Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

If you could spend the day with a celebrity, who would you choose?

My answer:

I’m not particularly oriented nor interested in celebrities overall. I have my fazas but you could hardly call any of them a celebrity. Enya is well-known around the world but she’s way too private to suit that term and you don’t really hear much about her as herself, and Cornelis was a bit like a Swedish celebrity in that all sorts of more or less trashy magazines would tattle about his private life, and he became very well-known shortly before his death, but I’m not sure this term suits him that well either, plus he’s no longer alive. But if that would count, and if he’d be alive I think I’d choose him. If not, I quite like Helena Bonham Carter lately, and although I’m not crazy about her, perhaps it would be really nice to meet her.

You? 🙂

Jack Vallier – “Copenhagen”.

Hi people! 🙂

So, those of you who have been following my blog for a while know about my fazas/crushes and that lately I’ve been in a limbo, which is never a pleasant situation to be in, but is particularly unpleasant when it’s a faza limbo and when your existence is pretty much driven by fazas and stuff that they generate whatever that might be. And because that limbo is my first one – that is, previously I always went smoothly from one dominant faza into another – I feel very uncomfortable in it and am doing a lot of desperate faza hunting, particularly in the world of music because, albeit I do have literary fazas as well, it’s the music ones that are the strongest. You also know then that I’m a Jackophile and that my dream is that my next crush would be called Jack, or something else Jac-. It’s not a requirement whatsoever, I don’t really care what they’re called because as soon as I get a faza I will love their name anyways as far as I know, but that would be just extra nice, I’m just clueless about how to go about active faza hunting so I just had to have something to look out for, so primarily I look around for musicians called Jack or something similar. That doesn’t really help much but at least it is something that I can use as a criterion in my searching.

So there have been a few stronger candidates – one that I won’t even mention by name even though it’s highly unlikely any of my readers would have ever heard of him, but he’s too cringey for my “snobbish”, as a lot of people say, music taste 😀 even though he was actually Sami, and I suspect he has a developing alcohol problem because some kind of alcohol is present in almost all of his music, and I’ve already had a crush who was an alcoholic so I don’t want it to become a pattern hahaha, plus that crush of mine – Cornelis Vreeswijk of course – was so much better of a lyricist, and could write beautifully even about wine, while this guy here cannot. Then there was Jack Christopher Alsopp a.k.a. Just Jack (yeah, I have shared his song here). A nice guy, but too normal for me. I can’t even imagine myself having a faza on him so that was just wishful thinking, I don’t even like his music enough. Then there was Jack Rutter – very folksy and pleasant, from Huddersfield in England (which made me realise I’d just love to have a northern English crush!), I do like him a lot, he’s also a guitarist like all my previous major male crushes, and a bouzouki player like my last dominant crush Gwilym Bowen Rhys. – But, sadly, it didn’t work out. After that, Spotify recommended me a song by Jack Hawitt and Nyaki called “Dark Hotel” (I’ve intended to share it with you but somehow never have, but hope I finally will some day), and then I was familiarising myself with Jack Hawitt’s music, which was pleasant, but… you may have guessed it – too normal, too mainstream-y. – Then there was Hamish Napier, a fantastically versatile musician from Strathspey in Scotland – he’s a flautist, pianist, singer and what not – and his musical comfort zone is very wide. Versatility is something I really appreciate in a crush, I can’t imagine myself having a crush on someone one-dimensional because, if you are familiar with the meaning of the word faza for me, it helps me to develop, and it’s easier when there’s more diversity, but somehow my brain and Hamish Napier’s and his music didn’t click strongly enough. Also one of his parents is a harpist – I don’t know which one, though of course it most likely must be his mother, and I don’t know her name, but that’s a nice fact isn’t it? – It didn’t help anything. My faza is not going to be on Hamish Napier. There also was Jack Pantaleo, I believe he’s from California and also seems fairly versatile – he’s a social worker and has some background in psychiatry, but also is a certified harp therapist. – If you didn’t know, harp therapy and harp healing is a thing in many places all around the world, there are academies, online courses, certificates, and then such people work in hospitals, care homes, other institutions, do music therapy and such. I’ve been interested in it for a long time as a harp lover, and I thought it would be really cool to have not only a crush who is a harpist (such a rare thing for a guy to be a harpist these days isn’t it?) but also a harp healer. He has apparently written a book, and that book is accompanied by a CD with his music, and this seems to be his only album. I had a listen to it, and while obviously I love harp, and so I enjoyed listening to it, I didn’t find anything special or above average in his play, though then again, I am neither a harpist nor anyone with music background so I’m just saying how I feel very subjectively about his music. Also, while I like my faza objects to be unpopular and not frequently heard of in general, there has to be at least some info available about them in whatever language of the world, otherwise there’s not enough fuel to get my faza going for long enough. And there’s not much info on Jack Pantaleo. I wouldn’t even know how he sounds or probably not even what he looks like. There have been a few songs on his albums, with vocals, but I really disliked the voice of the vocalist.

And so, finally, getting to the actual topic of this post, there has also been Jack Vallier whom I have discovered a few days ago. Very normal, too, but I do like his music, and this one song in particular, it’s been sitting in my brain since I first heard it. As I was reading on him and immersing myself in his music, at some point Zofijka heard him in my room and she said she likes him – he does sound very much like something Zofijka would like – and then we were talking about him, that I thought he could be my new crush, and then, because Sofi liked him, she got very excited about it and wanted to see what he looks like, because that’s always my mission for her when I have a new crush, that she has to see what they look like and describe them to me and give me her opinion. Usually it works so that the more Zofijka is disgusted, either by their music or looks, the more this person is worth my attention. 😀 From my previous crushes she has only approved of Declan Galbraith but only until he matured and changed his looks and music style a bit. So, while I told her that it seems highly unlikely that Jack Vallier will be my next crush even though I do like his music despite it’s just pop, she ran to her laptop and looked him up. At first I thought it was very promising because Sofi kept making all the gagging noises and choking and such very spectacularly for a very long time implying that she’s throwing him up because he’s so disgusting, but when she finally was capable of speaking coherently she said “Well, no, actually, he’s just… he’s okay, he’s just… normal. I just don’t like guys with earrings”. 😀 Me neither for that matter, haha, though if I got a serious faza on him I probably would care very little about that.

Jack Vallier is from Bournemouth, UK, as far as I know, and his music is really cool, and pleasant, albeit normal. I hope that if, by any chance, Jack ever sees that post he won’t feel that it’s a critic or an offense or sarcasm or anything because it’s not meant as such. I seriously like a lot of “normal” music, as you can clearly see from my blog, and I don’t perceive it as inferior or wrong as long as it’s not trashy or overly cliche. This song of his is my favourite. 🙂

Enya – “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”.

Hi people! 🙂

Perhaps you remember that I was sharing a lot of Enya’s music last year around Christmas with you. I was sure I must have shared this song, but looks like I haven’t, so I think it’s the right time to do it now, since this is primarily an Advent hymn! And I think in Enya’s version it sounds so extremely beautiful. Both full of some silent, secret euphoria, as well as nostalgia. I hope you like it too. 🙂

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Een Paleis Van Zand” (A Palace Of Sand).

Hi guys! 🙂

Today is the 32nd anniversary of one of my musical crushes – Cornelis Vreeswijk’s – death. I wasn’t even alive yet when he died, yet, in some respect, of all my music crushes I feel the closest to him, despite he is no longer my dominant crush since a couple of years. I just think our brains have a lot in common, despite you really wouldn’t think so at a first glance. 😀

I have no idea if I’ve ever posted any of his Dutch language music, but if not, the time has come today. As you may know from my earlier posts on him, he was Dutch but spent most of his life in Sweden, and most of his songs and poems are written in Swedish. But there are some Dutch ones too, and not only the translations of his Swedish works. The song I want to show you exists only in Dutch and is beautiful! Well, at least that’s my feeling. I don’t speak Dutch yet, although I am planning to and hoping for it very much, and I know lyrics are usually much more important, and the more so more interesting, in his music than the actual music, they never leave a neutral impression on me when I understand them, I always either love them or hate them (the latter is usually about the political and often the more strongly socially themed ones). This song I only understand in pieces, from what I know from Dutch, and from what sounds similar to English and Swedish. But I’m sure it must be really beautiful and it sounds so. So I hope you enjoy it too.

 

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Ann-Katrin, Farväl” (Farewell, Ann-Katrin) & Marie Fredriksson – “Ann-Katrin, Farväl”.

Hi guys! 🙂

So why not have a listen to another song by Cornelis Vreeswijk, plus a cover by Marie Fredriksson?

Again, we have a female character here, which comes up even more often in Vreeswijk’s songs and poems. The character of Ann-Kat(a)rin Rosenblad is based on his muse and friend who was Ann-Christin Wennerström. And, the portrayal of her that we get from all the songs with her in them is quite interesting and ambiguous. I like Ann-Katrin a lot and hearing this song always makes me sad. First, because it comes from Cornelis’ very last album, (Till Fatumeh – Rapport Från De Osaligas Ängder”) which was recorded about a month or so before his premature death (he died from liver cancer at 50). Secondly, because the song indicates that Ann-Katrin was a drug addict, amphetamine more exactly as in the case of Vreeswijk, though he was taking loads of other stuff as well. The lyrics have a kind of raw but at the same time rather elusive feel and I really regret that I’m not good enough in neither Swedish nor English to write an adequate English translation for you without risking a major linguistic catastrophe and a great prophanity, the more that there are none available online. The only thing that bugs me is the music style of it. Like, seriously, the lyrics on that last album are really captivating, you don’t have to agree with what he wrote and I most often don’t but his lyrics always have that captivating quality, but the musical arrangement of this album is mostly screwed. He maybe wasnät the greatest composer, but was such a great blues singer, and even managed to convince me to appreciate jazz a tiny little bit, and he was great at incorporating folk themes and motives in his music. And that last album is very much like classic 80’s pop, and this track is a great representation of it. I don’t like that at all and it clashes with the lyrics and generally with Cornelis’ actual musical style unbelievably! That turn to pop was motivated by that, after some years of relative fame, he had become forgotten and the way I understand it from what Iäve read he wanted to get the attention of people by doing something more… ahem, timely, or whatever, especially he wanted to attract younger people. It didn’t work, that is, he did get a lot of fame and largely from young people in Sweden after his death but not because those last two pop-ish albums did that, it was thanks to the Roskilde Festival where he played shortly before his death and, well, it looks like for artists it’s a common situation that they only get appreciated after they die. Perhaps that was better for him.

I like the expression of Marie Fredriksson’s interpretation of this song. I think in case of music, like, generally the arrangement, it’s her who wins here! But she’d never write as good lyrics as Vreeswijk did, haha. Marie Fredriksson’s cover again comes from the tribute album “Den Flyggande Holländaren”.

Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Felicia Adjö” (Goodbye, Felicia) & Marie Fredriksson – “Felicia Adjö”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I’m feeling a bit in a crush limbo right now. I have a gut feeling that my crush on Gwilym is fading slightly and it’s worrying me that there’s no one on the horizon that could become my dominant crush. Is this the end of crushes for me? Was my aunt seriously right that this is something all people grow out of, or am I getting more depressed or something? I can’t imagine not having a crush, it’s like driving a car that has no fuel, I’m getting a bit panicky. It’s either that I need to save my crush on Gwilym or I need someone new very very soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking back on all my delightful crushes lately. Reading all my elaborate diary entries about them and laughing my brain out – not that it was so funny but for some reason reading all that made me laugh, despite they’re still all my crushes, just faded more or less. – And I thought I’d share something from one of my crushes on my blog as well. So why not Cornelis? Also, because I find it really interesting to listen to people’s covers and interpretations of his songs, whether good or bad, just out of curiosity, it will be both the original version of a song by Cornelis Vreeswijk, and a cover by Marie Fredriksson. Yes, Marie Fredriksson from Roxette. She’s had a rich solo career as well, I guess mostly in Swedish. I am not a big fan of her at all, but she did this song in an interesting way, in her own style, and I used to like Roxette as a very, very little child. This was one of the first symptoms of my developing Swedish obsession, I just didn’t know many things Swedish apart from Roxette and Astrid Lindgren and I liked one song by them very very much, but generally Roxette and Marie Fredriksson are not my style, not anymore.

The song I want to share with you is called “Felicia Adjö”, and I guess is one of more popular songs of Vreeswijk. Felicia is a recurring character in his songs and poems, there is one whole album “Felicias Svenska Suite” in which Felicia is present in pretty much every song I guess. I wonder if she was based on someone in real life, like some of his other characters were but we’ll probably never know. The title translates as “Goodbye, Felicia”, but it has nothing to do with the “bye, Felicia” expression haha. The song is some 30 years older than the movie. Though I know that Vreeswijk’s Felicia was an inspiration for some Swedish writers, I guess there is a crime novel called “Felicia Försvann” (Felicia Disappeared) which is the beginning of this song.

And the song is about the fact that Felicia disappeared “As the bird from its nest. As the ice when the spring comes. As love when it’s hurt. As luck with no return”. She is dead like all of us will be some day, and with her, his last hope died, whoever the lyrical subject is.

The song had been re-recorded multiple times plus he played it live very often, but the first recording comes from the album called “Tio Vackra Visor Och Personliga Persson”, and I will share this one with you as is is the original. If I remember correctly, the album was recorded around the time when Cornelis played in the film “Svarta Palmkronor” (Black Palm Trees) in Brazil, and spent quite some time in South America, so this album is very much influenced by Brazilian music which you can hear in this song as well.

Marie Fredriksson recorded this song – as well as three others written by Vreeswijk – for the tribute album “Den Flygande Holländaren” (The Flying Dutchman).

So, there you have it, here is Felicia.

Celtic Woman – “Orinoco Flow”.

Hi people! 🙂

Celtic Woman are one of my most favourite Irish/Celtic groups, yet I’ve only shared one song with you so far. I’ve recently seen that they released something new, including a newer version of “Orinoco Flow” that they also sang before, but I decided I like the older version more and will show it to you. It comes back from the times when they had their good old line-up, with Lisa Kelly, Meav and such, I liked them best at that time in the history of the band, though I still do like them a lot.

The song was originally song and composed by ENya and appeared on one of her earliest albums back in the eighties – “Watermark”. – If you know me and my blog at least a bit, you probably already know Enya has been one of my major music crushes over the years. Curiously however, “Orinoco Flow” is the only song of hers that I really, really don’t like, as much as I love all her other songs and compositions. It was played a lot and is still one of the most recognisable songs by Enya, I believe, and I knew it way before I started loving Enya and discovering her music. In fact, at the beginning I thought I disliked all of her music, it had to grow on me and it did very suddenly. But “Orinoco Flow”, despite my brave attempts to like it, remains the only song of Enya’s that I do not like, and almost hate. Why is that? I don’t even exactly know. 😀 Perhaps I have some bad associations with it that I don’t realise, which is very possible, in any case, for some reason it makes my sensory anxiety come up. Weird, given how relaxing Enya’s music is and how normally it’s very soothing to me. Anyway, I do like it by Celtic Woman, so maybe it depends on an arrangement or whatever. So, here it is. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Jac-Yr-Oil”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I am still very much in love with Gwilym’s last album, Arenig, so thought I’d share something else from it with you, this time an instrumental, three-part piece. And, since I am a Jac(k)ophile, in line with the song of the day that I shared with you yesterday – by Jac Richards – this one has also to do with Jac, with its title being “Jac-Yr-Oil”. I have no idea where the title comes from or what Jac is doing in it, I tried doing some research but it hasn’t made me any wiser. In any case, the track is beautiful. Just as the previous one I showed you a month ago – “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” – was haunting, emotional, intense and rather melancholic, “Jac-Yr-Oil” is positive, energetic, refreshing, uplifting and full of enthusiasm, which just shows in a nutshell a wide range of emotions one can feel listening to this album. I love this about it so so much!

As I said, it is a three-part music piece, consisting of three folk tunes, one is composed by Gwilym, the second comes from Anglesey’s 18th century fiddler, John Thomas, and the last is a re-arranged composition of Stephen Rees’ “2 Cardi 3”. Here it is. 🙂

 

Question of the day.

Who was your first crush, celebrity, or non-celebrity?

My answer:

My very first childhood crush was probably my Dad’s friend, I really have no idea why. I only have a vague recollection of him now and can’t see anything interesting about him. 😀 And then there are my famous, intense music crushes, and the first one was Enya. I guess I was about 11-12 when it started. It wasn’t a romantic crush. Enya was someone in between my idol, a kind of soothing presence with her music in my rather chaotic life, a replacement mother figure, like I thought about her that she’s my secret second mummy or something like that, and she was my fascination, like all my music crushes are, and the very first flame which started my whole Celtophilia and all that. She’s no longer my dominant crush since years, but is still there in the background very strongly, like all my music crushes!

How about your first crush? 🙂

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” (Gentle moon, colour of the day).

Oh my! I just couldn’t wait to share with you guys something from this album! I was talking about it some time last month, well I guess around the beginning of May, it was released on May 1st. But as you can see it took a while because it’s only available on the streaming services since yesterday so although I have the album since as soon as I got to know it was released, only now I can share something with you. In a way that’s actually good though because I could familiarise myself with the whole album, with my music crushes it always takes me loads of time to wholely satisfy my musical cravings when they release something new and I always want to know it thoroughly and from all the possible angles.

I am really so, so impressed with this album! I wrote about it on my blog already earlier so I won’t be repeating myself but it just made me fall into pieces the first time I listened to it, so fascinated, engrossed, bewitched and just full of emotions I was, and even though I listened to all the songs and the album as a whole for many times already it still has the  power over me, and I’m listening to it right now as well. It’s always hard to pick something you think is the best or that you love the most from things of which you love all, but I wonder whether it’s not the best album of Gwilym so far in my ranking, or whether it would be if I had a ranking. 😀 I am just so happy that my current music crush is so artistically fertile and unlike all my previous music crushes I am actually able to thoroughly celebrate all the joys that come with an appearance of a new album. 😀

This new album is called “Arenig”, which is in reference to Arenig Fawr – a mountain in Snowdonia in North Wales, and also the title track of this album is a poem written and read by Gwilym’s great uncle – Euros Bowen – about this mountain, which is a really beautiful poem. It’s hard to believe for me in a way that this beautiful album is an effect of improvisation, but that’s apparently how it is. I know it’s often so that things come out much better when improvised in music, but it makes me think that they all – Gwilym and all the people who contributed to the album – must be remarkably skillful improvisers, which I think is fairly rare. Talking about the contributors, there is Patrick Rimes on violin, he plays in the Welsh folk band called Calan which I also like, brilliant harpist from Scotland but with Welsh roots and who also speaks Welsh Gwen MaIri (I love her harp skills 😂 ), and they both also played on Gwilym’s first album “O Groth Y Ddaear”, and there is also Marit Fält, who plays viola, and, if I understood correctly, (I suppose I did given her Scandi-sounding name), she’s from Norway, so there’s even a little bit of a Nordic accent here! 🙂

I had a real problem with what I am going to choose as the first piece from this album to share with you, I even thought maybe I’ll just link to the entire album and maybe write some extensive review or something but felt too shy to do such a grandiose thing as seriously publicly review one of my crushes’ album, I always write down my reviews of albums I love for myself and I relish in doing so but never published that anywhere. 😀 But after some deep thinking I came to the conclusion that the most beautiful piece on this album for me, regarding the melody, the performance and the lyrics is “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd”, which is a traditional song, though the second verse is known to be written by John Ceiriog Hughes. It’s incredibly evocative, magnetic and enchanting, and just don’t know how else to describe it adequately. 😀

The thing I really like about traditional music, one of many things, especially from Gwilym, and there are also a couple other Celtic people I can think of right now, is the words. I mean, when I was listening to this album before I read the lyrics and translations, I understood some bits and pieces, it wasn’t very much, but I could still thoroughly enjoy music because that’s how it is with folk music very often – even if it is in the most out there language you can still understand the language of music itself and connect with it almost as deeply as through the actual language. But when I read the lyrics, I realised that there are not only plenty of new, enticing, luscious, colourful, magical Welsh words for me to discover, (I didn’t even know that moon is lloer, I only knew the word lleuad for moon in Welsh but it seems like they have two! I now can’t stop wondering what’s the difference, will have to do some research after I write this post, I lthink loer sounds even better), but also a fair handful of English words in the translations that I didn’t know previously. I just love such discoveries! And all those linguistic findings also satisfied my synaesthesia very much, so it’s not only the music. The same was with the previous album “Detholiad O Hen Faledi I”, well actually there were even more new English words to me. That shows how sophisticated folk music can be at times, even if it might not always seem so. 🙂

OK, end of my elaborate. Here’s the translation of the song, which I’ve taken from

Gwilym’s website,

and below is the song, although it’s on Spotify, so very sadly only those of you who have Spotify will be able to listen to it whole, I didn’t see it on Youtube or anywhere that would be a bit more inclusive.

 

Gentle moon the colour of day,

in pain and in sorrow, I’m in a sad daydream.

From splendid astonishment,

my heart is so weak I shan’t live much longer.

When I saw your face you wounded me like a sword,

I received an injury without realising it,

tonight I’m ready for my grave.

Oh good gentle goddess, hear this injured man,

save my life, lovely moon the colour of summer.

Some people’s interests lie in material things,

but on the purity of a fair moon

I gave my whole intentions, one and all.

If I could only have you, I would confidently proclaim

that I had more than enough wealth, pure girl.

Gentle moon the colour of day,

I see your light, you with a pleasing face.

From life to the grave, you are my queen,

fair warm farced one.

You are my fire, the inspiration to my song,

the heavens never did behold

through the light of the sun’s cycle,

such a wonderful sight.

I raise up my head, and look to the skies,

shine upon me, white moon the colour of snow.

Some hold the moon responsible

for pulling the threads and strings of the seas,

the ebb and flow of the tides in and out.

But you, my love, are responsible

for pulling the strings of my heart,

gentle moon the colour of day.

Song of the day (16th May) – Ida Redig – “I Min Lilla Värld Av Blommor” (In My Little World Of Flowers).

Hi guys! 🙂

I have such a lovely cute song for you. It was originally written for one of my favourite films “Rännstensungar” (Guttersnipes), only not for the version that I love so much, but the earlier one, from 1944. It was sung by one of the main characters, Ninni. You might know from my earlier posts why I love this film so much and why I love it in the later version from 1974, in particular, but chances are that you might not know, so I’ll tell you again. 😀 I love it so much because in the 1974 version, one of the main characters – the painter Johan Fahlen –  is played by one of my music crushes Cornelis Vreeswijk, who apart from being a very fertile and well-known musician, a lesser known but no less expressive poet, had also fantastic acting skills and was an actor in a couple films. I absolutely loved him in this role, it was amazing! Besides, the plot of the film is very interesting and moving too. When I discovered this film and that it is on Youtube, I watched it on my own for the first time, but then got frustrated because I had huge gaps because of course I couldn’t see, plus my Swedish wasn’t that very good. So then the next time I watched it I did it with Zofijka, who also loved it, and she still begs me quite regularly and wants to watch “the film about Ninni”. So when I watched it with Zofijka, we both were telling each other what we can figure out so we could understand much more, me with her vision and she with my Swedish. That’s why collaborating can be really useful at times. And since that day, we got really crazy on “Rännstensungar” and watched them pretty much every day for a while. It’s definitely not typical for me to get so crazy about a film. Now I hadn’t watched it in ages so I did it today, without Zofijka and hope she won’t kill me for that when I tell her.

As I said, the film is about a girl called Ninni. Ninni can’t walk, and at the beginning of the film we learn that her mum has died. A friend of the family called Johan Fahlen, who is a poor and not well known painter takes care of her. Ninni’s biggest passion are flowers, and as she says herself, flowers are the most beautiful thing she knows. Both Ninni and Fahlen, whom she regards as her daddy, are hoping that someday she will be able to walk, and he is particularly determined, though it doesn’t seem like it could be possible. Ninni’s biggest dream is that she’d like to live in the countryside and live there, and see all the flowers in the world. Again, this doesn’t seem possible, because she lives in the city and they don’t have enough funds to make it true. But the ending is very very happy. 🙂

I think the film is gorgeous, so you can watch it

here

if you wish, although I don’t know if it’s going to be as enjoyable for you as it was for me because there are no subtitles as far as I am aware so you’d have to speak Swedish. You can have Zofijka’s perspective then. 😀 And there is of course this song sung by the girl who plays Ninni in this version, it was Karin Falk.

And so some time ago, I was pleasantly surprised seeing the song “I Min Lilla Värld Av Blommor” on Spotify, in quite an interesting version, by Ida Redig. I really like her arrangement of it, although it’s in a way quite different from how it sounded in both films from 1944 and 1974. I think her version is really beautiful. And I like the lyrics of this song, it’s basically about Ninni’s passion for flowers and her imaginary world that is full of flowers, where there is a place for everyone and children are playing, and she is dancing among the flowers. And there is no sorrow or pain, no one screams at you and people are always happy. Quite an escapist and idealist she is, ain’t she? 🙂 So here’s the Ida Redig’s version, unfortunately only on Spotify.

Question of the day.

What are you listening to?

My answer:

Well as you may know from one of my recent posts, I’ve just recently got hold of my current music crush’s – Gwilym Bowen Rhys’ – new album. And so, as it’s easy to figure out, I’m listening to it a lot. I couldn’t sleep much last night so I was listening to that album, just as I did last night. It’s so powerful and expressive and full of emotions and zest and, as all Gwilym’s solo albums, is so deliciously acoustic. Not as minimalistic as his previous album – where he was singing either completely acapella or just with the guitar – but it’s still nicely minimalistic, just in a different way, and as much brain melting as everything from Gwilym, and I love it to pieces! Well literally haha, when I was listening to it for the first time, I was so engrossed by it and so overtaken by all the emotions in it that I felt as if my soul and brain and everything was shattered into a million of small pieces and flying around the room, throwing themselves on the walls as if they wanted to fly higher. Don’t know how I picked myself together again. 😀 It is also incredibly flavourful and stimulating from the point of view of my synaesthesia, so, yeah, that was, and still is, amazing. There are also a couple of tracks that I’ve heard before, but didn’t know how they are called or anything, so I’m glad they got published too, as I was very intrigued by them. And many instrumental pieces too. Only when I realised that there are quite a few instrumental pieces on it, as well as some stuff that I”ve already heard, I was really looking forward to one piece – I guess it was a set actually – that I once heard in an interview with both Gwilym and another guy called Gethin Griffiths, and Gwil had such a brilliant guitar solo there, I still have this interview but I had a glimmer of hope that maybe that piece would be there, but never mind, the album is absolutely fabulous, I was craving for some really really really captivating new music for a good while, not necessarily from my crushes even, and finally I am satisfied! 😀 Also I am normally not as spoilt by my other crushes that they would release a new album or anything new as regularly as once a year or so, well Enya creates masterpieces but it takes her years and years, Vreeswijk was a very fertile artist but I guess I’ve reached the point where I’ve discovered all that I could discover living in Poland and having only the Internet as a source, plus he’s no longer alive, Declan seems to be busy with lots of other stuff, so I haven’t been really used to getting fresh music as regularly as it seems to happen with Gwil! 😀 I’m most probably going to share something from this album in the song of the day series some time soon, but first I’d like to listen to it some more, and also get some more info on the background of this album if I can, both because of my own curiosity and just knowing the context of it, as well as for the purpose of the blog post, I won’t be giving you just a song in another language with no context at all. It was such a surprise for me that I don’t know much about it yet. But OK, enough rambling about my Gwilosis.

Other than that, today I haven’t listened to much music yet, am planning to do it soon, I only listened a bit to a Northern Irish BBC radiostation, I like to listen to different BBC radiostations just to be in touch with a lot of diverse English.

And you? 🙂

Question of the day (29th April).

What are you feeling?

My answer:

Ooooooh lots of things now. First, as I wrote with my last question of the day post, I’m a bit sleepy and tired from all the steam that my brain has produced absorbing Welsh language for 2 and a half hours. I’m also a little bit frustrated that it’s going so damn slowly and that I can’t seem to understand much without reading the English translation first. I’m also hopeful though, that it’s going to change if I’m going to be determined enough. I’ve been feeling slightly anxious, that is slightly more than my baseline is, I’m fairly anxious on my baseline already I guess compared with most people, but never mind, it’s not a big deal at this point. But, all that is vague and unimportant now!… Just a few minutes ago, just as I was preparing to write this post and go off to sleep, I got an email, that changed everything for me today! 😀 It sounds like exaggerated and exalted but I’m serious about that actually. I got an email from Bandcamp, notifying me of a “new release from Gwilym Bowen Rhys”! For those uninitiated/not remembering such a small yet very important detail in my Mishmashy world, Gwilym Bowen Rhys is my current crush, my dominant crush that is. Yyyyyyyyyaaayyyyy! I only wonder how could I miss that?! I mean, usually, when such things are about to happen, I know about them way ahead, not just like this, at the last minute. Maybe it was something spontaneous though it doesn’t look like that to me. Well that’s not important now but if not Bandcamp being so kind, I’d probably miss it… and that would be a tragedy! So, OK, how do I feel about it? my crushes always make me feel more positive, more creative, ’cause in a way they’re a bit more than my crushes, they’re like my inspirations, fascinations, they are very important to me, even if it’s ridiculous because I don’t know them personally, I don’t think though that’s a good indicator of who/what should be important to anyone so I don’t know if it really is that ridiculous, they keep me afloat on many of my bad days, help me indirectly to develop myself. I feel very intrigued, and much less sleepy now, and am really looking forward to hearing that album. I believe though that if you’re listening to some piece of music for the first time, and it is important to you, you need the right atmosphere for that if you want to be a good listener and a fair critic. Plus I’ve always had a hint of masochistic tendencies, ( just kidding). But I’m thinking whether maybe I should wait with listening to this album, when I have time to really get into it and when I am fully focused and not sleepy and tired. Some actually say that waiting for something nice is actually more pleasurable than the thing itself… The question is whether I can survive so long, with such an overwhelming curiosity. 😀 We shall see. OK but I’m off to sleep now, it’s past midnight already. ANother thing I’m surprised about, didn’t think it’s that late, i had an honest intention of going to sleep early today. Well hope at least I can sleep well. And going to find Misha to accompany me for the night.

OK so, how about your feelings right now? 🙂

Reasons why I’m learning Swedish.

Hey hey people! 🙂

Do any of you who were already around here a year ago remember my post

Reasons Why I’m Learning Welsh?

Well I got an impression that it got quite a lot of reaction, at least more than I’d suppose it could on not even a month-old blog, and it seemed like people were interested, and some time before I published that post on my Polish blog where even though I had only a couple of readers it also got quite a lot of attention and more that I initially expected. It was also lots of fun for me, so let’s see how it goes with Swedish this year. I actually should write the Swedish post earlier since I started learning Swedish earlier than Welsh, but who cares about chronology nonsense. Not me anyway hahaha.

I’m going to refer to some reasons I posted in the Welsh post because some of the reasons for learning both languages are the same for me. Also they are in no particular order, just as they come to my mind, and I don’t have any particular number that I’m aspiring to, we’ll see how many I can come up with.

1.

Because I just plain like it. What better reason can you have? I like Swedish language, I like Swedish culture, I like Swedes, (even though I don’t always agree with them or support them in all that they do and in all that is going on in their country but I don’t have to, and diversity of views, opinions and ways of doing things is in my opinion, among others, one of things that makes this world interesting 🙂 ). I love the sound of Swedish. My first contact with Swedish was when I was a very little child, we lived in the countryside, on a bit of a hill, so that when there was good weather, or after the storm, and you went upstairs, you could find Swedish radiostations in the radio. And sometimes I listened to them, absolutely hypnotised by the sound of swedish. I didn’t even know for sure whether it’s Swedish,I asked my parents what it is and they said maybe Swedish, maybe Norwegian, maybe Danish, or maybe something else. But I liked to think it was Swedish, and it was Swedish. I could listen to it for hours, and I still can. After some time I watched “The Six Children Of Bullerby” with my Mum. I always loved the book and Mum read it to me countless times before watching that film. She read the subtitles to me so that I knew what they were saying, but I remember that I didn’t really care about it, I didn’t care about what was going on in the film, I just listened to the language and nothing else interested me, it was so beautiful. So then my obsession with Swedish developed fully and when I was 10 years old, Mum found a teacher for me. I was at the integration school back then for two years, not the boarding school, so it was possible for me to learn Swedish at home which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, we had to face the fact that integration was not for me, and there were also some external factors involved, so I had to go back to the boarding school,which meant there was no point in continuing my swedish lessons as they would be rare and very irregular, and when I was home from school I didn’t really feel like learning anything. I yearned for Swedish terribly though, so had to sort of suppress it, put it deep inside my brain to not have to think about the fact that I can’t learn Swedish to be able to accept it. I succeeded at it, only when I happened to hear something in or about swedish, my brain exploded with longing all over again. But I was able to restart my Swedish when I got out from there. Swedish is one of my most favourite languages, in case of which I feel some sort of pressuring need to be in contact with them, use them, explore them, just be in touch with them as much as possible. It’s a bit strange and hard to explain for someone who doesn’t have, it, it feels like some sort of a strange calling. 😀

   2.

Because one of my music crushes – Cornelis Vreeswijk – lived in Sweden, created music and poems in Swedish, and I usually tend to love my crushes’ languages, since my languages are my fetishes, yeah it might sound crazy but I’ve just had to accept it hahaha. I actually feel like in a way I owe my reunion with the Swedish language to Cornelis. It was in my last year of being in the boarding school, I was at home for some short break, working on some project for school. And in my mind I was hearing a song which my swedish teacher showed to me years ago which we used for learning some new words. I memorised it back then but I didn’t think I could remember it after all those years of not thinking about it, but turns out I did and quite clearly. The song was called “Balladen Om Herr Fredrik Åkare Och Den Söta Fröken Cecilia Lind” (The Ballad About Fredrik Åkare And The Sweet Miss cecilia Lind), which surprisingly I also remember despite the long title, and was a real brainworm, but I didn’t know who did it so I just googled it. And so it was my first conscious contact with Vreeswijk’s music, and I slowly started to get this strange crush despite that actually he wasn’t really my style. If I have a crush, I’m very nosey and want to know everything possible about them, their music, their life, their personality, likes, dislikes, views, whatever. Vreeswijk was quite easy to get a lot of info about, as he was quite (in)famous in his time and still lots of Swedes love him or hate him and he’s well known, but in order to get that info, I had to understand at least basic Swedish. So I had to learn really quickly to quench my thirst, both for Swedish and for knowledge about my crush. And, despite at the beginning before I left school I really suffered for lack of resources, it was speedy, almost miraculous! I could amost feel the words I learned before and forgot coming back to my brain, and the more I listened to Vreeswijk’s music, read and worked on it, the more intense this process of language recovery felt, and it felt gorgeous! Summer holidays came, and passed away, and surprisingly and very dynamically my life changed diametrically and I got out of that school, that’s another story, and quite a yucky one despite a happy ending so I won’t write much about it here. But that paradoxically opened new possibilities before me, and because I had individual education for the next year which was less absorbing, time consuming and anxiety provoking than normally going to school, I had a lot of time to devote myself to my Swedish studies. By sheer luck and a very weird and funny accident my Mum got in touch with my former Swedish teacher so we could start all over again. Well not really all over again, because to huge surprise and amazement of both of us it turned out that my Swedish is actually a bit better and more communicative than those six years ago. 😀 Funny innit? He said that I had to literally skip some stages of development of my Swedish. With time I learned more about Vreeswijk, among others that he migrated to Sweden with his family at the age of 12, with no Swedish at all, but managed to start attending a normal, mainstream Swedish school after a year of learning. And I suddenly felt very competitive. Because wow, he learned Swedish in a year enough to communicate in it properly, and then was fluent like a native as an adult. I want to be like this too! I’m gonna do this! I guess his task was easier than mine as he lived in Sweden, didn’t have much choice about it, and Dutch is much more similar to Swedish than Polish, he was also younger than me which I guess does make a difference. But I guess i accomplished this goal really well. I still am not fully satisfied with my Swedish, but I think I would manage in a Swedish school if I had to. My crush on Vreeswijk has faded, which means that I still have it but it got dominated by my newer crush from Wales – Gwilym Bowen Rhys –  but my crush is my crush so I’m loyal to them all. Vreeswijk was a socialist and had quite controversial views on lots of things, which I most often don’t agree with him about, but I love his lyrics and poems that don’t regard politics and other stuff like that, and my dream is to translate them to Polish. Don’t know how realistic it is, and how realistic and successful could be introducing him to Polish people, but I’d like to try, and I’m still trying, very strenuously, even just for myself.

3.

Because I wanted to read “The Six Bullerby Children” in Swedish. I did. A few times. 🙂

 4.

Because of other Swedish language music. I feel like Welsh music speaks much more to me than Swedish, but they still have loads of great music.

5.

Because so many people think it’s difficult. OK I can agree with you on Welsh, Celtic languages can feel a little abstractive at times, though I am also pretty sure there are more difficult languages. But Swedish isn’t difficult at all. It’s childishly simple. It has some annoying grammar quirks and a few sounds that might be a little challenging, but that’s all. Just because you don’t hear it as often as English, doesn’t mean it’s difficult. I’d risk a statement that it’s easier than English, well my ENglish is better than my Swedish at the moment, but I think overall Swedish is easier.

6.

As I already wrote in reason #1, I like Swedes, I like all of the nations that speak my favourite languages/dialects/accents, and I feel a strange sense of bond with them. Obviously my Polish people are closest to me than any other but I feel really close to all of them. I also want to connect with my people via my languages

7.

To show Swedes that their language is beautiful. I don’t know for sure and I know I shouldn’t generalise but it feels to me like many of them don’t fully appreciate their language, even though Swedish is not like Welsh almost on the verge of extinction. I think we all often take our own mother tongues for granted. All Swedish people speak English, or almost all but I’ve never come across anyone who wouldn’t. It happened to me countless times with Swedes with whom I initiated contact online that I wrote them in Swedish and they wrote to me in English. I know it’s just their kindness and they want to adjust to me (or maybe my Swedish is still so shitty hahaha), but it always sort of frustrated me because it felt like they didn’t want to give me a chance to practice, or maybe felt like Swedish is something exclusive, I don’t know. They were of course happy with it when I told them they can write to me in Swedish, but it felt weird. Same when I was in Stockholm, whenever I couldn’t find a word and automatically used an English one, they would respond to me in English. Ughhhhh. Maybe it’s a little incomprehensible to me because many people in Poland wouldn’t do it. I think I wouldn’t either if I saw a foreigner here and realised that he can speak at least basic Polish. And maybe Swedes just got used to speaking to all non Swedes in English by default because of so many imigrants that are in Sweden who can’t speak Swedish. So I want to show them that their language is also beautiful and worth learning, not so very difficult that a foreigner can’t learn it, and it’s not them who have to make all the effort, the other side can do something too to make the communication easier. If they can learn English, why can’t we learn Swedish.

8.

Because people wouldn’t treat me seriously if I only learned some endangered languages on the verge of extinction about which most people don’t even have the slightest idea. My Dad still thinks I’m making up this whole Welsh learning thing even if I talk to him in Welsh. But Swedish, yes! Swedish is a serious language! You can earn a lot of money in Sweden, you can translate crime novels, you can work in transport or in embassy! Swedish is well respected and recognised. In Welsh post I said that my learning Welsh is a good conversation starter ’cause people always ask either why or what it is or how it sounds. With Swedish, they always say: “Aww, that must be difficult. But you can do lots of things with it.”

9.

Don’t know how anywhere else, but in Poland people really dislike German language. All the WWII associations aside, they just think it’s an ugly, harsh language. And for some stupid reason they think Swedish is as well. Especially older people for some reason. But it’s not. It’s maybe not as softy as French or Italian, it has a character and is, as I like to put it, al dente, but it’s definitely not harsh.

10.

To scare my grandma. Yes I put it already in the welsh post. No my grandma doesn’t really believe that Swedes are pagans too like Welshies, but she has very conservative views and is slightly obsessed with religious matters, and constantly worries about the whole world like Filly-Jonk from “The Moomins”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a rightist and a Christian as well, but she is a little extreme and, oh well, I just like to make fun of people, even of my tribe. So, any time she sees me and conversation is focused on me/my languages, she asks me what I see in Swedish. “Sweden is such a cold, lawless, self-devastating country of lonely people! Why do you like them so much?” She is very intelligent but can’t comprehend why I like them so much. We often talk about Swedish politics, she asks me whether I know what’s going on there. I’m not always up to date and while I do care about politics, I don’t trace it all the time and for all my favourite countries, but I try to update my knowledge at least once in a while and with Sweden it’s rather easy. So I tell her about some spicier things that I’ve heard, often colourising it, and relish her utter fright.

11.

To develop my brain. For more details on my brain wellness obsession see the Welsh post.

12.

TO scribble in Swedish in my diary. I like my scribbles to be private and in my household no one else speaks Swedish, so I can have a guarantee that if I write in Swedish no one here will get it even if they would find my diary and figure out how to get to it. Also, for me, all of my languages correspond with particular feelings. As I wrote in the Welsh post, for Welsh main ones are anger, enthusiasm, longing and joy. For Swedish it’s happiness, (not like euphoria but just calm, stable, peaceful happiness, contentment and strong pleasure), amusement, surprise, serenity and disappointment/grief/apathy. So I feel particularly inclined to write in Swedish when feeling any of those things. Also, when my crush on Vreeswijk was at its best, I tended to even write to him. You know, if someone is dead, it’s different than when they are alive and don’t know you and don’t care about you. I believe that if there is an afterlife, which I believe there is, those who passed away can know what’s going on on Earth. I was sure that he must know me, and liked to think that he would be proud of me because of my Swedish and all that, and that he likes me. So I took an example from my Mum, who also wrote her diary in form of letters and wrote letters to Cornelis, in Swedish. 😀

13.

To talk to Misha or myself in another language. It was actually my Swedish teacher who suggested to me talking to Misha in Swedish because his point of view was that cats understand every language.

14.

It’s useful! If you can speak Swedish, you can understand at least to some degree Norwegian, especially Bokmål, and even Danish though personally I find Danish rather hard to understand while listening but if I read it I can get at least the mere context. Icelandic is related though not closely enough, but it happens that I also understand some interesting bits and pieces and it’s always nice. Recently I listened to an Icelandic song and understood that “The ocean is cold”, yay for me! 😀 It’s not much definitely but, hey, if I didn’t speak Swedish, I wouldn’t have a clue about it otherwise. One of my favourite languages is Faroese and while it seems to be even further related to Swedish than Icelandic, I believe that once I start learning it, I’m going to be very grateful for my Swedish. I also plan to learn Dutch which is of course not a Scandinavian language but shares some similarities and I can already see it very clearly.

15.

It’s useful not only with Germanic languages. I strongly hope that when it will be the time for me to learn Sami and Finnish, my Swedish will help me, as English helps me with Welsh because all resources are in it. Swedish is always close to Finnish than Polish because of Sweden and Finland being neighbours and influencing each other, and there is a Finnish minority in Sweden and Swedish-speaking Finns in Finland, and the Sami are also a minority in Sweden.

16.

Because “Swenglish” accent is cute, sexy and crasily amasing! I want to know why and how it is the way it is, and what better way could be than learning Swedish, figuring out its phonetics and putting myself in the same position as Swedes.

17.

TO be able to understand what they talk about in those radiostations I was so amazed with as a kid. 😀

18.

To read Swedish books, not only Astrid Lindgren’s. My vocabulary in Swedish is still a bit limited so it takes me a lot of time and effort to read something as long as a book and focus on it and enjoy it, but I try sometimes. I still haven’t read all the Swedish books I’ve got for myself during my trip to Stockholm. Not just because of the language but uhhh scanning sucks and is boring.

19.

TO scare strangers. See the Welsh post for details.

20.

To help me with my anxieties, depression and generally my freaky brain.

21.

Because every language you know gives you a different perspective on different things.

22.

Because if not my Swedish, I wouldn’t go to Stockholm and have so much fun there. I wouldn’t realise that although my anxieties including social anxiety can be really crippling and debilitating, my love for languages is stronger. And because if not Swedish, I would miss some other cool things in life too. Like I wouldn’t meet my friend Jacek from Helsinki. My friendship with him, although a bit stormy and weird, as he was stormy and weird, was also one of the most unusual and interesting things that happened to me, and now that he’s no longer on Earth, Swedish reminds me of his spirit and charisma.

23.

Because I like vikings and Norse mythology. I can like them without learning Swedish but this way it’s more fun. 😀

24.

Because I hope that indeed it will help me in future in some way.

   25.

Because Swedish is so uncomplicated in terms of expressing yourself. I consider myself quite a complex person, with lots of complicated feelings, ideas and complicated things going on, and sometimes I find it difficult and annoying that I can’t seem to be able to express myself properly and adequately, meaning that I can say exactly what I want and how I feel, not have to say that something is either black or white, sounding naturally and not too sublime and sophisticated or silly on the other hand. But in a way I love this trait of Swedish, because sometimes when I feel that my brain goes too complex and I get trapped in it, I like to just sit down and think it through in swedish. Things usually look much simpler then.

Oh my, I wouldn’t think that there will be more reasons than for Welsh! It’s a lot, isn’t it? So i can be sure that it’s worth it! 😍

 

Plu – “Calon Wen” (Fair Heart).#DMC

Hi hi hi people!

Today is a very exceptional day. Do you know why? Well chances are you don’t know so I’ll be nice and tell ya. It’s Dydd Miwsig Cymru. And if someone still feels clueless, Dydd Miwsig Cymru is Welsh Language Music Day, yaaaaay! I look forward to it every year at least since I’ve got any idea about Welsh music. So of course I’d like to join the celebrations, and, after listening to Sami music all day long on Wednesday, now I’m listening to Welsh music all the time, and want to share something with you. And since one of my music crushes, my current one, is Welsh and makes lots and lots of very different music, it can’t be from anyone else than him. My crush, as you most probably already know, if you are my loyal reader, is Gwilym Bowen Rhys, and apart from his very interesting solo career in the field of folk music, he is also a member of the band called Plu which also consists of his two sisters – Elan and Marged. – And I want to show you a song by Plu today. Their music is a sort of alt-folk, or psychedelic folk, I’ve written about them here for a couple of times and I’ve said that their music has a sort of otherworldly feel to me which I love about it. They all sing, but also each of them play different instruments, and Gwilym plays guitar and some other string instruments which he does so very well and I like to listen to him playing no less than singing. And I particularly love this song because of Gwilym’s play, and all those intricative, absolutely engrossing harmonies. And Elan’s leading vocals on top of it make it absolutely great.

Song of the day (23rd January) – Child Of Mind – “Take A Look At My Diary”.

I thought I’d like to share with you one of Declan Galbraith’s songs. Declan Galbraith has been one of my earlier crushes, and my crush on him started on 21 January some years ago, I don’t even remember exactly which year. Since Declan, I’ve already had two crushes, but I still like him a lot. So far I have showed you only 2 songs by him  one

“Strange World”

comes from his demo, and the other –

“Walking In The Air”

comes from his debut album – “Declan” – released in 2002 when Declan was 10 years old. Now he’s 27, and since 2017 I believe, uses the name Child Of Mind. He’s also working on an artistic project of the same name. He has released one EP so far, and it’s really intriguing. From a child who was mainly covering popular songs, he has come a long way, and developed tremendously! I find his lyrics particularly interesting. And the song I’m going to show you here – “Take A Look At My Diary – is the one that speaks to me the most, and is the most relatable for me. I think though that many other people with mental illnesses, but also other similar issues I guess, can probably relate to it easily. I am curious what has inspired him to write this song, as it is very true.