2016 album update

So the last few days I finally got the ball rolling again! I know, there has been a less than shoddy amount of time spent on it the last two months, but give me a break! Two daytime-jobs, three gigs (the last one is still under wraps) and arranging a festival? I know I’m gonna sound spoilt now but I want to sleep too…

Aaaahaaanyways, finished laying down the last key instruments and vocal recording is on the go. If there were pics they would mainly depict me avoiding the humid heat in a too-small-for-a-normal-non-musician-not-bothered-with-acoustics room. So here’s a picture of my bunny chilling and looking at me, quietly judging me for not getting rid of all the warm, instead.

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Bun bud

It’s been a quiet few weeks as I got hit by a big cold followed by food poisoning, that was fun! It wasn’t a big one, I never threw up or anything, but I had the tummy stabs and the fever, which I can’t say was a fun premiere I’d been longing for (music life has given me a super tummy, but of course a cold would knock that out of the park, so firts food poisoning ever).

Lenka turned out to be a good sick buddy. She was really worried and stayed close to me as much as she could giving me bunny kisses, so yeah, I think she deserves a blog post.

Good to hear from you again!

I can’t even begin to describe how you appreciate your hearing when you’ve lost it. The double-sided ear infection started during the flu, I was a bit surprised that the fever went down and then up again after 4-5 days. The flu doesn’t behave like that. And what was with this lid in one of my ears? I looked it up and it really wasn’t a common flu symptome, not even a common cold symptome after a while and to the extent that I experienced it. Then my other ear went. So, taking hardy 1177:s advice (a proper medical site that doesn’t scare you with cancer for every little thing you’ve got) I phoned my health care centre. “Normally we wait a little, but what your describing still sounds like a doctor should take a look at it”. So yeah, caught the thing quite early on. The doc looked at my ears for about three seconds. “Whoaaah, acute otitis!” (ear infection in medical language).

Of course the antibiotics stopped the fever, but my hearing was still pretty shot. Looked that up. “If your hearing is not better in three months…” Asking my mom (a nurse): “More common that it takes like 6 weeks, sweety, that’s why they say that”. So OK, roll with the punches. The swelling doesn’t subside as quick as the infection. So, friends, I’ve been virtually half deaf and everyone sounded like smurfs since mid-november. But it’s been improving quickly, and today, after a long walk before work and a long walk at work, something actually went “pop” and the lid on the left ear is completely gone. 5% deafness instead of 50 (it was at about 15 at the pop). Much appreciated. Should be up and running totally with both ears in a few days!

The worst thing was not being able to listen. To music, to the sounds of my pets (their sounds make up half of my communication with them, I’ve nailed the sounds they make), just to composing and practicing piano (not so fun or even constructive when it sounds like a toy piano), and listening to people in general. I love to listen. Even nature sounds like birds and wind blowing in trees is quite a part of me and my processes. I think my hearing was more important to me than I realized.

So I am very greatful. The only con is: I can’t shut stupid people out and have a valid excuse anymore… oh, well… Ups and downs to everything, eh?

I did keep it up with the pets though. Lenka fun-with bun bun still wonders ’bout my muppet sweater (looks like a weird animal to me, should I eat it?) and Lennox the degu had a birthday december 1st, not to be ignored, he got treats and a new hammock since they chewed up the last one.

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Weekend work

Well, kind of. Music And Business school says in itself it’s business, even if it’s more education, which to me still is key in any field of work you do. We had some interesting lectures, lots of coffee (of course) and I took notes in my little “unshaved legs” notebook.

First day was Pär Winberg, one of my old teachers, former A&R at EMI and now working at Ginza with own record company. So after he hugged me he told Martin (programme initiator) that “This is one of my absolute nicest, skilled old students” “You say that about all of them” Me: “But he only means it with me” 😉 Pär: “That’s right”. I have fuuull confidence it is so…

Second day was Tomas Jernberg, working at Warner, he was really good too. I can’t imagine the two had a chitchat before but none of them contradicted eachother and managed to speak of different good to know things each day, so the weekend got pretty educational! 🙂

After we finished on Sunday we’d been inside on a pretty nice weekend, so I rang Silja up for some much needed outdoor-time. Since it’s just right and not mind-numbingly hot outside we took Lenka (my bunny) with us, she’s been dying to go outside all year and bounce around a little, and she’s got a very stylish red leash that says “Carrot Killer”. I had a pretty injured hand yesterday so I wasn’t very dextrous (nothing to worry about, it’s miles better even today), so we decided to let Rufus the guinea pig stay in instead of keeping track of two furry hairballs. It may sound mean to him, but he really doesn’t appreciate the outside. He hides in your armpit and does every guinea pig equivalent of screaming; “What is this evil?? Take me awaaaay!” But Lenka had a smashing time, catching some sun as you can see, and only got carried inside again when she stopped bouncing around and started eating grass. “Me no bored now, but me very hungry” is what I’d say that it means…

lenka

Sticks and Stones…

What a weird week so far. Rehearsals monday, album meeting for studio logistics and economy tuesday, and after that I took some time out on the way home to see the cranes at Hornborga. When there are a lot less of them they dance a lot more, as you can see on the pic, probably “I need to get laid now” desperation. Which I like, as I’ve only been when there’s been a full count, and the lazy bastards are not up for dancing then 😉 I also tried out the binoculars for the first time, and you almost feel like you’re spying and they are staring back at you, even if they can’t see you. Being a bit more empty, there’s less check on parking, but I did put the money in. The sign said “the cranes thank you” and well… I can’t resist talking cranes…

But even more weird, going to rehearsals, I was talking to Silja going: “Ohhh, a massage would be good before recording, my shoulders are aching a bit…” and really only a bit. Went home after rehearsals and all of a sudden BAM! I couldn’t sleep. Took some paracetamol, slept a bit. Got up for the tuesday meeting. Drove to the cranes. All the while there was this huuuge pang of pain almost making me scream while driving and backing the car up. The shoulders have hurt before because of the “over mobile joints” as they call them, but never like this, especially not the last 5 yrs when I’ve been doing my back workout routine. As the evening approached and it didn’t pass I took a gander at 1177.se (health care site, a lot better than googling your symptoms and getting a big “CANCER” as first header 😉 ) and they had a small passage on the mobile joints and how it could lead to inflammation in the muscles around it. I gave 1177 a ring, and the nurse talking to me immediately got me an appointment at the health care centre: “I can hear you are in pain”. And that’s saying something. Working in the Ekehagen village, I can hold lectures with cut up and burnt hands without anyone noticing, sneaking the occasional supply from the first aid kit.

“Yeah, last time I was in this much pain I was at the hospital and they gave me two morphine shots to get me up to normal.” I was expecting a cortisone shot, but surprise, pills, ain’t it always the way? Pills and keeping my arm locked by my side. Friend E called me “Gimp” looking at my locked arm, but then he crafted me a mitella of his scarf, so I forgave him 😉

So now I’m basically using one arm. The inflammation is on my left, and I’m right handed, so I’m not handicapped, but things go a lot slower, which I think was good for me. Things take twice as long so I’m forced to wind down and do things in slow motion. As a piano player, it’s ass to not be able to play both hands for the rest of the week, but for the rest of the stuff I do it’s a good lesson. I have to wear what slips on easily, so my different glittery scarves I use as mitella are my fashion statements now. And I’m thinking something like this was overdue. I’ve never broken anything, never worn a cast, have all my original teeth, my appendix, my tonsils and both my kidneys (knock on wood) so the short “gimp” period was coming 😉 Let me tell you, it’s a LOT harder than it sounds to peel an egg with one hand! Putting make up on is fairly easy with strong thighs to hold the mirror and brushing your hair takes one hand. Having the toilet paper on the left in the bathroom is slightly inconvenient. Writing a blog post is a little slow but it works 😉 Very thankful that I have all my limbs and that this is a short period of not using one. And I can drive. The right hand shifts. I’m better at steering with the left but hey, practise, right? And I can still grip with left if push comes to shove, it’s just a bit achy.

Just because it’s thursday and I am slow enough to reflect on cuteness, you also get a pic from spring 2012 when my big little furballs were supercute bah bahs. Can’t believe they’ve been that tiny! 😀

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The dance

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The invalid

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The tinies! All grown into those big ears and paws today :>

Superstition and living windshield wipers

I can’t eat a ginger bread cookie without trying to break it in three first. For those of you who don’t know, when you knock on it and it splits into three it means you get a wish, at least according to Swedish tradition. I can’t place keys on a table and I throw salt over my shoulder for luck (hence me being unusually organized for an artist and hoovering at least once a week 😉 )

When we drove to rehearsals for the new stuff today the need to change my windshield wipers became painfully obvious as parts of it was flapping shredded in the wind. But closing in to Lidköping, listening to Rufus Wainwright (he makes me feel strange things and nostalgia for places I haven’t even been, he’s magic) they flapped in perfect harmony and rythm with the music. And I was like: “Oooh, I can’t replace it now, he/she has musicality!” And that’s what I do. I name all my major big tech stuff and little stuff. I felt sorry for my tea kettle when it screamed on the stove and sorry when the whistle broke and he/she couldn’t express hear heated agony any more. Throwing it in the trash was a challenge.

I do realize this causes you problems, giving life to inanimate objects. And in the brain, I know they’re not alive. But in my heart, in the special songwriting place I go, they… sorta… are… And when you think about it, it does good things. It makes me more careful with them, more prone to fixing them rather than the “buy ‘n’ throw” mentality we have today. Don’t get me wrong. When it needs to be chucked, it’s chucked. I’m not a hoarder. But when it needs to get fixed, it also gets fixed.

And the songwriting part of me thrives with this. Do you know how many analogies you can come up with when you think of a tea kettle screaming because it’s gotten too hot? Do you know how strong the symbology gets when you settle in superstition for a minute? Again, me brain not stupid in. But a stupid heart is pretty awesome. It breaks easily, true, but it heals and grows much faster too. You need that non-stupid brain to collaborate with that, though, I’m not gonna lie. When Screamy mc non-Scream kettle had done his thing he needed to be chucked, and by then my senses had told me it was just a broken tea kettle. My bass player, Silja, drew a bunny in the snow on my balcony table while Sweden was still covered in white. We talked about it being one of Lenka’s (my bunny and on the cover of Animalic) buds and how she would maybe fall in love with him. Then he melted away and we both made a sad face. But a line like “bunny’s buddy melts away, he says my love I couldn’t stay” is just golden in a poem or a song.

So I’m keeping this quality of mine. Watch out. You never know which one is gonna be about the windshield wiper. And oh yeah, it’s still getting chucked. Rufus lover or no, I need you to do your job, dude 😉

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