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It’s a Magical World

May 03, 2015 AURORA Bookmark and Share

Aurora Aksnes, (better known as simply Aurora) is in the middle of describing how she fell in love with music when reality chimes in. Loudly.

“Oh my God there’s a car!” she yelps after a particularly loud horn blast. “Sorry about that. Someone was angry.”

There’s a long pause while she takes a moment to collect herself and laugh at the situational irony. The musician admits she had picked this location, a park in her hometown of Bergen, Norway for its idyllic backdrop. Her voice sparkles over the phone line as she describes the area. The final moments of sunset. Trees, already beginning to change color. White flower pollen floating in the air. It’s a scene seemingly picked straight from the singer/songwriter’s delicate pop, the basis of which she says has been cultivating almost her entire life.

Aurora recalls a time as a child when listening to Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen made her feel “calm.” But she notes that her narrative roots go back even further than her youthful childhood listening sessions. Almost all of her earliest memories revolve around storytelling—even if she was her only audience at the time.

“My neighbor had a small stone in her garden that looked like the point of a ship,” she recounts. “I really enjoyed walking through the garden when I was about two or three years old. I would sit on the edge on the edge of that ‘ship.’ And I would sing the Titanic song. I think I saw the clip on TV or something before I was told to go to bed. That, together with that song, made such an impression on me. I would do that almost every day.”

The next puzzle piece to her future career came at six when she began piano lessons. But it wasn’t until a few years later that Aurora realized her two passions could be combined.

“When I was nine I started writing songs,” she recalls, “Which was basically just adding music to my stories.”

Ten years later, those initial experiments in storytelling have come to fruition. Between heavy blasts of drum machines, crackling electronics, and her own starry-eyed soprano, Aurora’s twisted pop confections are equal parts playful and mercurial, reaching for the otherworldly, even though their central players are often the marginalized members of society. The runaway. The outcast. The murder. The innocent.

She confirms that her forthcoming full-length (due out in early 2016) will follow in a similar vein, each of her characters inhabiting their own musical worlds. (“I’m very bossy in the studio because I have a very clear idea of how everything should sound,” she jokes.) Just don’t call her music fantastical. Each of her songs, says Aurora, contains a bit of its maker.

“I don’t need to escape,” she clarifies. “If I want to escape, I’ll read a book. I mainly write songs to digest things that have happened, and to understand things, and to kind of become an organized thinker. I think a lot about everything…It’s quite good to write songs, because you can use the time to think about things and write about them before you can let it go. It’s nice. It’s become my thing.”



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September 17th 2018

As always, a very interesting article.