“Jeu” (synthesizer piece)

Synthesizer… The word evokes very different pictures in different minds. I have several synthesizer-crazy friends but I also know folks who have a very cold attitude towards it. For them a synthesizer is something plastic, un-organic, artificial, not a “real” instrument. I could certainly respect that if they added that for them a car is not a real means of transportation, compared with horse and carriage. But they almost never say that.

If I, a self-styled “vanguard nostalgian”, can accept that we live in an electronic world, maybe music listeners in general can accept that too? Besides, a synthesizer is not an instrument.

— What?

A violin is an instrument, or a piano or a xylophone. We know how these instruments sound. But we don´t know how a synthesizer sounds.

— Why?

Because it can sound like a violin or piano or xylophone (or saxophone), plus hundreds of other traditional instruments. It can imitate them (called imitative synthesis), but it can also sound totally different from them. In other words, the synth is a chameleon. Or, in a way, an orchestra.

This is not an instrument.
This is not an instrument.

For me personally the synth is connected to a perhaps banal association; outer space. Leaving earth, moving among the stars, novas and galaxies. Outer space is connected with inner space, so the synth moves both outward and inward.

But I admit that it is too often used as the Poor Man´s Pseudo-Orchestra, or just as an awful string-machine.

Anyway, I have fooled around A LOT with the synthesizer, have written entire compositions (even an opera) around its “orchestra”.

What follows here is a small bagatelle that I wrote for a competition by synth manufacturer Roland. I didn´t win anything. I suppose the fact that my piece was done entirely on a Prophet [competitor brand] didn´t help.

When I listen to it now, some 30 years later, I hear — besides the obvious playfulness of it — one of the main “themes” or obsessions of my life (especially in the middle section): the desire for a weightless existence. Ah, to soar like a bird!

CREDITS: one synth (Prophet 600), two hands (no sequencer), multitrack recorder. Engineer: Dagge Lundqvist of Trettioåriga kriget, Adolphson & Falk etc. fame.

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Why pluriverse?

People tell me that my double CD “Life´s a beach, and then you swim” is torn between styles, alternatively very varied.

I called it my musical “pluriverse”.

Life´s a beach

As to being varied, I find this quote in “Parallel universes” by Emily Baumbach.

“In your normal waking state, you´re only using about 1 % of the potential of you Essence. The other 99 % of your Essence is hanging out, drumming its fingers, waiting for something interesting to happen.”

Drumming fingers indeed. Let´s say I tried to use at least 2 % of my musical potential. This is also a force behind having so many domains, doing so many different things. Le mot juste is heterogeneous.

Instead of goal-oriented profiling, with all the boring specialization that goes along with that, doing something interesting.

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All you need is broadband

[A historical document from Early IT-age, circa A.D. 2000. Note: This it not satire.]

Year 2000: In this era of “immaterial values” I have eavesdropped on the seductive, inverted siren song that, instead of luring sailors down into the depths, rather throws them up on terra firma, where they happily “surf” on dry land.

I have transcribed the song that is hummed in secret. You cannot accuse the IT (information theology) folks for speaking a ruthlessly honest language, and you don´t need a particularly sharp ear to discern the new Credo: A Mighty Cabel Is Our God.


Listen to the Hymn (from my CD "Life´s a Beach and then you swim")

(All you need is Bredband MP3 510kB, LO-FI)

Join in and sing along!

(Melody: John Brown’s body)

Refräng: Bredband, bredband Halleluja
Bredband, bredband Halleluja
Bredband, bredband Halleluja
Bredband, BREDBAND, B R E D BA N D!

Vers 1: Surfa, surfa, surfa, surfa
Surfa, surfa, surfa, surfa
Surfa, surfa, surfa, surfa
Det är det som är livets mening och mål

(English translation, if needed:
Broadband, broadband Halleluja, etc. etc.

Surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing
Surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing, etc. etc.
Is the Goal and Meaning of Life.)


Vers 2: Innehållet det kan kvitta
Innehållet det kan kvitta
Porr och chat, Quake och Tetris
“Klicka här för en bild på vår hund”
VI KRÄVER 2 MEGABIT PER SEKUND! [Ja, det var faktiskt det man krävde på den tiden.]

talkör: Det ska gå fort att surfa
Annars får de kvetta

(Who gives a damn about content?
Porno, chat, Quake, Tetris
Click HERE for a picture of our doggy.
We DEMAND 2 Mb per Second!)  [2MB, those were the days!]


Bredband, bredband Halleluja
Bredband, bredband Halleluja
Bredband, bredband Halleluja
Bredband gör oss till ledande IT-land

[ultima volta:] Bredband gör oss till världens bästa IT-land


(Broadband makes Sweden the No. 1 IT-country in the world.

Text, arrangement, keyboards, vocals: Ladislaus Horatius
Choir: Diana Nunez, Inger Ohlén
Recording, drums, choir: Lasse Beijbom

Måste jag ha dator? JA!

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Thank you for the music

Another day, another song – this time a setting of a poem by Dan Andersson. Three hours is all it takes.

Since I compose so seldom I forget what it´s like to be in the stream and flow of inspiration. The wave carries me…

A happy feeling, this. It calls for thankfulness. Thank you, muse (both the earthly and heavenly kind).

I am nothing special, in fact I´m a bit of a bore.


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Return of the muse

[Return, as in returning from the kitchen or bathroom. My muse has never been away for long.]

Yesterday I wrote a song, which has not happened for a long time. A short melancholy poem  (by Edith Södergran), 2-3 hours of work, and it is finished.

I am reminded of the rather bitter composer Allan Pettersson who complained in TV that if people had let him come closer to a piano more often, he might have turned out a Lied collection worthy of Schubert. Well, that´s hard to prove, but I recognize the sentiment. In my case, however, there is no lack of piano, rather a lack of fire and energy.

However, one song can lead to two, then three, and who knows where it ends? To paraphrase the underrated and often cruelly mocked Barry Manilow (to get very far away from Pettersson): all it takes is one song.

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