SVEN LIBAEK - INNER SPACE
CATALOGUE NUMBERS: JBH020LP / JBH020CD. RELEASE OCTOBER 2006.
Limited CD and vinyl. 500 LPs only worldwide will be issued and then deleted. Order your early before someone overcharges you on ebay for a copy. PLEASE NOTE: vinyl copies have a text error in the tracklisting on the sleeve. The correct tracklisting is written on the vinyl labels. Hands up it was a slight error on our part. These things happen. We are only human and it was a long hard day and that. Please do not complain or try and send your LP back. Pretty please.
LIBAEK - THE STORY SO FAR
Mr Libaek has been a bit of an underground hero for a some while now. Some of his library Peer / Standard library work was rediscovered in the mid 1990s, and some was reissued at the turn of the millenium. This in turn kicked off more interest in Sven and since then the world has got smaller and his original LPs have become a little better known - although they're still a bloody nightmare to find, even in their native Australia.
A good few years ago I was on the trail of Mr Libaek, I'd found one of his odd Library LPs in Melbourne, liked it and knew bugger all about him. It became quite clear after a little digging that he'd made a few LPs, mostly film music related. Six months later I plucked up the courage to write to him - I was desperate to hear his soundtrack recording for the surf film 'To Ride A White Horse'. If it was anything like his library work it was going to be worth hearing. At the time I was digging authentic surf soundtracks, one of the many splintering sub genres of film music, and this early album seemed like it could be a milestone of some sort. A few weeks later Sven sent me a carefully recorded C90 of his score. It is still in my car.
Over time mainly spent in the car I realised Sven's music was warm, gentle and jazzy but still a touch weird, and always had room for him to experiment when films dictated he could. To my ears he had a unique, distinctive sound and over the next few years I managed to track down all the rest of his fine work. But it took ages - an LP a year was about the norm. Even shopping in Australia for two weeks I only found one.
Then in 2004 one of his (mysteriously shortened) tracks from the score to Val and Ron Taylor's legendary underwater telly series 'Inner Space' was used in that Life Aquatic film and I thought the time had come to get back in touch with the infamous musical Norwegian living down under. The result is this new CD, a compilation of Sven's finest film work.
Here is a tracklisting, some cover scans of his great LPs and his very own self-penned biog:
From The Set: (1970 Mawson Continental Pictures). This appears to be a sexual ride through jet set Sydney. By some accounts there is all manor of sex in this film, and a brief flaunt with homosexuality. Wow.
1) Start Growing Up Now (vocal)
2) Start Growing Up Now instrumental)
3) Fate Of Life
From Inner Space: (1974, Valerie And Ron Taylor). This is a legendary undersea TV series. The Taylors were the most experienced researchers in their field, Great White Sharks were a main focus for them which explains why Spielberg enlisted their help for Jaws.
4) Music For Eels
5) Dark World
6) Sounds Of The Deep
From Nature Walkabout: (1965 originally televised through the Channel 9 Network.) Exactly what it says on the tin, this was a 15,000 mile jopurney around Australia looking at the madness that flies, swings and trots about in the wild.
8) Main Theme
9) Nature Waltz
11) Peaceful Landscape
12) Birds In Flight
From To Ride A White Horse (1966 A Bob Evans Production distributed by British Empire Films). An important and early surf documentary.
13) In The Wave
14) The Lost City
15) White Limestone Blues
16) Bush Fire
17)Surfing Through The Birds
SVEN LIBAEK BIOGRAPHY
Sven Libaek was born in Norway on September 20, 1938 and trained early as both a musician and an actor. As a child he participated in more than 40 stage plays, and as a teenager landed a role in a Norwegian feature film. Sven first achieved international recognition with his role in the Louis deRochemont film 'Windjammer'. He was able to combine his love for both music and acting when his appearance as a soloist with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops in a performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto became a major segment in the production. In promotional support of the film he formed the singing group 'The Windjammers', who recorded an album for RCA, and toured all over the United States. After the film opened in most major US cities, Sven remained in New York to continue his musical education at Juilliard School of Music. He is now an active member of the Juilliard Alumni Association.
Sven first came to Australia when 'The Windjammers' toured 'down under' for Channel 7 in 1960. After a short stint back in Norway, the group broke up, and Sven and his wife returned to Australia to live. He held the position of Musical Director and A&R Manager for CBS Records as well as General Manager for April Music Publishing Company in Sydney for four years. During that time he produced over 200 singles and albums featuring Australian artists and groups. Sven left CBS to free lance as a composer, arranger, conductor and to start his own music production company.
Sven has scored many Australian films & TV series, including 'Boney', 'Nature Walkabout', 'Nickel Queen', 'The Set', 'Lady and the Law', 'Murcheson Creek', 'Big Country', 'Inner Space', 'The World Around Us', 'Joe Wilson', and 'The Settlement', as well as dozens of documentaries and industrial films. He worked with Maurice Jarre as musical coordinator and orchestrator for Peter Weir's film 'The Year of Living Dangerously'. He also hosted his own TV show on ABC called 'All about Music'.
Sven lived and worked in Los Angeles from 1977 to 1994. He orchestrated more than 300 popular songs for US radio stations and in 1987 he was engaged by Hanna-Barbera in Hollywood to score the music to ten two hour animated TV movie specials. For this project he composed more then 8 hours of music, ranging from full symphony orchestra to electronic synthesizer and every conceivable combination of instruments in between. He recently wrote an article for the Australian Music Centre magazine, 'Sounds Australian' about this project. During his years in Hollywood he also recorded albums for popular artists like Neil Diamond and Lionel Richie, turning their vocal hits into large orchestra instrumentals, at the artists personal request.
Sven Libaek has had more than 30 record albums released during his career. He has composed many serious concert works for a combination of instruments, including the piano, classical guitar, flute and clarinet. Symphonic works include 'Harmonizations for Strings' and 'Oriental Impressions' which were both given their world premiere in Norway by Kringkastingsorkesteret conducted by the composer. His Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra was premiered in Sydney in 1998 and 'The Red Centre' in 2000. For the Australian Centenary of Federation he was commissioned by the Sutherland Shire Council to compose a special work for Symphony Orchestra, Choir and Brass Band. Called 'The First Shire' it was performed at Cronulla Beach in front of 10,000 people in January 2001, and repeated at Captain Cooks Landing at Kurnell a few months later. His latest efforts include a commission from Sydney Grammar School as well as putting the final touches on his first Piano Concerto.
Sven is the principal conductor of The Sutherland Shire Symphony Orchestra and the President of the Music Arrangers Guild of Australia. He is also on the Board of The Fellowship of Australian Composers and has served on the APRA Board. While in the US, Sven was a frequent adjudicator for the Glendale School District in California. In Australia he has served as adjudicator for the Ryde & Goulburn Eisteddfods and the Sutherland Shire instrumental competition for young people conducted by the Sutherland Shire Music Club. He has taught piano at The Shore School, (SCEGS, North Sydney) and also acts as Composer in Residence at Port Hacking High School. He is also frequently lecturing at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney. He has represented Australia overseas on many occasions at composer's conferences, forums and festivals, including serving on the board of the Asian Composers League for five years.
Sven was recently appointed Musical Director and orchestrator of Mark Howard's new Australian Rock Opera, 'Spinning Around in Jupiter', a musical journey, currently being prepared for it's Sydney premiere. He is also completing the score to a major Sydney Maritime Museum documentary about the restoration of the magnificent sailing ship the James Craig.
The Wes Anderson film, LIFE AQUATIC, which opened worldwide in December 2004 featured five of Sven's compositions as part of its score.
Sven now lives permanently in Sydney with his wife of more than 40 years. He has two grown up daughters.