MOMENTUM – The Story
The story began as a 2-piece project in 2006. Espen Mikarlsen and Gilbert Marshall one day started loosely jamming an idea for a song in our studio – Progstock Studio – and this should later turn into our first song “Naked”.
Being family men and also Gilbert being quite busy working with the band Magic Pie, the progress was quite slow during the first couple of years. It changed when we started to get hold of several singers and musicians for the project, and also got hold of a solid rhythm section adding drums and bass. We intensified arranging, re-arranging and editing, and recording various guitars, keyboards and drums during 2009 and 2010.
Demo Vocal recordings were done from early on by Gilbert Marshall singing absolutely non- or semi-understandable gibberish spur-of-the-moment lyrics, establishing melodies and gaining new ideas for vocal arrangements. The most of these silly vocal tweaks indeed became parts or building blocks of lyrics and musical arrangements.…We laugh a lot listening to the earliest recordings…
Then disaster struck in marts 2010; The whole “art-barn” where our studio were located, burned down to the ground along with all our equipment, and all the hundreds and hundreds of man-hours of labor to establish the studio as a workplace, were completely obliterated in a few hours. During the rest of 2010 and most of 2011, activity seized to a complete hold because of problems related to the fire and the loss.
Slowly during the end of 2011 and into 2012, spirits started rising again, and all the bass parts, further guitar and keyboard parts were being added, along with editing and the previous recordings and arrangements. At this point the existing rough lyrics sketches also were picked up, scrutinized and during the first half of 2012, written mostly into their present form, though with the last lyrics written as late as 2015/2016.
Unfortunately in spring 2013 Espen Mikarlsen decided that he no longer was able to continue the project on his part. Gilbert Marshall kept working on the album, and in late autumn of 2014 the live band called ELEPHANT PLAZA were established, bringing in drummer Olav Rygg, bass player John Kamphaug – who both recorded the original drum and bass parts on the album. Later in 2014 keyboard player John Petter Sæterdal also was included in the live band.
In spring 2015, we got hold of and included amazing guitar player Kim Christiansen in the band. During 2015, he recorded lots and lots of additional and missing guitar parts, then being able to put his “stamp” on the production. And finally, at approx.. New Years 2015, virtuous keyboard player Jan-Fredrik Heier also joined the band as the last permanent member.
In several sessions both 2012, 2015 and early 2016, we were able to gather the singers for individual vocal sessions in Cakehouse Studio and Gilbert Marshall´s and Kim Christiansen´s private recording lairs. These sessions were absolutely marvelous and wonderful. We had asked the singers years ago and still everyone was still enthusiastic. Absolutely fantastic people with absolutely stunning performances. Thanks to all youse…
As the last lead vocals, choir vocals and instruments were recorded through countless sessions during 2015, Gilbert Marshall finished the String arrangements, and during three powerful recording sessions late 2015 and early 2016, the album had received a major last musical touch in the form of delicate and powerful strings.
Kim also is a skilled studio technician and mixing guy, so it was decided that he, along with Gilbert Marshall, would mix the album, later also assisted by drummer Olav Rygg. This with the exception of “Naked”, which was mixed by David Zells in Audiovisjon Studio – Fredrikstad, Norway. The album was mixed during February, March and April 2016, and is finally mastered by Hoffe Stannow at Cosmos Mastering in Stockholm, Sweden in May 2016. Stockholm is also the home of Progress Records.
The music was made simply by wanting to spontaneously pour our hearts out musically and lyrically. Just to see what came out with no specific agenda or style. From the moment of jamming those first simple riffs, throughout the massive production that this turned out to be, we have really only wanted to create something that we felt resonate with the musical longings and cravings within ourselves – to make good music and lyrics with emotions and stories that both others and ourselves can relate to…
Welcome to MOMENTUM – a story of empathy, emotions and redemption…