The Long Story…

This is the Long Story. For the Short Story, click here

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, half way into the first of 3 years on a 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! =)

This was the Long Story. For the Short Story, click here

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Biggest fææn!!
    Feb 15, 2011 @ 22:30:46

    LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!

    Reply

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