Words For Our Manager Barry Matheson

Dear Friends,

The following are personal letters from each of us to our dear but now departed manager Barry Matheson. We wanted to share them with you as he was, for over 20 years, as much an integral part of Secret Garden off-stage as we are on-stage.

Barry Matheson Fionnuala Sherry og Rolf Løvland. Foto: Tom Egil Jensen / VG / NTB

Fionnuala’s words

This month we made our final farewell to our manager, friend and partner Barry Matheson. Barry fought a long battle with cancer and his strength and determination helped to delay its outcome for the past 3 years.

As our manager for 21 years, Barry opened many doors and opportunities that we could never have imagined. Nothing was an obstacle for him and his huge belief in us and his amazing ability to never take no as an answer meant that we were the first Norwegian signed act to travel the globe as much as we have done. Everybody loved Barry and to travel with him was an experience in itself. By the time we would board our plane he already was on familiar names and terms with the ground staff, ensuring our very overweight baggage was on board! – and throughout the flights, his charm continued with the crew. On arrival, he would always know every detail of the local record company staff and promotion team just ensuring a safe and easy passage for us all.

Traveling with Barry was fun and hassle-free and still now when there have been flight delays or cancellations we wish we could call him as Barry could fix anything, and in the process was a soothing and caring presence that took all the stress away.

Apart from his natural charm Barry was incredibly well dressed for every occasion, Beautifully tailored suits, shirts pocket handkerchiefs with a briefcase full of any emergency items you might need. It was always lovely to watch him work a crowd or a reception, he could be spotted from afar as been the most well dressed and vivacious person in the room. He was so outgoing and fun that we could hide behind him when we were exhausted from performing.

As a friend and partner, there was nothing we could not call Barry about, and at any time of day or night 7 days a week, Barry never switched off – he was always there for us. When my father died in 1996 it seemed that Barry quietly stepped into that role, guiding me throughout the years, being at the other end of the phone whenever I needed to talk, being a mentor and best friend. For my 40th birthday, Barry bought me a diamond bracelet, which I treasured so much and wore it continuously. So much so that due to wear and tear it eventually broke and I had it remodeled into my now wedding eternity ring. I love that wedding ring which is a constant reminder of Barry, and a lovely comfort and memory every morning when I put it on.

Barry understood the importance of family and relationships enjoying his time with his amazing wife Berit, siblings, children and grandchildren all that he was so proud of. He encouraged me always to have time with my family and kept up with the minutiae of all of our everyday lives even though he had such a busy schedule.

Barry was very much recognized as a hugely important influential person within the Norwegian Music industry not to mind his chair role of Rotary International, that it’s hard to believe he could also be our partner and manager in Secret Garden. His capacity was endless.
For us to lose Barry after all these years is like a wheel has come off.
He was our partner, best friend and manager and his loss is immense.
He has gone but will never be forgotten.

Bless you Barry and Thank you.


Rolf’s Words

We’ve always been close to Barry – nearly every day for two decades. He was the “total” manager caring about every aspect of our professional lives – and far beyond. Maybe the past couple of years, after Barry retired due to illness, I realized how much I depended on him. His knowledge and experience were priceless; his energy and ambition inspired us to be our best; his respect for everyone and his gentleman-like demeanor always made us proud of him. So we realized more than ever how dear he was to us when he was no longer there.

Last year we released our album ‘Storyteller’ and in the booklet, we wrote a special dedication:

”A special thank you to Barry Matheson for being our manager for the past 20 years. It’s been a journey of extraordinary guidance and fatherly care for us – both professionally and personally – now coming to an end by this album. We can never thank you enough. We dedicate this album to you with our deepest gratitude and love”.

Thank you from bottom of my heart Barry,
Rest in Peace.


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Posted July 3rd, 11:18 am

Secret Garden

Get the story behind Sleepsong 🌙
See the whole performance on YouTube (here performed by Cathrine Iren Iversen): shorturl.at/dgjP6
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Comment on Facebook 3035445716509011

If I had to pick ONE vocal track from SG, this is the one. The soothing melody, and the lyric that truly blesses whoever is listening to it… The combination is just perfect.

The most beautiful lullaby in the World (vocally & lyrically) I played to my 4 year son since before he was even born – thank you Secret Garden 💕

I freaking LOVE that song. It competes with evensong for my favorite song ever

Absolutly mesmerising! 😍

I was listening to the CD Earthsongs while soaking in the bath today; as always, I get to track 6, and don't want to move! The most beautiful song ever! 🌞🙏🏻🍀

There are only few things in this worlds that put me in tears. Sleepsong is one of them. Love you guys ❤️

Always makes me cry…

One of My favorites songs for sure

My fav lullaby

Such a beautiful song ❤️

I love your music

I want to watch on YouTube

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Posted June 17th, 1:23 pm

Secret Garden

We share some thoughts about the song Moving! Go to YouTube to see the whole performance. See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook 2992285367491713

Great. Love you music

ok. im understand.

Posted June 16th, 9:33 am

Secret Garden

Today: Were honoured that Quincy Jones is using You raise me up in global online piano recital!In partnership with Quincy Jones and Hal Leonard Corporation, we are excited to announce the launch of the “You Raise Me Up” Global Piano Recital – a worldwide piano class and virtual recital to bring the world together through music! 🎹🌍🎶⁣
During this time when we cannot physically be together, we are inviting you to spend time as a global community learning a beautiful, uplifting song “You Raise Me Up” popularized by Josh Groban, and later perform it as one global piano voice! 🙌⁣

Beginners, kids, advanced players – all can take part and learn a section of “You Raise Me Up” with FREE video lessons released every day until all the sections of the song have been covered.
Here’s how to participate:⁣

1. Download the Playground Sessions app and locate the FREE “You Raise Me Up” course to learn with the full interactive experience OR go to www.playgroundsessions.com/global-piano-recital to follow along on the website.⁣

2. Pick your difficulty level and start learning!⁣

3. As you’re learning the song, share your progress and milestones with fellow learners using the hashtag ➡️#GlobalPianoClass and tagging @thePlaygroundSessions

4. Once you’ve learned your section, you will be able to submit your performance to the Global Piano Recital by posting your video on Facebook using the hashtag ➡️#GlobalPianoRecital and tagging @thePlaygroundSessions starting on June 1st (more details to come!)

If your profile is private, you can submit your video on www.playgroundsessions.com/global-piano-recital 🎹⁣⁣
Join our dedicated Facebook Group ▶️ www.facebook.com/groups/TheYouRaiseMeUpGlobalVirtualPianoRecital/ to engage with other learners, learn tips and more! See MoreSee Less

Today: Were honoured that Quincy Jones is using You raise me up in global online piano recital!

Posted June 12th, 5:59 pm

Secret Garden

Fionnuala finalises cancer treatment ❤️ See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook 2980204955366421

Overwhelmed by all of your amazing messages of support to my recent post. This past year was truly made possible and the positive outcome is as a direct result of the positivity that was sent my way. I thank each and everyone of you from the bottom of my heart for been with me throughout the process. lots of love Fionnuala

Well done you brave lady. The best is yet to come. Xxx

These are wonderful news! I'm sending you a virtual huge, warm hug from Athens, Greece! ❤ And once again, thank you for the music that touches my soul for so many years now! All the finest to you – and yours! ⚘

Your courage and optimism in the face of such a dreaded disease is so inspiring. I sincerely wish you a long healthy and happy life. Know you have profoundly touched millions around the world.

Jesus Christ Fionnuala has been supporting and healing you dear. You and Rolf without knowing have been healing people with you music and so you were blessed. We are blessed too to know you and see Gods work with you. From Canada , my family and I writing with love to you hoping we can meet you in person in the near future. My wife Febronia Milad Yanni, my daughters Loreena, Melitsa and I. ❤️

You have fought against cancer… And you have defeated it. Well done, brave warrior!!!

Great news, I'm so happy for you and for Rolf. My husband is battling another type of cancer, so we know how important it is to stay strong. God bless you and stay well. xx 😃👏👏🙏❤️🎻🎼

I passed my 5 year mark from Lung Cancer last October

Congratulations! Thanks for your sharing and your honesty. Have loved your music for years. Blessings.

Bless you, I look forward to more beautiful music from you and Rolf x ❤️

My mom is battling against this horrible disease!😭 I'm so glad to hear you're ok now!🙏🏻💖 Many hugs and blessings for you!!

Lots of love to you – you look great and so happy you are over the worst . Xxx

Thank you for sharing this wonderful news. I can relate as a fellow breast cancer survivor (24 years now). God bless you with good health and peace of heart and mind. Looking forward to much more beautiful music in the coming years. Sending a hug from Lancaster, Pennsylvania!

So great, warm hug from Beijing, China. Hope you will be healthy soon, and visit China again.

Good to hear treatment has finished, and wishing you a full recovery back to good health. 😘

Well done lovely lady…really pleased for you. I emailed you but I'm not sure if it got through. Would love to hear from you xxxxx

Thank you for the secret garden music, which used to comfort me when I was lonely.🥰

I am so happy that you are now on the road to getting your health back! As much as we all miss you and all of Secret Garden, you take as long as you need! Your well being is the most important thing right now! I always play one of your CD's every single night on my Bose! You are never far away ! Secret Garden music has helped me get through the long nights since my husband passed. (He also loved all your music!) Take care and God bless you! ❤

I hope you keep getting better and get your strength back little by little. Vitamin D is important. Secret Garden's music has been my favourite music for twenty years and still is. I have all your albums except for the latest. Thank you for your beautiful music!

Well done Fionnuala – tough at the time but it is all behind you now ❤️

It's really wonderful to see you reach the end point of your treatment journey and I can only imagine how difficult it was for you. However, I'm happy that you've come through. I wish you good health and strength. I know you and Rolf will continue to share your inspiration through music once again. It is known that some of the most beautiful pieces of music came from a difficult place in life. Thank you for providing us this positive update.

you're a fighter, you'll win for sure, your soul is divine and shining, your tunes are the mirror of what you are

Hooray! such great news for you, your family and all of us all over the world who love your music…music which gets us through the tough times and helps us enjoy the good times! Lots of love from a small place southwest of Sydney, Australia..🙃💓💓💓

Great news and we look forward to seeing you in the near future in Dublin and going on another magical trip down memory lane into the Secret Garden !

So happy to hear this news, Fionnuala! Delighted for you and so proud of your brave journey. Praying for renewed health and strength. Your music has always been a blessing and solace to me over the years, and even more so in these difficult times. All the best to you. 🎶💕🌸

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Posted June 12th, 9:41 am

Secret Garden

We share the inspiration behind "Frozen In Time" 💙 Go to YouTube to see the whole performance. See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook 2979313738788876

Love your music!❤️

Beautiful melody! Thank you Fio & Rolf for the light!

So beautiful!

Your music touches my heart with every note❣🎶

Meravigliosi come sempre

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