All posts by jennylysander

Northern Folk says Hello

Ekerö, 13th of  May 2015

I woke up early– yes, I am very fond of early mornings– the day of the release of Northern Folk feeling like I used to feel for my birthdays when I was younger. I was so excited to see what was going to happen, I expected all sorts of things! But there was no knock on the door, the phone didn’t ring, the mailbox remained empty and there was no marching parade outside my window. But that day was still different. Nothing could bring me down. The world just seemed to be extra bright and sort of shimmering. I went out to buy some organic strawberries and that was how I celebrated.

 

The album begins with a recently made song I call Zeus– on the album it’s called A Painter’s Brush. I set my alarm clock very early one morning, because I didn’t want to go to work and I wanted to have the morning hours to do  something worthwhile with my life. The sun was just breaking through the night and the house was yawning and stretching awake. The cats were crying for food. After I fed them, I stepped through the backyard door. The night’s frosts were melting in the sun and left a wistful shimmer. Everything was quiet, there was just a low roar as the lake turned over in its sleep unwilling to wake. The shimmer of the melting frosts cried out to me, as if they were memories that wanted to be remembered. But I just let them shimmer. And I thought to myself— ‘let it melt and sink into green’. And so forgetting found Zeus.

Cricket colour two

The album was in one very nice review compared to the stories and illustrations of Beatrix Potter. Out of all the other artists I’ve been compared to– so far, this is the one I feel most comfortable with. I have often heard that I seem beyond my age which I’ve thought is kind of funny because to me, I’m one of the most childish people I know. But maybe that’s how everyone feels?

 

 

Northern Folk Release Date Announced

Palavas, France 12th of March 2015

I have some exciting news. My first full length album will be released April 27. After almost a year of processing I now know which songs will be included, how they will sound and what the physical object will look like. It consists of 12 songs of which one– Under The Willow Tree– Piers Faccini wrote for me. There are a few amazing collaborations on it– like with for instance bass player Pat Donaldson who has earlier played with Sandy Denny or with shawm player Johan Persson who plays in one of my favourite renaissance bands Vagando. More on this later!

JENNY cover HD

  1.  A Painter’s Brush
  2. Giving Thanks
  3. Dancing On The Edge
  4. Blackbird
  5. Northern Folk
  6. Arms Wide To The Sky
  7. Lavender Philosophy
  8. Under The Willow Tree
  9. This Boat
  10. Jag Målade Fan På Väggen
  11. Mind Me
  12. Were We Both Lions?

Two days ago I landed in France and am currently staying in Palavas preparing my first show on my first tour. On Friday I’ll be playing with Piers Faccini and Simone Prattico in the Théâtre de villeneuve lès maguelone. How do I feel? Well, I have my head in the clouds (as always more or less). It feels amazing to begin this new journey by playing with two of my favourite musicians. I feel grateful everyday for being on this project. It’s a constant source of joy.

I have notes from the recording sessions of Northern Folk scribbled down everywhere. My memory is not the best, so when I remember something new about the recording, which I still do every now and then, I grab whatever’s at hand and write it down… Randomly picking one out for you:

It’s been interesting to experience that certain arrangements seems to be almost innately attached to certain memories, as if they were actually part of them, like an extension of them. When creating a song, there are some sounds that everyone can hear because the songwriter has chosen to let them sound. But there are also sounds that only some can hear– voices and colours that ring out in the background and tells more. It seems like what a good arranger has, among many other things, is an incredible ability of compassion and empathy that helps to tune in to those faint voices that sometimes not even the songwriter can hear– then they listen, understand, interpret and finally enhance them to clarity for more ears to hear. It’s nothing but a work of magic.”

The Lavender Philosophy

Stockholm 12th of December 2014

Been sitting by the window working today, sometimes looking at the christmas tree in the yard, sometimes looking in through the windows of the neighbours opposite me. At the bottom floor there’s a restaurant kitchen. Same man is standing there day in and day out, doing the dishes, obviously daydreaming judging by the look in his eyes. Sometimes singing. Seems happy.

4 days ago, the Beating Drum compilation The Many Are One was released and with it, my song Lavender Philosophy that was recorded in Piers Faccini‘s home studio in the Cevennes this summer at the same time we recorded the songs for the album (which this song will also be on).

LYSANDER

        When I was a littly I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. In absolute bliss. My grandmother was– as I remember her– always glowing, always happy, always ready to play a game or tell a story or think of something to do. She used to tell stories about her past and my grandfather’s. One of them was of how my grandfather had really wanted to become a pianist, but had decided it was a silly idea and become an engineer instead. I remember I wrote letters to him, pretending I was different clients of his, coming from this or that part of the world, asking him to invent this or that kind of machine. He used to laugh at these. A very silent restraint kind of laughter. Otherwise I remember him as very silent. He had that sharp look of intellectuality and composure. Always busy. Never any free time. But always calm in a strange kind of way. He did play the piano every now and then, and every time he did, my grandmother stopped whatever she was doing and made me do so too and just told me to sit down and listen. I was always too restless to listen, it didn’t make any sense to me— “too many notes”, I told my grandmother quoting the movie Amadeus that my mother almost watched on repeat at the time. So my grandmother would send me out on the balcony telling me to try to copy every bird, every insect, every little noise I could hear. She said that would help me learn to enjoy my grandfather’s piano playing. It didn’t really… But I learned to respect it warmly. And I became a good bird whistler too. But otherwise what that lesson mostly taught me was probably that I was a major daydreamer.

        When I was there and my grandmother was not with me, I remember her working in her garden. For some reason I have a memory that both my grandmother and my own mother really wanted to grow lavender in their gardens and struggled with it for a long time, but they never succeeded. So lavender has a sort of mysterious meaning to me, and I always think of my grandmother and her lavender philosophy when I hear it, see it or smell it.

The Gifts Of November

Edinburgh 27th of November 2014

It is the end of November, the month that marks the calm before the storm. It is the last month of autumn that leads into winter and the great struggle for warmth and light. Always such a powerful drama. November and I have always gotten along well, and this year, it brought a generous number of good little things with it. This website for example. Me and my sister has been working on it for the past couple of weeks. I am very grateful towards my sister, this website would not be here if she had not helped me as much as she did. One of the downsides of having so many good things to share though, is that I won’t be able to get into depths about each one of them, but if I feel they crave more attention they will get it in a later post.

How is my album doing? The songs have all been mixed and sent to mastering. Beating Drum has now begun the process of designing one of those beautiful little objects it is devoted to making. I am so excited to share it with you– all in good time; March.

I am in Edinburgh right now, here to go to my sister’s graduation ceremony at Edinburgh University.  When I was younger, I had a vague dream to study there myself, so I am very happy to be experiencing this ceremony. Scotland is also the home of one of my long favourite songwriters– Robin Adams. During my stay here, I’ve had the privilege to meet him to talk about art and life. These rare unusual moments and meetings feels to me like walking into  a room that is just stuffed with things I am searching for. When I realise that, I sort of just sit back and rest with the relief of having finally found it, forgetting to explore what’s in there. I just enjoy being there surrounded by it and suddenly that’s enough.  But they certainly are well hidden these things we are looking for. I have often wondered what it is that decides what’s to be found and what is not, whose music is to be heard and whose is not. It partly has its answer in the next gift november brought:

cover_TMAO

It has brought news of the release of the Beating Drum compilation The Many Are One. Piers Faccini–who runs the label and is also the producer and arranger of my songs, a friend and inspiration– has put together this collection of artists with the words:

It’s so easy to listen to music today, to consume it, it’s all there a click away but as we channel surf from artist to artist on Spotify or Deezer, hoping to discover some unknown treasure, what better recommendation could there be than one made by the artists themselves? Our compilation personalizes the process, no data collection or prying analysis needed, The Many Are One is simply me introducing you directly to the artists I love…”

 I am overwhelmed and proud and above all happy, to be featured among some of my own favourite artists contributing with one of my warmest songs. The album will be released on the 8th of December and is available for pre-order here (with an instant download of the three first tracks).

I am so excited to receive it myself, already completely in love with the first track Bolder by Horsedreamer:

That’s all for now… Heading out for some new adventures!