River was composed in 2006/2007
There are many recordings of this song. This particular recording was done live, in the studio with Bjørn Tore Taranger on drums, and was originally, only meant for pre production.
But I like the character of live recordings. Especially in the early stages, when a song is so fresh that the musicians don’t really know it by memory, the attention to detail is in a different place, and the spontaneity comes out in a different way.
One of the great things about this project is that; I have great freedom to present songs in different settings and arrangements, and it is a vital part of this 5 year long album.
Sometimes I’ll choose an organic, simple live recording, where most of the arrangement is improvised, followed by a song with a dense orchestrated arrangement that took years to produce. Since most of the material has been worked on for years, I can now choose what I want. I am not restrained to songs only, but also which expression, setting, timbre I want to present.
Even though I always approach composition as an innovator, I’ve always found the process of making all these different approaches seamless, very interesting and meaningful. Simple against complex, authentic against surreal. The same goes for composition: dark against light, mellow against energetic and so on. I apply this on everything, from a 5 second intro, to the 5 year album that this will become.
In that spirit, I can say that «River» was arranged to take over for «Needle Take Me Home» The songs are hugely diffeent, from melody structure, to arrangement (and recording philosophy), but the ending of «Needle» was made so that «River» could come after. And this is the first time this have been acheived. «River» with it’s rough, and swinging backing, against «Needle»’s "asymmetrical meets architectural" lines.
It was important that «River» didn’t become a "pop song" so ironically, I spent more time finding a recording with the right atmosphere, than it would take to record it over, ten times.
WIth me on the session:
Bjørn Tore Kronen Taranger: Drums
Audun Havåg: Bass guitar