måndag 30 januari 2012

Let's do something!

Today I saw the film "Sing your song", a documentary of Harry Belafonte and his tremendous history in arts, music and social activism. Stunning history! And not always the history told as I learned from his daughter Gina Belafonte, producer of the film. Gina met us the audience here in Göteborg today and after the screening we could ask her questions and she really met us with a warm heart and openess.

It's all really touching. There's pictures in this movie from the most heart aching moments of human despair, from the violent days of racism, apartheid, famine and war. Each time Harry Belafonte heard the cries he acted: Let's do something! He was constantly movement-building and searching for Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities, Freedom for the people who lack this.

He got very close to Martin Luther King and the non violent movement. He met Mandela, who greeted him: "-Ah, there you are Harry-boy!" when Mandela came to the US for the first time after being released from his 27 years in prison.

The story is really long, how he always stood up for human rights. And Harry Belafonte called himself a constant optimist, that's the only way to have hope.

The film is a great portrait of a unique artist who devoted his whole life for the believes he had, to make his country a good place to live for all inhabitants. In his old days he put a lot of focus on children and young voices all around the world. Being a Unicef embassador he really gained a lot achivement.
It's also scary to see how other forces tried to stop him and destroy for all the leaders of the movement, blacklisting them, threatening them. Bravery is what' always been needed if you want to really make a difference. How hard the struggle was at some point.

Harry once asked Martin Luther King if he feared for his life, and the answer was firm: I care mostly for doing a good job. Life is somehow short, and it's not so much about how long you live but what you do with your life.

As always when I see the documentary pictures of killings in Soweto during the 1960th I can hardly breath, I get an immediate pain in my body. But most of all, I feel so uplifted to see the determination and the achievements and how people stood up and joined for freedom and equal rights.

Listen to this interview:

And here's some happy jumping film-festival visitors!
Long live hope!

måndag 23 januari 2012

Recordingsession NWM at Studio Epidemin

Nordic Wedding Music are just finished for today with recording and Johannes Lundberg, soundengineer of the day, is now mixing while we listen and comment. It's been a good day at work! Playful, sharing of new ideas, trying out a few new arrangements on the songs of Nordic Wedding Music. Studio Epidemin is the place! Inspiring and relaxed, and very very skilled people working here. You definitely relax in their good care. I've also got the chance during sound check to try out mike cable from Intelligent Sound and listen to the difference from a normal cable.
Mats Eriksson (guitar) is sleeping on the couch behind us and we listen to how much reverb that will be suitful. As soon as something is said about the guitar he's immediately alert. Mikael Godée (sopran saxophone) is having a beer and making some documentary photos.
I forgot to bring my camera today, but I have an old photo from another recording session in springtime, same studio:
List of songs today:

Godafton, godafton.
Vár Hárra
Aldrig blir den bruden jungfru mer
I stemmer og sjunge
Se stjärnorna på himmelen
Flickan står på golvet.

In this moment it's a challenge to keep the ears clear and awake. It can be coming to a point when the ears just have to take a break and have a fresh start in the listening.


fredag 20 januari 2012

Some days... with a little help from Marius Vilhelmsen

Some days just start very hard...and this morning I had to give up. It was not just the ordinary slow/sleepy/almost unconsiousness kid start at 6 o clock, it was actually my daughter being ill. So, I had to quickly re-arrange the whole days planning and stay at home. Had my breakfast and started work, saw the sunrise through the fogg and frost.
I missed a chance to reherse with my great band, Nordic Wedding Music. Sigh.
But I gained some more time to dig deeper into the treasure world of nordic wedding songs, the archive stuff I have collected, and the book is in a more intense phase of creation. So many wonderful songs! I'm totally mesmerised by Marius Vilhelmsen, singer from the Faroe Islands.

onsdag 18 januari 2012

Powerful sisters: Rising Appalachia

Good morning world!
Today I want to share some beautiful work by sisters Leah and Chloe Smith who are the creative duo Rising Appalachia.

Thank you Håkan for introducing me to this beautiful music.

Stand up, look around.....

It's from their song, like a mantra, and it makes me attuned to the new day.
It's a wednesday in January, and it's right now, right here.
It's our life, and it's a mystery on one level.
It's our free choice to make this day the way we want it to be. Be corageous.

Go well into your day, don't forget to be awesome!


måndag 16 januari 2012

I'm going out

Because January is cold, foggy and dark: let's go out in the night and dance it away!
After a long day of music-work it's time to do some lindy. I can't sit still, I can't wait. Too long time at the computer today.

And in my head I have thousands of new ideas.


lördag 14 januari 2012

Chair-ways to heaven

From now on we are going to sit on Marimekko. First time I renovate chair seats, and I feel proud of my achievements. I really love these vintage chairs I got from a relative. They have once been in a small hotel.

I've been in a very creative spirit today, recorded some songs for a up coming concert with my cello playing former colleague in Rosenberg 7: Annika Dobler! I'm so excited about working with her again. Voice + cello, a winning team :-)


torsdag 12 januari 2012

Irmelin in New York

Intense and much fun in New York, I just love to travel and work with my Irmelin-sisters: Karin Ericsson Back and Maria Misgeld.

Hotel Pennsylvania, in the middle of Midtown. There's so much magic in the air in a city like New York, knowing that this is a great city for culture and arts, a place for performance and late nights.

Right under my hotel window there was so much noise every night. When I finally and exhausted after the long days and nights at APAP conference tried to fall asleep there was sounds like of 1000 taxi cabs hooting and taxi rank people blowing whistles and yelling. Right outside the main entrance of our hotel some taxi gentlemen where busy matching taxi cabs with guests going in and out in the night life.

Hotel Pennsylvania where we stayed is a great history in itself. Up til 1927 the biggest hotel in the world. And many jazz musicians has stayed here: Dorsey Brothers, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Glenn Miller who immortalized the hotel in a song called Pennsylvania 6-5000, the telephonenumber still in use!
Vintage indeed, and it seems like they have a taste for keeping it vintage and not take away the history. Door knob to the bathroom:

Now Irmelin is busy busy with follow up all new contacts and also work with Swedish up coming tours. See you somewhere!

tisdag 10 januari 2012

Flying home

This morning the view over Göteborg was clear and saying to me: down under the aeroplane, on this piece of earth globe, my daughter is walking. It was almost like I could see her down there.

The last moments of Manhattan yesterday. I went quickly into the shop of Museum of Modern Arts, MoMa, and immediately got hold of a copy of Miranda July's new book: It chooses you.

I've read it through on the flight over the Atlantic and back home. Her book is like another kind of coming home. I've found some important stories in the book that really meant something to me.

Singing with Irmelin is fantastic (I have more stories to tell later), New York is excellent, but what really matters is now in just a few hours I'll go meet my daughter.

söndag 8 januari 2012

Irmelin adventures over seas

Arriving in New York on the Friday evening. I'm staying at a hotel at Madison Square Garden, where traffic and party life is producing a constant fire work of lights and colour.

Lots of people in the streets looking for a party night out in town.

I'm quite tirad arter time chargé and traveling so I look forward to see my hotel rom. In the hotel there's a long que of people chicking in, it tok me 1 hur to get a rom! Karin and Maria who arrived earlier also had to stand in que for 1 hour...

Finally, a room, a really big room, with heavy metal door from the last century, lots of vintage feeling, I hope the dirt in the corners not has stayed there that long….

Good enough I manage to sleep a full night so today we have started the hectic work of making contacts and finding people we want to connect with here at the giant confeerens of APAP. Lets go for it!

Irmelin has also made an excellent first rehearsal and we are so much looking forward to do our show case and present our music. We think we will do a great performance!

onsdag 4 januari 2012

Irmelin sings "North Sea Stories" at APAP NYC.

Now preparations to go to New York with Irmelin! Exciting of course, a hectic weekend, a concentrate of Irmelin concert as a show case, and a lot of net working it will be. Swedish radio and newspapers are being well informed, it's a major event promoted by several swedish music organisations including RFoD, and funding comes from Musikplattformen who is covering almost all the costs.

Some useful links:

Global Performing Arts Marketplace and Conference

Swedish Music Showcase


I go on with packing, preparing my voice with good excersises and yogi tea. And later today visiting the hairdresser Christer at Min bror och jag! Nice!