“I was 11 or 12 years old and had been blowing different brass instruments for a few years in this marching band. Then, like a dream come true, the tenor sax player had to leave the band and I was asked to play the sax. I got the instrument along with a four-page booklet explaining where to put my fingers to play the different notes – and home I went. I think my mother, father, sisters and brothers were – and still are – patient people. I started to play the tenor sax in the marching band (as well as being their singer) and we performed tunes like Isle of Capri, Oh Carol and others. I was also the singer in a rock band. This was at a time before my musical interest started to grow seriously, before the days when we ordered loads of LPs from Tandy’s Records in London, before the years of Zappa, Coltrane and Hardanger fiddle. There was, in my small home town, a record store. I used to cycle up and down the hilly streets delivering newspapers to earn money to buy LPs, or I’d do other things like picking berries in my mum’s garden. One sunny day, one of my younger brothers and I had been doing this to make some money, but we only got enough to buy one LP. In the record shop we had a long, intense argument about which album we were going to buy. My brother wanted one with a cover showing ‘a planet on fire in the sky’. I wanted one with a black cover showing ‘a white line, a light going through a prism’. We had never heard about these bands but both covers looked very interesting and we were very curious. I must have won the argument as we went home with the LP with the black cover.
“I shared a room with my brother and we had a white Philips portable turntable with a built-in speaker. I don´t think we fully understood what we were listening to, and my brother lost interest quite quickly, but I couldn’t stop listening to this music. I stayed in our room for weeks listening to this LP – again and again. I got totally hooked on this music which I found mystical, joyful, sad, dreamy and more. It even had a lot of fantastic tenor sax playing. I think this album changed my way of listening to music. It opened up my mind and stayed inside me. Maybe I still try to capture that feeling I had – when making, playing, composing music today? Maybe that´s what it´s all about? To try to capture that point (sitting on the floor beside a white portable turntable) – listening to music for the ‘very first time’ really.”
“And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I´ll see you on the dark side of the moon”
Thanks to Karl Seglem – Norwegian tenor saxophonist, goat horn player, composer and producer – for the latest in our series of artist blogs.
His new album Ossicles – his 27th solo album – will be released on Ozella next week.