Products Used: Clayton Custom Eco (White) 0.80mm.
“Steve Clayton has always been my number one choice when it comes to guitar picks. Maybe because it was the first guitar pick I bought when I first picked up the guitar. Wanting to develop a Eco friendly guitar pick reducing the Co2 and waste from any plast material and ink used in the production, it was natural for me to reach out to Steve Clayton, who wanted to collaborate with me. I’m super excited about our collaborate effort creating a guitar pick, which in my mind is one of the best ever, but also leaves a smaller carbon footprint in todays world.”
If you don’t want to put anything good out there, then don’t do it, urges Ronny Morris. And as if for good measure, he adds: “And that’s my opinion about everything. Get it? Got it.”
Growing up in a little town just outside Copenhagen, a young Ronny Morris got his first glimpse of the unique, intimate magic that music can bring to a person’s life in his own childhood living room. ‘When I was little, the prize possession in our home was my stepdad’s state-of-the-art stereo and his vinyl collection,’ Ronny remembers. ‘He would sit there, his legs crossed, his cigarette in the ashtray, sipping his coffee, and he would listen to the new album he had brought home that day.’ Ronny was already a nascent musician – as a small boy, he and his dad would play ‘rock band’ – but this was his first experience watching a loved one listen to music alone, in a moment of stillness, and get lost in that beautiful inner world music can create.
This may explain why Ronny’s taken time over his first album – as in, five years’ worth of time. But it’s been well worth the wait.
“Don’t build a house if you don’t want to build a great house, he reflects. “Don’t make wine if you don’t want to create a fantastic, delicious wine… Wow, he adds, “what a world this would be if people created stuff that way.„
Such a process is never going to be easy. But since hitting a low in his life (“it all seemed to go wrong at the same time, he recalls without self-pity), Ronny made a choice: to travel light and sharpen his focus. So he sold a heap of recording equipment and instruments he’d accumulated, and kept only a guitar, a Wurlitzer, a pencil and notebook and a coffee mug…
One stripped back demo later – recorded in his bedroom, as all the best demos are – he was licensing his songs to major US television series One Tree Hill, Brothers and Sisters, and The Ghost Whisperer.
“It was amazing. I sent out 500 copies and suddenly people were calling me. Result. Ronny Morris: as heard on TV, and soon to be seen.
To his delight and surprise, last year he picked up a Hollywood Music Award, for best original song, in the shape of ‘Every Time It Gets Real’ (played on The Ghost Whisperer). It was a track that had not even been released…
Until now, that is. For once he was on track, he knew he simply had to record the album that was emerging from within, even if going for broke meant, er, going broke in the process.
Ronny now reflects on the whole journey with a mixture of bewilderment and wonderment. “Sometimes I had no idea where I was going, but it always, somehow, felt like the right direction – from Stockholm to Prague to New York to Toronto…
“Man, he sighs, “I even had to see a hypnotist as I was terrified of flying.
At time, he had to pinch himself. “I remember sitting in the producer’s studio outside Stockholm, snow falling magically outside, thinking, ‘How did I get here?’.
And at others, he had to kick himself up the backside. “I knew the album required more before it would fully reveal itself to me, he recalls. This meant stepping out of his comfort zone, searching out, and sweet-talking, some of the best in the business to help – “praying that they would answer my call and that I could find the money to finish the work I had started.
He, they, something, somehow, made it happen. Call it fate. Or sheer bloody-mindedness. Or both.
But now, to Ronny’s uncompromising ear, it is finished. And he’s made the kind of record he believes people can stop to savour. People like his step-dad, who taught him the art of listening, back in the day. Lessons burned into the musical psyche of a little boy.
Today, in our down-load, fast-forward and shuffle-off culture, we’re in danger of missing the point, he believes: that a note emerges from the silence, and returns there, having entered our head and heart in the process, and touched us, moved us, nudged us towards some place better.
Towards Sweet Silence.
“Everything sounds better from within it, after all,„ he says. Like the Czech National Orchestra, who have scored their sound deep into the grooves of Ronny’s original songs. Like the production values of Adam Kviman and Steve Thompson, who know a good tune when they hear one. Like the killer hooks in this debut collection.
Love is brutal, they seem to chime; yet life is beautiful.
“I’m reaching out to whatever’s good in you, Ronny sings, in ‘Hey’. “It’s all that I can do. And sometimes it is. That’s what music does for you, after all. The pain may rule, the wounds may not heal, and for some reason, few of us “know how to feel free. Gazing at the world through windows: “It’s not all right… sings Ronny. It’s not all right.
And yet. Sinners don’t always disbelieve, for a start. You’d better believe it. All is not lost, necessarily; you and me included. “We can grow/Like a drop in the ocean we can multiply, and bring hope.„ Maybe it is all right, after all. This life is so young, and so near:
“My life is here. Hush now. A man in a suit lowers himself to the side-walk and puts his ear to the ground. Listening, for something. For anything. For everything.
Sweet Silence offers mystery at its heart. There are no answers here; but hints of awakening, musical and spiritual clarity, minor and major epiphany, inspiration: to listen harder for the sound of an unfolding story, and to rediscover something we might have given up as lost.
Ronny Morris is “looking at a world stopped dreaming… But fear not: “The first thing that comes to mind,„ as he sings, “is that I am alive.