PRESENCE

Format: CD/LP/MC
Released: September 1988
Label: Virgin Records
Catalogue: 259 309

Artist: Martin Hall
Music and lyrics: Martin Hall
Producer: Martin Hall, Flemming Nygaard
Design: Birgitte Wester
Photo: Robin Skjoldborg

INDEX

1. Real Thing 5:37
2. Beat of the Drum 4:54
3. Penetration 4:31
4. Intermezzo 6:00
5. Magnum Opus 9:17
6. Presence 12:20

LYRICS

Real Thing

I return
In the light of the sun
A shadow is cast of a moment in time
Like turns of the tide
In the still of the night it begins
What is is to be

While all things must pass, a presence remains
A fire will burn, purify – never change
It’s seen in the sky, it’s felt deep inside
As there’s so much more to this than meets the eye
It’s something within, it’s something without
The longing inside is the drive that allows
The work to be done

River deep, mountain high
A shadow inside
In the light of a greatness from which none can hide
Out of the blue, into the fire
And I’m stronger than ever in my one surrender
A red storm arising
Now I know what I want and I know how to get it
It’s calling within and without

As pure as the real thing
The state and the feeling
It leaves me no doubt of what needs to be done
A thunder’s been raging
A choice has been taken
To never look back
To be one of the few

I know it ’cause I feel it
I don’t need no further proof to believe it
There’s a guiding light
Burning inside out
As pure as the real thing

In this forum of time and of place
There’s a rainbow arising after the rain
As the sun melts the snow
The ice and the fire

Mountain streams overflow
Run down from the higher
And the water, it glitters like diamond
As pure as the light

Beat of the Drum

Now one day I woke up to some rules of life
That a serious heart needs a light mind to survive
That if you only hope you won’t get very far
‘Cause dreams call for action

No matter what you want the way is to begin
‘Cause knowing all about it is not the living thing
And those who sit and ask for great things all the time
Well I hope they’ve sorted out the many small things on the line

A focus inside out
The still of the centre
You must live by demand
But also surrender

As the beat of the drum beats the ghosts on the run
So the beat of my heart keeps me wondering
Now it’s been said this world is a stage
Well then if that is true
It’s an unwritten play
That makes being a becoming

It’s so easy seen when it’s someone else
But are you any better when you’re by yourself
‘Cause in this hall of mirrors you’re in a counterpoint
Where it takes one to recognize one

Now there are those who say that life is hard and then you die
Well petty leads to pity if you do not wonder why
‘Cause the way to solve a problem is to get a bigger one
So to those who cry for freedom
Well there’s working to be done

Penetration

The cooler the game, the more it will run hot
The sharper the knife, the deeper it will cut
The more you hold on to, the more you will lose
The more you let go, the more you constitute

It’s so easy to criticize someone else
But if you’re superior why don’t you help
‘Cause knowing the truth in your head is a lie
If you aren’t in practice of it in your life

Solar plexus charge
Guided by the heart
As the silence rules
Before the storm

You’d better know what you’re into
You’d better know how to get out
What’s easy said’s always harder done
So rather small tries than big shouts

Cut down to black and white
Put all your views aside
And face the main thing
We’re in the same thing
There’s too much luxury
Too much hypocrisy
From penetration to revelation

Surviving the 20th century drain
Requires control of emotions and brain
So don’t have a drama but try to make sense
Of what’s going on in this world consequence

The rules of the game are as solid as rock
There are millions out there living in culture shock
Now one thing’s to see it, another to change
To know where you’re going, not just fight against

Intermezzo

Changeless
Beyond the point of return
Nameless
Written to whom it may concern

Fineness
Cast like a shadow of life
Timeless
Moment by moment, always now

The nearer the source, the purer the stream
The stronger the will, the more real is the dream
The truer the flame, the brighter it burns
The harder the fall, the stronger the return

For all as for none, for you as for me
You may feel alone but you never will be
All life is a wave that rises and falls
A part of the great sea in which it dissolves

All things
Rise in the light of the sun
Being
Meanings are many, reasons one
For years
Searching but too close to see
We’re here
And this is where we’re meant to be

The nearer the source, the purer the stream
The stronger the will, the more real is the dream
The truer the flame, the brighter it burns
The harder the fall, the stronger the return

For all as for none, for you as for me
You may feel alone but you never will be
All life is a wave that rises and falls
A part of the great sea in which it dissolves

And born under stars, in eternity
In all that has been, all that is, all to be
A feeling within still to be fulfilled
Of something inside that can never be killed

Magnum Opus

River of life, salt of the Earth
We are the children of unseen worlds
In this arena the strongest survives
But only intact if they stay true to life
And touched by a sparkle, a cool fire burns
The flame is a guest but it has to return
To its kingdom
Its arising
To its source

The mystery lives in crystal and cell
Untouchable real as the heartbeat itself
The immanent life, an eminent line
A journey more directional than defined
A resonance ringing, a midnight sun burns
What’s said by the words is what silence confirms
The media of senses, of heart and of mind
In worlds of the moment, the past left behind
It leaves me all breathless, it feels so complete
The heavens so still and the Earth so concrete
And it calls me
In a whisper
In a scream

Like a shadow that’s cast from above
In this kingdom of flesh and of blood
A superior allowance rules
The Magnum Opus of life

Calling for some, knowing you’re there
Hiding away in own worlds, unaware
Living in darkness, living without
The beauty of life, of demand inside out

Now stop the self-torture of doubt and of fear
The fact that you are says you’re meant to be here
To feel weak costs nothing, to rise above does
A future is calling for each one of us
And if you don’t want it, then die on your own
I’m gonna proceed even if I’m alone
‘Cause I want it
More than ever
For us all

Reasons known, reasons still to be found
Where there’s will, there are ways, none without
A superior allowance rules
The Magnum Opus of life

And it calls me
In a whisper
And it calls me
In a scream

When all is said and when all is done
A moment alone will come to everyone
To make you consider, to make you see clear
What you have caused in the time you’ve been here
It’s beginning
So may each find what each seeks

Presence

A diamond is shining but it’s empty in its inside
A crystallization providing a home for the light
Purified by the flame, only core remains
In the face of mass ignorance you can’t change the world
But you’re responsible at least for your own

The sound of children crying
The words of leaders lying
In this nightmare theatre of shock insensitivity
So everyone loves the talking
But when it comes to the working
I see an empty stage and everyone returned to fantasy

Now I’m not getting heavy, I’m just pointing out some facts
If a gun was put against your head, I think you would react
There’s an instinct to survive, a will to live
And don’t you think there’s a reason for such technology
Or do you take it all for nothing in your self-view luxury
‘Cause if you do, well really
Who do you think you are?

The rising sun drives back the darkness
The morning light exposes Earth
And here I stand within the realms of all to come

A tension inside
A feeling arising
Like a charge in the sky
The pressure before it bursts
The lightness when it has been released
A shadow is cast from clouds slowly passing
While summer rain’s falling
The sky opens up

And as I walk upon the face of Earth
Deep in my heart, a stillness undisturbed
In open fields, the wind carries the words
Within, without – a flame burns on this Earth

I’ve got the spirit, I’ve got the feeling
And I’ll be true to what I believe in
An inner greatness is my conviction
And it’s the sparkle of my resistance
I feel the promise within the longing
I’ve gone from being into becoming
And in this journey of my existence
My only statement is my persistence

From circle to spiral
From charge to release
From feeling to knowing
From the inside into the outside
A life is what it becomes as it goes through this world
Its appearance is its allowance, its kingdom the Earth
It’s a matter of seeing what it’s in the middle of
It’s a question of below before a question of above

A cool flame burning inside, it’s embodied in flesh
A radiation of divinity
I feel a fullness inside, I see the richness of life
I see the wounds slowly heal and it’s amazing to me
I see a newborn child, I see integrity
The small intensity in the enormity
I see a single flame give birth to thousand lights
I see the principle in its simplicity

A tension inside
A feeling arising
Like a charge in the sky
The pressure before it bursts
The lightness when it has been released
A shadow is cast from clouds slowly passing
While summer rain’s falling
The sky opens up

And as I walk upon the face of Earth
Deep in my heart, a stillness undisturbed
In open fields, the wind carries the words
Within, without – a flame burns on this Earth

I’ve got the spirit, I’ve got the feeling
And I’ll be true to what I believe in
An inner greatness is my conviction
And it’s the sparkle of my resistance
I feel the promise within the longing
I’ve gone from being into becoming
And in this journey of my existence
My only statement is my persistence

In the river of life, in the light of each day
Purified by the stream, purified by the flame
Inescapable
And unchangeable
From the fountain of life, from above to below
As the river runs down so the cup overflows
And you are what you are
All that you may become

ITUNES

You can get the remastered version of the original album here:

Presence (Remastered Version 2012) - Martin Hall

Presence Remastered 2012

ORDER CD

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Musicians

Flemming Nygaard: keyboards
Lotte Grundlev: backing vocals
Martin Hall: vocals, keyboards, guitar
Tina Schæfer: backing vocals

Recorded and mixed at the MMC studios, spring/summer 1988.

Info

Presence was Martin Hall’s hugely successful comeback album after a two and a half year-long retreat from the music industry. The release created a massive media hype and featured the hit single “Beat of the Drum”, a track that would become the most played Danish single on the leading radio station The Voice in 1988 (then and now the biggest commercial radio in Denmark). If you include international competitors “Beat of the Drum” was only surpassed by John Farnham’s worldwide hit “The Voice”.

Beat of the Drum 1988

Presence received excellent reviews. It was also the first Hall record ever to enter top 20 during the first week of its release. The album is a crystalline pop production featuring catchy songs with grand-scale arrangements and epic, highly charged lyrics. The record was subsequently released throughout Scandinavia and Northern Europe where it also generated a line of great reviews.

The recording of Presence were made using a Fairlight CMI music computer alongside other available music workstations. The album is co-produced with Flemming Nygaard, former member of Under For as well as musician on Hall’s previous record, Cutting Through. Nygaard was both a classically trained cellist and a highly gifted technician – all in all an invaluable aid to Hall in the making of Presence. When Nygaard died in the late summer of 1989, Hall dedicated his newly written Requiem‘ to him, an organ concert performed at Taksigelseskirken (a church in Copenhagen) in December.

The album’s second single “Real Thing” (catalogue number 611940) became a minor radio hit during 1989. You can find a photo gallery covering a television performance Martin Hall made in relation to the single release here.

Real Thing 1989