torsdagen den 22:e december 2011

After the longest night

I have danced away the longest night and celebrated solstice in the most lovely way I can think of. And now we will have more and more light coming in for every new day.

The songs that goes together with this time of the year all tell the same message, see the star in the sky, let light in. This is what we all need right now. Let light in on all the squares in the world where people gather to express their free opinions, to find a new road to the future where people can live harmoniously together. Violence crack down on peaceful demonstrations and this is the real darkness of our time. Lets stand together and light even the smallest candle in the darkness. Peace and strength will forever come out of the memory of Vaclav Havel, and how culture took a big role in the changes Havel was a leading part of. What a great role model he is! I'm going to read his biography as soon as I get hold of it.

I'm going to keep on singing the old old swedish folk songs talking the same story, let light in. Here's a photo right before we entered the stage to make the duo concert at Uddevalla Museum. Saxophonist Mikael Godée and I made a contemporary performance out of the old songs.

torsdagen den 8:e december 2011

After the concert with Gunnar Eriksson, Bengt Hallberg, me and choir.




It's a very rare thing to encounter a musician like Bengt Hallberg. Tonight he was playing with all the brilliance, timing, and sence of playing only what's important and nothing else, the way it's earned only after such a long carreer. A long life of experiences. When a life long committment to the music really grows year by year. It was shining through his very playing. If it's possible to talk about sound as shining with light, this is it. He definitely grasped the whole piano, with both power and precision. So musical, so deep of invention. His harmonies of Ack Värmeland du sköna, I will forever remember this.

Gunnar was at the height of his artistry as well, I believe the two inspired each other tonight. When he was conducting the choir Göteborgs Kammarkör it was like the music became visible in his hands, you could see the sounds and timbre. For the second part of the concert I could sit and listen, enjoy, open every fiber to recieve this unique moment of music. The choir + Bengt + Gunnar did wonderful takings of Evert Taube and Lars Gullin, many songs by each one of the composers. In this part I was just listening.

I was also very inspired. One example, even if there was many golden moments. On the rehersal we did ok, but in the concert, there was something very special coming out of the Anna Sjöbom song: En gång i bredd med mig. I don't know how many times I've sung this song, but it came out tonight like it was brand new to me, when Bengt was doing the intro and playing with. It was a 100% intense moment. In the first half of the concert we did our folk music set, with Lys morgonstjärna + Gläd dig du kristi brud, Bered en väg för herran, Jag vet en dejlig rosa, En gång i bredd med mig, Å att jeg kunne, Gjendines bådnlåt, Till Österland vill jag fara.

After the concert we started travelling back to Göteborg in the worst snow storm we've had so far this winter. Almost impossible to have any kind of vision of the road! But all the way back to the city we talked and agreed on how great the contribution of Bengts piano playing was for tonight's concert. He's really fit for plaing. I've seen on wikipedia he's recorded an album this year, and yet another one 2010. So he's doing a great come back after 9 years of a break.

Things he's done in his carreer is somehow too many to start to mention, but at least I can say he's composed the song for Madicken-movie, and tv serie Den vita stenen. He's got a list of about 60 different albums (with many famous jazz musicians) recorded says wikipedia, starting från 1950 and on uptil our days. He's born in 1932. A truly amazing musician.

It will be a little difficult to unwind and fall asleep tonight, I get so many new ideas in my head. And maybe it's also because of the 5 cups of coffée I had today wich is a rather high doze for me...but it doen't matter on such a special day.

Eva

Jazz legendar Bengt Hallberg joins us today



Tonight it's the yearly December concert designed by Gunnar Eriksson, choir conductor and leader of Göteborgs Kammarkör, held at Ljungs church in Ljungskile. I will take part as soloist with the choir, and this year we have the honour and pleasure to have Bengt Hallberg with us at the pianio. Bengt and me will perform together on the songs En gång i bredd med mig (Anna Sjöbom, Enviken), Jag vet en dejlig rosa, and the norwegian folksong Å om jeg kunne. I'm so delighted to do this! Rehersing started with the choir some weeks ago, and I've been intensifying the mental preparation for a few days, and today is The Day, with everything that includes gathering energy without getting too nervous.

It's a beautiful day with sunshine and a few minus degrees.

I've done voice excersices and warming up. I will continue with some Alexander technique and just go through the songs once more.

If you want to come and listen there's tickets sold, if there are still left, by L'Jazz, the jazz club in Ljungskile. http://www.ljazz.se/bokning.html

Warmest wishes, Eva

måndagen den 5:e december 2011

Colours in music, words like music, and Skottvång jul



This afternoon and evening I've been surrounded by poetry and music. First it was our last and final meeting in the course for Henric Holmberg, on poetry. Oh, I will miss this good work we've been doing there, and all the nice people who participated. Thank you Henric for all your knowledge and artistry with poems.

In the evening I've been in a first meeting with master percussionist Youssef Hbeisch from Paris, and also in this meeting were Roger Johansson, composer, and Ahmad Al Khatib, fine master of arabic lute, oud. We've been playing-singing for eachother and with eachother, and I've been listening to Youssef and Ahmad when they play together. It's beyond words the way they create music. The scales, the colours, the turns in the musical moods, it's just amazing to sit so close and be swept away in another kind of poetry without words. Air and earth, and water....



Yesterday Irmelin did a christmas concert at Skottvång Mines together with Emma Reid on fiddle, and Daniel Reid on saxophones. A very nice encounter, indeed. Good King Wenceslas, what a hit-song! We did that one and a couple of swedish "staffans-songs" and other related to the time of the year. Lovely audience we had, I'm so thankful that we can go to such wonderful places like Skottvång and enjoy the very best in terms of good atmosphere and caretaking for musicians, good sound system + enginer, good food, bless you for this home made high level christmas food there! You have to visit this restaurant at some point!

If it wasn't for lots of preparation work before going to New York, I would have been dancing lindy tonight...but New York is kind of a good excuse....
I wish you a very good evening!
Eva

fredagen den 2:e december 2011

On poetry and reading loud


This past weeks I've been taking part in a 5 mondays long course on how to work with reading poetry loud. The course is given by actor Henric Holmberg, who created the course because he wished he could go such a course himself. He has a long time experience of reading poetry, creating performances with a big portion of poetry reading, and as an actor he's brilliant with making the words come in a way you are hit by the deeper message.
Each monday all of us prepare to read two poems, infront of the rest of the group, and Henric gives us feed back.

This whole workshop has been so right on the spot for me. It's close to preparing songs for a concert. There's a big difference in reading with eyes or reading loud, and when I reherse my songs for a concert things start to happen when I spend time with the words and melody doing it loud. It's almost impossible to try to incorporate the material with just reading it with my eyes.

Henric also said many times that when a material of poems (or songs, in my daily work) is resting for a while the deeper parts of our conciousness keep on working with it. I recognize this. A concert done a year ago that is revitalised is somehow more mature and comes out again in a new form. Like now, I have to re-create the christmas songs for this years performances, and it never feels old or the same. I'm one year richer in experience and the songs will reflect other things, I'm able to deal with the songs from new levels.

It would also be interesting to go through the songs just reading them, as poems. Work it through the way we have worked in Henrics course. We've trained a lot how to gather focus, how to work with tempo, with starts and endings, with voice possibilities. All poems can't be read the same, the particular poem (or song) evoke different volume, speed, rythm.

The first session with Henric I recognized his voice. I was outside the room where we work, hanging up my jacket, and Henric was talking to someone in the other room. Without seeing the person talking I knew exactly that it's him doing the speaker voice in the awesome short film "Den fjärde kungen" by Ted Sieger. In my family we sometimes gather friends for a film-party shortly after christmas, seeing Den fjärde kungen. I love the film and I cry at the end every time I see it.

Thank you Henric for bringing the stories and poetry loud and live.
Eva