An author once wrote: It is the small acts of kindness that save the world. This project is a result of small acts of kindness. Many.
Life is music. That's what Axel Røthe has always thought. Ever since he as a normal, healthy boy got his first plastic toy drum kit. Ever since he played creepy children’s songs on his toy guitar. Ever since he got his first Beatles CD and was hooked. Axel drummed his thighs black and blue. Axel made sounds of everything.
When Axel was six years old he was diagnosed with an illness that over time would leave him blind and gradually weaken him. There is no treatment. As the illness slowly changed his normal life, he found great relief in music.
Axel grew tired of just playing together with me. He wanted to play together with a band. He wanted to perform.
He had a wild idea about having a surprise concert on the rooftop of his childhood home. Copying the concert the Beatles held on the rooftop on the Apple building in London in 1969.
With help from family and friends we managed to put together a band for the occasion. Besides Axel on the drums and myself on guitar, the band consisted of three of Norway’s most renowned musicians. Axel named his band Cloudberry Cream. The event ended up being shown on Norwegian television.
But Axel wanted to go even further. He wanted to write his own music. And he wanted one of his songs to be played on the radio.
One night Axel had a dream. He dreamt that his being blind was only a dream. He asked if we could try to write a song. None of us had ever done that before.
So we did it.
The dream became a song, and the song was played on the radio. Then a new idea came to us: What if we asked famous musicians from all over the world to give us a little sound for the long ending of our song.
A key in a door, a whistle, a barking dog, a click or a clank. Anything. Just a little sound. The sounds should then be mixed into the long ending of our song, and by that demonstrating how easy it is to be kind. Even to people you don't know. And by that making the world a little bit better.
This idea has travelled to places none of us could have ever imagined when we first played our song in Axel's room. Musicians from all over the world have sent us their contributions. A documentary about our project has been made. The project grew bigger and bigger. We have even heard that one of Axel's heroes, Sir Paul McCartney knows about our project.
It has taken us years. But now our two songs are finally complete. They are the result of many acts of kindness. We are very proud. We know they will be played on the radio. We know that many people will like them, as we do. And we hope that all of you who have contributed in one way or another will have a good feeling inside, listening to them.
Axel will never go on tour, play live or record again. But through his Cloudberry Cream we managed to freeze a precious moment of our time. For that I am deeply grateful.
These two songs may not save the world. But they changed Axel’s.