Strawberry Fields Forever

Every year at my school we have a guitar and vocals project during the fall. My first year the theme was ballads, last year it was “renaissance and heavy metal – unplugged” and this year’s theme was world music and 60’s hits. My first year the project resulted in a small concert, but last year they changed things up a bit and we got to collaborate with the people who study TV-production and together with them we made a TV show. It was a great experience, albeit a bit out of most of our comfort zones but still a lot of fun. This year we did another collaboration with the TV-production students and our program was aired live tonight!

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We’ve been working on the TV-production for about four weeks now and the idea the TV-students had come up with was that the show was to be a sort of talk show with a music quiz and live music. They’d created two great looking sets inside the studio, one in the form of a 60’s inspired café and the other as a backyard or street corner, complete with a cityscape background, brick walls and a park bench. The talk show and quiz part took place inside the café, obviously, and we (the musicians) hung out and played at the street corner themed set. The musicians also wore 60’s inspired clothes and makeup, to really tie the theme together. Sadly I forgot to take pictures of the sets, but hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on the recording of the show so that I can put up videos of it here as well as on my website.

I think the performance went really well and just like last year it was a really fun thing to do. I sang “Strawberry Fields” by The Beatles as my solo number and then we all sang “I want you back” by Jackson 5 as the finale. This year’s TV team were really efficient and everything went smoothly and I can’t praise them enough for the awesome sets that they had created for this show. I really hope I’ll be able to show them to you on video, since pictures wouldn’t do them justice anyway.

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Song of Durin

A few days ago I stumbled upon this song on youtube, and being the Tolkien nerd that I am I fell in love with it instantly. I hadn’t heard about the woman, Eurielle, behind the song before, but I really like the ethereal qualities in her voice and to me she sounds very much what I imagine a young elven woman singing would sound like. The first of her Tolkien inspired songs was released back in December and the second one about a week ago. Both are really beautiful, as well as sad, with haunting ethereal vocals and I wish that they could have replaced the upbeat pop songs at the end of The Hobbit movies with these gems instead.

Eurielle have a couple of other really lovely songs on her youtube channel and another one of my favourites is “Hate Me”. It is a live video, but it is beautifully shot and edited, so I definitely recommend checking that one out as well.

Delight and Angers

This weekend I’ve been in Hammerdal to rehearse with the band and prepare for the release of our fifth album – “The Downfall of Humanity”. I hadn’t seen the guys since sometime in October, so it was really nice to be able to get together and play music again. It’s a 10 hour bus ride down to Hammerdal, but it is sort of nice (albeit a bit boring) to just sit and do nothing for a while, considering how busy I’ve been as of late.

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Me, waiting for the bus at Piteå busstation.

Our keyboard player have moved into a two story house (which is actually his old childhood home), so we mostly hung out at his place. Aside from rehearsing (our rehearsal space is in the basement of Timo’s house, how cool and convenient is that?) and doing administrative tasks in preparation of the album release we made tacos, watched movies, laughed at the two cats and just chatted. All in all it was a very nice and relaxed weekend.

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Jocke, our drummer, removing the booklets for signing.

Recording and releasing this album has been a long and sometimes very frustrating process. We’ve made misstakes and have encountered a lot of problems along the way, but hopefully we’ve learned from this and next time things will go a lot smoother. We recieved the CDs earlier this week and thought that our troubles had -finally- come to an end… but that was not the case. When we looked the CD’s over we realized that the tracklisting on the back of the CD was in a complete disarray… so we’ll have to order new back inlays and manually switch out the old ones. It’s our own fault for not double-checking everything before we sent the material away to be printed, but it is still extremely annoying and adds an unnecessary element of stress that none of us needs right now. But hopefully solving it will be fast and we’ll get the CDs out as scheduled.

And for those of you who’ve missed it, here is a small teaser trailer for the album! “The Downfall of Humanity” will be out on February 20th and will be available on spotify, iTunes, CDBaby and on our own webstore!

https://itunes.apple.com/se/album/the-downfall-of-humanity/id960669370
http://www.lapislazuli.se/site/?page_id=681

In Memoriam

I haven’t written here in quite a long while now and there are several reasons for that, but it is mostly due to a general lack of energy and inspiration. This fall has been a really rough couple of months, coloured by pain and grief and it all culminated a week and a half ago when I received news about a classmate’s death. Some might have known or expected it to happen, but for me it came as a complete shock.

I didn’t know Jörgen extremely well, but I still considered him a friend. He was quite introverted, but extremely smart and had a really sharp wit and sense of humour…and he wrote absolutely beautiful music.

I had the honour of premiering one of his art songs during my first year in Piteå and I fell in love with his music instantly, as did everyone else. Our lecturer in piano was so enamoured by the piece that he commissioned Jörgen to write a couple of companion pieces to the first one and make it into a song cycle.

During the memorial ceremony this past Friday a friend of mine sang two of the songs from his song cycle and the choir premiered his newly written choral piece. It was a beautiful ceremony and a great way of honouring his memory.

Below I have re-posted the recording of when I premiered “Det Blir Vackert Där Du Går” (Beauty follows in your footsteps) about two years ago, as my own way of remembering Jörgen Ängsved.

I hope you’ll like it as much as I do.

The Downfall of Humanity part I: The Downfall

I know that things have been really quiet here for the past couple of months, and the truth of the matter is that I have been really busy with various things… the recording of Lapis Lazuli’s fifth album for example. And now I can proudly say that it is FINALLY finished! We’ve been working on this album for a long time and I am extremely excited about sharing it with you, especially considering that this is the first album where I have been involved in the song-writing and creative process (I wrote the lyrics for five out of seven songs). If everything goes according to plan we will release the album in December, but until then I will leave you with this… the first teaser of “The Downfall of Humanity”! It should tide you over until you have the whole album in your hands.

I really hope you’ll like it, and feel free to share this video with everyone!

Wie Melodien Zieht Es Mir

This past thursday I had my second year examination concert (or recital) together with my friend and classmate, Emelie Lindquist. It was a lunch concert and we had come up with a brilliant theme: Light and Dark (since Emelie is blonde and I am dark haired). The theme also represented the light and dark facets of the human soul and the repertoire that we sang reflected this as well.

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The concert went really well, in my opinion, and I felt completely comfortable and safe with the repertoire that I was performing. It was a complete joy to sing and to feel that my voice responded so well and that it sounded just the way I wanted it to! It is a relief to feel that all the hard work you’ve put in during the past year has actually paid off. I will post some of my performances below, as well as a summary of the complete program. Enjoy!

Light & Dark
Soprano: Emelie Lindquist
Mezzo: Cecilia Kamf
Pianist: Britt
Wennberg

Wie Melodien Zieht es Mir
Music: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Cantique
Music: Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979)

In Stiller Nacht
Music: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Ouvre Ton Coeur
Music: Georges Bizet (1838-1875)

Als Luise die Briefe ihres ungetreuen Liebhabers verbrannte
Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Nur Wer Die Sensucht Kennt
Music: Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Svegliatevi Nel Core
Music: Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)

S’altro Che Lacrime
Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Son Pochi Fiori
Music: Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945)

High Hopes

I spent my easter holidays together with the band and we spent the better part of three days recording, planning and filming in anticipation of our indiegogo campaign! In june we will start the process of recording our next album, but we’ve decided to do things a bit differently this time around. Throughout our career, we have set out to produce, perform, record and release our music independently, taking care of the various creative and technical processes involved in making a record.

In 2014, we’re onto our best material yet: writing sessions for our upcoming full length, “The Downfall of Humanity” have been so fruitful that we are determined to take the next step further and record our new material in a top notch recording studio, with the support of audio engineer and metal guru Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius, Avalon, Symfonia…)

The material is great. The premises are too. You are the missing piece of the puzzle!

We are funding this brand new release through an IndieGogo campaign, and this means that you can actively help us in the process of making this album happen!

Help us by contributing and earn great perks! Every euro counts toward our goal!

Don’t forget to share the link to the campaign through your social media and networks! Let’s make this album happen!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lapis-lazuli-the-downfall-of-humanity