Butterflies and Opportunities

Ever since I was a teenager, writing (admittedly, mostly very poor) music alone in my room and dreaming about one day becoming an established composer, I have given much thought to having my music performed live – yes, even before it had even happened for the first time.

This week I have not one but two premiere performances coming up: This Friday July 9th, my Sonata for Bassoon and Piano will be performed by award-winning bassoonist Sebastian Stevensson and pianist Henrik Berg. In 2016, Sebastian was awarded Solistpriset, the Swedish Soloist Prize, awarded biennially by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. Henrik is an accomplished and acclaimed pianist and organist who, during the pandemic, also started nurturing a YouTube channel where he performs works by a range of composers, from Bach and Brahms to Messiaen, Vierne, Otto Olsson and many others.

The day after, Saturday July 10th, will see the premiere of my most recent composition: my brand new septet Books on a Bookshelf. Six movements, 20-odd minutes and – hopefully – unpredictable, even for me, as it is written in open form where the performers are encouraged to order the movements themselves. I write this on a road trip to the archipelago north of Gothenburg, in the Orust area, where this concert will be held in the beautiful Flatö Church.

Due to pandemic restrictions, the audience is limited to 40 visitors. Tickets are on sale now and still available (at least at the time of writing), but if you are at all interested in coming, you should definitely get your tickets as soon as possible!

Sebastian is also one of the seven musicians that will premiere my septet. Henrik also performs in the same concert, but piano isn’t included in my piece. It is, however, in my friend and colleague Gustaf Blix‘s Triptych for Seven Instruments and Trio for Bassoon, Violin and Piano, two other pieces to be premiered this week – his trio on Friday, like my sonata, and “Triptych” on Saturday.

The seven musicians premiering my septet are: Madelene Berg, violin; Fredrik Hulthe, viola; Frida Skaftun, violoncello; Isak Josefsson, double bass; Anna McGregor, clarinet; Lene Skomedal, horn; Sebastian Stevensson, bassoon.

I have planned this road trip with the pandemic on top of mind, even going as far as to prepare for sleeping in my car – both in the case that I can’t find a safe place to sleep and, in the worst case, if I start to feel sick, that I can isolate myself as much as possible and drive home as soon as I can.

Next week, I will write my final post before taking a break over summer. Look forward to pictures and stories from both concerts, as well as the preceding rehearsals, as well as exciting announcements about upcoming projects and collaborations!

Finally, allow me to tease the beautiful weather and one of the local seasonal cafés and small-scale food producers, Östanö Skafferi. I am fortunate enough to have not one but several of these amazing little gems near to where I live. This one is a 15-minute drive away. Another one, Nora Honung, is a 15-minute walk away, door to door. Locally produced honey, jams, juices and other delicious foodstuffs as well as baked goods that are simply to die for. Small businesses run by genuine enthusiasts.