Thousands of miles from home, an A-list American producer found music in the quiet Arctic night under the northern lights. Here is his music for Norway.
Now, rather than working with A-list pop stars, he’s faced with a new kind of challenge. He is going to work with the sounds and moods of Northern Norway – capturing the region’s nature, culture and local traditions that is found there.
Some sounds and rhythms are ancient: The auroras, the waves and the wind on the coast, even the fishermen and their catch – sea eagles soaring above. Fishermen have settled along this coastline for hundreds of years.
Think about it for a second: There were powerful rhythms and cycles in nature long before there were people here to be inspired by them. Beyond modern music, beyond the laptop, they are waiting to be rediscovered. That is, basically, what Brown is here to do.
Looking back at that night under the northern lights, Brown repeats: “The way that it moved was slower. When I noticed the way the light pulsed, I immediately thought: ‘Oh, okay, now I know.’ It’s almost like a tempo that I could use, that I could hear in my head”.
If you listen carefully, you will hear that pulsing beat in his music for Norway. You can hear it in the film below, following Brown’s journey – with his own music on the soundtrack.
Besides this film, the footage – embedded in the music that it inspired – is also used for a series of video clips from the arctic winter in Northern Norway.
While even the most remote places in Norway have modern comforts and are connected to the outside world, there are also the huge, inland expanses of untouched wilderness. If you can rediscover nature’s own sounds and rhythms, you can also deliberately disconnect.
Up here, the hustle and bustle of daily life feels far away. As Brown puts it: “There’s a lot of peace.”
The music, then, is purposefully simple and peaceful – but also powerful and sublime.
Turn the sound up – use a good set of headphones – and join John’s journey in the short film below.
Experiencing the unbelievable colours flashing across the Arctic sky is on many travellers’ bucket list. Few places on earth offer more ways to witness the aurora borealis than Norway.
Combine a 5-day voyage in search of the mystical northern lights. Sail through beautiful Vesterålen and the Lofoten Islands and stop in scenic towns such as Bergen, Tromsø, Ålesund and Trondheim.
Northern Norway is by far the largest and most sparsely populated part of mainland Norway, and covers more than a third of the country.
You are in Norway, therefore no reason to stay indoors. Here are some fun things to do, whether you're visiting the coast, the mountains or somewhere in between.