A timeline / history of of Bjorn Lynne music


As a young school boy in Norway, I played the clarinet in the school orchestra. I learned some basic music theory, like how to tell a quarter note from a half note, and how not to play a B-flat when everybody else were playing an A.. But I quit after a couple of years, due to boredom and the hassle of having to get up at 6 in the morning on the 17th of May (Norway's national independence day) and march around the streets playing "ompa-ompa music".



Around this time I bought my first keyboard, a Casio CZ-101 and I learned how to play "Axel F" with both hands. (We-hey!!). I also had a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k computer and I had a couple of hardware music add-ons for it, the "SpecDrum" drum machine and the "Music Machine" MIDI interface. I used these to connect the synth to the computer and started making some simple music.



I got an Amiga computer and started to make some music with that. This was when my music first started to reach other people, and when I first started hearing comments from friends and friends' friends, that my music "was cool" and that I should make more of it. I was told that I had to invent a cool name for myself, so I started to call myself "Dr.Awesome", as a joke.



I got together with a bunch of other Amiga owning friends, and we started the Amiga demo-group "Crusaders". Some were programmers, some were graphic artists, and I was the musician. Together, we made a lot of Amiga demos (a "demo" is a kind of multimedia presentation with moving pictures, visual effects and music, which is made just to show off your computer skills). Over the next few years we made a lot of famous Amiga demos and music-disks, including "Audio-X", "Bacteria", "Puppaluppadimpidoo", "Space Deliria", "Tuff Enuff", "Hotwired", "Bass-o-matic", and many others.

It was also in 1988 that I got my very first paid music job. I composed the music for an Amiga game called "Brat", and I got paid 200 GBP (about 300 US$) for the job.




I made the music for a few other Amiga games, including "Fantastic Voyage", "Cubulus", "Escape from Colditz", "Project-X" (with Allister Brimble) and "Qwak"



I started to take more interest in creating music with more advanced music equipment, like synthesizers and drum machines. I produced 10 tracks and released my very first real music release, a cassette called "Bjørn Lynne Demo-Tape". A friend who worked in a printshop printed some reasonably professional looking cassette covers, and I got some help from various friends to make copies of the cassette. Each copy was just made with double-deck cassette players, copying from my original cassette. I offered the cassette for sale and sold about 200 copies. The money was used to buy some more music recording equipment.



During the spring and summer of 1992, I worked together with Seppo Hurme ("Fleshbrain") to make a CD. This CD was released in September 1992, titled "Hobbits & Spaceships". The CD was entirely self-produced and self-financed. These days it's cheap to make a CD, and it's pretty common for every musician to be able to release his own CD, even go to a CD factory and have 1000 copies professionally produced for almost no money at all. But in 1992, it was almost totally unheard of for a couple of musicians to just bypass record companies and self-finance and self-publish a CD. The guy at the CD-factory had never heard about anything like this before. "Hobbits & Spaceships" was pressed in 2000 copies, and all 2000 were sold by around 1999. The CD is still available to buy from my download shop.


I was writing a lot of music in those days, so there were some tracks I would have liked to include on the "Hobbits & Spaceships" CD, but there simply wasn't enough room on the CD. So I created another cassette tape, this was called "Hobbits & Spaceships, The Extras". This tape was not copied from cassette to cassette like before, but instead it was professionally duplicated by a cassette- and CD duplication factory.



During this year I composed the music for a feature length theatre production in Oslo, called "Brave New Virtual World". It was low-budget, but reasonably high-tech, and used a combination of live actors with big screens to create a kind of cyber/future presentation. Although it wasn't exactly state of the art, it was pretty cool.

I also put the music on a cassette called "Brave New Virtual World" and sold this cassette as a kind of "soundtrack album". I sold about 200 copies of this cassette, and again, the money was used to invest in more and better music recording equipment.



I released my second CD (the first that I had done entirely on my own), called "Montage". The music is a kind of varied, melodic synth music. Again, the CD was self-financed and self-published. As a result of having done this CD, I got in touch with some useful contacts in the synth-music scene in Germany and the UK. This CD is now also sold out, but is available to buy in my download shop.




This was the most important year in my early carreer. In April, the UK record company Centaur Discs released my CD "Dreamstate" (again, a kind of melodic synth-music but with some rock and prog-rock influences). It was the first time my music was released by a real record company, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my own CD in a normal record store. It was fantastic! Of course, I bought the CD...

In the same month, I got a job offer from a UK video game company called Team17 Software, to come to England and work full-time on writing music for their computer games. I packed my bags, moved to England (from Norway), and started working as a full time music composer and sound designer for video games. I'm still there now, more than 8 years later!

During 1995 I made the music for the games "Worms" and "Alien Breed 3D".




I met a guy called Ken Senior, who became a good friend of mine, and occasional musical collaborator ever since then. He played a few guitar and bass parts on my 1996 CD album: "Witchwood". This CD was first released by the Italian record company, Mellow Records. But, frustrated with Mellow Records, I later made a remastered, refreshed version of the CD. The "new version" of "Witchwood" sounds a little bit clearer and crisper, and the vocals were improved somewhat. This new version was released in 1998 on my own label, LynneMusic. That new version of Witchwood is still available from my CD-shop.

I also wrote the music to some more computer games during 1996: "X2" and "Seven Kingdoms".



In the early parts of 1997, I held a guitar for the very first time. I just went to a musical instrument shop and said "Sell me a cheap guitar and a beginners' guitar book!". So I went away with a cheap electric guitar, and the 30-page book, "Guitar for Absolute Beginners". I just took it from there, and I started playing a little simple guitar on my music from then on.

My next CD, "The Void", was released by the UK record company Cyclops. This was where my music started to become a little more "progressive" - the album was a concept album about a space trip that went wrong, and the music has elements of electronic rock, synth-rock, progressive rock, and even psychedelic influences.



Also in this year, I started to take an interest in writing electronic, trance, techno music, with a psychedelic element. I decided that I didn't want to start mixing techno/trance music into the Bjorn Lynne name, because it was so different from my "fantasy" music, that it would confuse people, and when people saw a new Bjorn Lynne album, they wouldn't know if it was acoustic/symphonic fantasy music, or techno/trance music. So I decided to make a separate artist name for myself when I worked with techno/trance, and that is how my side-project Divinorum was started. I wrote some psychedelic trance (goa trance) music under my Divinorum name, and I was included on a compilation from BooM! records called "Psychoactive Scandosounds", as well as many other compilation albums over the next few months and years.



I don't read that many books, but I came across a fantasy novel called "Wizard of the Winds", and I enjoyed it. Just for fun, I started writing some music that was influenced by the characters and events in the book. After I had done 2-3 songs of music based on various aspects of this story, I got the idea to contact the author of the book and ask him what he would think if I made a whole CD of instrumental music based on his book. I contacted the author, Allan Cole, by email, and to my surprise, I got a really nice answer back. I sent him the music I had done so far, and he said that he really loved the music, and he was excited about having a whole music album written about the story in his book. We became good friends over the next few years.

The music CD, "Wizard of the Winds" is all-instrumental but with short spoken stories (just a few seconds) in between each track, to introduce the coming music track. The music is based on characters and events in the book, but of course, it's first and foremost an album of melodic, fantasy-inspired, instrumental music, and you don't have to know or read the book, in order to enjoy the CD. More than anything else, it's a fantasy music album with a little bit of ethnic/world music mixed in.

I also continued to work on some electronic / techno / trance music under my Divinorum name, and got included on more compilation albums from U.S., German and UK record labels.

During 1998 I composed music for the games "Seven Kingdoms II: The Frythan Wars", "Nightlong: Union City Conspiracy", "Worms 2", "Addiction Pinball".

Not only that, but on Christmas Eve, 1998, at a party, I met a nice girl called Hanne, who would much later become my wife. :-)




In 1999, I continued the trend started the year before, and I wrote a whole album of progressive rock and melodic instrumental rock and ethnic music, based on the next book in the series by Allan Cole; this time with the title "Wolves of the Gods". Again, it's first and foremost just a music album, and you can of course just take it as a music album, whether or not you have read the book doesn't really matter.

The music on "Wolves of the Gods" was a little bit more "rock" oriented than I had done before, mainly because during this period I was listening to a lot of progressive rock bands like Dream Theater , The Flower Kings, and many others. But it also had something to do with the fact that I was lucky enough to be joined by the superb rock guitarist Rory McLeish, who played with me on many of the tracks on this album. The result is, probably, the most "rock" and "prog-rock" related album I have done. This CD is still available in my CD-shop.

In 1999 I also finished my first real CD album done under the Divinorum name. This CD is called "Isms", and it contains a kind of melodic trance, techno, a little bit psychedelic, and pretty much inspired by Arab and middle eastern music, mixed with high technology.

In 1999 I also produced a semi-orchestral movie soundtrack style music production for the game "Phoenix: Deep Space Resurrection" (PC), and I also made a soundtrack CD which was a limited edition, only 1000 copies.




I wanted to take a break from the music albums based on fantasy books, so I started to dig into my old archives of music made around 1989-1993 in the Amiga scene, when I was writing as "Dr.Awesome" for all those Crusaders demos. The result was the album "Revive", which contains 12 of my most popular retro Amiga tracks from the old demo-scene days - but in brand new studio recordings, with real instruments etc.

I sent the master tape to the record company, Cyclops, and asked them if they wanted to release it. They said that they loved the album and they released it on their label in 2000. They never knew, and still don't know, that the songs were in fact 10-12 years old and were originally created with only an Amiga computer. (Until they read this) :-)

In 2000 came also the second full length album done under by Divinorum name. This CD is called "Talisman" and it was a little bit harder and faster than the previous Divinorum album, "Isms". Fast flowing, moving and pulsating techno trance, made a little bit more lively and interesting maybe, by the use of guitars together with all the electronic equipment... for added warmth and impact. The "single" from this album was a song called "Biochemical Structure" and was a major hit online. It went to the top of several internet "charts" and won several different contests.

Also in this year, my girlfriend Hanne gave birth to our daughter. We called her Lisa, and she is fantastic, incredible, an immense source of joy in our lives.

In 2000, I wrote the music and produced the sound effects for the games "Stunt GP" (PC, PlayStation2) and "Siege of Avalon" (PC)



It was time to complete the trilogy of fantasy-music albums, so I decided to roll up my sleeves and do it properly. The CD album, "The Gods Awaken" would become probably my "biggest" project I have ever done. I spent a lot of time composing each music track, and where I in my earlier years probably would have used synthesizer sounds, I now brought in many guest musicians to play live instruments such as drums, violin, flute, cello, guitars, hammond, etc. The album took longer than anything else I have done, it is a little bit of an "epic", and it's called "The Gods Awaken". It was released on Proximity Records.

Also released in 2001 was my upbeat, power-electro, rock, funk and driving music album: "Accelerator".

In 2001 I also wrote the music and produced all the sound effects, voices, etc. in the games "Worms World Party".




Returning to my roots in "electronic music", I composed and produced a CD of melodic, spacey, synth-rock, titled "Colony". It was my fastest selling CD since I started, and stylewise it was a kind of return to my style from the early- to mid-90's, such as Montage, Dreamstate and The Void.

I also spent much of this year writing music for the game "Worms Blast" (PC, PlayStation2, Gamecube), where I made the music in DirectMusic format.




In the spring of 2003 I released the third Divinorum album: "Power Liquids". This CD was made in cooperation with the guys from Aural Planet, some old friends from the Amiga demo-scene. The album is a trance & electronica album which was extremely well received by new and old fans.

Later in the year, I released a calm, warm, melodic fantasy music album, titled "Return to Witchwood". It was a return in style and concept, to the same sound and approach that I used on my CD "Witchwood" from 1996.

I composed the music and made the sound effects for the big hit PC- and video game "Worms 3D" (PC, Xbox, PS2, Gamecube).

Also in 2003, I set up a real company together with my wife, Hanne. The company is called Lynne Publishing Ltd. and has a web site here. We started this company so that we could have an "official" outlet for the many different activities that we have. Hanne writes and translates books, and publishes them. I have my music and my music licensing site Shockwave-Sound.Com. All these activities now have a real company behind them, complete with a chartered accountant and everything.

You could say that 2003 was the year in which I finally became all grown up about my music and the ways in which I make a living on it. Although I have been making a living on music since 1995, it has now become "official" and more structured. About time! ;-)



Throughout the last couple of years, I have been playing around with some groovy and funky music, in addition to all my other styles. I put all these tracks together in the spring of 2004, and released them under the album title Statement. The CD contains 14 tracks, of which 4 have a guest vocalist (a kind of mix between rap, song and scat), and the other 10 tracks are instrumental groovy club / jazz / acid-jazz / funky hip-hop etc. This album is different from my others. I like to try different things and go in different musical directions. It's interesting to learn and work in different musical genres.

As we come into the summer of 2004, I have lots of things going on. I'm working on some 5.1 surround music, working on a major new PC- and video game where I am doing all music, sound design, voice casting & directing, etc., as well as writing some ambient and film soundtrack style music for possible licensing opportunities etc.

To be continued...



All text, music, photos copyright Bjørn Lynne.