LiveTalk on Insta: Anecdotes of how we created Foreign Pines Mette Kirkegaard/J. Wagner – Instagram @mettemusic 11 am Wednesday June 10 Austin Time – 6 pm Copenhagen time

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(Video in American Language and info below Danish text here) Starts 1 min. Into the video Sange skal være så gode, at du vil være bekendt at vise dem til Bob Dylan – eller dine idoler…. ….Ordene blev sagt i dag af J. Wagner live fra Austin i Texas, en by præget af uroligheder lige nu. Jeg havde en 45 mins online video talk med ham i aften live. Johann cowriter bl.a. sange med Gregory Alan Isakov – og er selv en fremragende guitarist og entertainer samt danselærer! Johan fortæller om at lave sangskriver retreat i Texas. Om hvordan uroligheder kan blive til symbolsprog i sange. Om hvordan vi arbejdede med sangen “Foreign Pines” fra Albummet Simple Matters. Og endelig om anekdoter brugt på et af hans albums “The Runaway Kid” – som syvårig kørte Johann med sin 13-årige søster og en lillesøster og hund i forældrenes bil hjemmefra, og kørte forkert vej mod Idaho. Hør mere ved at gå på Instagram @mettemusic Klik her: lnkd.in/g99ETps Hav en god aften How the song Foreign Pines – Frie Fyr was made by Mette Kirkegaard & Johann Wagner Live Talk on Instagram on @mettemusic – Wednesday June 10 – 11Am Austin Time / 18 o’clock Copenhagen / Brussel Time @mettemusic @jwagnermusic #livetalk #songwriting #light #darkness #leadership #itslit #nordicamericana ##newmusicfriday #Dayofmusic #reallife #musician #vogue #nativeinstruments @mettemusic @jwagnermusic

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The song Foreign Pines – Frie Fyr has been composed by Mette Kirkegaard & Johann Wagner

Live Talk on Instagram on @mettemusic – Wednesday June 10 – 11Am Austin Time / 18 o’clock Copenhagen / Brussel Time
@mettemusic Live Talk    

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/1uWWO31cqYOfYJM0oGevel?si=8UnEdHwlQfubDOIQ68bz_w

Mette Kirkegaard and J. Wagner, in The House of Songs, Austin, Texas

Some songs stand out.

I believe when both persons like each other’s work, a great song can be born. As well song lyrics are like babies – they can lie nine months in your stomach before they are born and find themselves to fit in a composition. It does sound odd to compare songs with babies. 🙂 And in this case, the baby would have been in my stomach for 18 months. However, that is the amount of time it can take to crack the nut of a sung.

When I met J. Wagner in Austin, I admired his talent for storytelling. He reminded me of Bob Dylan spiced up with Leonard Cohen’s anecdotes. He also played very well the guitar.

He was accompanying me on stage at a showcase in town set up by Matt the Electrician. We luckily agreed to meet up again and cowrite a song.

At this time the content of the song was unknown. I had already released songs in the genre Nordic Americana by then. A successful ep Dry Wood produced in Berlin by Brio T. I wanted a song in the same scenic nature storytelling universe.

Foreign Pines, first draft: April 2015.

It happened as part of my stay in the songwriters´ house in Austin: The House of Songs in Austin.

Johann came to the house for a 1 1/2 hour session. We sat in the living room with guitars and a view to a stage piano.

I brought some ideas about summer skies and clouds and rainy days driving up towards New York. Memories of riding on a road.

Johann works in a different tempo than mine. Whenever I thought “okay done!” – he decided to let the draft wait.

After our first meeting, the song was waiting for a new chance to meet up.

A couple of months later, Johann was touring in Denmark with M.C. Hansen, a Danish singer-songwriter who does Americana sessions.

Johann was returning from the countryside and met for a session more in central Copenhagen Fiolstræde. In my office, a place that is cozy, neat, and retrostyled with the old white six-piece windows. There´s a lot of sound from the pedestrian street beneath the office. But it just feels cozy. As well you can hear a street musician on his accordion playing most of the day, and blended with the busy walking people, and sounds.

The song slightly unfolded itself:

I kept the second draft and hoped he would agree:

For the session, I wrote a second verse. I was happy about it. Johann was still awaiting, as seems to be his method for songwriting.

I mailed Johann.

Hey Johann 

Here is the song from August…

Think we recorded two files…
The text I have is from May – I think you changed it thereafter…
Enjoy your weekend!
Ciao
Mette

Johann helds a yearly songwriter camp in the US. He has plenty of people coming to get inspiration and write new songs. There´s even a waiting list for his course.

And I was as well waiting. And we still didn´t have a second verse.

August version 

Be my midnight

Drove out to the east coast

from a small town along the gulf

to the prairie winds and high towns

to the fields of the falling oaks

it ain’t easy when you’re living

begging for bread, and scraps and stones

we flipped a coin for st. Francis

and then we waited for the storm

oh be my darling, be your midnight

be my bread and I’ll be your wine

be my clear skies

be my Northstar

if we drift apart

yeah if we drift apart

by J. Wagner/Mette Kirkegaard

some notes as well were attached:

Be my lantern

– I’ll be the laughter

you’ll bring the morning

and xxx come afterxxx…

I sent the files from our meeting in Copenhagen to Johann: …Here is the draft from our early version draft 2

I noticed that we were working around verse 1 and chorus, and C-part (midnight part) but we lacked a second verse. So I came up with the idea of an image of the pleasure of diving into the deep dark past.

It ain’t heavy to fall tender

Into the darkness of a wound

It reminds me of the wonder

The high of feeling good

And only when I returned to Austin in October 2016, one year later, we used it. Johann was ready to give in to these lines.

We ended up recording the song in Patrick Herzfeld´s studio in Austin, Texas. You can hear the song on my album “Simple Matters”.

Foreign Pines
– final version

By Mette Kirkegaard and Johann Wagner

We drove out to the East coast

In a swirl of a summer skies

To the prairie winds and the poor towns

To the wet fields of the foreign pines

It ain’t easy when you’re living

Begging for bread out on your own

We struck a match for St. Francis

And then we waited for the storm

Oh, Honey, we were rambling and gambling

We were both falling on our shields

We were hungry and shameless

Like all lovers like to be

It ain’t heavy to fall tender

Into the darkness of a wound

It reminds me of the wonder

The high of feeling good

We went searching for the thunder

But all we found was rain

We left your coat in the diner

Along with all the change

Oh, Honey, we were digging and ticking

We were both falling on our shields

We were hungry and shameless

Like all lovers like to be

Oh be my darling

Be my midnight

Be my grapes

And be my wine

Be my lantern

Be my stranger

Be my laughter

And my lies

Oh, Honey, we were rambling and gambling

We were both falling on our shields

We were hungry and shameless

Like all lovers like to be

and later came up my idea for the Danish version:

Frie fyr – Foreign Pines 2018 (J. Wagner/Mette Kirkegaard)

 

Kørte ud langs kysten

i en sværm af sommerskyer

ud af prærievinden ud af udkantsbyer

til de våde marker og de frie fyr

det ikke så let at leve

du må be til dagens dont

vi tændte lys for frans assisis

og så ventede vi på storm

åh elskede vi rakkede og gamblede /hustlede og tossede

vi faldt begge om på vores skjold

vi var skamløst sultne

som elskende til sold

det ikke tungt at falde blidt

ned i den mørke revne i et gammelt sår

det vækker noget så vidunderligt

vi var høje på glæden der forgår

Vi tog ud for at søge torden

men alt vi fandt var regn

du lod din cotton coat blive i cafeen

og så ventede vi på et vekslende tegn

Oh elskede vi hustlede og droslede

vi faldt begge på vores skjold

vi var skamløst sultne

som elskende til sold

Kom vær min elsker

vær mit midnat

vær mine druer

og min vin

vær min lanterne

vær min fremmed

være min latter

og løgnene min’

The Danish version of the song attracts people in Denmark.

– learn the story of the song – an Austin-Copenhagen collaboration – listen soon to Instagram Live Talk with Mette Kirkegaard & Johann Wagner.

listen to Instagram Live Talk @mettemusic with Mette Kirkegaard & Johann Wagner. Austin Time: 11 am / Brussel / Copenhagen time 10. June at 18 /6 pm

Foreign Pines

Live Talk Wednesday June 10 – How a song was made

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