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!