I, Volatile

I want to tell you a little bit about a project I’m suddenly a part of. I do keys and backing vocals in a band called I, Volatile, which is fronted by this sexy woman;

Photo: Allegra Whitehouse Photography

The music is very different from the stuff I normally do, and I love it. It’s quite heavy, and Sunni’s “heroes” are bands like System Of A Down, Incubus, A Perfect Circle, stuff like that. Sunni was on the same course as me my first year at LIPA, and is an Oslo girl. She’s moving back at some point next year though, and I’m looking forward to getting more of both her company and the work! Last week was pretty intense, since she was only here for a week before our first gig, which was at Zanzibar on Saturday. One week to learn 6 songs, with all new musicians – it was hard work, but fun work! And the gig – oh my, good times!

Photo: Allegra Whitehouse Photography

Playing keys in a band makes me feel so damn cool. And like I mentioned in my last post, I even made (kind of) a mowhawk for the occasion. I thought I was super cool (and so Rock), until someone had the nerve to call me cute. Hmmmph.

The day after, I woke up totally looking like Tim Minchin.

We actually have another gig tonight, we’re doing an acoustic set at Parr Street Studios. So if you’re in Liverpool and have no plans for the evening, come down for a drink and some music! It will just be Sunni, James and myself on stage, so pretty chilled. No need for a mowhawk today I think, but I will do it again at some point. Loved the change! ;-P

Oh, and we’ve got a Facebook page too! It’s right here!

Have a great Thursday everyone!
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Until next time, remember to Subscribe to this blog (top right corner), follow my Tweets and Like me on Facebook, and drop me a comment or two if you feel like brightening my day… ;-P

Take care! ❤

xxx
Audrey

One of the best of them all

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; The amount of insanely talented people in this place makes me dizzy. One of the best of them all is this guy;

Mikhael Paskalev.

He is technically not here anymore, since he graduated from the music course this summer. But once you’re a part of LIPA, you are always here even when you’re not, in one way or another. We all still sing his songs, after the many concerts we had the pleasure of whitnessing, and something tells me we’re not gonna stop doing that any time soon. Listen to this one, and I’m sure you’ll understand why.

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Mikhael was today announced as something called “Untouched of the week” by one of Norway’s biggest radio stations, and that’s a pretty big deal. For the Norwegians out there, the interview can be found here, and for the rest of you I’ll translate the highlight; where they describe his music as “timeless pop with a nerve of restlessness and a mild form of insanity.” Best description ever.

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If you like what you’re hearing, you can find Mikhael on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Vimeo, Youtube and Urørt, so there is really no excuse to not check him out. Which you should. Cause he is amazing. Sigh.

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Until next time, remember to Subscribe to this blog (top right corner), follow my Tweets and Like me on Facebook, and drop me a comment or two if you’re feeling like brightening my day… ;-P

Take care! ❤

xxx
Audrey

Meet The Band!!

Tadaaa!! 

So here they are, my lovely band members;

Obadiah Jones (acoustic guitar), Ellie Redgrave (backing vocals, percussion and random weird stuff), Laura Williams (drums), Bendik Johnsrud (electric guitar), Laura Shea (bass) and Henry Burnett (keys). I made them do this lame group picture before we finished rehearsal, just for you. ;-P

The rehearsal was good, and I am very pleased indeed. We started playing around with Like The Wind, which has never been played with a full band before, and it sounded great for a first rehearsal. Happy Audrey! 😀 Friday will most likely be our slot from now on, and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

Now, friends, I shall leave you – I have a Barbeque to attend! And yes, I am aware that it is nearly October, but Liverpool isn’t. It has been insanely hot here today, and I was very pleased when I realized I could wear my hippie dress! Yay!

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Until next time, remember to Subscribe to this blog (top right corner), follow my Tweets and Like me on Facebook, and you can come to the barbeque to.

Take care! ❤

xxx

Songwriting Workshops

I promised you a post about my busy week in Norway, and here it is!

Songwriting workshops
Like I said, the main reason for going home so close to starting the new year at LIPA, was that I had been asked to do 2 songwriting workshops in my home town, as part of a music video project the local Culture School is putting up. I was honored that they asked me in the first place, and I’m very glad to have been a part of this awesome project. I WISH they had done stuff like this when I was in high school! I did two workshops over two nights, and it was a great success. 12 people turned up on the first night (among them a 13 year old boy I used to babysit for when he was 1 – man, I’m getting old..!), and we had a fun time talking about songwriting, listening to examples and working on ideas for a song. By the end of it, we had a pretty good idea for a theme and a story, and they had all written down a few lines of lyrics. I took it all home and worked a bit on it until the next day. A special thanks to Susanne and Christina for turning up the next day and finishing the lyrics with me! It was great fun!

The song is being recorded in a studio in Hønefoss these days (after some changes by the music team), and in October/November the music video will be made. The final result is showing at the local cinema in the beginning of December, and hopefully I’ll be able to attend. If not, I’m sure I’ll get to see it on Youtube! =)

The rest of the week
Man, what a week…! The original plan was to head straight to my girl Milena on the day I arrived. She had just gotten back from holiday, just made some cool changes to her apartment I had yet to see, and we had lots of catching up to do. Besides, she lives en route to my home, and very close to another friend of ours, whos awesome boy Miguel turned SIX that week! I didn’t have a lot of free time on my hands at all, but the little window of time I did have I wanted to spend hugging the birthday boy. Sadly, that all fell through as I was headhunted for a teaching job the next day, and I had to go straight there.
And what a journey it was! Through a series of random events and stupid decisions on my end, I ended up traveling for about 11 hours, missing so many buses and walking around in the middle of nowhere, in the rain, dragging a suitcase after me. I was SO pissed off. At the end of the line though, I got to sit down on a couch and talk to my sister for a couple of hours, which I don’t get to do very often, so it was all worth while. =) I enjoyed being back in Bjoneroa, and teaching was a lot of fun, as always. Plus, the priceless bonus of being in Bjoneroa is of course that I get to hang out with a couple of the best kids in the world; My niece and nephew.

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty much absorbed by the songwriting workshops, but I did manage to squeeze in a lovely lunch with one of my favourite people in the world between all the work;

Friday and Saturday I spend on a glass stand with my dad, engraving names on his awesome glass. I had fun, and even started on a new hat! ;-P

We sat there for about ten hours straight on the Friday and about 8 on Saturday… It was nice, but cold, and a walk to the shopping center to buy warm socks (My feet were freezing in my Nikes after 2 hours) resulted in brand new boots;

From now on, I shall forever be known as (pause for effect) The Girl With The Red Boots… ;-P

And that’s literally where my week went. There were plenty of people I didn’t get to see and things I didn’t get to do this time, but whatchagonnado. I literally barely had time to piss.

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Until next time guys, remember to Subscribe to this blog (top right corner), follow my Tweets and Like me on Facebook, and I shall dream a little dream of you. Promise.

Take care! ❤

xxx

5 things I look forward to at the moment

  1. Settling into my new flat (and MY OWN ROOM!!)
  2. Having my piano and my guitar at an arms-length reach
  3. Sharing a bathroom with one girl (and not three boys)
  4. Setting foot in LIPA again; for Classes, Creativity, Coffee and Comrades
  5. Teaching Songwriting to the High Schoolers of Jevnaker

Ah, how I love lists. And Comrades.

The dates for the Songwriting workshops are settled, and the plane tickets are booked. I’m going a couple of days early to get some time with family and friends, and do some packing, even though I did most of the packing before I left last time. There’s really not a lot of things I hate doing as much as I hate packing. Especially when it is for this long – I doubt I will be coming home before christmas this time. I’ve been going back and forth so often over the last year, and it’s been nice, but exhausting. Plus, I’m expecting the course to get a lot busier and more intense in second year. And that’s both by default and by choice. You see, a degree like the LIPA one is pretty much as busy as you make it. You choose your own projects, and everything you do is a part of your career and what you want to do. And I’m planning on making this year a busy one. Lots of concerts, an EP, and lots and lots of new material. Like I’ve said before: I can’t wait to get started. 

Seriously, on the last day before the summer holiday, I wasn’t thinking “thank god, finally some time off!” I was thinking “Uh, yeah, I don’t really need this holiday, can we just get on with second-year please…?” Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the time off, once I got used to it. I enjoyed being home, seeing family and friends, traveling… But the thing is, the time “on” isn’t as “on” as a lot of other degrees, and jobs. Am I making any sense? It’s more than a degree, it’s more than a job. My music is my job and my spare time. It’s my life. How can I take a break from my life?? I just felt like I was on such a roll, I felt like the break came too soon and is lasting too long. 4 months. 16 weeks. 115 days. No matter how I look at it, that’s too f*ing long man. Give me my life back!

Yeah, just a little LIPA withdrawal rambling for ya there… 6 days till Liverpool, 24 days till LIPA. See you sooon!!! ❤

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Until next time, please remember to subscribe to my blog (top right corner of this page), “be-fan” me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, and I will make sure to keep you up to date on what’s going on with me and my music. And please keep commenting, I love hearing from you! =) 

Take care & keep Shining! I love you!

xxx,

Audrey

Humbly For Her…

Another amazing concert with the amazing, the annoyingly talented, the one and the only Unni Wilhelmsen, is over.

08.07.11, Rockefeller, Oslo

No elephant’s memory when starstruck…
What a beautiful person she is. I am always humbled by her presence, and even though I’ve seen her live 3 times now, I always forget half of the things I want to say once I stand there after the show, face to face with her, my hero. This time I even forgot to ask for a picture. I also forgot to tell her hi from my dad. He always asks me to for some reason, and this time I was gonna do it, just to be able to say yes when he asked me afterwards if I had. Which he always does. So if you’re reading this Unni; My dad says hi. ;-P

December 2010

More than music…
Once again, Unni managed to give me a magical night that I will live off for months. Until the next one, probably. Her songs are colourful paintings, and nothing can go wrong in her art gallery. I wish I had her paintbrush. Unni’s concerts are far more than music though. They are stories, magic tales, comedic anecdotes, they are a glimpse of a life. For a couple of hours, she gives you… Her. So honest, and so true.

08.07.11, Rockefeller, Oslo

Once again Unni, THANK YOU… 

Humbly For Her,

Audrey

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Also read this post…

WOW, what a DAY! :-D

Like a star… I spent Thursday morning at my old high school, where I had been invited back as “Guest of the month” on their very last day before the summer holiday. It was awesome! It was such an honor to be invited, and the amazing introduction Signe gave me on stage made me feel like a star. It went something like this:

“Ten years ago, a girl was a student at this school. And that girl was very brave. She moved away from home, to Vinstra, to study what she wanted to. This girl has continued to be brave, because now she has moved to England to study music at Paul McCartney’s Music school LIPA in Liverpool. Right now she is home for the summer, and we are very glad to have her as our guest of the month.”

And so on. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I remember I was highly moved, and entertained.

20 Questions… First I was interviewed on stage by two students who had prepared 20 questions for me, and such good questions! They asked me stuff like what my best and worst memory from school was, why I started singing, what advice I could give them for the future, and it dawned on me… I am actually in a position to inspire these people…! Which is in fact the most inspirational thing in the world. So I tried my best, I tried to tell them what I needed to hear when I was their age and looked something like this:

Don't laugh...! ;-P

A bit of a Julie… I tried to tell them that it’s their life, and that it’s so freakin’ important to follow your dreams and do what YOU wanna do. Don’t listen to the people who tell you you can’t do it, cause they don’t know what they are talking about. Dare to say it out loud, what it is that you REALLY want to do with your life. It’s YOUR life, and only you can make yourself happy. It’s all about you. Not everyone is as lucky as I was – I had Julie to give me a kick in the ass. Not everyone has a Julie. So if I was a bit of a Julie to some of these guys on Thursday, if I got through and motivated one person to go for it and follow their dream, I am truly grateful. Finally taking the step onto that stage was what I answered that my best memory from school is. And the worst…? That one was harder. I have no real bad memories from school, so all I could think of was the day when I was “smart” enough to bring my Furby to an exam and it wouldn’t shut up… I was like “Fall alseep, damn it…!” 

Shut uuuuup...!!

Awesome, awesome people…! After the interview I performed two songs for them (Orion and The First Kiss Hello Since Goodbye), and they were, I think, the most awesome audience I’ve ever had. It was so nice to get some response on the things I said! It was all very relaxed and fun, and I wish I had more time with them. Awesome, awesome people! =)

Hihi...

I also really, really wish I had some pictures from the performance/interview, so if any of my new friends at the school who took pictures or filmed are reading this, (I saw you guys!)  please send me pictures and videos! =) audrey.wilsen@gmail.com. Until then, here’s me on my way home with the awesome flowers I got!

Lucky meeee!

Which now look like this:

Great things to come… I am actually seeing at least one of these awesome people again very soon – I got an e-mail from my first singing student a couple of days ago!:-D It is so exiting, and I’m thrilled that the Culture School is lending me a room to teach in for the summer. I went there today and got a full tour from Øyvind, and the place is incredible. Everything is brand new, and it looks GREAT! The café is so cute, and it looks like it will be the venue for my christmas/EP Release concert in December/January. Will you come…? 

The youth café

Thrilled & blessed, and completely overwhelmed… I am overwhelmed with all the support my home town has given me the last couple of years, both economically and otherwise. Completely overwhelmed. This is just amazing.=)

They’re giving me the huge dance hall, which is a bit funny considering I will (most likely) only be teaching one student at the time, look how big it is!

Huuuuuge!!!

Step into my office… I spent some time getting to know the piano in there today, and who knew – all I needed was a change of scenery, and the inspiration came flowing. Finally put a melody to a little bunch of lyrics I wrote a couple of weeks back. Yay! It was nice to have an office again – and by office, I of course mean this:

Piano+pad+pencil=Audrey's office

I am looking forward to spending a lot of time in my office this summer, and hopefully you will hear the result very soon. =)

Gotta go now, I need to get some sleep before getting up early for a High School Reunion planning meeting tomorrow morning. Should be fun!

Remember to “be-fan” me on Facebook, subscribe to my blog (top right corner of this page) and follow me on Twitter, and I will make sure to keep you up to date on what’s going on with me and my music. And keep commenting, I love hearing from you! =)

Take care & keep Shining! I love you!

xxx,

Audrey

Annoyingly f*ing amazing…

Heroes… You know those people who are just annoyingly talented? Those people who both inspire you, because they remind you of how amazing music can be and why you love it so much, and sometimes discourage you, because they make you realize how far you have yet to go before you will even get close to their level?

Going on and on, the way it must… Yesterday’s post made me go on a Unni Wilhelmsen Youtube mission, and to my delight, a lot of performances have found their way to Youtube since I last checked. Jeeezes, she is amazing… Like, so much it hurts to listen to. People are probably getting sick of me going on and on about Unni Wilhelmsen, but seriously, check out these videos and you will know why she is my hero(in). If not, then you’re just immune to, well, emotions. Seriously, WATCH THEM, watch them ALL!!!

First out: Space Opera. So cool. Is it just me, or does the drummer look a lot like Jay Mohr…?

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One of the songs I couldn’t write: Secret.

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This next song, Orange, is a song I have performed a couple of times myself. Maybe a bit weird of me to pick that one, considering how specific it is, but for me it was the feeling of it as well as the fun and playful melody that drew me in.

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The one and only Won’t Go Near You Again. This has been the soundtrack to pretty much all my breakups. I never did learn though. Until that last one. 

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Unni does covers as well: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell is definitely Hers…

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Unni in Norwegian (in Dublin!) and with the coolest guitar (and guitar playing) ever:

NOT FAIR!!!! 

Crossing fingers and toes… I also just found out that she’s doing another Rockefeller gig in July, miraculously enough while I’m still in Norway, and if I don’t get to go I will seriously cry myself to sleep for the rest of the year. Milena…?? ;-P

Cover songs & the Soundtrack to our lives

The songs I cannot write… Of course, writing and performing my own songs is what I’m in this game for, what it’s all about. But now and then, I stumble upon a song by another artist that hits me so hard it sort of becomes my own, and that’s when I decide to put a cover song on the set list. Some artists just have a way of writing the songs that I can’t, and sometimes it feels like they were written for me. “Won’t Go Near You Again” by Unni Wilhelmsen is just one of those songs, and that is not the only song Unni, or other artists, have written “for me.”

The Soundtrack to your life… I think this is one of the things that makes music so huge, and so important to so many people. You get a soundtrack to your life, your journeys, your relationships, songs that you can relate to, that describe your very own feelings. They become “Your songs.” And then of course there are the songs that are “yours” because of all the memories attached to them, like this one is to me; “Ageing Superhero” by Newton Faulkner.

You can find the original Ageing Superhero here. Now if Dan and I have “a song,” it would be this one, and it definitely has a special place in my heart. 

What about you? Do you have a song that is “yours?” 

When lightning strikes

…creativity flows.

Wow… I didn’t realize how much I depended on the internet before I lost it. Lightning struck at my parents’ house Monday night (iiiik…!!) and took out the internet, the water (!) and my poor dvd player… Needless to say, Tuesday was an extremely boring day… I had already gone the whole weekend without the internet, and had a ton of things lined up on my to-do-list – pretty much all requiring the internet – and I felt completely lost. All I could do was think about all that I couldn’t do: E-mails to send, people to talk to, parties to arrange, and a student loan waiting for confirmation. Crap. So today I’m camping out at my sister’s house, flirting with my nephew and mooching off their internet, trying to make that list a bit shorter!

Summer tiiime… One of the things on the list, of course, is rambling on to you guys. By far one of the more pleasant things to do, and I feel the mood rising already! Of course, it also helps that the sun came back today, and I’m actually blogging outside in a bikini right now, with an awesome coffee mocha by my side. I don’t know how hot it is, but in the shade it’s TWENTYSEVEN degrees Celsius (which is 80,6 F)!!! Holy cow…

Sunny side of Oslo… The “master-class” at the school in Bjoneroa on Friday went great, and I had a lot of fun doing some choir stuff and talking to the kids. Great kids! Hopefully I will see some of them again for a singing lesson or two this summer. After that I had to rush straight to Oslo to meet Dolly, who flew in from Liverpool that morning and was waiting patiently at the bus terminal. I had a great weekend in Oslo with my guuurl, and enjoyed showing her Oslo from it’s best side – the sunny one! 😉 We stayed at the Winther’s (always a pleasure), and had some nice boat rides (and walks!) between the lovely Bygdøy and town. The walk took us over an hour each of the 3 times we did it! Boy, did we feel sporty!

My gurls... Most of my peeps came out to hang some time during the weekend as well, and we had some lovely summer days and nights with good friends! Melissa had a very acceptable excuse for not making it though – poor thing was admitted to the hospital this weekend! (nothing serious, but still, poor baby!)

At Peppe's Pizza

Dolly-time… It was great having Dolly over, and I hope (and think) she enjoyed her stay as well. She even had the balls to try the Ultimate Norwegian Experience – brown cheese!

Thanks for the visit, Sweety! =)

Back on songwriting duty… Now, I have to get on with the rest of my to-do’s, and then I’m picking up Dida’s piano so I can get on with some more songwriting. I can feel a whole bunch of songs fighting to get out at the moment, and I hope I can catch them before I loose them. Last night I picked up a song I started writing a while back, and it’s not an easy one… Some songs are just harder to write than others, but like my sister pointed out, those are the songs that need to be written. Even though writing them involves being reminded of things you’d rather forget, and facing ghosts you thought you had crossed over long ago. It will take a while, but I’m hoping it will be worth it when the song is finished. For now, I will leave you with a promise of something new in either audio- or video form very soon. Ish. 😉

Keep checking in and leaving comments guys, I love hearing from you! Take care, I hope you are having a great week!

I love you!

xxx, **Audrey**

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