Martin Høybye

How do you write about 'the end of the world'?

Martin Hoybye’s recording career spans nearly two decades during which he has released a number of albums as well as contributed to many recordings by other artists.

His songwriting tends to revolve around social and existential issues, and recurring themes are time, love and identity.

Since 2007 Martin Hoybye has co-directed the label ‘Songcrafter Music,’ which releases Nordic songwriting talent.

Songcrafter is a company based on philosophy of reinvesting profits to support new and emerging artists whose art is assessed purely on their craft.

Martin has a background in journalism, social work and heritage studies, currently working on a project that creatively investigates responses to living with a changing climate.

 

He is undertaking a PhD study exploring personal and collaborative songwriting engaging with questions of going through “Anthropocene” moments:

‘In March of 2018 I witnessed effects of climate change in Cape Town, South Africa, after years of drought led to a severe water crisis. I believe it offered a glimpse into what the future may look like in other places. In fact we now see similar issues unfolding in 2021 in the US’ he says.

He sees the climate and bio-diversity crises as connected, and in 2019 started working with people affected by Covid-19 in Denmark.

‘I feel compelled to go out there and listen and write these songs with people. These are major challenges of our time, and I will continue to write songs about it until there is nothing more to say’

 

Time and (other) finite resources

One of the points Martin constantly works to make come across is that many of our perceived infinite resources are, in fact, finite.

‘We treat natural resources like water and air as carelessly as we tend to treat each other. In a sense, our lives are too short. We are not geared to understand the repercussions of our actions centuries or even just decades down the line.’

On his recent album release ‘The Hour Glass Sessions’ (2019) time is a trope running through all of the songwriting.

In the seemingly daunting and scary circumstances that climate change and the advent of the Anthropocene brings, Martin wanted to try to write about what mattered most to him. But rather than turning out topical songs the project quickly took a more personal direction.

‘How do you write about the idea of the end of the world? What does that even mean? I realized that to me that meant something very personal yet universal. And in turn the bulk of these songs are about life and living, about family and what I would like to pass on,” he says.