måndagen den 15:e december 2008
As you might have found already, the title track from M Ward's forthcoming and much awaited sixth album "Hold Time" is available on his website. By clicking on the featured tv set's switch, it changes from the video of 2006's "Chinese Translation" to the new song. Enjoy! This will doubtlessly be one of the best albums of 2009.
onsdagen den 10:e december 2008
I got to know the illustrator and author Emma Adbåge back in 2006 and I can't in word describe how much I like the things she does nor how much I appreciate discussing creative issues and such with her. I could start a blog solely for writing about her. I don't have to though since she's got one of her own. Her very recommended blog (in english) with sketches, photos, art/book/music-references and more (where I also borrowed the photos and sketches for this post).
Since 2001, she's been very productive with four own children's books and countless collaborations and illustrations. This year she had three very nice books out, first her own "Jag var superhjälte säger vi", plus the illustrated short story "Limited Edition", available in the anthology "Samtidigt". She also illustrated the book "De ovanligaste barnen i världen", written by Inger Edelfeldt.
Currently residing in Mjölby, I know that she has just finished new material and some details have just begun to leak out on the big Swedish book sites. I wanted to make an interview with her and I'm very proud to have her aboard on my blog now.
Emma, you seem to have been furiously productive 2008 with the new two books that are put out. They're amazing. What can you tell about the future, if you're allowed to talk about it? (I just found this on Bokus).
Thanks! Both of them were made last year though (you know, there is so much work between me and the book stores) - so let’s say that I was furiously productive 2007!
-Seriously speaking, among other things, I have been working with two children's books this year as well so, OK. Your link mentions one of them: “Vi hittar Smulbert” (“Finding Smulbert”). The other one, which I’m just about to finish the cover for, is called “Fylla år” (which is hard to translate into English but I will call it “The birthday book”). Both of them are my own – both text and illustrations.
“Finding Smulbert” is a quiet story about two siblings at the beach, a hot summer's day. They get up early, squarrel in the backseat and do all that beach-stuff, like pretending they’re dolphins and having packed lunch on a blanket. Then, they find this bug and call him “Smulbert”. Smulbert gets a big castle made out of sand and they bathe him - to death!
The summary: play, picnic and death and joy
The other one – “the Birthday book” – is more like a philosophical book about having birthdays. Why do we (in Sweden) call it “fylla år” …like “fill the years”? -With what? And isn’t it unfair that while some of us can have like hundreds of birthdays in a lifetime, the dragonfly, for example, only lives for a couple of days (NO BIRTHDAY PRESENTS!)! Both books are expected to be out in the stores 2009 (“Vi hitter Smulbert” – Eriksson & Lindgren AB & “Fylla År” – Alfabeta Bokförlag).
Apart from the children's books, you also do comics for a more grownup audience. Is comic the correct term? You had an illustrated short story, "Limited Edition" published recently in the anthology Samtidigt. Which is brillant, funny but very moving too. Is this something you're planning to do more in the future?
Oh, interesting that you question the word “comic”, 'cause I really hate using that word. “Cartoon” as well. It makes me think of comic strips. Stuff that makes one laugh (not me though, I’m whining!). It can be so much more than just those funny strips that you can read in your daily paper. “An illustrated short story” feels more correct so let’s use that term.
Now I will answering your question: THANK YOU. And yes, definitely. I’m working on a couple of stories when I got some time left. I really like to tell a story that way – you can get so much out of an illustration instead of trying to explain it all in just words – an amazing tool! Maybe in the same way that you use the music to your lyrics? -I wish that more grown-ups weren’t so afraid of the “comic”-genre, cause like I said, there is so much more than just a punch line and then it’s over.
I read the Tove Jansson biography "Ord, bild, tanke" and was reminded of your stuff. Mostly because both of you do illustrations where you first get an instant impression and then after a while discover tons of details in the background. Does Tove Jansson inspire you?
Yes, oh yes. Her work really is amazing! I don’t think you can see it in my work, but there is a difference between “inspired” and “influenced”? She inspires me in the same way that a great movie can inspire me, or a great song or a book. Or a person who is really good at something - that amazes me and gives me the inspiration to create, to use colours and to tell stories. She does that for me, Tove, she gives me that inspiration, definitely.
More, what are you inspired most by? Other illustrations or something else? Would also love to hear what other artists you like.
There are many things that inspire me; music, movies, friends and books. You know, the common things. And to spend time with children and look into their world - they are so uncomplicated and open minded, unaffected! And of course - other childrens books and artists. I just told you about Tove Jansson, so I can do some fine namedropping of artists that makes me feel inspired and elated: Nigel Peake, Carson Ellis, the Swedish illustrator/autor Eva Lindström, Owe Gustavson, Stina Wirsén, the fantastic ! Jockum Nordström and the genious David Shrigley of course - I love his humour and simplicity, so relieving! I also have to mention another person that inspires me: the Swedish actor Gösta Ekman, what a man huh!
-except other illustrators and artists I collect inspiration from other stuff: this summer I got introduced for real, to the work by Bauhaus. Me and my man visited Bauhaus archive in Berlin. He already loved the Bauhaus works and took me there. It was the best, I fell in love with the Bauhaus-stuff for real. The colours and the shapes. Wow!
If I’m allowed to name one more thing that ispires me (I can make a long long list that never ends) I wanna tell you that I actually get inspired by ugly things, and stuff that makes me say: “EEH? Ha ha!? What the hell!?” Like strange fashion trends, home styling and ugly party photos. A giant source of ideas!
What's your favorite book + cd album of 2008
Book: Since I do read a lot of childrens books I will choose “Nu är vi gorillor låssas vi!” (“Let’s pretend we’re gorillas!”) by The Great Swedish author Barbro Lindgren. IT’S AWESOME. I laughed and got all warmed up when I read it. Really fell in love and Barbro is also one of my biggest idols. If I would choose one novel this past year it would be the actor Jonas Karlsson’s debut “Det andra målet”. If I have to choose ONE except your music dear friend… - Fleet foxes, the self titled debut (?) !
That stray cat we met this summer. Have you figure out if he got a home or not?
That poor thing. I’m sorry to say that I do see him around sometimes – but I still do not know if he’s got an own apartment… But I can tell that he has two cat friends hangin’ around and he looks quite strong and healthy. -I will sure look after him now when it gets colder.
My friend Kristoffer Hedberg recently released his second album "Ett helt vanligt ögonblick" consisting of Swedish-spoken acousticdriven pop and troubadourism. The album features guest appearances by big names in the Swedish pop genre such as Peter LeMarc and Lasse Lindh. I was happy to get invited to contribute with something and I chosed the accordion which I play on the song "I haven't felt the heat". Kristoffer is currently promoting his album but also reveals that he has a followup-album in mind already that he hope to get out before the end of 2009.
So Kristoffer, how would you describe me as an accordion-player?
I would describe you as an exquisite accordion player. With a huge amount of fragile feelings in his style of playing. You gave the tune "I haven't felt the heat (älskar, äskar inte)" a french touch. If you imagine yourself at an amusement park i France during the 1920s, if you do that you know which feeling I mean.
Cheers mate, it was a pleasure. What's your thoughts about the new album of yours? Can you tell me a little about the topic and musicians?
I'm very pleased that I've finally got the album out. After almost two years of hard work. There's been a few bumps on the road such as a hard drive failure etc. I think that musically I've taken a further step since the debut in 2006. The arrangements are bigger and better. It's called "ett helt vanligt ögonblick" ("a regular moment", maybe that's a bad translation), my attempt was to catch all these moments that all the time passes us by and collect them and put them in to a prison called "ett helt vanligt ögonblick". I don't know if these moments enjoy to be locked into this CD but that's another question. When you read this text a moment has passed, when you listen to the CD a moment has passed, when you write songs you try to catch the moment, simple as that.