Let’s just start by saying that this music project has been unlike anything that either of us have ever undertaken before. So different from the typical songwriting process of sitting down with a guitar or at the piano and finding chords and melody and lyrics… 

Because this was for a music walk (for folks to listen to while walking along a particular path in the countryside in Denmark), the writing of this music was collaborative in new ways - a collaboration with the landscape itself, with the wooden figures along the path. 

It was almost too easy in some sense, like the job was first and foremost to simply listen and follow. In that way, the music seemed to just appear. One of us would hand over a piece we’d started over to the other, who simply seemed to “know” what to add. 

Very intuitive. And a pleasure to get to make music in this way.


Karoline Hausted: Vocals, piano, harp, keyboards, guitar, percussion
Mark Davis: Vocals, guitars, keyboards, sound design
Anne Eltard: Violin

Aksel Striim: Clarinet, recorder, flutes, cello
Søren Poulsen: Drums, percussion
Lovis Bechmann: Vocals
Jørgen Andersen: Vocals

Koret på Toppen / Choir: Susanne Anthony, Merete Randel, Bjarke S. Knudsen, Birgit Høst Secher, Liz Perriton, Lone Simonsen, Vivi Jepsen, Lone Lambertsen, Christine Neergaard-Holm, Jette M. Rasmussen, Anne Møller Jørgensen, Sine K. Baggesen, Helle Moesgaard, Flemming Alleslev, Karsten Zieger, Oksana Svyzyda 

Recorded by Karoline Hausted and Mark Davis
Mixed by Mark Davis

Assistant mixing: Kent Olsen
Mastered by John McCaig at panicStudios

1/ Tærskel/Threshold
 (Location: Edens Have)

We wanted the very start to be dramatic, matching the two large angel figures who “guard” the entrance to the path. First, Aksel’s large seljeflute (willowflute) serves as a ceremonial call, a voicing of the universe’s first breath, and then comes a swell of percussion. This serves as a kind of “big bang," a moment of creation, the start of the adventure, maybe slightly intimidating. Soon, it is followed by bells and softer sounds, reflecting the stars on the backs of the angel figures’ gowns.

The lyrical violin and rolling harp then signal the start of the walk, as we also venture into the garden itself, the plantlife and forest on the hill, perhaps childlike and full of wonder. The flute organ has its first entry here as we transition on, and will serve as a thread or voice going forward.

Aksel Striim: Willowflute 
Karoline Hausted: Keyboards, hang drum, harp 
Søren Poulsen: Drums, percussion
Anne Eltard: Violin

2/ Længsler/Longings (Location: Abrahams Hus)

As with many of the stations on this path, there were often several possible themes we could choose to focus on. Abraham’s House carried 1st an ecumenical theme, since he is considered the father of several religions, then there was Sara and her longing for a child, and (of course) Abraham being invited to sacrifice his own child… we felt like it was ancient and weighed with a feeling of human longing, so we landed there. Using a small vocal ensemble with intimate, individual voices was our way there. Karoline, Mark, Lovis Bechmann & Jørgen Andersen.

Karoline Hausted: Vocal, keyboards, glockenspiel
Mark Davis: Vocal 
Lovis Bechmann: Vocal
Jørgen Andersen: Vocal

3/ Gennem regnen/Through the Rain (Location: Noas Ark)

We can’t really say that this piece was “composed” in any straightforward sense. Our thoughts were: something primitive. Primal. Nature is an active presence.
We started with some sparse drum patterns.
There was an old guitar and ukulele sitting in the room. 
Karoline picked them up and we pressed record.
We added sounds of animals & weather.
We took a melody that already existed in one of the later pieces and foreshadowed it here in the clarinet line.
Aksel’s boneflute made of a swan wing was the icing on the cake.

Aksel Striim: Clarinet, boneflute
Karoline Hausted: Guitar, sound effects
Mark Davis: Keyboards, sound design

4/ Skovens Hjerte/Forest Heart (Location: Skovsporet)

We are entering a mythical forest here with a skip in the step. So, the percussion from the previous piece finds a hopping beat and calls us along into what may be a jungle, where we might be met by a friendly troll. One by one, other percussion voices jump in, soon joined by some playfully dancing strings.

Mark Davis: Keyboards, string arrangement 

Aksel Striim: Cello 

Anne Eltard: Violin 
Søren Poulsen: Drums, percussion

5/ Søjle af ild søjle af skyer/Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Clouds (Location: Exodus)

This was the first piece that was written for the trail, back when we were simply exploring the idea of it. The trail exits itself out of the forest into an open area called “Exodus,” quite fitting for a story about a people crossing a desert in hope of a new home. This is a slow, long walk - a pilgrimage - across a wilderness. Started with a slow drum pattern and two interweaving electric guitar lines as well as some sonic experimentation. As we were reading about Exodus, we were captured by the image of the pillars of fire and cloud as signs showing the people where to go, and soon a simple melody appeared, a sort of mantra for the long walk. We wanted many voices here, so the use of a choir made sense. 
One of the best parts was discovering how the track wanted to transform over the long walk, dissolving and changing shape a little at a time. One of the experimental sounds was a deep repeating guitar note which soon felt like it was something like “God’s footsteps” echoing or accompanying the human steps across the desert. From the ancient to the present, and from the many to the single one walking, from the mythical to the feet the ground.
Keep in mind that none of this was foreseen or planned beforehand, but rather discovered as we added or tried different elements.

Karoline Hausted: Keyboards, vocals 
Mark Davis: Vocals, guitars, keyboards, sound design
Aksel Striim: Cello
Anne Eltard: Violin
Koret På Toppen: choir

Lyrics: Tid, tid, tid. (Time, time, time). Lys, lys,, lys. (Light, light, light). Tid, tid, ørken af tid. (Time, time, desert of time). Lys, lys, stemmer af lys. (Light, light, voices of light.) En søjle af ild, en søjle af skyer. (A pillar of fire, a pillar of clouds.)  Shemoth! (Shemoth!)


6/ Reflektioner/Reflections (Location: Søen)

Here, we are moving from the ancient to the modern. One sits at the small lake and sees, probably hears, the nearby freeway. A pause to reflect, upon the lovely lake and hillside, upon mankind’s relationship with nature, maybe upon something more personal. Karoline wrote the piece with a winter picture of the lake at the piano, and was happy to find that it still “worked” in the non-winter months. Anne Eltard’s effected violin was just the right touch to add an extra mysterious dimension.

Karoline Hausted: Piano
Anne Eltard: Violin

7/ Nye spor/New Steps (Location: Engsporet)

A reprise of the opening harp and violin piece with a few changes - clarinet and flute lines, a wonderful ad-libbed violin solo from Anne. As the path goes here one can look up to the right and see Edens Have, where the journey began. As with the opening piece, the flute organ again serves as the transitioning voice into the following piece.

Karoline Hausted: Harp, glockenspiel, keyboards
Mark Davis: Keyboards
Anne Eltard: Violin
Aksel Striim: Clarinet, recorder
Søren Poulsen: Drums, percussion

8/ Stjerne!/Star!
 (Location: Road to Bethlehem)

A choir piece adorned by drums, an electric guitar, and a 12-string guitar. A funny story about how Karoline got the main melody for the piece: Mark was listening to some unknown music in his room, so Karoline could only vaguely hear the music coming through, overtones and whatnot. She found it interesting enough to record.  When she later sang it to Mark, they could not find any relation to what he had been listening to. The filter of the walls had changed it into something else…!

Søren Poulsen: Drums, percussion 

Mark Davis: Vocals, guitars 

Karoline Hausted: Keyboards, vocals, glockenspiel
Koret På Toppen: Choir

9/ Stemmer fra det fjerne/Voices From Beyond (Location: Bethlehem)

This location is similar to Abrahams Hus, a picnic shelter adorned with a wood sculpture at each pillar of the structure. Like Abrahams Hus, we decided to use the vocal ensemble again here. Likewise also, we were confronted with many different themes as we explored the many stories about David in Bethlehem, particularly with the other figures represented here: Bathsheba, Urias and King Solomon. We felt a weight of sadness, especially in relation to the women of these stories, yet wanted to keep the male presence there also. Where the Abraham's Hus piece was arranged and written out, this one was asking to be a more “felt” piece, so we laid down the harp and hang drum first. And then simply rolled the recording and had Karoline sing to the track. Later - one by one, we added the other three voices, having each respond spontaneously.
This tension within the human story, echoing from ancient stories, between men and women, within each of us, revealing itself in our relations with nature, was then made clear to become a theme from here and on to the figures of Adam and Eve up on the hill…

Karoline Hausted: Hang drum, harp, vocals
Mark Davis: Vocals 

Lovis Bechmann: Vocals
Jørgen Andersen: Vocals

10/ Vandringen op ad bakken/The Walk Uphill (Location: Folkesoven)

A melody and beat came to Mark one day while walking the trail. That idea itself would not be used, but it became the step into the music that the listener hears now. The piano chords were laid down based on the prior melody, along with several other ideas (of which only one other fragment survived, coming in at the very end of the final piece). As the chords were laid down, Karoline hurriedly asked for us to lay down a melody she was hearing, then quickly came the two other harmonies (later doubled by Lovis).
We knew we wanted “The Walk Uphill” to have a slow, spacious and minimal feeling to it, as a sort of journey for preparation of the final meeting up at the top, an “uphill” climb against the resistance one may feel when about to offer, or ask for, forgiveness. The folkeskoven is a recently planted forest (planted by local children), so the presence and sense of new hope or growth is essential here. There is a feeling of wonder and beauty in the piece - this is the essence of what our living is, we are reminded.
The last part of this piece is a soundscape of the human experience - a collection of recordings of local voices and sounds: a meeting, a playground, skateboard park, horses, footsteps… probably, the sound of the freeway nearby is also making itself heard… 

Mark Davis: Piano, keyboards, guitar, sound design
Karoline Hausted: Vocal, piano, field recordings, sound design 

Lovis Bechmann: Vocals 
Aksel Striim: Willowflute

11/ Indre nat, indre sol/Inner Night, Inner Sun
 (Location: Adam & Eva)

There are several striking things about the figures up at the top of the hill. Adam, with the child Cain, and Eva, with the child Abel, are dressed in modern clothes. Abel is wearing a baseball cap and has a skateboard under his arm. On the wooden table/altar near them, sits a laptop computer. Adam and Eva, and their respective child, are standing apart from each other, yet they are facing each other. Abel is not - but rather hides in Eva’s arms. Opposites represented. Hurts represented. A chance for healing represented. All echoing from the past until now.
These are the sort of things we had in mind when writing the last piece - we wanted the music to hold these questions and possibilities, give room for whatever else the listener brings or sees.
Aksel’s flute returns one octave higher - the choir sings a swooping note - the flute organ returns and holds the male and female voices answering each other- piano and strings and a final sung melody echoes themes from earlier into the open-ended closing of this musical journey, we hope, with a sense of beauty and wonder as a container for the whole of us.

Mark Davis: Vocals, sound design
Karoline Hausted: Vocals, sound design, piano, keyboards 
Aksel Striim: Clarinet, cello
Anne Eltard: Violin
Søren Poulsen: Drums, percussion 

Lovis Bechmann: Vocals
Jørgen Andersen: Vocals 

Koret på Toppen: Choir

12/ Tilbage til Haven - Voices & Traces (Full Music Walk)! 

All of the above / Track 1-11