Roots

I come from a long line of music-makers…

 


Anders Madsen
1869-1950 – Great-grandfather.
Carpenter/Violin-builder in Denmark.

 

 

I never met him, but in this photo I see a gentle, strong man with a passion for music.
He made more than 200 violins.

He assembled the first symphony orchestra in the region. And a fine one he made it, too.


Alfred Holger Madsen
1900-1965 – Grandfather.
Violinist, conductor in Horsens, Denmark


Great Grandmother
Johanne Salomonsen (1870-1963)

– She remembered all the addresses she and Great Grandfather had ever lived at – probably 50 or so.  She was said to have had a great voice and sang in many choirs.

Great Grandfather (Grandmother’s side)
Peter Wilhelm Salamonsen
1865-1950 – Carpenter & Singer.

Reportedly he would sing non-stop working in his little shop, turning out door-handles and yo-yos.  Each spring he would load his family (wife and four daughters) and all their belongings into a horse-cart, drive to the country and find an apartment where they all lived until autumn, when they would all go back to Copenhagen and find another home.

Grandfather, Father’s side.
Christian Emil Andre Hansen
1890-1964
Musician, artist, merchant in Horsens, Denmark.

Here with me in the early days. He had a sense of humor and a voice that could command a circus audience.

There was a barrel of dried fish in his shop with a sign: [Translated] “Salted Fish, 25 cents – or 3 for a dollar”.  It was a joke, but one day a man came in and bought three for a dollar.  He returned later to complain, but did not get his money back. “If you’re that dumb, you deserve what you got” my grandfather said.

My mother
Lillian Myggen (Madsen)
Concert Pianist

Working as a press photographer, my father met her at a performance.
A grand piano was the first piece of furniture the newly-married couple bought.



When I was a baby, I used to love to lie under the piano and listen to my mother play.
When I could reach, I started to figure out how to make music.

Mom, brother Finn and me.


It was a good time and place to grow up.


Arne Myggen (Hansen)
Father, journalist & photographer.

– later he became the most popular radio personality in Denmark ever.


Naturally, I was keen to follow his footsteps and adopted soon the serious look of concentration.


Here I am realizing that the road of music is sometimes long and slow. Perhaps I started writing my own stuff because it took so long to learn what others had written.

I remember all my classmates, but was a bit of an outsider. Our teacher, Mr. Behrend taught English.  One day he entered the classroom walking in on his hands to the podium. He also slapped me good along with 5 other boys over a prank. We probably deserved it.  I am the one closest to the tree.

My father, writer, journalist, always had great ideas.  Here he rides into our small town on an elephant.  They cleared the trees on our lot to make room for the house my mother almost built herself. It was an ideal place to grow up, and our family never had an argument.

At 16 I got into the Danish State Radio  (click here: Denmark)