Fra Lippo Lippi’s Per Sorensen loves performing in PH

Per Sorensen meets the media at a press conference on Monday. Jojo Panaligan

MANILA — After Rune Kristoffersen left Fra Lippo Lippi more than two decades ago, the music of the popular Norwegian duo, who got its name from a Robert Browning poem, continues to be adored by Filipinos.

Thanks to its other half and lead vocalist, Per Sorensen, who never gets tired touring the world and reaching out to their fans this side of the globe.

Through the years, Fra Lippo Lippi has visited the Philippines repeatedly and always, they were warmly received by their fans here. The duo first came to visit in 1988 and since then, they always included Manila in their tour. 

Even after Kristoffersen had left in 2002, Sorensen continues to visit the Philippines and reconnect with their fans here.

Fra Lippo Lippi has a number of well-loved and timeless hits that are remembered by Filipino fans through the years. “Heart of the Matter” and “Naïve” from the album, “Dreams” are good tracks for Sorensen. “I always like ‘Coming Home’ from ‘Songs’ album,” he said. 

“Light and Shade” is one Fra Lippo Lippi song that has “beautiful” lyrics, according to Sorensen, and it is also one of his favorites, as well.

“You can’t separate the music from the lyrics or the lyrics from the music,” Sorensen maintained. “It’s just one piece of art. It can’t be without the other. It’s one song.”

“What songwriters like and what the public likes is not always the same. My grandmother gave me a CD for my fifth birthday. The A-side was ‘Yellow Submarine.’ The B-side was ‘Eleonor Rigby.’ How many will not like ‘Eleonor Rigby?”

Sorensen also has an affinity for “The Distance Between Us,” which Fra Lippo Lippi recorded back in 1986.

“That is something that I know many people experience being away from one another,” Sorensen said. “I know a lot of people who went abroad and don’t see their loved ones for a year or two and that is hard. The song means a lot to me and it really matters.”

As a singer-songwriter, Sorensen is not always hopeful for every song that he wrote to be such a big hit.

“You write songs and you don’t really know what you’re letting go,” he said. “It’s like sending your kids out to life. Do you know what’s going to happen to them?

“When I send out my babies, the songs, I don’t know what’s going to happen to them. But I know what I meant to send out in life. That is love, music, words, communication,

“We love the same things. It’s melodic and warmhearted. I think that’s something that will never be out of fashion. We need that.”

Sorensen’s 30-year-old son, Oskar, who has his own band, Dim Gray, is also joining the Philippine concert. “He plays the keyboards and also writes his own songs,” the proud dad shared.

“He’s also with a British band called Big Big Train and they recorded in Italy, played in Leicester, England. He’s going on tour with Dim Gray and Big Big Train all over Europe.”

Oskar played in Manila the first time in 2012, and again in 2015 and 2018. “I depend on that guy because he knows his sounds and he sings really well,” Sorensen beamed. “Dim Gray songs are on Spotify and everywhere else.”

He also brought his guitar player from Norway, Erin Hanson, who has played with him since 1984. “We know each other really well and he’s a brilliant guitar player,” Sorensen said.

He promised to play all of Fra Lippo Lippi’s hits on June 16 at The Theater at Solaire and June 17 at Sta. Rosa Sports Complex.

Front acts are Progeny Band led by ophthalmologist Gilbert de la Cruz and his two sons, Patrick and David, as well as Decades. Special guest is English artist Steve Hovington of the band B-Movie.

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