Dec 28 2015 1:53 PM
'Transatlantic' live at TV Nordsjælland
Nov 17 2015 9:37 AM
'Tesla' in the media

Photo: Bernard Covic

'Tesla' has been out for two weeks now, and I'm very happy with the feedback I've got.
The reviews are mixed to positive, which is more than I expected. There's not a lot of call for conceptual progressive music these days.

For me, one review stands out. Sunday nov. 15th croatian newspaper Vecernji List dedicated the whole of page 35 to my album.
I'm very honored, allthough I don't understand it since it's in croatian.

But with the help of Google Translate, here it is:

Fascination with Nikola Tesla is not uncommon. In many places you will find some sign that celebrates him, where he lived and worked, there is a monument even in Azerbaijan, or wherever it simply suits.
But yes, even in Denmark there are absolute fans who consider our
scientist as something like Elvis, and we didn't expect that at all.

And there are!
And not only that, they also sing songs about
Tesla, they are making serious plans.
Stefan Holm, a physics teacher at the Gribskov school in the Danish town of Helsinge,
whose parents are from the Faroe Islands, is engaged in music. Okay, that's nothing out of the ordinary. Only that he with help a dozen other musicians have been working on an album on which songs are based on the life and works of Nikola Tesla.

- I have two major interests in life, music and science. I love stories about the women and
men who changed our world through discoveries and inventions. The story of how electricity went from a natural and mysterious phenomenon to the modern world with computers and power plants of today is an extremely fascinating Story. Nikola Tesla is at the very heart of it, Stefan tells us, who already made an album a few years ago called Anyway, which has songs about inventions and discoveries on it.
- I made
a song about Thomas Edison and another about Marie Curie. I wanted to include a song about Tesla, but I felt that the story of Tesla cannot be told through just one song. And that's why I made this album which is dedicated only to him, explains the Danish teacher for whom music is the logical choice for talking such incredible stories as this one about Tesla. The more and longer Stefan taught about Tesla, the more he was convinced that he had to make a music album about him.
- I am a composer, not a painter or director.
I've made six albums so far, so I just feel natural with music. Maybe a book would tell the story better, but there are already so many good books about Tesla, and I'm not even a writer, he confides in us and reveals who Tesla actually was for him.
– An enigma! Although I tried to understand him as a person, I still don't know
who he really was. Apart from the fact that he was brilliant and had many talents, on the other hand he was also very eccentric. He had some really strange habits, it seems to me that he was also very complicated, says Stefan.

Of course, singing a song about someone like Tesla is not easy.
- The most difficult thing for me was writing the lyrics
. For the songs about Tesla, I read a lot of his biographies, especially his autobiography. Then I made a list of things that I thought were important. For example, I wrote lyrics about crossing the Atlantic Ocean. And I tried to find some of his quotes which I could weave into the verses. But it could be regarded as one lyric divided into nine -  as many songs as there are on the album.
A piece of empty sky deals with Tesla's final moments, where he reflects on the tremendous influence he had on the engineers of that era, as if they had lost their father.
Macak the Cat about about a cat that was little Tesla's favorite housemate. Transatlantic is about Tesla's departure to America and attempts to restore the signal back at home.
Voltage Control is an instrumental piece played on old synthesizers that use voltage to control the pitch of the oscillators. The highlight, the end of the performance, is performed on Tesla coils.
Contraptions for pigeons is a composition dedicated to Tesla's later days when he mostly hung out with pigeons. That's what he allegedly did and the contraption he used to heal one of his injured pigeons. And so in order, piece by piece, we got the world's first Nikola Tesla album that doesn't even sound that bad.

But that's not all.
Stefan Holm, whose stage name is Ste van Holm, wishes on the occasion of the 160th anniversary of the birth of Nikola Tesla in to do a concert in Tesla's native Smiljan where he would play songs from his album about the great to a scientist.

- I have no personal contacts, but the bassist I work with used to live in Zagreb, so I know that he communicates with different people in Croatia. I would very much like to to play in Tesla's native country and it is really a big dream of mine to stage a concert in Smiljan with Tesla coils and other devices that we would play along with normal instruments. Let us know if there is a promoter in Croatia, let's do it!, says Ste van Holm and points out that he hears that the museum in Tesla's birthplace, are very honored that someone made a music album about it, and that they would like the concert to happen.

But it won't be easy, a lot of things have to come together for probably the most unusual concert in Croatia to happen, Stefan is aware, but Smiljan's support is there, if someone else appears, we will listen to Tesla's songs and in Croatia. When there is already a car that only increased Tesla's fame, we also remember heavy metal band of his name, somehow we think that the music only completes the experience of Nikola Tesla, the world's most mysterious scientist.

Thank you Croatia! I hope I'll see you soon!

Nov 04 2015 6:53 PM
Electrical Storm
Oct 25 2015 7:32 PM
'TESLA' track by track

portrait by Nathan Photography

In less than two weeks, my 6th album 'Tesla' will be released. Here's a few words about the tracks:

St. Elmo's Fire
St. Elmo's Fire is an electrical atmospheric phenomena closely related to thunderstorms. For centuries it has been regarded as harbingers by sailers, and I thought it would be nice to have a short instrumental piece that omen the album.

Electrical Storm
According to the legend, on the night Nikola Tesla was born, the Lika province was tormented by a severe thunderstorm. I don't know if it's true, but it is certainly a good story. The songs I have heard about child births have all been beautiful and lullaby-ish. Now, I have witnessed both thunderstorms and a births, and neither of them have been particularly calm. Hence this, for my standard, rather violent song.

Macak the cat
During my reserch I stumbled upon a letter Tesla had written describing his childhood and his affection for the family's cat. He writes in details about how the cat sparked his interest for electricity.
Ten years ago I bought a Chapman Stick, but apart from using it on my Constructions album, it has mainly been collecting dust. Then Jesper the bass player and I went to see Tony Levin perform live. We were standing very close to the stage, and I could see what Mr. Levin's fingers were doing. The next morning I wrote this little piece on the Stick.

This is probably the most accesible track on the album. It is a pop rock song that could easily have been included on my previous album, Harvest, had it been written at that time. It is about Tesla's departure from Europe and his later attempts to send signals back across the ocean. The guitar solo is played by Emil, who was guitar tech at my Harvest premiere concert.

Voltage Control
This instrumental piece is in fact a word play. One of the ways to operate old analogue synthesizers, was to use control voltage or CV. You also had voltage controlled oscillators or VCOs. I thought these concepts worked fine on an album about Tesla.
There's a lot of synthesizer on this track. Even the guitar solo is a synth.
The closing melody was played on a Tesla Coil.

Nikola Tesla had a way of visualizing things. In his memoirs there are some quite precise descriptions of the visions he had just before he fell asleep and those he had while being awake. At the end of the song there's a sample of New York artist Carol Steen explaining the phenomenon. I found the clip on youtube and wrote her an email to ask permission to use it. She was very kind, and mailed me a description of what she saw when she heard the track.

Contraptions for pigeons
There's this really bizarre story, that Tesla in his autumn years became emotional with doves. Especially one, white dove. When this dove had an injury, Tesla had some kind of contraption made to help it recover. This story fascinated me, and I wondered if this brilliant mind of his were only brilliant as long as he had the mental power to control it.

Back in the seventies it was fairly common for bands to write what is referred to today as a 'one side epic'. A lenghty composition taking up a whole side of an Lp. There are many examples such as Pink Floyd's Echoes, Genesis' Supper's Ready and more or less everything by Mike Oldfield. They died out during the eighties, but I've always loved them and I've always wanted to do one myself. Oscillations is my one side epic, and it consist of many different themes making up a whole.
Lyrically it a bit of a mess, jump cutting between the war on currents and Tesla's later reserch at Colorado Springs and Wardenclyffe.

A piece of empty sky
This was the first song to be written for the Tesla album. It is a poetic song about Teslas final moments and what he left behind. The middle part is mellotronic ambience symbolizing the void he left. Laurie Anderson has described the death of her father, as a library burning down. I felt the same when my grandfather died, and I imagine that Tesla had that impact on engineers.

Sep 30 2015 10:07 AM
'TESLA' the new album

Hi there!

I'm very pleased to announce that my sixth album, 'Tesla' is set for release on november 6th!
'Tesla' is a concept album, a sonic biography telling the story of Nikola Tesla from birth to death.

St. Elmo's Fire
Electrical Storm
Macak the Cat
Voltage Control
Contraptions for Pigeons
A Piece of Empty Sky

Apr 24 2015 7:08 PM
The SubKick microphone
About a year ago I posted some pictures of Minella and Tanja doing vocals and Jesper playing bass in my studio. But after that I must admit I turned quiet.
I am working on a new album, and my initial plan was, that it would be due for release this may. However, it has taken longer than I thought it would, and I am nowhere near completion.

Emil doing a solo back in october.

The sessions are far apart I'm afraid. The last one was in january where Anders did some vocals for one of the songs. The one before that was in october where Emil did some guitar solos. I'm not rushing it, as you might have guessed.

Anders doing vocals in january.

All the writing of the new album is done, but I have kept myself busy doing other things.
One of the things I've done was the construction of a subkick microphone for drummer David Jeppesen. As sound engineer one of the harder things is to capture the round, fat, bassy sound of the kick drum. This has something to do with wavelenght of the kick and the physical size of the microphone membrane. By increasing the size of the membrane, the recording becomes easier. For the larger membrane I used a 8 1/2" subwoofer speaker and mounted it in a 10" tam drum. To suit Davids liking, it was given an orange coating by some friends at Skiltecenter #1 in Elsinore.

The various parts.

The microphone now resides in David's basement, and we'll definitely use it when we're going to record the drums for the new album.

David with the finished subkick microphone.

Mar 01 2015 9:14 PM
Three first albums once again available


After a couple of months absence, my first three albums ('Odyssey', 'Tabula Rasa' and 'Constructions') are once again available on digital platforms.
Same versions as before, but now with digital booklets... and a few Odyssey outtakes...

Jan 02 2015 10:02 PM
The fun part

The mantra of progressive rock seems to be "If in doubt, use more Mellotron", a statement which fits my forthcoming album well. All my albums, with the exception of 'Harvest', have contained mellotronic sounds, but none of them as prominent as the new one.

Eventhough I had a lot of visitors in the studio in 2014, I'm only getting to the really fun part now, as the final recordings will commence. For me it is magical when the 'real' musicians add their part, replacing the sequencer tracks and the music finally reveals its true self.

I'm aiming for a may release, but nothing is set in stone.

So, what is it? It is an hour long concept piece in eight parts. The longest part lasting over twenty minutes... Urk!