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 a sustainability philosophy of reinvesting all profits in supporting new and emerging artists whose art is assessed purely on the quality of the craft.

Martin has a background in journalism, social work and (critical) heritage studies, currently working on the project ‘Heritage and the Anthropocene’.

 

The singer/songwriter is undertaking a PhD study investigating personal and collaborative songwriting in the context of environmental precarity:

‘In March of 2018 I witnessed effects of climate change in Cape Town, South Africa, after years of drought leading to the current water crisis. I believe it offered a glimpse into what the future may look like in other places,’ he says.

The study will add to the conversation of how we across cultures, disciplines and borders can come up with creative responses to the repercussions that rapid climate change brings.

‘I feel compelled to do this work, to go out there and listen and help people tell their stories. This is the challenge 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.