The multi-talented Norwegian singer, John Kaada has recently announced plans to score the soundtrack to ZombieLars the TV show geared for an 8-12 year old audience. Lars is an eleven year old, half zombie who soon discovers others who share similarities in being different like a ninja, witch, troll and a changeling. Together, they explore their true nature in a conformist and deeply prejudiced society.
Kaada’s career spans a string of solo albums, motion picture soundtracks, high-profile collaborations with key players such as Mike Patton, as well as numerous live appearances at home and abroad. His music is filled with various sounds and instruments blended together which formulate a marching beat and human sounds that can be haunting at times. A song may have the sounds of horns and those penetratingly dark piano keys, the ones you tapped as a child at the very end of a piano bench. The sounds of darkness with deep drums and hollowing vocals that drown out into chilling taps and strums of a harp, which fill you with either a sense of dread or mystery.
Kaada’s album, Closing Statements made mxdwn’s Top 50 Best Albums of 2018. The album, Closing Statements is described by Brian Forman as a “perfect blend of icy, Norwegian avant-garde, coupled with ornate orchestration inviting the listener to discuss the last words of the dying. The haunting piano of “Everything is an Illusion” among others evoke a tangible quality to the music, as if Kaada writes in four dimensions, and you are in the room with those that are taking their last breath.”
Kaada describes his work, “Composing for films was something that I took up rather coincidentally. I had not intended to pursue that direction and had no formal training, but at some point, writing film scores was what I did. In the beginning it was quite stressful and made me nervous, but now I’m enjoying the work much more, thinking of it as a compositional playground. Orchestration and sonorous experimentation are the fields that I really enjoy delving into these days. Working on film scores enables me to create unconventional instrument ensembles. I’m also doing music for documentaries and television scores in between film scores. TV gigs is a great composers’ workshop, because you have the opportunity to experiment with small ensembles and develop composing and arranging skills.”
One of his songs, “Everything Is An Illusion” is described as a delicate composition built around the piano, gradually swelling to its dramatic, stirring conclusion. Kaada says about the song, “It is a composition where I tried to create an illusion of birdwings flying across the piano. The theme of the album is about humans last moments and their final breaths. When I recorded the piano, I tried to play as lightly as possible, like feathers, like a spirit flying.”
His collaboration with Mike Patton is an output of genius in the artform of wonder and music experimentation. The songs are definitely fitting as the backdrop of any film medium. They are playful using various sounds and instrumental elements, including vocals and crescendos that travel across the landscape. It can be soothing to your mind in various ways.