Who am I?
Born and raised in a small city in Sweden, Östersund, where different sports dominated my youth, I have probably tried everyone who was in my city then, from ice-hockey through archery to chess. And when I was mostly into sports, when a ping pong racket was on every lesson, the football boots always in front of the door and the slalom skis packed and ready, I decided to focus on music.
I’ve probably always been a person who doesn’t give me half of the stuff. Always 100% or not at all. Besides, I like to learn, learn new things every day and when music is an endless subject it has suited me. I have learned a lot and I continue to learn.
When I had to choose high school, the choice was simple, music gymnasium in Härnösand, where there were two years of study, and after that I started at the music university in Örebro where I studied for four years. The main instrument from the beginning was violin but since I a few years earlier had discovered that the instrument piano existed, I applied to change my first instrument to jazzpiano and jazzensemble after only a semester.
In a way, I’m probably a bit restless, not to dislike peace and quiet, more because I enjoy challenges and exploring things.
So after completing my studies, I worked for three seasons in Spain and Greece as the band leader at international hotels. We called the band “mr. Walker ”and since I sang most of the songs, the English-speaking audience often thought that I was Mr. Walker. A name that has stuck with me ever since.
The choir as an “instrument”.
Choral singing has always interested me as I think a choir is a fantastic “instrument” plus I like to find new opportunities to express myself. Then a chorus is a fantastic tool as the human voice has almost endless possibilities.
The first time I conducted a choir at a major concert was the day I turned 18, I led the choir singing for the audience and the audience were singing for me.
Since then I have been the leader of countless choirs, from beginners to professionals, from young people to seniors.
I began singing myself quite late. Sure, I sang in choir when I was young, in fact a boys choir, and joined a pretty good adult choir when I was 15, but singing myself was nothing I really dared or was ready for until I studied at the university.
Vocal is now as clear choice of main instrument as the piano is. And because I always want to learn, I have lots of bi-instruments such as violin, guitar, electric bass and double bass, drums and percussion. Unfortunately, the trombone is a bit slow.
But haven’t I had a “real” job?
Yes, I have a real job, I work six days a week, often 12 hours a day, I practice, care for my instruments, write and learn.
The only employment I have had was as an educator at Birka folkhögskola (pre college school) music departement where I taught, among other things, choral singing, music theory, music history, jazz piano, jazz vocal and sound technology. It was a fun and challenging but as the performing assignments increased, the time to teach was not enough.
Most assignments I have are fun and challenging. Alone with a piano and a microphone entertaining an audience and creating a nice atmosphere is always a challenge as each evening is unique.
To be a band leader for an ensemble, large or small, is also instructive every time because it is so much more than “just” playing music. You should also make sure that everyone is happy, everything is smooth, have contact with organizer and sound & light engineers, and make sure that artists are in a good mood etc.
Speaking of artists, it would be it’s own website if I were to list everyone I have worked with as there are simply too many. But I can say that the list is as long as it is wide. Mostly I have worked with Swedish artist but also some international.
My pen is my sharpest weapon
One person from the cultural sector once asked me which is my main instrument, I answered the pen without really thinking about it. But to a large extent, that’s true. Composition, songwriting and arranging have always been a big part of my music performance and will always be. Simply because I can be creative in a craft I have a black belt in.
As soon as I have an assignment to write something I write, as soon as I get even an ounce of inspiration, I write, yes even when I think it is boring, I write.