Even before we could sing along to songs like ”Symptom Of My Time”, ”Save A Little Love” and ”Right Beside You”, fate was drawing Marie Frank to Samsø. Over the years the island has become a place where love and music go hand in hand.
A musical oasis
The fingers dance merrily over the guitar strings in the sun-filled garden at Brundby Rock Hotel. Marie Frank has found a place near the mulberry tree to practise the last few chords, before she takes to the stage that evening.
A stage she knows almost as well as her own living room. “My relationship with the The Rock Hotel was established more than 20 years ago, when Turid “Guf” Hanevold alongside Poul Krebs (and others) created a unique musical environment around the hotel. We joined music camps, ate deer steaks and were immediately enamoured of the place,” Marie remembers.
The Rock Hotel is often described – both by musicians and audiences – as a place with a particularly intimate atmosphere, and Marie concurs: “The Rock Hotel is a bit of an oasis for me, with room to be yourself – on stage as well as when you are just Marie and a guest like everyone else.
The day we meet Marie in the hotel’s enchanting garden, she has just returned from Ballen, where she and her children, Viggo and Molly Johanne, have been to the beach with Marie’s friend, Anni Ringgaard, who is also a musician. “Being able to swim in the morning with the same people who in the evening will be your audience, makes for a special and intimate concert experience. A village atmosphere, one might say. The proximity to the audience also means that one’s private and working life mix – providing the courage to reveal even more of oneself,” explains Marie.
With the family in tow
Eleven year old Viggo and Molly Johanne, almost seven, also seem to enjoy the hotel. They charge around the garden, patting the horses and playing with the youngest generation of the Hanevolds, Guf’s grandchildren, who live just around the corner and also a part of the family hotel. “The children love to come to Samsø. They love the big cow sculpture in front of the hotel and find it funny coming with me to work. This being possible at all is a huge privilege,” Marie says.
The kids have been coming to the hotel since they were in nappies. “Yes, I have both breastfed in the backstage room and seen my children sleep among the audience during a concert. Now they are older, we can take in the hotel, the music and Samsø in a different way. Every year we add new traditions to our must-do and must-see list,” explains Marie, thrilling her audiences by letting Molly Johanne join her on stage that same evening for one number as a ‘backing singer’.
“Samsø and The Rock Hotel are also places where new musical collaborations can happen. You often bump into colleagues as many musicians use the hotel in the intensive, creative period leading up to a recording or a tour. The place is almost made for trying out something new because it feels nice and safe and because the audience here is used to the spontaneous and the unpolished,” explains Marie.
“Information meeting in the garden at 2pm”. This was what Marie’s and Anders’ families were told when they all checked in to The Rock Hotel on a summer’s day in 2009. Most of them would rather have gone to Ballen to eat ice cream, others would have wanted to swim but all 20 children and adults were successfully persuaded to gather for what turned out to be anything but an information meeting.
Marie and Anders were on Samsø to give a concert and had arranged for the whole family to join them for a few days. “When everyone was gathered in the garden, Anders and I appeared in our nice clothes. The family was completely dumbstruck when they found out that they were in fact attending a wedding – our wedding,” Marie says with a smile.
“At the time we had just bought a house and our lawyer kept saying “get married”, “get married”, “get married”! So our dream of a huge wedding was thoroughly tackled with a house purchase and an insistent lawyer,” Marie laughs.
Because it was all a bit rushed, Marie and Anders had agreed with the hotel “simply to do what they would usually do for weddings,” as Marie explains. “So it was also a big surprise to us, when we were greeted with a wedding arch, cake and champagne in the garden. The mayor, who officiated the wedding, provided the wedding bouquet”.
The guests then busied themselves finding their best clothes for the evening’s wedding dinner, which was served at the hotel. On the menu was fish, saddle of venison and homemade ice cream, of which the wedding couple knew nothing. “On the whole, the wedding was lovely and very down to earth but also wonderfully festive and emotional with improvised speeches and guitar playing in the garden,” says Marie.
This year Marie and Anders celebrate being together for twenty years and ten years as man and wife – and the road is likely to lead to Samsø yet again …
• Marie Frank made her debut in 1999 with the album ”Ancient Pleasures”, for which she also received four Grammy Awards.
• Marie has released six albums and with a seventh being released in late 2019.
• This year Marie held concerts to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of ”Ancient Pleasures”.
• Marie will also perform at Brundby Rock Hotel during the summer of 2019. You can see the program on the hotel’s website.
• Marie’s husband, Anders Pedersen, is also a musician and often performs in concert with Marie. Anders is also in the orchestra PowerSolo and has his own band, The DeSoto Caucus.
Last updated: 26/08/2020 11:19