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Jonathan Brown Jonathan Brown
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Photo: CH
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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.

Text: Mikael Lunde

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He was challenged to rediscover nature’s rhythms in Northern Norway

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John BrownPhoto: CH

Different worlds

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Discover, rediscover

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. 

Simplicity and peace

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.

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