the didn’t fit perfectly with the other songs.

… and I realise all the new songs are loved in their own unique way :-) , any song in particular really touch the soul from the new Album for yourself and Morten? :-)

My favourite right now is “Heaven cast”.

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From Tammy Reoch:

What are your favorite things about working with Morten Harket (beside that AMAZING range of vocals)? :-)

Hi Tammy, I have to say two things… The fact that we always manage to come up with songs whenever we get together. Sometimes we almost have to stop ourselves because we keep coming up with new ideas all the time! :-) The other thing is that he is a very likeable fellow – fun, generous and interesting to talk to.

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From Debbie Heath Martinez:

I think we are hearing the best of Morten Harket in 2014…if it’s possible he keeps getting better and better…loved that voice for 30 years and it just keeps getting better. A voice like that comes along once in a lifetime and I’m sure glad it happened in my lifetime. Your music truly touches the soul. Wish you all would do some dates in the US. As a producer how is it working with an artist with such an amazing vocal range?

Thanks for the kind words Debbie! I totally agree with you – it’s just a privilege for me to work with such an amazing singer. And his voice is just getting better and better. The best thing I can do as a producer is to create the best possible environment for him to deliver his best vocal takes. Morten knows what he’s capable of… There were times when I was ready to say that I was happy with the vocal take we already had. And then Morten wanted to go on recording – and made it even better! :-)

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From Alfredo Santana:

How good is Morten Harket as musician? How many music instruments can he play?

He’s a great guitar player – much better than he thinks. He actually plays a lot of guitars on the album – both rhythm and lead. He really surprised me when we did a photo shoot in the studio and he sat down and played a classical piece on the piano – so he’s a quite skilled piano player as well.

Piano

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From Stevie McQueen:

It’s great that Morten is coming to the UK, but only 1 concert in London? Please ask Morten if he will come to Glasgow in Scotland?

Will check that with his management, Stevie.

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From Michelle Jameson:

My husband Andrew Jameson like A-ha songs so can you answer some of the questions below:

1. When did A-ha started to sing and perform?

They formed in 1982 and released their first album in 1985.

2. Have any love songs create and sing by A-ha?

One of my favourite A-ha songs is “Hunting High and Low”, a great love song.

3. Do u like the Beatles and the Bee Bees songs or who is the singer and the band u like most?

Of course I love both Beatles and the Bee Gees. Other artists that have influenced me a lot are Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Radiohead, U2, Carole King, Kate Bush, Phil Spector etc etc.

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From Silvia Barboza:

Is there a chance that the new album you made with Morten could include the song “Did I leave you behind” in further new “out of Europe countries” editions????

Hi Silvia, it’s possible… To my knowledge there are no definite plans at the moments for how to release “Did I leave you behind”. But it will be released, sooner or later, in some form.

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From Valerie Carannante:

How is it like, working with Morten?

He is definitely a nice guy. Not many people you can spend the better part of two years with and still really look forward to seeing the next time… Very generous and anxious to make everyone in his company feel good, and with a great sense of humour. Things will happen around Morten – all kinds of things! Very dedicated to his music, and with very high standards. They can sometimes be demanding and time-consuming to reach… But the thing is (and it’s very irritating): he’s always got a point! :-)

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From Daniela Reyem:

Will you write more songs with Morten? What is Morten’s part of writing the songs?

Morten and I are planning to do more writing sessions during spring and fall. Sometimes Morten comes up with ideas for a song, sometimes I and a lot of times we just play and something good pops up. It’s been a great process so far and the more we get to know each other the more we know what we like and also what won’t work for us.

What do you think….how was the response in Studio 1 NRK for the new songs?

The response was great! We had a lot of good feedback on Facebook after the gig and Morten’s fans seemed to be genuinely enthusiastic about the new songs.

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From Marilyn Reilly:

Hi Peter, I know Morten has a big European following, but are you surprised that he has one in the USA? Will you be attending any of the gigs? We will be in London!!!

Hi Marilyn, great to hear Morten has fans in US as well. And we will see each other in London as I’m going to join his spring tour in Europe.

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From Eva Jansson:

Hej Peter! The new album has an organic, live sound in contrast to Morten’s last album. Was that direction clear from the beginning or something that developed during your work with the songs?

We talked a lot about which way to go musically before we started working on the new songs. Morten really felt like going back to a more organic sound, something that linked back to the “Wild seed” album.

Did you have a personal relationship with the music of a-ha before working with Morten?

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t a big A-ha fan at the time. After their debut album, they never had a huge fan-base in Sweden… Might be a case of Swedish “big brother” mentality! :-) So when we started working I had to listen through their albums and I realized I had been missing out on a lot of great songs. I have tried working with some of the Swedish artists that I was a fan of as a kid, and sometimes it’s harder to work with the people that you have a lot of respect for – too much respect can be an obstacle in a working relationship.

Being co-writer and not “just” the producer must mean that you have a personal connection to the songs. We now know the titles of the tracks. Could you please say something about each song and the work behind it?

“Brother” was the first song we wrote, and paved the way for the rest of the album. We wrote it in Kristiansand in a boat house overlooking the beautiful Northern sea. “Do you remember me” was also one of the first ones we worked on. “Safe with me” was the first song that came up when we wrote on Ilha Grande, Brazil. There had been a couple of days of travelling and socializing, so when we had the opportunity to finally sit down and write we were very eager to write something good. And the music for “Safe with me” came together in fifteen minutes! “Whispering heart” was also written at Ilha Grande. I brought the idea, originally in Swedish. :-) “Heaven cast” was written last fall in Kristiansand in the boat house. I had an idea for the verse and the chorus and we finished it together. “There is a place” was a chorus that I had that Morten and Ole Sverre took and made a completely new song of. “Oh what a night” is Morten’s song, but we wrote the chorus part together. It came together in my studio in Stockholm. “End of the line” was also one of the first songs we worked on, but we didn’t really finish it until last fall. It sounded much more “synthpop” from the start. “Can’t answer this” is another one of the songs that was written on Ilha Grande. “First man to the grave” is Ole Sverre Olsen’s song. I love the “Bowie”-ish vibe of it. I have a clear memory of me trying to hear what chords Ole played on his guitar over a scratchy Skype connection.

Is there any song you think we should pay extra attention to?

I honestly really love all of them, each in it’s own way. “Heaven cast” is my favourite at the moment, but that changes every day.

Morten has expressed how happy he is with your collaboration which has already given us a really god song, “Brother”, thanks. Why do you two click? What do you think has been your most important contribution to Morten as his producer?

I’m of course very happy to hear Morten say that he has found home musically again. We do have a special connection when we do music together. It’s quite hard to define why, really. Maybe because we are both curious-minded and not afraid to try new directions?

Have you learned something new from working with Morten?

A lot! He is truly inspiring to work with. One thing that I’ve learnt is not to give up on a song before it feels great every time you hear it.

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From Misaki Tsukishiro:

Would you tell me the something special story while you and Morten made the album?

When we were at Ilha Grande we took a day off and went for a hike. On our way back through the jungle the monsoon rains took us by surprise and we found ourselves wading through the streets of Abrao, the biggest city of Ilha Grande, with water up to our knees. Our travel guide was kind enough to offer us shelter and invited us to her home, where we could dry our clothes a little and wait until the rains had passed. The electricity was out so we lit candles and were offered wine and biscuits. Being a songwriter can sometimes be quite adventurous! :-)

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From Aline Lacoste:

Ok so 2 questions – musicians have changed, who made this decision and why?

Hi Aline, do you mean live musicians? This was Morten’s decision. I think he wanted a different kind of band for this tour, as the music differs a bit from the sound of the last record. Per Lindvall, who also played with A-ha live for a while, played drums on “Wild seed”, and I think that’s one of the reasons Morten wanted him on tour – to reconnect with that era. Also, my Norwegian is very bad so Morten was kind enough to let me have two other Swedish guys in the band. :-)

How many times did Morten work on a song before being satisfied?

Some of the songs (like “Brother” and “There is a place”) were finished quite fast. Others (like “End of the line” and “Whispering heart”) took much longer to finish, mostly because of lyric changes.

Does Morten really play piano?

Oh yes, he does. Surprised me when he during a photo shoot suddenly started playing a classical piece!

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From Angie Howard:

Hello Peter, it’s great to be giving us a Q & A session, so many thanks for that. Please may I ask, how did you and Morten first meet and has the writing and recording process between you both always been easy?

Hi Angie, Morten and I were connected by our publishing company, who thought we might be able to write something together. It was during the last sessions of the “Out of my hands” album, and Morten needed more songs. We wrote “I’m the one” on the second day of that session and we decided to do more sessions.

I adore Brother and have to say it kind of reminds me a little of a Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) track.

Glad you like it, Angie!

Congratulations to you and Morten for the number one in Norway, very much deserved. Thank you very much for your time.

Thanks!

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From Jeff Feenstra:

What kind of an aim did you have for this album in terms of the overall type of songs, was there a previous album of Morten’s or a-ha’s that you wanted a similar sound to, or perhaps some other musician or group where you thought, ‘let’s make an album similar to that!’

I can’t really say that we tried to simulate any previous record of Morten’s, or any other album. Somewhere halfway through the process I remember Morten saying that he had the same feeling about these songs that he had for the songs on “Wild seed”. That album was also written in a rush of inspiration and quite quickly. Which was also the case with the “Brother” album. Among other records we’ve listened to during the writing sessions, I can mention Radiohead’s “OK Computer”, Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s “Everybody knows this is nowhere”, Janis Ian’s “Tea and sympathy” and lots of other stuff. Morten also really likes Passenger’s “Let her go”, so I guess it’s far to say that was an inspiration to us vocal production-wise.

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From Clara Dodson:

How do you choose your lyrics and any advice to a new song writer and what avenues to take to get someone to a look at what they have written. Thank you Mr. Kvint for considering my question.

Hi Clara, Morten is very concerned about the lyrics, and he’s very sensitive to when the lyrics don’t “glue” together with the music. So we spent a lot of time trying to get that organic marriage between music and lyrics in the songs. And that has to do with the words, obviously, but also with the background, the vocal sound and last but not least… The singer. :-) But when all that comes together right, it’s the greatest reward! Morten likes the lyric to feel timeless and “primal” in a sense (not overthought or pretentious). And he wants to be able to relate to them on a personal level, but they should also feel universal.

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From Peter Pahlman:

Hi Peter! Back in the days when Morten was writing a-ha stuff with Nåid, I remember a quote where Nåid complemented Morten’s “extreme pipe” and said that he almost crashed a compressor :-) Is Morten’s vocals still as powerful as before, or has age done its work?

Morten is the most dynamic singer I’ve ever worked with, as well as having the most extreme range I’ve ever experienced. And I think it’s fair to say he sings better than ever.

Sing

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From Yvonne Ballard:

Hi Peter! Which song was your favourite for (a) to record in the studio…

I love how “Brother” came together… The basic structure and instrumentation of the song was done in three hours in that boathouse in Kristiansand. Of course we added tracks later, but it sounded pretty much like it sounds now already from the start. And Morten didn’t do many vocal takes on it either – maybe just two or three takes.

(b) perform live with Morten…

When we played at NRK in February I think “Whispering heart” was my favorite. Uptempo and with lots of energy.

…and (c) Add extra ideas to make it a better sounding song than how it started?

I really like the string arrangement on “Heaven cast”, which was done by Joakim Milder. It adds an extra dimension to the song. The beatbox-americana feel of “Safe with me” was another thing that I think came out nicely.

That is 3 answers, not unless it all applies to one song! Thanks!

Thanks Yvonne!

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From Etienne Muller:

Hi Peter, if you were to choose one song that you wish you could have written from all the songs in the history of music, which song would it be and why?

Wow, that’s a tough one… Since Beatles was one of the first bands I loved I think I have to say “Hey Jude”, which has all the ingredients of a great, great pop song – the melancholy, the euphoria, the melody, the catchiness.

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From Ki Suiji:

Is there already an idea behind the possible tour set list?

Not at the moment.

To what extent was Morten’s voice central in the songwriting process? Was its aim to challenge it the way a-ha usually did?

I think it’s fair to say the songs came first, and Morten is very dedicated when it comes to expressing the emotional content in the songs. So it’s more about the songs challenging Morten than the other way around, if you know what I mean… :-)

How far goes Morten in the songwriting process? Where does your role begin?

Morten was very involved in every aspect of the songs. My role is different every time we sit down to write – sometimes I’m just a filter for Morten’s ideas, sometimes it’s my idea from the start and sometimes we just play and come up with something together.

What was the idea behind taking Per Lindvall (fantastic drummer IMO) and his band for recording and then touring?

We talked about using Per for recording as we both love his drumming, and while we were recording we noticed Per was very enthusiastic about the songs and asked us about when we were going to tour with the new songs. So it happened very organically.

Per Lindvall

At what point of the creative process came the arrangements?

We started working on the arrangements early in the process – most of the time right after we had written melody and chords. I noticed that Morten finds it easier to write lyrics when he hears where the arrangement is going and what “vibe” he gets from it.

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From Ellen Schmitt:

Hello Peter, sadly we don’t know much about you here in Germany. Please tell a little about what your usual work with music is, and how did it come you got to work with Morten?

I have worked with a lot of Swedish artists and a couple of international ones… I wrote a lot of songs with a German rock band called Die Happy and also with German pop star Sasha Schmitz. You’ll find a full discography at my website: www.peterkvint.com. My publisher put me together with Morten when he was working on the “Out of my hands” album. We loved working together and when that album was released we said that we have to write again soon. So as soon as Morten was done touring we went into “writing mode” again.

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From James Pronto:

I can imagine you and Morten spent a lot of time together in the last year. What do you like the most about him?

I like a lot of things about him. First I have to say that he’s a very, very dedicated guy, more dedicated than most people who are half his age. And he likes to challenge himself – he doesn’t want to repeat himself. Also, he’s a generous and likeable guy, very fun to be around!

And what surprised you the most about your collaboration?

It never stops amazing me how easily the songs come whenever we get together. Sometimes we almost have to stop ourselves from coming up with new ideas, as we have to spend time finish the old ones.

____________________

From Dominique Millet:

Until now I only can enjoy the songs Brother & There’s a place. According to the criticism “Whispering heart” turns out to be a fantastic song. Hope soon to listen to full new album! Morten seems to finding him self back in his music, working with you. Like to wish you good luck for the future good cooperation and many albums with great music!! See you at The Depot Leuven.

Thanks for the kind words, Dominique! See you.

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From Gina Oliveira:

Congratulations! Brother is a great song. What is the source inspiring and how was the process of creation?

Thanks Gina! The very first fragment of “Brother” (the verse melody and chords) came to us when we were “jamming” in my studio in Stockholm, but we wrote the rest of the melody and structure in Kristiansand, where we also recorded the first basic track for it. The theme of the song is two brothers who have chosen different paths and how to define the relationship between them. Morten wanted to write about Christianity and Islam and the tension between the two, but it’s also about humanity and how we can’t live without each other.

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From James Harvley:

Where do you find inspiration when composing music and how does this affect your collaboration with other artists?

Inspiration comes from the things that happen to us and people around us… I find the result is always best when the theme of the song comes from a real place. Also it’s much more easy than trying to construct something.

What I’ve learnt from writing with Morten is not to give up before the song feels great every time you listen back…

Sing

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April 7th2014
User Icon - A-Ha Official SitePosted By: Catherine

You’re invited to remix ‘Manmade Lake’

We sometimes hear from fans who would like to have a chance to remix an a-ha or solo track, using audio stem files – most recently, a fan named Carlos asked Paul this very question in his Q&A with a-ha.com.

Paul is interested to hear your mixes of his new song ‘Manmade Lake’, and he has made the stem files available here on a-ha.com!

Manmade Lake

Here’s what to do:

- Download the stems in this zip file
- Mix to your heart’s content
- Submit your mix/mixes to a-ha.com by May 7, by e-mailing us either with the audio file attached, or a link to your mix on Soundcloud or YouTube
- Paul will listen to all the mixes and choose his favorite one
- If Paul chooses your mix, he will send you a fruit basket

Yes, you read that right: a fruit basket from Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, not to mention big time bragging rights! Good luck!

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Contest: Win a copy of the new book ‘Mad World’

Courtesy of the publisher and the authors, we are able to offer this contest for two fans to win a copy of Mad World, An Oral History of the New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s — featuring an entire chapter on a-ha and interview with Magne Furuholmen!

Mad World

Two lucky winners will win a copy of the book — which also includes interviews with Duran Duran, New Order, The Smiths, Simple Minds and a whole lot more — as well as a handful of cute Mad World promo buttons, just like the ones you used to pin to your jean jacket!

Mad World pins

To enter the contest, send an e-mail to email hidden; JavaScript is required with ‘Mad World Contest’ in the subject line by April 18. Winners will be announced during the week of April 21.

If you’re not one of the lucky winners, you can order the book at one of the outlets listed here.

Says Mad World co-author Lori Majewski:

I’m excited for A-ha fans to read the band’s chapter in Mad World. Many of the biggest groups of the new wave era came out of Britain, and their members were raised on David Bowie, Roxy Music and the Sex Pistols.

A-ha gave us the unforgettable juggernaut “Take On Me” — to name just one of their many hits they had around the world — but they hailed from Norway, a country that had not spawned a global music act before.

I wanted that outsider’s perspective, and Mags more than delivered it. It was a pleasure to interview him. Though not his native tongue, his grasp of English and impressive vocabulary were better than many of the Brits and Americans we talked to. And he so beautifully described the influence that Norwegian culture had on A-ha as musicians and as people.

He also talked at length about “Take On Me” and the complicated relationship that he, Morten and Paul have had with it over the years. My favorite part was when he played a bit of the song on piano for me, to demonstrate how the song really isn’t meant to be a happy dance tune (despite what Pitbull and Christina Aguilera might think!).

I knew the A-ha chapter was special when my close friend — an entertainment journalist of 20 years — who’d read an advance of Mad World commented that it was his favorite. That’s all down to Mags, of course — he was quite candid and generous with his time and memories. I’d love to hear A-ha fans’ thoughts after they read it — tweet me at @lorimajewski or @madworldbook. Thank you!

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Abrams Image
Contact: Maya Bradford, Publicity
212.229.7188/email hidden; JavaScript is required

MAD WORLD
An Oral History of New Wave Artists
and Songs That Defined the 1980s

By Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein
Foreword by Nick Rhodes
Afterword by Moby

“The eighties have had a massive revival. . . . It took a good 20 years for people to go, ‘You know, those records were great, and that was a fantastic time for pop music.’”
—Kim Wilde (“Kids in America”)

Remember the first time you saw Duran Duran’s X-rated “Girls On Film” video? Painted a white stripe across your face like Adam Ant in “Kings of the Wild Frontier”? Cried when they played “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” at graduation? Sang along to “Come On Eileen,” even though you couldn’t make out any of the words apart from the chorus?

How could you forget?! This was last golden age of pop. This was the new-wave era.

New wave is the defining music movement of the 1980s, encompassing everything from synth pop, new romantic, and goth, to industrial, electronic, and alternative rock. It began as the brainchild of a bunch of British punks who hated guitars but who were enamored of Bowie, disco, and Kraftwerk. It exploded all over America with the help of MTV, and lives on via radio, karaoke bars, and as an influence on today’s hit makers. Now there is finally an authoritative volume on the colorful and popular music that defined a generation: Mad World (Abrams Image; $19.95; ISBN: 978-1-4197-1097-1; April 15, 2014) by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein.

The book is a highly entertaining and completely original oral history that celebrates new wave through all-new interviews with 35 of the most notable artists of the period, alongside a parade of vintage photographs. The stars of the decade discuss their breakthrough songs, as well as their histories and place in the scene, ultimately painting a vivid picture of this exciting, genre-bending, idiosyncratic time. Mixtape suggestions and fashion sidebars help fill out the fun. Participants include: Duran Duran, New Order, Tears for Fears, Adam and the Ants, Depeche Mode, INXS, Simple Minds, Soft Cell, Yaz, A-ha, Berlin, Psychedelic Furs, Joy Division, ABC, Echo and the Bunnymen, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, The Waitresses, and more!

Plus, in Mad World, you’ll learn about:

–The near-death experience that inspired Gary Numan’s “Cars.”
–The classic novel and pop-star crush behind Spandau Ballet’s “True.”
Morrissey’s belief that the other Smiths were embarrassed by his lyrics for “How Soon is Now?”
–How Modern English romanticized death by nuclear holocaust in “I Melt With You.”
–Why Bow Wow Wow’s teenage singer, Annabella Lwin, was fired after “I Want Candy.”
–Why DJs thought Devo were singing about masturbation in “Whip It.”
…and much more!

About the Authors

A veteran magazine editor and writer, Lori Majewski was a cofounder and editor in chief of Teen People, and an executive editor of Entertainment Weekly and Us Weekly. She has contributed to the Guardian, Women’s Health, Rollingstone.com, and more.

Jonathan Bernstein is the author of, among other titles, Pretty in Pink: The Golden Age of Eighties Teenage Movies. He has contributed to the Guardian, Spin, Rolling Stone, and the Face and is also a screenwriter of the feature films Just My Luck, The Spy Next Door, Max Keeble’s Big Move, and Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector.

About the Book

Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s
By Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein; Foreword by Nick Rhodes; Afterword by Moby
April 15, 2014
Abrams Image
US $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-4197-1097-1
Paperback
320 Pages; 6 x 8″; 42 color and 28 black-and-white Illustrations

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POSTS TAGGED WITH: Morten

October 16th2013

a-ha presented with a BMI Million-Air Award

a-ha were awarded a BMI Million-Air Award for “Take On Me”, which has had four million combined radio and television performances in the USA.

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September 13th2013

Happy birthday, Morten!

Please join us in wishing Morten a happy birthday!

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September 12th2013

Morten performs with the Scorpions in Greece

Last night, Morten gave a surprise guest performance at the Scorpions MTV Unplugged concert in Greece.

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June 20th2013
Tag Icon - A-Ha Official Site Tags: ,

Morten will join the Night Of The Proms tour

This November and December, Morten will be one of the artists on the Night of the Proms tour. Other confirmed […]

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Morten at the Billboard Music Awards

A recap from tonight’s BBMA show.

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Morten will perform at the Billboard Music Awards!

On Sunday, May 19, Morten will perform ‘Feel This Moment’ with Pitbull and Christina Aguilera at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.

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February 12th2013

Update on Morten’s new album

A small update about Morten’s new album.

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October 28th2012

Watch the video for ‘I’m the one’

On Friday, Morten’s new video for ‘I’m the one’ premiered on the German site myvideo.de. The video was shot in […]

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October 8th2012

‘I’m the one’ is Morten’s next single

The next single from Morten’s album ‘Out of my hands’ will be ‘I’m the one’.

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October 4th2012

Morten in South America

Morten’s first solo tour in South America ended on Sunday night in Santiago, Chile.

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‘Manmade Lake’ remixes

Listen to fan remixes on Soundcloud!

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April 14th2014

Save the date: 2014 Fan Weekend

We hope to see you in Oslo on November 14-15!

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“I have learned a lot from working with Morten”

Swedish producer Peter Kvint answers fans’ questions about working with Morten on “Brother”.

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You’re invited to remix ‘Manmade Lake’

We sometimes hear from fans who would like to have a chance to remix an a-ha or solo track, using […]

READ MORE

Contest: Win a copy of the new book ‘Mad World’

Win a copy of Mad World, An Oral History of the New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s — featuring an entire chapter on a-ha and interview with Magne Furuholmen!

READ MORE
April 3rd2014
March 31st2014

‘More music is on the way’

Part I of the Q&A with Paul. Stay tuned for Part II later this week!

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March 24th2014

‘Brother’ music video premiere and German PR

Morten is in Germany this week for promo!

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Magne at Abbey Road Studios recording music for ‘Beatles’ movie

This week, Magne is in London working on music for the soundtrack of the ‘Beatles’ movie, due out this August.

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‘Brother’ tracklist and cover art

Morten’s album ‘Brother’ will be released on April 11 in Norway, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and on April 14 in the UK.

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