Posts Tagged ‘the beatles’

TV2 report from Abbey Road Studios

Magne at the mixing desk

Magne at the mixing desk

Two different news reports about Magne’s Beatles film score sessions at Abbey Road Studios in London have aired on TV2 in Norway over the last couple of days. The first one can be seen at

Among other things we could see a blues instrumental being recorded for one scene, with Magne on harmonica, Jonas Bjerre on piano and Martin Terefe on guitar. Magne was also recording piano and organ parts together with Kjetil Bjerkestrand and could be heard playing “Stay On These Roads” on the original “Lady Madonna” piano.

Recording a blues instrumental with Bjerre and Terefe

Recording a blues instrumental with Jonas Bjerre, Martin Terefe and others

As we know, Magne is using original instruments, microphones and other recording equipment used by The Beatles for these sessions.

“It’s mostly for the music nerds, including myself, that we decided to do it like this. The idea of creating a sort of time machine and walking into a room from the late 60s. It’s almost like a theatrical setup of the whole recording session”, Magne told TV2.

“I don’t want it to become too big and symphonic. I feel like I’m the unknown, melancholic member of The Beatles”, Magne said when he was interviewed at the by:Larm festival in Oslo last week.

Playing "Stay On These Roads" on the original "Lady Madonna" piano

Playing “Stay On These Roads” on the original “Lady Madonna” piano

When asked, Magne said that he hadn’t sought the advice of Paul McCartney:

“But I have informed him about it! He’s a thumbs-up guy, but it would only have scared me even more if I’d asked him to help out. It’s very different to write film music without lyrics, which is what normally drives me to release solo stuff.”

Magne collaborates with Hvitmalt Gjerde on ‘Beatles’ score

Coming in August 2014

Coming in August 2014

Magne has recruited up-and-coming Norwegian band Hvitmalt Gjerde to record some of the music for the upcoming Beatles movie. Next week they’re going to London to do a session together at Abbey Road studios.

Magne revealed this at the by:Larm festival in Oslo yesterday, where he was interviewed about the movie together with musical supervisor Johan Husvik.

“Hvitmalt Gjerde has definitely got a clear and focused 60s sound already. I’ll try to keep the score song-based and will fight hard to give the movie a distinct character. I’m actually finding it a bit difficult to create this kind of music, which is supposed to be very underscoring in a way. But my goal is still to give the movie its own, defined 60s universe based on my ideas”, Magne said, according to

He hopes the surf-rockers in Hvitmalt Gjerde can add a youthful energy to the songs.

“The energy was one of the most important aspects of The Beatles, and hard to recreate”, Magne told Dagsavisen.

Magne seems reluctant to release the score on an album, but it may be made available online through his partnership with the streaming service Wimp.

A teaser for the movie, which premieres on August 29th, can be seen on YouTube.

Magne interviewed on The Briefing

Magne in London earlier this year (Picture from Dagbladet)

Magne in London earlier this year
(Picture from Dagbladet)’s radio talkshow The Briefing is doing a special Nordic edition this week. Yesterday the show was broadcast live from Oslo, and Magne was one of the guests.

The interview with Magne was done in London however, as he was there to do some work. The conversation with Tom Edwards touched on Norwegian cultural politics, Magne’s visual arts and the music he’s doing for the upcoming Beatles movie:

“Musically, right now I’m deep into a film score for a film called ‘Beatles’. I think it’s gonna be called ‘Yesterday’ over here. It’s actually the first time that The Beatles have allowed original material to this degree. There’s three full Beatle recordings in the score, and I’m supposed to write original music that can stand up to that. That’s a bit of a challenge (laughs).

On the other hand, if I look at it differently this is a return to my own childhood. This is the music I grew up listening to, which inspired me to go out and make my mark on whatever world stage. It’s a little bit about returning to that feeling of growing up in a sort of a provincial place in the 1970s, where you had one hour of pop music on the radio every day. Kids today can’t even relate to that, but that’s what it was like.

I’ve sort of gone into a method around it that allows me to now go into Abbey Road – I’ve gotten hold of the “Lady Madonna” piano and the mics that they used and the recording equipment they used – and to set it up as a kind of authentic setting to recreate, not the music of The Beatles, but that zeitgeist, that time period.”

The whole interview can be heard here (starts at 45 minutes).

‘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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