My fellow residents and I were lucky enough to be invited to celebrate with our hosts at ARNA and their friends and family. We also got the chance to see some traditional Midsummer celebrations on a local farm that has been preserved with historical farmhouses, gardens and breeds of livestock. People dressed in traditional Swedish clothing raised a Midsummer cross and performed dances to Polskas and Waltzes.
At our dinner we sang Swedish songs; one for each glass of snaps and had the customary combination of “sill” – pickled herring and potatoes. I baked some “kanelbullar” or Swedish cinnamon buns and luckily they were well received my new Swedish friends. Afterwards we played “kubb” – a Swedish lawn game, in between rain showers.
One of my highlights of this residency so far has been getting a masterclass with local fiddler/accordionist/composer Mats Edén. He is one of Sweden’s foremost performers of folk music and has a great wealth of experience collaborating across many musical genres. He taught us some traditional Polskas from his native Värmland and we later got the chance to play some of them with him and other local musicians at a party in his home.
Otherwise I have been exploring a nearby lake with extremely clear water and a very pleasant temperature for swimming in. I am continuing to develop compositions based on videos and field recordings that I am capturing in this and other locations around Harlösa. Together with my fellow residents Michael Futreal and Noah Fishman, we have been planning the format for our concert in Hammarlunda windmill and experimenting with collaborations that we might perform.
Some pictures below..