The times, they are a-changin’

Three years ago, I could not have imagined where I would be at today.

A statement like that is of course really easy to make; it’s hard to predict one’s future, and especially so when a once-in-a-century pandemic suddenly upends many parts of everyday life. Still, I would never in a million years have guessed that in 2019, I would buy an old parish house with the goal of converting it into a venue for meetings, study groups, concerts, and other performances.

The High Coast region in the middle of Sweden is a World Heritage Site famous for its dramatic scenery, which is the result of a higher-than-average tectonic uplift. Surrounded by mostly fields, small watercourses and forests, this parish house was constructed in the 1930s to serve an independent Lutheran congregation.

After a period of dwindling membership and subsequently a number of years in disuse, a local carpenter bought the house and repurposed it as a workshop. And then, two years ago this summer, I bought it.

So far, progress has been slow but steady as I have been busy with work and, at the same time, woefully inexperienced as a house owner. Now, however, things are starting to move at pace. What used to be a sort of stage, complete with pulpit, is going to become an office that can also serve as a control room for doing recordings in the hall itself.

It’s also rather nice to alternate between the abstract mental gymnastics of music composition and the physical, manual labour of house renovations. And, naturally, it’s quite satisfying to see what you’ve previously only had as a mental image gradually take shape.

And finally, as an aside, I really want to share this fantastic documentary about Japanese music technology titan Roland made by Alex Ball: