Posts Tagged ‘paul mccartney’

‘Norwegian Wood’ opens in London

Magne in front of his version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Magne in front of his version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The black P and B is an homage to Sir Peter Blake.

Magne’s new Beatles-inspired exhibition Norwegian Wood opened with a private view at the Paul Stolper gallery in London last night. NRK had an interview with Magne yesterday, as he prepared for the opening, which can be viewed here.

Helter Skelter by Magne F, 2013

Helter Skelter by Magne F, 2013

Norwegian Wood came about because Magne wanted to return to his woodcut-techniques of the mid-90s. During the preparations, he was asked to make the music for the upcoming Beatles-movie, which in turn inspired the theme of this exhibition.

“The Beatles was our pathway to adventure, they were our big heroes. We were like those boys in Lars Saabye Christensen’s book, we grew up with The Beatles. We had big dreams and made it big, largely because of them”, Magne told NRK.

For the artistic process, Magne was able to borrow antique woodcut tools from Sir Peter Blake, who designed the album cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

“His tools were quite small and delicate, while I have a somewhat rougher style. So for some of these woodcuts I had to use a chainsaw as well.”

Some photos of Magne creating the woodcut prints at Atelje Larsen in Helsingborg, Sweden can be seen at

Blake was scheduled to attend the private opening yesterday, where Magne would return the tools.

“Paul McCartney couldn’t make it to the opening, unfortunately, but he sent an e-mail with his best wishes”, Magne says.

Come Together by Magne F, 2013

Come Together by Magne F, 2013

Magne will be busy working on the Beatles film music in the coming fall and winter, but he’s already got some ideas ready.

“It’s a bit scary to compose something that will be heard alongside the iconic Beatles music. You need to find the right balance of being both respectful and disrespectful. The film music has to stand on its own feet, but also sound authentic of that time period.”

Magne has also made a few other public appearances recently. On April 18th he appeared at The Thief in Oslo, as UK newcomer Gabrielle Aplin did an intimate showcase gig.

“The concert was really good. She writes and sings beautifully. People should keep an eye on her, and be proud that they had a chance to see her this early”, he told

On April 29th Magne attended the European opener of Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball Tour 2013, at Telenor Arena in Oslo. “I’m the world’s biggest Bruce Springsteen-fan”, he said (sarcastically?) as he walked in the VIP-entrance.

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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