Friday, July 04, 2008

On Stage - Carl Johan Vallgren & The Midnight Orchestra


As I've mentioned a bit here a bit there, Swedish author Carl Johan Vallgren is one of my definite favourite word equlibrists. Ah, he has such a wonderful imagination and has a skillful, amazing way with words. If you haven't read the truly remarkable novel Den vidunderliga kärlekens historia or as it's translated to in English The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-reading Monster Hercules Barefoot, His Wonderful Love and Terrible Hatred - I implore you to! Now.


As far as I'm concerned Vallgren falls in to the snazzy dresser, cool dandy dude category - and very obviously he has the gift of verbiage to match. And not only that, he plays music too. Singer/songwriter style. Admittedly I have been concentrating on his words in books and not when teamed up with music. And for reason this and that I haven't been to any of his concerts.


That is, until yesterday. Up on the rooftop of Kulturhuset - The Cultural House, once home to the Swedish government, now a melting pot of various exhibitions, cultural events, theatre, concerts, workshops, restaurants, reading rooms and so forth - with a smashing view over Stockholm city on a hot sunny evening, it was a really very enjoyable event. Indeed.

I love those kind of unpretentious, homely, like-meeting-an-old-friend kind of concerts - as opposed to the gigantic-arena-lazer-show-extravaganza events, which rarely give me as much pleasure as the smaller dos.


First out was guest-artist Ola Sahlén, sporting yellow pants and shiny red shoes. A bit of singing and playing the piano, but I got the distinct impression, most of all melting away in the sun. Taking the worst heat off CJV and his Midnight Orchestra, one might say.


Music, words, humour, wisdom, wittiness and food for thought under a benevolent summer evening sky in the heart of Stockholm. Somehow one can't wish for much more than that.
For some more pictures from that evening, have a peek at Flickr


Paz said...

Looks like a nice concert. The complete title of The Horrific Sufferings is certainly a mouthful. LOL! Good to know that it's a good read. I'll keep my eyes open for the book.


Pia K said...

Oh yes, do that, it's just so wonderfully written and hopefully they've made a good translation of it!

Another really good Swedish book with a clever plot is "Caipirinha with Death" by Maria Ernestam. That's another tip:)

Paz said...

Thank you! I'll make note of it.


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