Looking For Saviours In A World Full Of Fake Messiahs.

Hordes upon hordes flocked towards _____x_____ in the hope of salvation.

Abiding by whatever words bowing down into praise. Enthusiasm and faith filled the masses so eager and hungry to believe that here lay the answer to all of their misfortune.

Rage, unhinged gripped them if any critical voice questioned their dedication to the new doctrine, for nothing that was being said by ____x____ could be untrue or misleading.

High on hope they flocked to __x___ exalted into euphoria by any words spoken, yet they came back home to what they abhorred and shackles and chains that were only tightening.

One by one they started suffering longterm after ideological application, with a shrine in their homes brightly gleaming, vacant and alone.

Those words so well spoken now turned into rot gnawing at their faltering expectations.

Some kept believing while others now started to doubt, but rather than acknowledging what their presence had created they turned against ____x____ since this Messiah was just another one made of stone.

One would think that wisdom would gain ground after a disappointment such as this, but no, it didn’t take long before ___x___ came along and the people resounded with the same old song.

 

Finally some sponsored YouTube content! Find out how you can do the same!

So this morning I woke up to the beautiful sight of my account looking like this:

sponsorship notification

This is how it looks like when you have made an approved sponsored video! It will show up in your content section and automatically become part of your “commercial-cv.”

If you want to know more about the site and my experience so far then make sure that you join my LIVE stream on Patreon for only 1$ on the 28th this month! I do minimum two update videos every month and have turned these into live streams in 2019 which means that not only will you get all sorts of tips and advice relevant to being an indie-musician you can also ask me questions and interact with me!

Obviously I’m very excited about my first sponsored content and I hope that I will get hired to make many more videos in the future! I’ve only contacted brands that are related to interests that I’ve expressed on my social media, which is an important detail when it comes to sponsored content! You have to aim for products that genuinely interests you or that you think that your fans/followers will have an interest in!

Whenever you create a video that features sponsored content you are obliged by law to notify the viewer, which means that none of the videos that I’ve made in the past for brands were sponsored! The standard for a video with 100.000 views on YouTube is 10.000$ for a featured product. That’s quite something to find out, especially when you are creating content that is in perpetuity, which obviously is the case whenever an artist makes a music video!

I wish that there was an organisation for independent musicians that could notify creatives of these things! As it is you just have to find out things on your own which means that you’ll miss out on financial opportunities!

The secretive nature of musicians also makes it difficult to “unionise” if you get what I’m trying to say. When I was offered to do my very 1st clinic some years back I tried to shop around and ask musicians who only do clinics what an average rate might be. Nobody wanted to help me with this so I was never able to figure out what a standard industry rate might look like. Likewise; when I was ill and injured I couldn’t find any averages for injuries or an estimated retirement age which meant that I had to resort to online forums which is not representative due to limited sample sizes! 

The music industry is so murky that it leaves a lot of people fumbling in the darkness when it comes to: technique, health & money! 

I think most aspiring musicians will have come across people who play amazing licks and runs only to receive a note with a scale written on it if asking about said lick!

I took lessons with a very difficult (but well-respected) guitar teacher some years back who waited until my hand was hurting so much that I had to take a break before he shared health-related knowledge with me. He literally waited until I could have gotten injured. That is not acceptable tutoring. Nor is it acceptable to shower students in sarcasm which I guess is common with miserable musicians. Envy is apparently rampant in this business which is not a good thing.

The secrecy that guitar players shroud themselves in is ridiculous as well since it only makes it harder for musicians as a demographic. The general atomised culture makes it easier to take advantage of performers or creative artists in show biz!

If you are looking for a mentor or a teacher who doesn’t hold anything back then you should get in touch with me! Not only do I customise my music lessons to fit whatever individual needs, I also share my knowledge. Obviously I don’t do this for free! In order to have a one-hour customised private lesson with me over SKYPE or in person you’ll have to pay 30GBP, I will also expect that I’m mentioned or thanked if I aid you when it comes to your recordings, etc; It is a bit silly to seek out expertise only to pretend that you came up with everything on your own afterwards!

I always give credit to Ramon Ortiz even though I didn’t take that many lessons with him, because he had a great influence on my heavy metal guitar playing. I also mention Steve Smyth even though I only had one masterclass with him. He is a great teacher and if anything, he  boosted my confidence as a player before I recorded my Evolution EP!

And of course I always thank my mother Elisabeth who taught me how to sing opera by using the bel canto technique, not to forget that she is also my manager!

Letting people know that you appreciate their help and support by giving them credit or by officially thanking them should become more commonplace in showbiz!

There is always a generation of musicians coming after you and it is the duty of those who are more experienced to pass their knowledge on, especially if you know how to sing or play classical music.

This is part of our irreplaceable European heritage and it can never be allowed to get lost!

Christians in Pop-Music, Homelessness in Finland & Fake News.

After I had written a blog post about Homelessness in England I received a very interesting article in the mail about how they have tackled homelessness in Finland. Some of these methods are now being tried out over here which is a good thing! I hope that it will work!

Here is an article that I came across about the increase in Christians in pop-music! Considering how Christianity is consistently ridiculed it is quite staggering to see how many major pop and rock artists considers themselves to be of the faith! I found this to be a very uplifting read indeed! Christianity in show-biz.

I’ve taken a break from reading the news but decided to feature these two articles since they have a positive vibe to them.

The issue at the heart of the negative news-cycle is money I’m sure. I saw a TED talk with Monica Lewinsky a while back where she said that she was one of the very first internet shaming victims. She claimed that everyone threw her under the bus in the name of “click-bait-articles” without any concern for her wellbeing or her future. It was a very interesting speech that I would highly recommend. Her parents were apparently on “suicide watch” since they were so worried about how she would handle all of the negative attention. She couldn’t get hired anywhere either.

You need stories that can sell regardless of whether or not this increases tension and even create conflict. Bad news & scandals sell, and if something sells then people who are “clever” tend to promote this for all that it is worth regardless of what the cultural impact might be or how many lives that are utterly destroyed.

I’m sure that this is one of the reasons as to why there is such an abundance of “fake news.”

How To Do Self-Help Right….

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”            Alice in Wonderland

Do you guys love Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? I love the creativity of the Disney cartoon version, the strange characters, the bizarre story line, etc;

The quote taken from the movie is very suitable for this blog for several different reasons.

What do you do when certain topics trend on your site?

“Oh, you just create more content along those lines” would probably be the obvious answer. Yet when it comes to self-help I’m slightly torn.

I’ve realised that the best self-help that I’ve come across is: prayer, reading The Bible and going to church.

I now look forward to my Sundays when I turn off my gadgets and spend time with my youngest brother building our awesome fortress in Minecraft or attempting to re-create our awesomeness in the real-world via Lego. Just to mention one example.

Yet reviews that I’ve written about self-help books keeps on trending on my site and I’m wondering how to best feed that demand.

IMG_4114

Mental training really helped me when it came to dealing with stage-fright specifically. I found it difficult to deal with expectations and denial coming from others when it came to my own talents.

Even though I’m way beyond the technical level of my heavy metal recordings these days thanks to my classical work, I had to deal with people who did not think that I was the one playing the guitar on my own heavy metal recordings when I first started out.

Dealing with this doubt from industry people and knowing that there were those who showed up at my concerts only to see and check whether or not I actually knew how to hold a guitar was very difficult.

As my fingers became faster and faster turning me into a guitar virtuoso the expectations just kept on increasing.

Due to this it was a Godsend that my manager had heard about mental training due to her own interest in sports.

We started applying this to my practise routine and it improved my own experience of playing live dramatically.

The self-help industry though isn’t necessarily geared towards that.

It promises to enhance all aspects of your life, but if you’ve ever read a Bible you’ll probably recognise that a lot of what it is trying to address are issues that religion already has.

You’re not really praying to something outside of yourself though, it is all very much internalised, and this can quite easily evoke a feeling of emptiness.

An alternative doctor who is a good friend of the family revealed to me that it is possible to meditate oneself into a “psychosis” and that excessive meditation might lead to “depression.“

Nobody had ever told me that, nor had I read about this.

I don’t think it will ever harm you to direct your love outwards towards other people or God, but I can in part understand why meditation might lead you down dark alleyways.

Another reason as to why I now feel a bit odd about self-help is that there is no “one-size-fits-all!” So the best way to deal with self-empowerment would be to customise it! 

Just like we zoomed in and used mental training for a specific purpose customising this training according to my individual needs, well so do you have to do!

What are you looking to improve and why?

Likewise there are a gazillion different churches with their own worship style and also individuals who considers themselves non-denominational.

The way that I deal with my Bible reading and my prayers will probably differ from how you or anyone else would go about it and apply it to daily life. 🙂

All I can do is to share my own story in the hope that maybe some of it can be applicable, but a great deal of it probably won’t which is why I find books like this: “Seeing What Others Don’t” by Gary Klein – My reaction to Chapter One & a bit of Chapter Two., very suspect.

I’m working my way through the book and still haven’t seen examples being used that can be applied to non-creatives! The majority of the people featured are still scientists with a curious and investigative disposition!

So keep that in mind when the self-help industry promises to dramatically alter not only you but also the outcome of your life. ❤

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“The Prose Edda“ by Snorri Sturluson.

I’m short of words to describe my gratitude towards all of those people who’ve tirelessly worked to keep our Viking heritage alive.

It is no easy feat considering that what Snorri immortalised in writing were oral traditions. Much have been lost of what once was, but we are lucky and genuinely enriched thanks to individuals like himself.

“The Prose Edda“ is the ultimate guide to Norse mythology and should therefore be mandatory reading for anyone of Scandinavian descent.

I borrowed this classic from my brother who has great taste in books.

When holding it in my hands I feel like I’m looking at a most valuable treasure; I feel humbled, small, grateful, awed, honoured, that this piece of irreplaceable history has found its way to me: an ethnic-Norwegian in 2018.

It’s a flame kept alive against all odds, an echo from a past long gone, but an echo nonetheless that will refuse to die if people of the North keep it close and don’t forget.

It is evidence of the hardships of our ancestors and their battle for survival in a merciless environment.

It is a text that reveal to us who we are and what we come from.

I have to admit that I could not find the much-advertised gender-egalitarianism; it is said that the male and female Gods are to be equally respected, but the male Gods each get an individual description, whereas the female Gods are all lumped into the same category and are clearly representatives of the feminine with their own distinct roles.

When Loki decides to be mean to a Goddess, he misbehaves by shaving off all of her hair, much to the rage of Thor. The transgression is paid for when Loki get the Dwarfs to create magical hair made out of pure gold to the offended party.

Much warfare and toxic-masculinity behaviour is described. The greatest companion to a male God is his battle weapon, for knowledge he might sacrifice an eye or in the name of bravery a hand, a female God on the other hand has to wander the earth in search of her husband, as if thought losing ones man is the greatest loss and sacrifice to a female deity.

The gods are shapeshifters in Norse mythology. They can become anything, and Odin, the  superior chieftain, sees everything like a living embodiment of the CIA, NSA, GCHQ, MI6, MI5 & Google, all assembled into one single, autonomous, being.

The one-eyed God, who sees all.

Much will be recognised from Tolkien when reading through the work such as the names of Dwarfs, a character named Frodi, a cursed ring that brings misfortune upon anyone in possession of it & elves.

The most glorious fate is to die in battle gaining access to Valhalla, a feast hall for warriors who drink ale and fight each other every single day in preparation for the apocalypse, where the Gods will fight and die before the celestial system is born anew and the cycle repeats.

A less glorious fate awaits those who die a natural death of age and disease, going down into the underworld to a stark, formless existence reminiscent of the Greek underworld.

Ancient Greek Myths – The Universe, The Gods, And Mortals told by Jean-Pierre Vernant.

Heimdal (the white god) guards the Bifrost bridge connecting Middle Earth to the realm of the Gods. The rainbow bridge will break with the start of the apocalypse.

Optical illusions are a staple of the gods who dabble in mysticism and magic.

Slaves are mentioned, sacrifice is mentioned in passing without going into any detail, and a whole bunch of intricate old-Norse names are listed in order to immortalise family trees, reminiscent of The Old Testament. 

Those who are wise sit, while those who ask questions and inquire stand. Sitting down is a mark of authority. Another interesting detail to note.

“The Prose Edda“ offers irreplaceable insight into the past of Scandinavia, a sacred knowledge besieged by time and other competing world views.

In order to protect it and pass it on the smartest move would be to memorize it all, so that an oral tradition can keep the words alive when technology fails and we are back to square one.

Creation Myths From The Whole World.

How To Help Out!

I’ve never been a huge fan of artists using charity as a marketing tool or as a way to make themselves look nice; yet it is a positive thing if you can inspire your followers to get more active with their own local communities! 

Tomorrow I’ll be helping out again by doing a fundraiser for a local village hall! This is the best way that I can help as an artist so I hope that the event will be well attended!

This is the poster for the concert:

poster village hall

Now follows an entry that I wrote a while back about getting involved if you want to help out but isn’t quite sure how to go about it! 

A major difference between living in a major city vs. country living is that “life” is more “valuable” in a territory where humans are scarce! An interesting and spooky detail to note! Whenever you run into someone in a village you establish eye-contact and greet one another; in addition you have interactions that are based on trust.

If you then go into town and see some of those characters that live in the same desolate territory as yourself you’ll notice that they just blend into the town landscape together with all the other people, creating the impression of a big, unidentifiable, mass. It is even worse in big cities where you walk down a crowded street without ever establishing eye-contact with anyone and where everyone is consumed with their own things.

Last time I was staying at a hotel due to work I thought of it as comical when I passed a young woman in the corridor who just walked past me all glassy-eyed without even looking at me; “how rude” I thought to myself, “she didn’t even say hi.”

Yet it has become the standard that there are thousands of parallel paths that never cross one another as everyone goes about their business.

I’ve been guilty of this myself, because this has become the default setting of human beings in our part of the world.

You can get out of this habit if you move into an area where human capital is a rarity. 

To give you an example of how detached humans have become I offer this tiny story that I’ve never shared with anyone before: 

Some years back when I was travelling with Craig Ogden (my classical-guitarist-partner-in-crime)  I saw a young, female, drug addict, who was stumbling around in the main pedestrian street of Oslo. 

Out of all of the people who were walking down this street, nobody noticed this woman who was clearly in distress. 

She nearly got hit by a car and was clearly a danger to herself.

She was in need of urgent care.

So what do you do in a situation like that? 

First we walked behind her like two baby-sitters watching over a self-destructive toddler…. 

This was obviously not something that could go on indefinitely since we had a plane to catch, nevertheless we “stalked” this young lady to ensure that she didn’t succeed in her suicide mission. 

Second we had to find someone else who could take over since we weren’t going to be there forever, so we started inquiring around asking various security personnel outside some of the shops if they could call an ambulance or some sort of authority figure. 

Some of the people working inside the shops were less enthusiastic; they displayed no empathy at all, and brushed it aside, since “there is a lot of that around here.” Among the other pedestrians there were a couple of people who walked up to the woman and asked her how she was doing, which was very superficial. She was not doing ok at all. Yet once she feigned that she was alright, clearly drugged and/or intoxicated, the individual who had asked if she was ok just walked on. This was just a polite, little hick up in their autopilot, the concern did not seem genuine nor heartfelt. Just superficial politeness.  There was one furious man who came thundering over to the security personnel we were dealing with demanding that they do something to save the life of the woman wandering about. 

One man and us.

In the end I have no idea what happened to her since we had to leave, but it was an interesting experience to observe the general indifference, and the helplessness of the security people who seemed confused and clueless about how to deal with our concern. It was obvious that they struggled to think outside of their own personal pattern and mission statement. They were there to look for shoplifters, not to call an ambulance or the police to take charge of a drug-abuser. They didn’t know how to handle something that was outside of their own perimeter and framework. 

As far as “the people” was concerned they simply did not see her. 

This can explain how little kids can drown in overcrowded pools. People are locked into their own activities to such an extent that a child can drown behind them or a young woman die of an overdose right next to them. 

If more people had valued “life” that day they would have noticed the self-destructive woman stumbling amongst them; several people would have taken action and she would have received medical attention.

So what do you do if you notice an issue and you want to contribute?

Here are a few examples:

  1. A while back I wrote about the “crumbling state of affairs” regarding England’s places of worship. I pasted in links to some churches that were in desperate need of repair work and wrote about the importance of England’s irreplaceable heritage. First I shared my knowledge of the problem since I did not have the ability to sort out the issue myself. I wrote about it several times actually. Then I decided that the best thing that I could do was to do a fundraiser concert in order to raise funds for my local church. Not knowing whether or not it would be a success I did it anyway and was very happy to see the turnout! We raised the money that we wanted and I could say that my initiative had been a success since the goal had been fulfilled!
  2. During the crisis of Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Jose I was asked by a follower if I could shred a riff for my American followers. This gave me the idea that I could help out by writing a song specifically for the victims of the extreme weather, while posting links in the description area of my video to organisations looking for donors to facilitate their volunteer work in disaster areas. I don’t know how successful this venture was, but I thought it was a good idea and helped in the way that artists can help, by using their talents and gifts for a purpose.
  3. After attending a shocking lecture about persecuted Christians around the world I shared the information that I was handed out on my blog. I urged my followers to check out the organisation working to help Christians who are imprisoned, maimed, alienated or impoverished due to their Christian faith. This organisation obviously look for donors and money like all other charitable organisations, so I was wondering how I could be of any use. That’s when I realised that there was one thing that I could do which was to write cards to persecuted individuals. It broke my heart when I wrote individual letters to an entire family over in Asia and then saw that their names had been taken off the website of the charity since I assumed that maybe they had been killed off or imprisoned as well, which was what had happened to the father in the family. I have no idea what happened to my letters, but I hope that it brought some light to the recipients. A little ray of hope in a dark and cold world. Once again I resorted to using my artistic skills in making custom-made, hand-made cards.
  4. I decided to get involved with my local “Village Show” since I know that they are always looking for people. I took it upon myself to do online PR which was a challenge since you need people to spread the word in order to get the social-media snowball rolling. There simply weren’t enough people who signed up for the Facebook page and out of those who did there were only a few who ever interacted with the content that I put out there. I did however write a little promotional text for the event which was printed in the local news-letter, I made a hand-made drawing for one of the promo leaflets as well and volunteered on the day of the show by working in the children’s tent. I also helped with putting up the various marquees before the event. Even though I contributed a little it was obvious that it was appreciated since every helping hand counts when arranging a “Village Fair,” when thinking about all of the people who turned up it is quite astonishing what a small group of volunteers can accomplish. The various stalls and the show looked great.
  5. MicroPlastics is something that I’ve been writing about here on my blog and something that I’ve singed petitions about as well. I sent some emails to local representatives asking about our water but received no reply which is the standard when it comes to these type of things. I championed using biodegradable cutlery, cups and plates at the local “Village Show,” and was happy to see that biodegradable straws were present in the bar at the show, at least. Yet it can be difficult to know how to go about an “eco-issue” as you don’t want to come across as an annoying eco-warrior, in addition you also need manpower if you are to exert any political influence. The good news is that petitions have been flying left-right-and-centre to such an extent online that it has resulted in  governments across Europe taking the issue seriously due to citizen pressure. The quality of our environment is such a pressing and serious concern regardless of race, ideology or location, yet it is one where organisation is needed, with the exception of minding one’s own garbage and/ or picking up the trash after others.

These are just some examples of small things that can be done! It is possible to volunteer one’s time and/or create specific objects/things in the name of charity! When I was going to throw away some old clothes I put them all in a “clothes bank” so that others could get them. If more people engage with their local communities we will gradually create a much better and friendlier world, and I much rather experience that than the coldness that has become so prevalent, in a detached, atomised, modernised, reality!