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MP3 Lars Mortensen - Periscope

A glimpse into the world of a weathered, reclusive song writer, making his first hello to the world.

5 MP3 Songs in this album (29:01) !
Related styles: ROCK: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, POP: Pop/Rock

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After years of live performance, reclusive songwriter Lars Mortensen releases his first EP, Periscope.

A truly organic live solo performer, with no two sets ever the same, Lars recorded the five song disc with the help of engineer/producer Brendan Mills-McCabe. Soulful ballads, dark brooding dreamers, bright pop uplifters, and loose vehicle for all out jams describes some of the sounds you''ll find coming out of Lars'' internal universe.

Leading up to the release of Periscope, Lars had this to say about his journey to this quiet starting point:
"I started playing guitar, mostly grunge back in the mid-late nineties. I had the luxury of being recruited for a band some friends were in before I even knew how to play. Luckily, the basics of the music we were making didn''t take much technical skill. Being forced to just do it really helped early on and after a few months we were off playing at small youth events, rockin'' out like the idols we looked up to. I always wanted to stay in the background and rock the rhythm guitar. After a few months and many cover songs later, people started telling me I could sing and they liked it. Shortly after that, I wrote my first songs and I couldn''t go back. I had to write and I had to sing the songs I wrote."

The reluctance to be in the spotlight despite peoples praise has stuck with Lars over the years.
"I think I have trouble with the inherent differences between our perception of the artists we love, and the reality. Regardless of the intentions of an artist, no matter how "real" they try to be, if they have success people always make them into something they''re not. Something they can''t be. Which isn''t to say they aren''t amazing individuals. Like Bob Dylan, obviously an amazing songwriter, amazing lyricist, and a very poetic thinker, but in the end he''s just a guy. He can''t free himself from the rituals, challenges, and emotions of life more then anyone else. I guess it''ll always be this way which makes sense but, I gotta get over it."

An example of Lars'' shyness can be seen in the fact that up until a few months ago, he never showed his face in any publications, flyers, or even on his own website.
"I guess I just wanted it to be about the music you know? I want people to be infatuated with the music, not me. Let the music be the star. I thought it was cool that strangers who happened to recognize me only knew my face ''cause they saw me perform somewhere, not from a flyer on a pole or from something they saw in the paper. It meant I made an impact on them that was real, instead of being some random face they''d seen on paper here and there. Unfortunately, with the limited resources I have, I realized that I was making things a bit too difficult in terms of marketing and all that. So yeah, I show my face now. It''s weird for me but I''ll go with it for now I guess."

Where does the title "Periscope" come from.
"For so many years I knew I wanted to make a living writing and performing music, but was crippled by stagefright. I wrote albums and albums worth of material with no one hearing any of it. Finally a few years back, I was totally broke, I had like two dollars and change to my name until payday in 10 days, so I went out to play on the street. On that rainy winter night, I posted up in front of a bakery at the Pike Place Market and stood there for half an hour before playing a single note. I was so afraid, but eventually I let some sounds come out of my guitar and the harmonica I wailed on at the time, and it all unfolded. I still have a healthy level of stagefright but I dropped ninety percent of it that night. I returned to my apartment truly a new man. It was then that I started playing out at open mics and eventually regular spots in a few local cafes. Fast forward to mid 2008; I had confronted the fact that I was letting my fears dominate my future and set out to record my first real release with the help of Brendan. Periscope is a metaphor for this EP being my first peek out into the world. The first time I''m gonna really say hello and see what things are like outside the confines of my little world. This is my periscope from underground."

Anything else you''d like to say?
"Yeah. Thanks to all those who buy the record and come out to the shows. I appreciate the support which enables me to do it more and more. Everyday I swim and tread through a lake of music that is inside me. I would guess that there''ll be music dancing in my head when I take my final breath. I plan on doing this for a long, long time."

And more on "sounds like" and making music:
"After hearing demos and after seeing me perform, people have said I remind them of Paul Simon, Beck, Thom Yorke, Jack Johnson, early Dave Matthews, Stevie Wonder, Pedro the Lion, Paul McCartney, and Phish to name a small few. Honestly I have heard so many things. I don''t know if those are true, some of those artists I''ve only heard passing bits of. Very rarely do people repeat the same perceived influences and I take that as a good sign that I succeed in doing something that''s my own. I think it''s a great example of proof that music is so many things to people, it''s depth and meaning bottomless. Though my influences come through, I have no desire to be anyone but myself when making music. In my conscious mind I seem to take little direct influence from the music I listen to. Most of the music I listen to regularly is from genres I don''t really write in like Jazz, or Samba. Most of the conscious influence I take in comes from how people have made their music rather then the music itself. I believe music provides an infinitely rich parallel to all aspects of life and existence. That includes the ways it''s conceived."

Interview by Pi Head
Easy as Pi Records

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