04.05.2021

May there be snow

Oh hello there,

it is early May and still snowing. Lucky me. If there is anything on this planet I never get tired of, it’s snow. The mere sight of a snowflake makes me instantly happy. I once saw a sweater at a thrift shop that said “to snow me means to love me” – that would have been the perfect fit, if it wasn’t child-sized.

I did not get much snow in 2020. I was in a difficult place and – like so many others – struggled with following my own truth. I had just embarked on the aspiring journey of establishing myself as a musician when the world was turned upside-down. I wavered between my different careers, lingered for a while on becoming a researcher, a gardener or even an entrepreneur and eventually got very exhausted and sick.

So, once again I reduced my possessions to a minimum, resigned from all sorts of contracts and commitments, turned off my social media and retreated to a cozy cabin in Rauland for the winter months. There, I was rewarded with loads of snow. I spent my time in a little bubble working fiercely on songs and recording a demo with a friend, to whom I owe the regaining of my creative forces. I skied the vastness of the Hardangervidda, a much-needed reset.

Now, summer is around the corner and with it a new project. I am so lucky to receive funding from Vestfold og Telemark Fylkeskommune and Midt-Telemark Kommune for my project Til Stede, where I am digging into old music and stories as well as contemporary occurrences connected to Evju Bygdetun – a very special place in the heart of Telemark – reflecting on the wonderful concept of tilstedeværelse (to be present) and aiming at creating new music, artistic collaborations and live performances. I also have an exciting collaboration with Telemarksfestivalen coming up in August and am just very looking forward to spending the summer in creation mode and in the company of very talented people.

I am also in the makings of my first studio album, an ever so exciting path to be on!

Hope to see you here or there, sooner or later.

Yours truly,

Johanna

 

 

04.10.2019

New Traditional Inquiries

Dear reader,

Today, on this early October Friday where the first snow has hit the mountain tops outside my kitchen window, it feels just about right to reach out to you. It is clearly preserving season. Time to stock up for the winter with pickled, canned or dried vegetables and fruits. Time to make sure that the memories from summery lightness are well protected, for they may be called on later when hours of daylight become scarce.

A memory pops up in my head from about five years ago. I was sitting in a lecture hall of the math building at my university in Berlin. It was a seminar on climate change economics, and I was the annoying overachiever amidst 40 passive-acting grad students. We went through last week’s assignment that I had racked my brain over for days and I got frustrated. The lecturer caught my sight and said: “You look like you want to say something.” This sentence hit me in a surprisingly profound place. It felt as if I had been caught red-handed. Yes, I want to say something, a lot actually. But I don’t really know what it is I want to say. Let alone how I can say it. And I doubt that this lecture hall is the place for me to start searching.

Seeking ways to reach underneath my own surface and to disclose insights about myself is what has governed my path for the last couple of years. This constant inquiry now finds expression through singing, song writing and playing hardanger fiddle in rural Norway. Oddly enough. I still have a lot of unsolved questions and it seems like a natural 21st century progression to now broaden my horizon to the world wide web.

After all, the internet is a result of human interaction and that is what I’m into, too. The most fascinating part about music for me is when the sound that someone produces resonates in another person’s system and develops its own kind of creative nature, which nobody can control any longer. Essentially, this is when growth can occur.

Thank you for reading this. I hope to have you alongside me through this journey.

With love,

Johanna

 

Photo: private