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Monday, March 31, 2008

New Bjorn Lynne CD: "Irish & Celtic Instrumentals"

Dear friends,

I'm very happy and excited to announce the release of my new CD, "Irish & Celtic Instrumentals", today. The CD features 12 tracks of Irish & Celtic tracks that I have arranged, produced and recorded with a little help from some musician friends.

The origins of this CD goes back to the late summer of 2007 when I was lucky enough to spend some quality time along the southern shores of Ireland, a truly beautiful and inspiring place. I came back to my home in Norway full of ideas and inspiration, and I set to work on producing this collection of traditional Irish/Celtic music, arranged produced in the way that I would want these tracks to sound like. :-)

It's not the first time I've used Irish & Celtic influences in my music of course. Many of my previous albums, such as "Witchwood", "Return to Witchwood", "Wolves of the Gods", and others all feature more or less obvious Celtic influences here and there. So for me it felt right to do a sort of "homeage" to some traditional Celtic / Irish music, recorded and produced with "The Bjørn Lynne sound".

When I started working on this project, I decided early on that there would be no shortcuts, no easy outs. No "half-arsed" solutions using a computer plug-in when I could be using the real live instrument etc. So as it ended up, this album is actually my most "acoustic" album ever. There isn't a single "electronic" sound on the entire CD which, I guess, is pretty weird since I started my carreer very much as what I would call an "electronic music composer".

I still very much love electronic music and I will definitely return once more to my electronic music heartland for my next album release. But I have to say, for this album, that it really did pay off to use all live instruments and leave all electronics out of this project. When the temptation was to just use a plug-in and get it done quickly and cheaply, I thought, no, not this time. No shortcuts! The real thing, or nothing. :-)

I don't mean to suggest that no computer was used for producing this album because, as always, I used Cakewalk SONAR Studio Edition v6 to produce this music and everything was recorded directly to hard disk in 24-bit 48-khz. I also used some samples, including "spoons", some drums, Irish Bodhran and electric piano. What I meant to say is that there are no real electronic sounds (synth sounds) used on this album.

Besides various acoustic type samples, I myself played guitars (acoustic & electric), piano (acoustic & electric), tambourine, shakers, djembe drums, and sang live various "vocal pads" (not sung words or lyrics, only "ahh" style vocal instrumentation). My friend Steinar Borvik played various flutes (Irish flute, penny whistle, tin whistle, orchestral flute, recorder), Nicolae Bogdan played live accordion and violin and Jeremy Sherman played dobro and slide guitar.

When it was time to put together the final CD master of this album, I got the idea to include -- as a bonus -- an "underscore version" of each track. An "underscore version" is simply a version where the main/lead instruments are removed, leaving only the background music. This can be an interesting thing to listen to in it's own right. Once you remove the main/lead instruments from a piece of music, you're left with a whole new perspective on the music -- in fact, a whole new "insight" into how it was all put together. So these bonus tracks were included especially for those of you who would like to hear these tracks "from another angle", and get a little glimpse of what goes on "under the lid" of each track. So, tracks 1-12 are the actual main tracks on the CD; whereas tracks 13-24 are all the same tracks again, without the lead instruments. This pressed the CD right up to the very technical limit of how much music you can put on a CD -- about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

CD track listing:
    1. Lovely Leitrim
    2. The Bonny Boy
    3. Scarborough Fair
    4. The Jolly Beggar
    5. Danny Boy
    6. The Rose of Tralee
    7. Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore
    8. Whiskey in the Jar
    9. In Dublin's Fair City (aka Cockles and Mussels)
    10. Amazing Grace
    11. The Riddle Song
    12. Greensleeves
13-24: All tracks again, underscore versions.

You can hear about the first 1 1/2 minutes of each track, on the official page for this CD: Irish & Celtic Instrumentals.

I truly hope many of you will enjoy this CD. You can buy the album now either as a physical CD from my own personal CD shop , or from CDBaby, or you can buy it as a download (320-kbps MP3 files, with high-res cover artwork files included for printing your own cover), from my own personal download-shop.

To encourage you to order this CD early, I will personally autograph - in Gold ink - all copies of this CD ordered from my own personal CD-shop, in the first two weeks of release (that means, within April 15, 2007).

The album will also soon be avaiable from iTunes, and many other music download shops. (Takes a few weeks to make it up on those sites).

One last note... the photos in the CD-cover are from my own trip to Ireland; although the actual photos were taken by my friend Kent Fonager -- he had a better camera than me. Kent is one of the guys whom I visited these places with.

Thanks for reading!

- Bjørn Lynne, March 31, 2008

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