When that rough God goes riding
Q&A with CEO, Keld Lindegaard AndersenOf course, he’s got that hi-fi system from Bowers & Wilkins. And of course, the room is STACKED with albums, guitars and music literature from the floor to the ceiling. We’re not at ICEpower’s new HQ in Copenhagen, but on Keld’s own turf. In his living room. Ready to talk. Ready to listen. AND last but not least, ready to explore Keld’s passion for audio quality, and his all-time favourite artist, Van Morrison.
Hi Keld, thanks for the invite! Today we agreed on talking a bit about a favorite artist of yours, Van Morrison – while listening to him here at your home – in your living room. When did you first “meet” Van? Well, I moved to Japan in the mid 80’ties, when I was in my twenties. My next-door neighbor was a North Ireland Belfast guy. Of course, I knew Van’s music, but it was the first time for me to experience, how the English use him to support, and develop their personal mood. Later on, when I started frequenting the UK, I realized how important Van was. Not just to the Irish, but to all Englishmen. Some say, that newborn babies in the UK are baptized in soccer culture. Do you believe the same is the case with Van Morrison’s art? Definitely. His music is totally integrated into their daily lives. Everyone has Van’s records, everyone plays Van’s records, and everybody will talk of the mood, Van will create for them. I find that fascinating.
You mentioned earlier, that Van is excellent for testing audio quality? Yes, and there are many reasons for that. The first I am thinking of is, that Van is one of the few artists, we cannot typecast into one dominant genre. He does blues, jazz, skiffle, folk, country, gospel. And he mixes those into genres, we don’t have names for. But more important, I think, is when he entertains as a small somewhat angry man. He’s extremely good at using phrasing and exploring resonances. He really is one of the best singer-song writers, we have. AND, when we test and listen to audio products in work-related situations, Van comes in very handy because of his variations and depths.
Are you thinking about specific songs? Sure, just think about tracks like “Caravan” or “In the Garden”. Here we have the whole palette going from low to high voicing, playing with intensity and phrasing. Also, he might start with an acoustic guitar, then moves on to magnitude of soul music that becomes louder and louder. He really also masters all of the rhythmic genres. You sound excited, now that we listen to his music and talk about it. What are his best records and songs? I really can’t say. I divide his work into three periods. The American years, when he was living both at the East and the West coast with Janet in the 60’s until the mid-70’s. Second is the back-in- Ireland / UK period until the early 90’s. And, the latter being Van, having the opportunity to look back at his first twenty-something records from the beginning of the 90’s until today.
Do you have a favourite Morrison-period? Actually, each period has their masterpieces. While the first period has the “Astral week” and “Moondance”, that many will say are his bests, the back-in-the UK period has the “Into the music”. “Poetic Champions Compose” and “Avalon Sunset”. They are at least just as fantastic for me. I also recommend them to newcomers to Van.” On a day like this, when you think back, what has been your best Van Morrison concert? I am not that good at remembering concerts (cough) that go way back. And I have been to quite a few. A friend of mine invited me to the famous Blues Fest, held every year at the Royal Albert Hall. We watched Van Morrison perform there in October 2014. That was exciting, but the concert was not nearly as good as the one I saw in Copenhagen in March 2016. That one was up there among the best. I have also promised myself to see Van on his home ground. So Belfast, here I come! Thank you so much, Keld. Last question – on a scale from 1 to 10, how much do you love “Van the Man”? On a scale from 1 to 10? Hmm, I don’t know. But it’s crazy love.