To Know Your Mission

Today is Midsummer’s Day which is widely and greatly celebrated all over Sweden. Many even argue today is more important to Swedes than our actual national day, which is observed on June 6.

Like so many of my countrymen, I will eat pickled herring with sour cream, chives and potatoes, as well many other typical dishes. There might even be some fermented herring before the day is done, served with even more potatoes and sour cream, onion and chopped dill, wrapped in flatbread and of course served with the mandatory snaps.

Earlier this week, I had a job interview in Stockholm for a position that I really wanted, a job I am certain I would do well, at a workplace I am already familiar with and colleagues I know and respect. However, as it was a full-time position and they were not interested in for instance splitting it into two part-time positions, it was ultimately impossible for me to proceed further in the application process or ultimately take that job.

The whole thing was doubly frustrating, as they were keen on hiring me and in spite of my ultimately dropping out of the application process, I was honestly very interested in the job as well. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been debating the pros and cons of applying for and (if offered) accepting a full-time position, even if only for a time.

In the end, I decided to trust my gut feeling, which told me in no uncertain terms that I would sooner rather than later regret taking up a full-time job As I described in last week’s post, my parents bought our family’s first computer when I was nine. That same year, on that computer, I started writing down my composition ideas (which were at the time incredibly basic, as I at that point had no training whatsoever, but still). Before long, composing music – as simple and limited as it was – had become one of my top-three interests.

Fast-forward to adulthood and it is fair to say that working as a composer is literally a childhood dream. A full-time job would make a composition career impossible for me to maintain and that would essentially mean giving up on this dream of mine. Perhaps one day I will come to realize that my music just isn’t good enough or interesting enough to a large enough number of people, and that my talents are best served elsewhere, but this is not that day. Far from it, in fact.

One exciting piece of news is that I and my works are finally being listed by Svensk Musik, a subsidiary of the copyright organization STIM, that documents and makes available music by Swedish composers that is not yet published. Several of my still unpublished choral works can be purchased immedately from Svensk Musik, even internationally, and more music – including instrumental works – will be listed later this year!

Besides submitting my works to Svensk Musik and preparing for the job interview, I have continued to work on revising my Christmas oratorio as well as on that Something Else which I first mentioned a few posts ago. I promise I won’t tease you much longer. On Monday I will finally show some examples of the revisions made to the oratorio and divulge this secret Something Else.

But now is not the time to reveal secrets. Now is the time for herring, potatoes, silly dancing and time well spent with dear friends.

Baa, baa, black sheep.