I’ve really been out of Memento Vivere focus for a while now. It’s eleven days into my fifth project month, and I didn’t make the final decision about which of my project areas to apply to December until yesterday. Hm. Anyway, here I am, having realized that Music is the perfect area to focus on a little extra this month. Music has always been a very important part of my life. As a child I sang in a choir, played the guitar and my parents taught me a lot of traditional Swedish folk songs. Growing up I started going to concerts and music festivals.
The most intense part of my music life was when, in my early twenties, I sang and played the guitar in two small music groups. We made a few gigs, but – more importantly – we went on a busker tour in Europe. Our goal was set low: we hoped to earn enough money from our busking to pay for our food (three grown-ups and a child), and then we didn’t go for expensive meals in restaurants, but very simple food, eaten in the streets or at the campings where we were staying. We usually managed! The bands split up, but a few years later I did a new busker tour in Paris with a newfound friend. We earned extremely little money, but we had a great time, meeting a lot of other buskers. I especially remember one very late night at a party where my friend and I sang beautiful Swedish folk songs in parts. The other buskers were amazed.
I can even say my husband and I found each other through music. We were students at the same university course and soon discovered that we had very similar taste in music. Our first real date started by a picnic where we played the guitar and sang together, and one thing led to the other… We went on playing together at home for some years, but then we were drowned in housing, parenting and all the other stuff that tends to come between people and their hobbies at a certain time in our lives. We have continued to listen to music and we go to concerts every now and then but we never take the time to sit down with our guitars. That’s a habit I hope to get back to this month.
Other pieces of music to fill my December:
- On Friday my husband and I will go to a concert.
- The Friday after that Miranda and I will sing and play two songs at her great grandmother’s funeral.
- For six days (starting yesterday), one of the Swedish public radio stations is (for the fifth year now) devoted round the clock to a music project called Music Aid, originating in a Dutch project (Serious Request) starting 2004. Listeners donate money and have their music requests played on the radio. Famous artists visit the studio (a glass box on a public square in Malmö in the south of Sweden where the three presenters are locked in for these six days) and make live performances. This year the money goes to helping children living in slum quarters worldwide get access to fresh water. I will listen as much as I can and donate as much money as I possibly can instead of buying a lot of Christmas presents.
- I will finally try to figure out how to import music into my smartphone. I usually listen to the radio, but – especially when I go for a jog – music is a better alternative.
- I will also try to listen to some new music. Particularly my daughter Miranda, is a great source here. For my birthday I got a CD with some of her favourite artists which she thought that I might like – and I did. I will listen more to this CD and to other music made by these artists.
- My seven-year-old and I will go on learning songs made by a famous Swedish singer-songwriter, who wrote a lot of songs in the mid-1900s – a project we have been devoted to for more than a year now. I knew a lot of these songs as a child and I’m happy that my children (especially this daughter of mine) have also taken an interest in learning the songs, which are an important part of Swedish cultural heritage.
- On New Year’s Eve, my family and I are going to a Christmas party where there will be an Open Stage. It’s just a small party and we’ll definitely take the opportunity to do some kind of music performance. That will be a great way of closing my music month.
Now time to go on listening to Music Aid while working!