About the recording
AmaOna I produced myself together with Lars Nilsson. I wanted it to have a more lively feeling, a feeling of old-fashioned musician and we recorded the songs with all the musicians present at the same time. During one week all the basic work was done. Lisbeth from Denmark made her additional takes and the rest of the additionals were added about one month later. Xavier came to Sweden and used a whole day adding percussion to all the songs as well as a new recording of Oo Wakana. What a feat, I feel completely faint just thinking about it and he too was totally exhausted afterwards.
The entire recording of AmaOna was a piece of cake and if you could call a recording happy, that is exactly how it was. And the result shows it… happy, light, exuberant. It was such a joy to have the male voices and to mix them with the ladies’ choir. Particularly, as in Selam Selamo, where they sing separately, going from the dark sound of the men to the light female voices. Fabulous!
We recorded everything, apart from the Hawaii guitar, at Nilento. As soon as I turned up the very first day of the recording and saw all the lit candles, bowls of fruit and nuts, I knew that this was going to be fantastic.
I have worked with many, to me quite unknown musicians, whose creativity and expression have added so much to the final result. It is a joy to cooperate with great musicians, people with really big hearts. There are so very many memories such as, for example, when Thomas was to make an additional take on the organ and we had only a 30-minute demo. He played until his fingers were glowing, as there was no room for re-takes. We had no time for that, since we only had a 30-minute access to the sound. He gave it all, so much so that the keyboard fell over but one of us caught it and held it while he kept on playing. He is such a fabulous musician, that Thomas! He is even a master of making drum-rolls on the piano.
Johannes’ overtones on the stand-up bass at the beginning of Selam Selamo were soooo beautiful, sounded like heaven to me… and singing together with the violin of Hans is about the most sensual I have done, total concentration, total presence, listening, feeling, flexible. Wow!!
And the memories continue to surface, one after the other, and I feel so blessed to have been part of all this.
* As when Lars made an additional take of the stand-up bass for the already finished recording. I still had no idea that it was possible to do this. However, with a fabulous musician like Lars, everything is possible.
* Or when Jörgen made his magical japp guitar fills for Ayah Nomi and, all of a sudden, time stopped.
* When Lisbeth played the bells for Promise In The Air or thumb-organ for Heart Song, so extremely personal and special expressions.
* The accordion of Stefan for Ayah Nomi and, particularly, the heartfelt ending were completely unique. And I simply love his deep bass voice.
* The tone of Lasse, his playing of the piano at, for example, Song Song… we try once more, a little slower, a little more quiet… we told Lasse. “Sure, you do that”, he answered and switched on the recording (he had been in the game for quite a while, hadn’t he?) * After testing, we recorded it. Unfortunately it was not quite as magical as the test run. “Maybe you would like to hear that instead?” asked Lasse laughing at our amazement. And, as you understand, it is the test run which is on the record.
* Caecilie’s voice… what incredible scope, limitless capacity, depth, width and power everywhere. How many different voices live in there anyway?
* The voices of Ida, Caecilie and myself supplemented each other perfectly and had a lot of power and expression. And when, later on, they were combined with the gentle, clear voice of Jenny, the sound became homogenous.
I long to play these tunes live and get an opportunity to work with these fantastic musicians again.
During the entire process, Lasse has been a genuine supporter. Our cooperation went along and as on rails. It is wonderful that he, apart from having an exceptional ear, is even a competent and experienced trumpeter. He listens as a musician and not only as a technician, we can reason about the music and he has his feelings at the tips of his fingers. That he also has a fine tenor voice improves things… as if that were possible.
It was sheer joy to record AmaOna. A happy recording.
August 15, 2008