Magne to score Beatles movie

Magne standing in front of a fountain at Briskeby in Oslo, which is an important site in the novel (Picture from VG)

Magne standing in front of a fountain at Briskeby in Oslo, an important location in the original novel
(Picture from VG)

Magne has agreed to compose the original score as well as supervise the recordings of other music for the upcoming Norwegian movie Beatles, production company Storm Rosenberg announced in a press release today.

“My own musical journey really started with listening to The Beatles while growing up, and it is such a thrill to be allowed to work with this iconic material and to be a part of presenting this great story on film”, Magne says.

The movie is based on author Lars Saabye Christensen best-selling novel Beatles from 1984, a coming-of-age story about four boys growing up in Oslo in the 1960s and 70s.

The project has already garnered international attention, by securing the rights to use original music by The Beatles in the movie. To help achieve this, Magne wrote a letter to Paul McCartney saying how The Beatles had influenced a-ha.

“If we hadn’t grown up with and modeled ourselves after The Beatles, we would never have had the courage to set our goals so high and try our luck abroad. That’s what I wrote in the letter”, Magne tells VG.

Beatles book cover

Beatles book cover

“If you listen to a-ha’s songs, the melody lines are always the basic element. We got that from The Beatles. It’s not music that emerged from jam sessions. There are always intricate harmonies underneath in Beatles songs. That’s something I’ll have to use now.”

Magne is soon going to Abbey Road studios in London to work on the score, where he’ll be using The Beatles’ original microphones and recording equipment.

“I’ll try to be true to the 60s era and the sound. I grew up with The Beatles as my big heroes, so this is a welcome trip back to my own childhood. I have thought a lot about the fact that original Beatles recordings are also included in the movie. That’s incredibly challenging on one level, but also a dream come true for a big fan like myself”, Magne tells VG.

The movie will be directed by Espen Sandberg og Joachim Rønning, who have previously directed Max Manus and Kon Tiki – which was nominated for an Academy Award earlier this year. Beatles is currently scheduled to start shooting in June and premiere in February 2014.

Magne, together with Kjetil Bjerkestrand, has previously composed the score for Marius Holst’s Ti Kniver i Hjertet (1994) and Øyenstikker (2001), Karin Julsrud’s 1732 Høtten (1998) and the mini-series Hotel Oslo (1997). He also scored the documentary series På jakt etter paradiset (2008), together with Nils Petter Molvær.

Ti Kniver i Hjertet was also based on a novel by Lars Saabye Christensen, called Gutten som ville være en av gutta.

In 1991, Saabye Christensen collaborated with a-ha on the NRK TV special Østenfor Sol, Vestenfor Måne, where the band played live at an NRK studio, while the author read his own poems between the songs.

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