On 26th of November, the world premiere of ¨Spheres¨ took place at the Orgryte new church, with the Orgryte church choir, Rhythm Art Duo, Simon Konkoli at the organ, and all conducted by Erland Hildén.
¨Tonight we were in Heaven¨; ¨Yesterday's concert I'll never forget. The Spheres was not a song, it was a healing for body and soul!!! Totally wonderful!¨ - the world premiere was well received and can be seen here:
About ̈Spheres ̈ and about myself:
When I was asked to write this work, I thought of Swedenborg and the spirit world. At school in junior high school, I had a class teacher who taught e.g. religion and who was herself a spiritualist. She lent me literature on the subject which I devoured and she is probably one of the guides in my life who made me become a composer; she arranged for me to have private music lessons for the school's newly graduated music teachers. She told me much later, as we kept in touch until I was in my twenties, that she had previously consulted the spirits about me in séances and my future and received the answer that I would, as she put it, - ̈work in a profession where I would be comfortable ̈.
It was by no means predetermined that I would become a composer or a musician, neither mother nor father, who were both workers, had an interest in music and the only thing in my childhood home was a radio gramophone that I couldn't resist. Much later, it was the first electric organ that I got to try out and improvise on in Bach style at Jakobsson's piano magazine - ̈The boy is talented, so I think an electric organ would be good for him! ̈, said the jovial seller and mother signed the installment contract.
Then followed nine years in a music group, ̈Östan Sol, Västan Måne ̈. (East of Sun, West of Moon), and studies in music at the then newly established high school music department. After increasingly focused composition studies at Birkagården Folk High School ́s music program and at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, after a year on the music teaching program, I entered the composition training and studies for Gunnar Bucht, Brian Ferneyhough and Sven-David Sandström. In between, I also worked as a musician, conductor and composer/arranger at the Stockholm City Theater and at the Riksteatern.
My debut as a composer took place during the ̈Ung Nordisk Musik ̈ festival in 1981 with an orchestral work performed by the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and two years later I was a fully trained composer, at least on paper - there were then a few more weeks of seminar courses for the Italian composer, Luciano Berio.
With the exception of a few years as a substitute teacher in instrumentation at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, I have been a freelance composer with an ever-growing list of works that so far includes three operas, of which ̈Zarah ̈, about Zarah Leander and her career in Nazi Germany, is probably the most noticed when it went to sold-out houses at Folkoperan, 2007; Furthermore, six symphonies, a number of orchestral works, a number of solo concerts and chamber music complete this list of works to date.
Unlike many other Swedish composers of the same age, however, the repertoire for the choir extends to a smaller number of works; in addition to a large arranged Requiem, the list of works includes a choral work for choir a capella, written for Eric Ericsson's chamber choir, as well as some other works and now this work which is now being premiered - ̈Spheres ̈.
During the time I wrote this program commentary, I thought about how often I felt gratitude, how the coincidences played into my hands, or were they ̈coincidences ̈ - had not my class teacher asked the spirit world about my future, and do I myself feel many times this contact with my deceased parents? And may not the conclusion of the Requiem - Lux Aeterna - in addition to its reliance on a faith in God, the eternal light, also include the light of the memory of those who have gone before us? These were the thoughts when I started writing this work.
The choir that mostly sings vocalizing, i.e. without words, are like the spirits we meet as listeners during our journey up through the spheres; both shouting, complaining and who in the middle of the work, verbalize their message to us alive with the following words:
We who whisper here are dead
But we see you, follow you
On the path of life
and continues with the words of the 17th-century Spanish poet Pedro Calderon de la Barca:
̈What is life? Just a mirage,
Just a shadow and a reflection.
Dazzle all that was given to us!
For a dream is the whole life,
We dream the dream itself ̈
Spheres ends musically as a question mark in front of the mystery that awaits us all.