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NoFi - Recordings - The Music of Les Inkwell.

This page is at the moment a Work in Progress!

Les Inkwell has recorded music his entire adult life. This page gives a somewhat chronological overview of his musical endeavors and development.

0. Contents

1. Reoccurring Themes and underlaying currents.

2. History

2.1 One Track Wonders and Song Sketches (1995 - 2002).

2.2 Cubase and the benefit of Rural Life with No Neighbors (2004 - 2005).

2.3 Exploring Songwriting and Audiovisual Concepts (2005 - 2006).

2.4 Black Hawks Dawn and making music with siblings (2006 - 2007).

2.5 Garageband and the challenge of Urban Life with Paper Thin Walls (2007).

2.6 Illustrated Pieces of Music (2007 - 2010).


1. Overview of Production: Reoccurring Themes and underlaying currents.

It could be argued that one of the themes of his song writing has been “quantity over quality”.

“I must have recorded over 100 songs during that period. The recordings where all made with lousy equipment, using cheap instruments I barely knew how to play and my singing voice wasn't exactly beautiful… but if one could look past all of this - at least in my biased opinion - some of the songwriting was actually quite good…” (Citation Needed).

When reviewing his production it should be seen as documentation of process and progress - where each song is a stepping stone to the next. At the moment of each individual recording the current song have always been very important - but at the same time there have been an underlying dogma that none of the songs have to be perfect in execution. Each song is more some kind of exploration of an idea - be it musically, lyrically, instrumentation, composition or conceptually - some of these ideas end up raw and unrefined, some of them more elaborate and refined, and many of the ideas have been revisited in later compositions but always in some new way.

“I am aware of the crappy sound quality and the often very audible mistakes made while recording each instrument, but it was always more important for me to document the idea, than making it perfect… In a way I have appropriated a wabi-sabi aesthetic or attitude when it comes to the songs as products. In addition there has always been a strange kind of urgency in the process, and in many ways it felt like I had no choice, that the ideas had to be recorded, no matter how bad they might sound to anyone else” (Citation Needed).

An other notable theme in his production has been “use what ever at hand”. The use of what ever crappy instrument and equipment have always contributed to a distinct “NoFi”- sound, but there has always been progress, and one can hear how both skills, instruments and equipment have become better with time.

“I hope one can hear that there has been some refinement… if you compare the early tracks from 2004 to… lets say “2 Minutes and 42 Seconds” or “Electricity, the Art of Understanding”… there is a lot of progress” (Citation Needed).

The most notable theme of his production is probably that the songwriting always have been done in parallel with a visual concept of some kind. One could ask the question: Are the songs made to accompany the illustrations, or are the illustrations made to accompany the songs. Les Inkwells answer would probably be “Yes”.

“The illustrations and songs are aspects of the same idea, the one isn't more important than the other. I think I have been quite consistent in my production - and even in recent years when cooperating with other musicians, be it Vindknut, Spilled Soup or Neverton United - there has always been a playful intermixing of concept design, illustration, story telling, visuals and audio…” (citation needed).


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2.1 One Track Wonders and Song Sketches (1995 - 2003).

“I had been playing with bands since the age of 13, and had written a few songs, but I always had musical ideas that either didn’t fit the pop punk or rock style we where playing or that I wasn’t able to convey to the other musicians… I would pitch ideas for songs, I could hear them clearly in my mind, but during the process of arranging them with the bands they often changed… to something else, almost unrecognizable…” (Citation Needed).

Using two tape recorders. Recording one track. Playing along to the recorded track while recording to a new track. Continue the process several times. A special sound from the constant degradation of the previous tracks.

Bootleg: Glucasils “That Turbulent Youth Demo” (1995)

Bootleg Beinkjør Live “ Kafaan Live?” (2003)

NFR_001 E527 “The Ghostwriter” (2001)

NFR_002 Nofi Allstars “Unfinished Tunes EP” (2002)

NFR_003 Crowded Head “Neatly Woven Witches Coven EP” (2003)

NFR_004 Nofi Lonestar “Lousy Improvisations”(2003)


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2.2 Cubase and the benefit of Rural Life with No Neighbors (2004 - 2005).

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2.3 Exploring Songwriting and Audiovisual Concepts (2005 - 2006).

“I hope one can hear that there has been some refinement… if you compare the early tracks from 2004 to… lets say “2 Minutes and 42 Seconds” or “Electricity, the Art of Understanding”… there is a lot of progress” (Citation Needed).

Comix from 2008 exploring the making of NFR015 to NFRS_001


2.4 Black Hawks Dawn and making music with siblings (2006 - 2007).

When moving from Åberget, Sogndal, in the summer of 2006 he had to dismantle the so called studio - and move all the instruments, amps and the drum kit to his mothers basement - and he could only use the equipment in holidays and vacations. During these visits to his mother several tracks was written and recorded with his siblings using the band name “The Black Hawks Dawn”. According to himself, these are some of the best written tracks he has made - and with lyrical and vocal input from his sister Camilla (and on the later tracks vocals from Christiane and Sondre) - this sounds more like an actual band than most of his other work.

Black Hawks Dawn1  From the Sumer of 2006

Black Hawks Dawn1 From the Sumer of 2006

Black Hawks Dawn2  from November 2006

Black Hawks Dawn2 from November 2006

Black Hawks Dawn3  from April 2007

Black Hawks Dawn3 from April 2007

Black Hawks Dawn4  from December 2007

Black Hawks Dawn4 from December 2007


2.5 Garageband and the challenge of Urban Life with Paper Thin Walls (2007).

NFR_018 Nofi Allstars “Treashure Island Anoponei” (October 2007) NRK actually used a few seconds of one of these tracks in a transition shot for one of their serials…

NFR_019 Nårsk Utflod “Rock n Roll Fiskeboll EP” (October 2007)

NFR_018 Nofi Allstars “Treashure Island Anoponei” (October 2007)

NFR_018 Nofi Allstars “Treashure Island Anoponei” (October 2007)

NFR_019 Nårsk Utflod “Rock n Roll Fiskeboll EP” (October 2007)

NFR_019 Nårsk Utflod “Rock n Roll Fiskeboll EP” (October 2007)


2.6 Illustrated Pieces of Music (2007 - 2010).

The iPom Series.

The work on this project started in January 2007. According to Les Inkwell the idea behind this series of illustrated pieces of music was a result of a premonition that soon music would become more and more distributed digitally, and as a consequence of that the visual representation of songs would become more and more important. At the time there was no way to upload an album where the tracks had individual images, and each of the tracks had to be made into separate “albums”. Later platforms for sharing music digitally have implemented this option, and if given the chance Les Inkwell will not hesitate telling the story of how he was one of the unknown pioners of this development.

“I totally predicted that the future of music online would mutate into some hybrid between striking visuals serving as click bate to lure people into listening to tracks - similar to how an interesting and unique music videos can trick me to suffer through a horrible song because of the visuals. Since few artists have the means to make a music video to every track, at least they will make an unique image for each track. And then there are some artists that just get it, and push the boundaries… like Daft Punk do in the “Get Lucky (official audio)” uploaded to youtube… when you reach 2:20 its just magic! I also love what Queens Of The Stone Age did with their uploads of the “Villains” album on YouTube… so innovative!” (Citation Needed).

Here is the collection of tracks featured in the Illustrated Pieces of Music Series:

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