Wow, that was a bad one…

Right now recovering from a horrible round of something I do not wish upon anyone, part from maybe one or two people I used to know… That is also why it’s been so quiet in here. I have honestly been completely out of the game since Saturday afternoon, just not capable of doing anything. Such amazingly bad timing to, since this is study week and I have lots of stuff I’m meant to be doing and getting my head around, and since one of my best girls from Norway is visiting. Silly got here on Tuesday, and Erik and I went to the airport to meet her, with a sign and everything! 😀
We haven’t really done that much yet, since pretty much my whole flat has been ill, and since I do in fact have to share her with Erik while she’s here, you know, brother and all that. But I am pretty much out of the woods now, and we have been out all day shopping for Halloween costumes. Wuhuu! Very happy with the result of that shopping, but I will keep the details to myself for now… 😉 
Tonight, as we speak actually, my Lovely is making us all his amazing lasagna, which will be very nice. I’m just doing a bit of work on my Myspace atm, while waiting for Silly and Erik to get here. It’s starting to look pretty good, I must say. Click on the link right under the picture, and you can see for yourself. 😉
Link to Audrey Wilsen on Myspace =)
No songs yet though, I’m afraid. Still haven’t recorded those damn vocals on Another Song – I was gonna do it this weekend, but I got ill, so… I’ll test my voice again later, and hopefully we’ll get it down within the week. I’m dying to finish it and get it out there and for you guys to have a listen!
Please stay tuned, I promise the song will be out soon! =)
I LOVE YOU, take care!
Lots of luuuuv,

Living with guys… ;-P

Yeah, living with guys has its ups and downs. Most ups. On the plus side, I’m not the messy one anymore, which means I don’t have to feel guilty if I forget to, say, clean the pot I used to make noodles for lunch. On the minus side, that means I have to deal with other people’s mess… I mean, your own mess is ok, in your own room, but other people’s mess everywhere will just drive you nuts.
On the plus side, we have actually made dinner TOGETHER and eaten together as a “family” every single day since we moved in almost two months ago. I’m proud of us, guys! Like Dan said yesterday, it’s because we actually like looking at each other. 
We also made a rule that says that whoever makes dinner doesn’t have to do the dishes. Which works out well. And, after 9 years of living in 6 different flats with different people, knowing that people just won’t wash up what they use after each meal, we agreed that the one doing dishes after dinner just does it all. And we take turns, so it’s very fair actually. And whoever makes dinner, pays for the ingredients, which also works out great because we don’t have to keep track of who owes who what and so on. 
All in all, I’m enjoying the hell out of this flat, and I’m loving being surrounded by friends 24/7. 
Who do you live with? And how are you making it work? 
Lots of luuuuv,

Where it all began…

The picture that sent me back…
Growing up, I never had singing lessons, or piano lessons, or guitar lessons. My two older sisters, my heroes, were both in the school choir, and I used to sit in my pajamas and look at them with envy when they were rehearsing in the living room. It was after my bed time, but I forced myself to stay up. I knew all the songs. I knew what song they were gonna sing before they started, because I knew the pictures in the song book. They were part of so many shows and performances, and I couldn’t WAIT till I to was old enough to join. Off course, the year I was old enough to join, was the year they decided to put the choir down. I was heartbroken. 
So I never had music lessons, and my performances stayed restricted to singing on the living room table (yes, I said ON the table) whenever we had people over for cake and coffee, and forcing them to clap afterwards. I have got the impression I was a bit of a dictator – I was also ordering my family around in the living room acting out scenes from my favorite play. I’m sure it got old after a while – especially that scene where they had to carry me around in a blanket. I might not have had the training, but I sure had some fun. 
What we did have though, was an organ. An old, electrical organ which I was convinced had mice living in it. My one year younger brother and I used to lay down on the floor and stare into the hole where the pedals were, but it was always too dark to see anything. We never did find mice in there, not a single one. I don’t quite know why we had it, because no one in the family played, but I am very glad we did. When I wasn’t looking for mice in the organ, I played on it, and with it. I got to know the keys, the image of them and the sound of them, and I taught myself little melodies. I spent many hours on that thing, and maybe that was a part of what triggered my passion…? 
Later, when I was around ten and the organ was long gone, my parents gave me a keyboard for christmas. The year after that, my first guitar was wrapped and hid until the very last moment on christmas eve so I wouldn’t guess – after all, a guitar is pretty hard to camouflage… I was thrilled, and spent many days and nights practicing chords in my room, but to my great despair, I never got as good as my uncle. My uncle was my first guitar hero. He spent hours with me, singing and playing, and there is a cassette somewhere, with a recording of a particular singing session we did when I was 4. He is definitely also a huge part of my musicality. 
I kept playing, now and then, without really getting past boring; stuck on the same old chords and the Tom Dooley type strumming. I sang in my room, loud, with Celine Dion and No Doubt and Destiny’s Child on the stereo, loud, until parents and siblings almost knocked the walls down to make me shut up. I loved singing, but I never dared to raise my hand when we were doing bands at school and the teacher asked who wanted to sing. Lord knows I wanted to, so bad, my arm was twitching… But in a small place like the town I grew up in, it is difficult to raise your voice. You shouldn’t think that you can sing, or do anything else creative, because that makes you self important. “You big ego”, was one of the names that were called when people “thought they were good” at something. So I kept my mouth shut, and kept singing in my room. Music was just a distant dream. And then, there was Julie. Julie came twirling into my life at the speed of light and made me see that I actually COULD sing, and that if that’s what I wanted do, then to hell with everything else. She dragged me along with her, up on that stage she was practically raised on, and I never wanted to come back down. She is the Music Of My Heart, she taught me to believe in myself, and I owe her for that kick in the butt. 
We were a trio, then a duo, a trio and a duo again. We sang, we danced, we wrote, and we dreamt big. When the time came for college, I went to a music college where I finally got lessons in singing, piano and guitar, as well as my first meeting with music theory and finally fulfilling my childhood dream of being in a choir. I started being creative in more ways than before, and I was suddenly starting to make music, instead of just lyrics. After college, I moved to Oslo to be closer to Julie, who was finishing dance college there, and got a job in a kindergarten. I was also babysitting a lot of the kids on the side. The extra nights babysitting ended up giving me more than money and a growing love for these kids – one of the families actually GAVE me a piano! A big, black, wonderful, out of tune Gröndahl piano, which my landlord helped me pick up and put in the garage above my flat. I loved my piano. I spent ages, freezing my fingers off up in that garage, teaching myself to play “Für Elise” from sheet music, and eventually, songs of my own came rushing through me. 
There are oh so many people who have had a great impact on my life. Kristian, my second guitar hero, has always inspired me and pushed me forward. Milena has been my biggest fan since before everything, and is always the first to hear my songs. Kenneth gave me experience in the studio, and lots of good times, and  Guro Dugstad gave me singing lessons and introduced me to new techniques. Then there is off course the Straume family, who GAVE me that piano. Unni Wilhelmsen, my third guitar hero, who made me believe I could also get good when she told me she had only played guitar for a year when she recorded my all time favorite album. Amy, who made me realize I could just get up and move to New York to write a book if I wanted to. Line, the best boss in the world, who in a matter of seconds managed to somehow flip a switch in my head that made me do those exams I had never considered before, and finish school. 
When it comes to flick switching, life altering moments, there is one moment I see as the end of before, and the start of now. It was in a kitchen in Oslo, after an amazing concert with a former LIPA student. I came with Kristian because we knew some members of this guy’s band, also former LIPA students. The concert blew me away, but that’s not the most amazing thing that happened that night. Sitting in a kitchen after this concert, talking about music, Kristian looks at me and asks me a question I cannot answer. Out of the blue, he asks me; “Why don’t you apply to LIPA, Audrey?” I was stunned, and simply couldn’t speak. That was it. Why the f**k don’t I apply to LIPA?? My life made sense in that very moment. Everything made sense. I could see how every day had been leading up to this very moment. Within the next month I recorded a demo, sent an application, went to Liverpool by myself to audition, and got a place on a one year Diploma course in singing. I packed up and left Oslo, left Norway, to finally spread my wings and fly into the world. Enough talk – this was it. 
That year, I learned so much. About music technology, theory, sound, production, business, the music industry… I found my forth guitar hero, my producer, my visionary, and my love. And yes, they are all the same person. Dan sees things I don’t, and he makes my music great. He makes me great. And that pretty much brings us up to date. Here I am today, a couple of months into my 3 year Bachelor Degree in music. Not bad, for the girl who wasn’t gonna study, ever… I may be a late bloomer, but I get there eventually. As for where I will go from here and now, I have no idea. But I trust that whatever lucky fairy who has been looking out for me so far, will keep hanging around. Actually, I don’t have ONE lucky fairy, I have plenty. As do we all. And I know exactly who they are to. They are called friends and family. The people in your life who are there at the right place and the right time, who say things that makes you think, who inspire you, kick you in the bum when you need it, and help you up from a fall when you need that. I don’t need anything else to believe in when I got angels like this in my life. ❤
What about you? Where did it all begin for you? Who are your angels, your lucky fairies? Do you have any flick switching, life altering moments behind you? Please do share! =)
Peace, flowers and love,

Vocalboost and early mornings

Hmmph… Turns out I’m not recording vocals today after all, because Dan and the guys are recording some ThisIsTwo stuff… Bummer, I was really looking forward to finishing Another Song. Oh well. I guess that gives me time to work on my music theory or something. I do need it. Actually, I have found an awesome Music Theory App for my iPhone which makes it a LOT easier. Today I finally cracked the key signature code, and I totally rock on key signatures now. An hour ago, I didn’t. 
IPhone Apps are great. Whatsapp Messenger (gotta love the name right?) allows me to text (all my THREE friends who also has it) for free. I just got one for budgeting and keeping track of expenses, which is VERY handy, and I have to-do-lists and shopping-lists and you name it. And maybe the best one, is the one that allows me to listen to all the main radio stations in Norway. And off course I gotta mention the Facebook app and all the games… If you still haven’t tried Doodle Jump, Plants vs. Zombies and Angry Birds, I strongly recommend that you get on the case right away. You might not see the sun for a couple of days once you get sucked in, but what’s a couple of days, right?
Today has been a good day. I had serious trouble getting up this morning, but that’s nothing new. I managed to drag myself in for A Cappella at 9:30, and except from some major trouble us alto’s had with this ONE line of the christmas song we’re working on at the moment, which resulted in us having to stand in “the circle of shame”, as Ian calls it, it was great. ;-P We also got the message that Body Conditioning class was cancelled, which didn’t exactly make us any less happy. That actually meant I didn’t have any more classes until Ensemble at 5, so I went home and organized my big mess of a pile of papers/notes from LIPA, and started going through receipts from this month before they disappear in the big black hole that is my room. Cause I know they will. 
Ensemble was good, as always. I love my ensemble, and I love working on that song again… It is so much fun to sing something that far from what I normally do. I can’t wait to perform it again! I had a major boost when we went through it for the first time last week. You see, I can actually feel that something has happened with my voice since I last sang it, two years ago. I’m singing RIGHT now, not only can I reach the notes, but it comes easy, no pain! Such an amazing feeling! And it is always nice to get good feedback, especially in a crowd like this. Fun times! 😀
I’m gonna squeeze in a bit of theory now, before sleepy time. I’ve got 3 hours of Professional Development first thing in the morning, so I need my sleep if I’m gonna stay awake for that… Don’t get me wrong, it’s interesting stuff, I just have biiig problems paying attention in situations like that, when I have to sit still and just listen to someone talk. ADD has been suggested by a couple of my near and dear ones, and I don’t completely disregard it. Coffee makes me TIRED as well, which apparently is another symptom. 
I hope you have all kicked the week off with a smile!
Lots of luuuuv,
One good reason to love today:
It is Tuesday, and in a week today, Silly is coming to visit from Norway, with a suitcase full of hugs and Norwegian candy! ❤

Another Long Monday…

Eileen, me and Katrine

Yup, the backing vocals are done, and sounding great, thanks to these lovely ladies. Like I suspected, they kind of have a similar type of voice, and sound really good together. I didn’t finish my vocals in the end, because we spent so long working out and recording the harmonies, but that’s ok. Tomorrow is another day. Technically, today is also another day, but Dan and Alex are rehearsing with This Is Two tonight, and I am not yet good enough friends with ProTools to record by my lonesome. 
It’s probably a good thing that I have nothing on tonight. It has been a loooong day, like Mondays are. The week is kicked off at 9:15 by an hour and a half of hard exercise; Aerobics, strength and street dance choreography. Then I have a couple of hours to get home, have a shower and eat, before I go back in at 1 for 5 hours straight of lessons, with no more than one 5 minute break. Theory, theory, percussion and more music theory. Those last 2 hours straight of theory are long… It’s getting pretty advanced now as well, and I must say, I’m struggling a bit with all the scales and 7th chords and harmonizing with Tritone substituted secondary Dominant chords. My brain feels like jelly, and I feel completely incapable of doing anything other than watching something that doesn’t require any kind of brain function on some sort of screen. Like Sex And The City. Oh joy. I know, I know, it is kind of silly. But it has served as therapy for me many times in the past, if I ever felt down, or pissed off, and it still makes me smile. Apart from every time Carrie and Big breaks up. And that one time with Aidan. Devastating. 
Aaaanyway. That’s as much activity my brain can take for the evening I think, so I’m gonna go. 
Oh my god, Eileen just came waltzing in and surprised me with lovely Norwegian chocolate!! 😀 Just what I needed tonight! That, and the talk I had with my sister on Skype earlier, and my amazing nephew who couldn’t stop kissing the screen. The good times always outweigh the bad. Thank fuck for that. 
I LOVE YOU!! …and my nephew. And Norwegian chocolate. ;-P
Lots of luuuv,
Oh, and Sex And The City was beat by American Dad. It happens.

In the studio!


Since the internet decided to f**k off last night, this post is a day late.


Today, we are recording Another Song”. Dan has done the acoustic guitar, assisted by Alex, and I have spent the last hour or so doing a couple of vocal takes, just to try it out. Right now, Dan and Alex are having a jolly good time Autotuning my voice, making me sound like Cher in When You Believe or whatever it’s called. Don’t worry, we’re NOT gonna use it, it’s just hilareous. Dan is threatening to make a techno remix, but I am not convinced that’s a good idea…;-P Later tonight I have Katrine and Eileen coming over to do some backing vocals for me – and I shall pay them in cheese cake. ;-P They will pretty much be doing what Becky did on the gig in Norway, just more of it. I am gonna put in some 3 part harmonies there somewhere. 
I am very exited about finally recording this song. My songs are finally starting to sound like me, like I want them to sound! It will be nice to finally have a proper recording of one of my songs on Myspace, and the local Radio station at home has been waiting for me to send them something for ages… Too bad I don’t get that radio station here – the day I hear my own song on the radio, I will go MENTAL!! Christmas maybe…? Or maybe I can actually stream it…? Hmm… 
Anyway, I’ll leave you with the video of Another Song from the Norway gig, so you get an idea of what I’m working on today. You might wanna double click, so you get the whole window. Have a nice evening, and start the new week with a smile! 😀
Lots of luuuv, 
Audrey in the studio (i.e. At home)

Instrumental Play-Time

Ever been so tired that walking to the bathroom to brush your teeth seems like an impossible and exhausting task? You stay up, moaning about how tired you are for ages, longing for your bed, instead of just going to it… This is one of those nights. But I made it to bed in the end. Under the covers as we speak, thinking about what a lovely day I’ve had. It was a bit early to have to go in to LIPA at 11 am to video the auditions for Monica’s musical “Bucuresti”, after such an epic night of celebration of various things, but it was something I gladly did for Mon, and I enjoyed watching all the hopeful candidates sing their hearts out. Also, I enjoyed chatting with Steph, who served as the house piano player for the day, and we talked about her maybe doing some piano on some of my songs. I’ve also talked to Helen about trying to put some trumpet on a couple of songs, inspired by Unni Wilhelmsen’s amazing concert this summer. I love to experiment with different instruments. What comes to mind is the version of Sorry I’m Not Her (my first song) that I did in Oslo with Marie Klaapbakken on violin a couple of years ago. She was amazing, and knew what I wanted with hardly a word from me. It is such a privilege to be surrounded by all these great musicians, and now, they are everywhere. Great people, great talents, great fun. In the weeks to come, the plan is to put together a band and start booking rehearsal rooms once a week, and also to record some songs in our humble home, make detailed note material for the band and to get my Myspace representable. It’s time to get serious. I wanna get back on that stage!

On a different note, before I let my eyelids drop; what a party we threw last night! I am thrilled so many people stopped by and made it a great night. And the boys did a good job tidying the flat while I was at LIPA all day videoing Monica’s auditions. So far this has been a highly successful weekend, made even better by “Despicable Me” in 3D with 3 Lovely Liverpool Ladies tonight. I haven’t been all that impressed by 3D in the past, but this one was incredible from start to finish. Amazing film, and great company. Right now I cannot wait to fall asleep next to my Lovely. But not before we go through yet another exiting episode of Twin Peaks. The owls are not what they seem. ;-P

Have a great night people! I LOVE YOU! 😀
Lots of luuuuv,
Audrey in bed. 

Vocal Epiphany!! :-D

This post is about singing technique and might not be interesting for people who don’t sing. But I might be wrong. So read it anyway. ;-P
I just got back from a revolutionary (to me at least) singing lesson! Oh my god, I have been singing WRONG my whole life..!! I have always struggled to reach high notes. I pull my chest voice (the lower, powerful voice) up into my higher register using volume rather than trying to get into my head voice (the higher, lighter voice), basically because I think my head voice sounds shit… This means I force my voice and over-exhaust it. I have been aware that I do this for quite a while, I just haven’t quite worked out how to get around it. And then there’s this “bridge”, or “break” off course, feared and hated by singers everywhere, which is the point in your voice where you go from chest voice to head voice and your voice breaks and you feel stupid and useless and utter shit… We all know it… You force your head voice as high as you possibly can, until your voice breaks and goes into a tiny little head voice that sounds horrible and shrill… In my case, this way of “wrong” singing has made me soar throated very fast after a heavy session of singing, both in the studio, on stage and in a choir. I felt like the strength of my voice had decreased a lot, and that I couldn’t do as much as before. I was wondering what I did wrong. 
Well, it took the genius of my new singing teacher (more of a voice doctor if you ask me) to enlighten me; there is another voice in between, that allows you to smoothly move between chest and head voice, which I FINALLY located today, and it just made my life a heck of a lot easier! Waaa!!! It has been a myth and a mystery to me until today, but The Middle Voice is REAL, people…!!! It’s gonna take a lot of work to get it right, and to heal my voice from years and years of just learning to sing around this problem rather than fixing it, but at least I know what they are talking about now. Basically, I have gotten more out of three 30 minute singing lessons with this guy than I did the entire year of lessons last year. Oh Happy Day! 😀 
Also, 15 minutes in to my first singing lesson with Ian the Genius, he could inform me that I had some kind of a problem with indigestion, which has created a “bubble” on my voice and made it difficult to sing in the lower register, hard to kind of get a hold of the starting note down there. I still don’t quite understand exactly what he meant. However, for whatever it was, he made me go to the pharmacy and get something called Gavascon Advance; a gross, liquid, thick and white medicine thingy (not gonna tell you what it looks like…) that I take a tablespoon of every night before I go to sleep, and blimey, it has WORKED!! My voice feels stronger, and I can really control it, and it doesn’t hurt at all anymore!! It is probably (no, definitely) the combination of the “bubble” and the lack of middle voice that has held me back, restricted me, made me think I have a small register than I actually do and made my voice hurt… The man is a genius. 
I have to go now, we are having a flat party tonight, and we have told people to arrive from in about 4 minutes… I am just so PSYCHED about this whole singing epiphany, and wanted to share it with someone. This is definitely a cause for celebration, and I shall celebrate into the long hours of morning. Have a wonderful evening and night and weekend everyone, and I will see you on the other side!
Lots of luuuuve, 
Audrey in a super duper happy mood
I made cheese cake today. It looks lovely. Happy birthday to Alex!!! 😀

Back to bizznizz!! :-D

“The last week before I once again hop on a plane to Liverpool… I’m enjoying myself at home, a lot. But like last year, the last couple of weeks are passing by so slooowly. And I must say I am looking forward to be back in the new flat with all the guys. As I’m entering the last week, I am very glad it is going to be filled with lots and lots of family and friends, cause they’re the only reason a little part of me always wants to stay another day. I just hope I will get the time to pack properly. There is a lot of stuff I wanna bring with me this time, since I know I will actually be staying for three years this time. Like my garlic crusher. Of course I know I could just get a new one. But I like my garlic crusher.”
Yup. Guilty as charged, once again I have completely neglected this blog. I wrote this, like it suggests, some time in my last week in Norway. Now I am here, back in Liverpool, and 5 weeks into my Bachelor degree in Music Performing Arts. Wow. How did this happen??? Never mind that, I am singing again, I am dancing, working out even (NOT by choice, it’s a part of my course, but I LOVE it!!), writing a little bit, and working on some fun and exiting projects. I am full of smiles, and I can’t wait for everything that’s yet to come. Just wanted to let you know that I am alive and better than ever. I say that like I have readers or something. Haha. Anyway, I WILL be back with little bits and pieces and snippets from my life, so keep your eyes open wide, yeah?
Lots of luuuuuuv,
Audrey in autumn land