Mikael R Andreasen: Denmark's award-winning Nine Beats Collective man

Wednesday 1st November 2017

Tony Cummings quizzed Denmark's multi-talented MIKAEL R ANDREASEN aka KLOSTER

Continued from page 1

Tony: Do you do a lot of concerts?

Mikael: Yeah. I've just played at a folk festival in Denmark and I'm going up to Norway next week to perform as a solo act.

Tony: Do you play solo under your own name?

Mikael: Sometimes, and sometimes it's Kloster. I like the idea that things are not too obvious, to create this kind of mystery around it. Is it a solo band, an actual band, a collective of people? What is it?

Tony: How did you get involved with the Nine Beats Collective?

Mikael R Andreasen:  Denmark's award-winning Nine Beats
Collective man

Mikael: I received an email from Mark Scandrette, who's part of the project, in December 2015, asking me if I would be interested in joining with artists around the world to collaborate on creating a soundscape based on the Beatitudes. I had three months earlier released 'Half Dream, Half Epiphany', which I thought of as somehow a political album that questioned power and how we think of power. To do a concept album based on the Beatitudes seemed like a natural continuation from that, because the Beatitudes also question power and who or what we value in this world. It seemed like a natural next step.

Tony: Tell me about the song that you wrote for the project.

Mikael: I wrote two songs for the project. One is simply called "The Beatitudes", which contains the actual words of Jesus - 'Blessed are the poor in spirit', 'Blessed are those who mourn' and so on. I felt, even though this album is moving around and between these lines, we needed to have the actual words present on the album. So I wrote that. When Steve Bassett, who is the main creative force behind the project, was visiting me in Copenhagen and stayed in my apartment, I wrote that song in the other room, and he didn't know. The other song I wrote for the album, "Nine Beats To The Bar" - which turned out to be the album title - was not intended. Steve wrote me late in the process saying, 'We might be in need of another song for the album.' That was written in less than 15 minutes. Steve had provided us with some lyrics he had written that he might want on the album somehow, and I found a passage from those lyrics which I took out and added some lines of my own. Somehow that turned out to be the title track.

Tony: Can you explain the title "Nine Beats To The Bar"? It bemused a drummer friend of mine.

Mikael: I'm not responsible for that line, since it's Steve Bassett's. But nine beats - usually that would be eight beatitudes, then this closing line which sums it all up. It refers to that. But also, Mark Scandrette, who's one of the key thinkers behind the project, has been inspired by the fact that he didn't feel he had a good enough vocabulary to express his Christian faith. What does it mean when he has a Buddhist friend who can easily explain the eight-fold path and the noble truth and stuff like that and he as a Christian doesn't have something similar to that. So the nine beat line somehow is an attempt to create something similar. But I do understand that title can create some questioning. Some music people just say, 'It's NOT nine beats to the bar!' CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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