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Future Hopes

Future Hopes
Some notes about the songs on Future Hopes:

Future Hopes:
This actually originated as an instrumental coda to the song Snowswept on Terminal Twilight. There's not so much left of what it started out as, but there's some faint thematic echoes in some of the synths. It started turning into its own song at some point, and the lyrics were established early on but with a different melody. I just had a lot of fun with this and arranged it in a million different ways until I settled on this form. A great last minute addition was the trumpet, which Lars asked his girlfriend to play. I had originally envisioned Chamberlin brass, but the real deal worked out much better.

Silver & Gold:
This started out as a purely acoustic, Celtic-styled ballad. I was a little concerned that something so obviously folksy and ballady might sound too generic on an otherwise strange album. So I injected some synth/drum machine weirdness, and Venke also tweaked the melody a bit to improve it. We reisisted the temptation to add harmonies, but it wasn't easy! The lyrics are an obvious nod to early Bob Dylan.

In Dim Days:
This was probably the first of the tunes on the album I started working on. As far as I remember it started with the arpeggiated synth that underlies the verses, and moved on from there with a lot of inspiration from the CS80's soundscapes. The very odd time-signatured first solo guitar section may have originally been inspired by something from a Bruford album, but I can't be sure anymore. Otherwise there's a few other references, the Crimsonesque quartal harmonies underpinning the 2nd solo guitar section, and the Air-like groove introducing the flute solo.

Where there was sea there is abyss:
This is lead by Ole Øvstedal's beautiful guitar, which is being played backwards over mellotron chords that actually continue the progression from the flute solo ending the previous tune. Mattias' percussion is drowned in so much reverb as to make it a foggy wash of vaguely rhythmic noise.

A Scarred View:
The intro was the first thing I wrote for this tune, and I was clearly in an Eddie Jobson state of mind when I wrote it. As the instrumental parts of this song are all very proggy and occasionally over the top, I wanted the vocal parts to be quite stark and simple both in melody and delivery, so that they create a contrast to the otherwise monumental nature of the song. The chordal backing to the vocal melodies is as simple as it gets, with an almost static guitar arpeggio and long bass notes.

Damnation Valley:
Lars wrote the better part of this on the spot on during one of our keyboard sessions in his studio. He has a great view of Oslo from where he lives up in the hills. It was evening, and the urban sprawl unfolded, Blade Runner-like, beneath us, and he started improvising on the piano while he looked out the window. And this was what he played.