Retro: A list in a year

What a year. This year I’ve experienced the highest high and the lowest low a human can live through. In my private life, the passing of my mother and the birth of my daughter is a clear example of that. I’m still grieving. But I am also happy. This is what I’ve learnt this year: Life is not just only happiness, not just only sadness. I can be happy for things I am happy about and sad for things that make me sad. Before this year, it was almost as I had to choose. But no. I will allow myself to do both.

Development

Professionally, I am developing in ways beyond what I thought about myself. I am doing really well right now. This year I’ve continued with my orchestras (gaining responsibily for a new one just weeks ago), educated myself in areas where I am weak, I’ve produced a couple of projects in different styles, arranged a lot of music, composed new music (though less than I’d like to) and gotten to live the guitar/conductor life as I want.

I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions any more, but I do believe in action. This year, I’ve been a little less active than I’ve usually been – for good reasons. Before, I’d work until I passed out. But now it’s not up to me anymore – I have a family to take care of now. The work has to be smarter now.

The list

Though it’s been a calm year, the top ten list is this (without any order at all):

  1. Oskarshamns Guitar Festival – sadly the last one – it seems – but clearly the best. We need more festivals that can experiment, give more live acts a voice and inspire a new generation of guitarists. The OGF did that. I will miss it! It was a fun version this year, with Terry Riley in the guitar orchestra.
  2. Swedish Guitar and Lute Festival – Proud to be a part of this oldest and great festival as a leader for the festival orchestra. This year the ensemble sounded really good with some Ravel. Will participate next year as well! Looking forwards to it.
  3. Staffanstorps Musikkår – What a year we have had! This orchestra has surprised me a couple of times. We have played extensively. We have marsched in rain. We have explored new, bold, repertoire. We have put focus on the joy of playing and gained new members! Cheers! Thank you for trusting me and giving me a smile every Tuesday!
  4. Lomma Musiksällskap – We are new to each other, but you are a very dynamic orchestra. I look forwards to work with you guys for years to come. There is a core in this orchestra that makes me proud to lead you and proud to have your trust.
  5. My bands! I am so happy to tour with Sabina Chantouria, Åsa Leijon and Stina Sahlén. We have had some magical gigs together. Thank you for all your support and for letting me be a part of your journey.
  6. The studio – This year I’m producing Åsa Leijon and we have finished her new singles! Really fun process. This year I’ve moved towards being a better producer, arranger and mixer. All of these fields I’ve grown in. Thank you for the opportunities! Åsa – you are the best! Also, a huge thank you to Jimmy Hintz who lets me use his studio here in Lund!
  7. Swedish Association of Orchestras – I am proud to be a member and chairman of our regional board for SAO (in Swedish – SOF). Especially the national conference in Sundsvall earlier this year was a real treat! Yet again, thank you for the trust and for the opportunity.
  8. My students – I can’t find words for how proud I am over you. You are all advancing in your pace and all of you are making good progress. Keep on going!
  9. My guitar orchestra – This year we’ve grown and just earlier we found a new bass player! Score. We WILL grow even more next year and we will do some touring. Proud over you.
  10. The company – This year, my company has positioned itself as a very attractive company to work with. Clients are happy and we know how to deliver a great product. Next year, we will change our name, shape up even more, get ourselves a new location and be in it to win it. We have experimented a lot this year – some things have worked and we have learned from things that did not go as well. Watch out, we are growing.

.end note

I am so excited for 2019. Already, a couple of dreams will come true. And this is what is success to me, making things and dreams come true. Doing things I love, regardless of what other people think. It has been a good year! Now: Happy new one.

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