I’ve been restless, and I’ve disliked my own work from the past. Whenever I become interested in a new instrument, writing technique or genre, I want to transition into the new sphere as quickly and totally as possible. I tend to feel like the material I’ve just discovered is what I should have been working with all along, and suddenly I’m pressed for time to catch up with it and learn everything about it (which I then proceed to not do). Over the three and a half decades that I’ve been playing and writing music, a lot of ideas have been left behind as bands and projects were abandoned one by one. Eventually I’ve come to realize that a lot of these ideas were left floating around in a muted and half-forgotten sphere – like musical orphans.
A couple of years ago I decided to track down old cassette recordings with various bands I’ve been involved with, going back as far as 1986. I’d kept nothing, so I had to pillage the archives and cardboard boxes kept in the attics and basements of old friends to find my lost musical children. As I started adapting the old material for the acoustic tenor guitar, I found that melodies and chord changes that I’d originally written for the pop and jazz idioms of the 1980s eventually proved compatible with my Scandinavian-sounding neo-folk ideas from recent years. It meant forcing a part of the process, deliberately trying to splice together many new and old ideas through conscious experiments with time signatures (for example) – sometimes aided by memory notes like these, though I’d be hard pressed to remember what this jumble means today: