Viewpoint #3 – Jody Worth

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Screenplay Writer – TV Producer Jody Worth
Jody Reaches Deep Into His Creative Heart
Seeming To “Channel” Music Critic Love And Lore
Jody “Takes On” The New Album – Read Below:

On Hidden Soul of the Fjords by Lazerus Winter And Heidi Torsvik
by Jody Worth

There’s an old hit song, in which the opening line allows, “Well, I’ve never been to Spain, but I kind of like the music.”  Well, I’ve never been to Norway. The closest I’ve been to taking in the majesty of the fjords is through an episode of Travel Man:48 Hours in which Richard Ayoade visits Bergen and embarks on a cruise through the surrounding topography.  Still, when we began to write the television series Deadwood, I’d never been to the Dakotas, but was able to imagine I had until I did actually visit. Of course, a lot of consumers of art will have no prior experience of its subject either, which is a big part of the point: to tell a story.

Which is a long-winded preamble to discussing  Lazerus Winter’s new recorded suite Hidden Soul of the Fjords. One funny thing: while I have never known the fjords, I have known composer/musician Winter for forty-odd years, since the days when we recorded and performed rock and roll music together. So, while I believe I can imagine the geographical splendor invoked by these four musical pieces, I can attest with confidence how strongly they evoke the deep inner warmth of their composer.

Bob Dylan recently recorded a song  he titled “I Contain Multitudes.” While Dylan’s lyric is in part tongue in cheek, Fjords’ initial movement “Presence,” serves earnestly as an opening tour of aspects of its composer’s beautiful soul. Unlike a formal overture, which previews musical themes to be repeated,  “Presence” offers a survey of various discrete “feels,” (as Brian Wilson called his musical modules —  before the term was abused by marketing people), opening up the ears and minds of the listener for what is to follow.

What follows immediately is something Winter calls “Beneath the Surface Touch the Sky,” introducing into the mix a mass of female vocals, which express the duality suggested by the title by evoking at once both the ethereal and the earthly.

I’m in!

This would seem like an appropriate time to mention that all of the vocals, at times as many as 500 separate voices, were performed and arranged by Heidi Torsvik, aka Heidi Goodbye, ex-teen jazz prodigy, solo artist, perhaps best known to critics for her work on Spiritual Non Believers, the 2011 debut album by Bergen group “The Last Hurrah!!”

In “Shining Darkness”, Torsvik’s intonations are pared to a single, lovely voice. Darkness is an oft-used (overused?) metaphor. Par exemple, In his 1973 song “Time,” when David Bowie sings of “shining through this darkness,” it’s nominally a reference to the dark a performer waits in backstage, but also a metaphor for loneliness and, moreover, death. In contrast, while I understand no Norwegian, and can’t speak directly to the lyrics, I suspect that the “shining darkness” invoked in Winter’s song is literal, as in when the opposite side of the world is facing the sun. If it is also meant to evoke the unknown, the darkness seems to be faced blissfully and without fear.

The final section is the longest, its title broken down into sections: ” Heart (Trees That Whisper/Reflections/Heart).”  The plaintive, soothing, opening part is carried again by Torsvik’s voice (here doubled), following which the singing and instruments give way (a bit like in dub or a DJ’s bass drop) to the literal sound of an electronic heartbeat. This basic expression is soon picked up and built-on rhythmically in almost hip-hop fashion, adding instruments, gathering in various exquisite colors, and eventually exploding  into a dynamic section of Winter’s extroverted, liquid lead guitar. Reaching its apex, the final section again recalls the voices that ease the build down to help carry us out on a cloud.

In sum, the sounds are deep and lovely, like the subject matter they evoke. Varied, dynamic, and multi-dimensional.

You owe yourself a good listen.

Los Angeles  10.2020

Viewpoint #2 – Bill Pullman

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Actor Bill Pullman
Bill Is “On The Road”
And Listening To The New Album
Read His Road Trip “View” Below…

From Bill Pullman – Re:“Hidden Soul Of The Fjords’, a collaborative effort between Lazerus Winter and co-creator Heidi Torsvik:

We are driving in through the hill country of western Pennsylvania and fusing the terrain with the four movements of “Hidden Soul of the Fjords”. The cinematic aspect of this subtly shifting journey of sound is underlined if you are moving along in a car and have the balances right on the sound system.

These two artists are patient and yet energetic in the layered progression of each movement. I recommend you take this voyage with them. You’ll have your favorite sections and maybe sections you will need a second listen to. I’m getting ready to listen again. I want to see why I found the last minutes of each of the movements so graceful, tasty and truthful.

Bill Pullman – (Somewhere on the road) – 9.27.2020

Viewpoint #1 – Gary Katz

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Record Producer Gary Katz
(‘Steely Dan’ – Donald Fagen’s ‘The Nightfly’)
Offers His Rare “View” On The New Album
Read Gary’s Full Letter Below…

From the desk of Gary Katz:

Music is and has been the energy source of my life. I don’t play..well, hardly, I don’t read, well, not really, and at the same time I have an innate understanding of various musical genres by “feeling it”.

I know how that sounds, (and even more so in print), but if I was sitting in front of you I feel assured I could convince you of my inexplicable reality, which I’m sure is not singular to me. I say this because I’m going to talk about and “review” a new album, an exercise I inherently have negative feelings about concerning “The Arts,” except, on those rare occasions, when I do it.

To ‘Hidden Soul Of The Fjords’, a collaborative effort between Lazerus Winter and co-creator Heidi Torsvik, which is a beautifully crafted, musically induced emotional journey. In full disclosure, I worked with Lazerus closely for some time, some time ago, and admire his musical growth, creating beautiful orchestrations complimenting Heidi’s extraordinary vocal textures and overall original musical sensibility; it is a package worth opening.

The haunting opening bars of “Presence”, the 1st movement of 4, are quickly joined by the equally haunting textures of Heidi’s vocal entrance, which melts in to create the perfect mood and tone for the emotional journey you’re about to take through and beyond the infectious groove of Reflections in “Heart” in the 4th and last movement.

Put your phones on or your buds in, lean back and you’ll feel and be chill!

Gary Katz
New York – 9.2020

#8 Burnt Matchstick Figure

Posted Posted in Art Drop

Burnt Matchstick Figure
Conceived and Carved by Artist Ane Sommerstad
Vevring, Sogn og Fjordane
Wood – Clay – Horsetail

Standing its ground
The Elder knows

Earthquakes endured
Predators engaged
Species generated

Ancestral bones whispering

If time is an illusion
Then Mastery is its greatest fool

– Lazerus Winter

#7 Nature’s Watching

Posted Posted in Art Drop

“Nature’s Watching”
Yarn Art by Artist @AmiStreetArt

I heard a voice coming from a small nest
Seated upon a long low branch of a tree
Just above my head
The voice sounded like the roar of the wilderness
And my soul was devastated
So I climbed the tree carefully
To see how this could be
And when I found the tiny nest
It was empty
Save for a cipher’s clue
Written in broken egg shells
And once decoded
The message read
“The king of the beasts survives
On the wind of the smallest wing”

-Lazerus Winter

#6 The Way Home

Posted Posted in Art Drop

The Way Home
Painting Conceived and Rendered by Artist Bjørn Kolbjørnsen
Watercolor – India Ink – Red Chalk

There’s a light in the heart of darkness
There’s a path in the forest primeval
Tattered maps and old equations
Could never be so true

– Lazerus Winter

#5 Holocene Fractures

Posted Posted in Art Drop

Holocene Fractures
Conceived and Created by Glass Artist – Æsa BjörkMulti-Disciplinary Work Utilizing 3D Mapping Techniques
High Resolution GIF Rendered By Artist

You wore a mystic’s mask
Playing a secret game
Making light shine from your womb
To envelop us
Arc of tension
Hue and abyss
X Ray images
Of Aurora Borealis
Who in the hell made heaven?
With it’s daunting allure
Daring ball and chain
To fly like a kite?
Remove the mask
For lost or found
You’re home

– Lazerus Winter

#4 Ausevika Helleristningsfelt

Posted Posted in Art Drop

Ausevika Helleristningsfelt, Western Norway
Norwegian Stone Age Art (circa 3000 BCE)
Neolithic Artists – Unknown

Photo in contrast – Torsvik / Winter

Skin I’m in
Of ancient origin
Camouflaged vehicle
Of my inner life force
In a mysterious world
I stand
If I move towards you
Or run from you
I must choose
Between the lines
Of fear and love

– Lazerus Winter

#3 Planisphere

Posted Posted in Art Drop

Conceived by Artist and Animator – Simone Hooymans

I drank the drunken dream
Lost found awakened drown
Hypnotic tunnel
Magnetic light
Watery world broke
Oxygen spoke
And I cried
For I knew I had not reached heaven
I was now a dreaming seed
Cocoon adrift
Castaway wandering
Paths of jagged blue Earth
In search of a loving Master
From whom I would break free

– Lazerus Winter