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Tag: Sara Forslund

Sara Forslund, Larus Sigurdsson and David Ahlen’s Poems of Despair

Poems of Despair

This breathtaking music that goes by the title Songs of Despair, a collaboration of Swedish artists Sara Forslund (Birch and Meadow), Larus Sigurdsson (composer, arranger, musician, musical instrument maker and artist) and musician David Ahlen, began as a pilgrimage to Jerusalem by Ahlen and artist Samuel Sander. Sander had the desire to create an artbook based on the biblical Book of Lamentations. The story is of the destruction of a city and a holy temple, and the despair of the inhabitants left in its ruins. It is also a story of people in exile in a foreign land. The project became a series of art pieces and later, this mournful, melancholy collection of songs, delicately and powerfully brought to life by world-class artists.

“Death is my hope.
But my thoughts of it
strike me with fear.

I thought I believed.
In life, love.
In some kind of god.”

– The Meaning, from Poems of Despair

The exploration began with a five-day visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall during Tisha B’av. This inspired audio and visual sketches that culminated in an art exhibit in Sweden. From that auspicious beginning came a collaboration with priest, psychotherapist and poet Bengt Thurfjell, who then penned the collection, Poems of Despair. In 2015, Ahlen began setting these poems to music, and was soon joined by Forslund and Sigurdsson.

This stunning album was recorded in different studios in Iceland and Stockholm, and mixed by Larus and Birgir Jan Birgisson (Sigurdssons’s studio engineer) in Sundlaugin studio, Reykjavik. It is the first release by fledgling Gotlandic label Kaip.

poems of despair – bandcamp | poems of despair on spotify | Sara Forslund | Larus Sigurdsson | David Ahlen | the book of lamentations art book | kaip musik

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Introducing… Swedish songstress Sara Forslund

Photo by Lisa Ljunggren

Photo by Lisa Ljunggren

On “Morning Is Leaving,” the first single from Sara Forslund’s debut album Water Became Wild, her voice is barely a whisper, yet she immediately commands your attention. Mystical and intimate, she’s minimally accompanied by a simple piano melody. Other songs on the album, just released on VOLKOREN, feature cello and trumpet in addition to piano. Water Became Wild was produced by Forslund and fellow Swedish musician David Ahlen, mixed by John Wood (Nick Drake, Pink Floyd, Richard Thompson, Fairport Convention, Cat Stevens), and is available from VOLKOREN (CD – Digipack in Europe) and from Time Released Sound (CD – limited edition – U.S.).

Forslund’s melancholy imagery and spiritual introspection is perhaps inspired by her father, a priest in the small Swedish village of Borgvattnet, who offered to exorcise the ghosts from the village’s haunted vicarage. Now based in Stockholm, Forslund began in the folk band Birch and Meadow, where one can hear the seeds of her unique style being sown. They released their debut album Butterflies and Graves, but a concert by singer-songwriter Gareth Dickson (and subsequent introduction to the music of Nick Drake) inspired her to strike out on her own. She has performed in Sweden, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

If you live in Sweden, the release party for Water Became Wild on July 5. See the Facebook event for more information.

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