Unmistakably Nordic in flavor, Sofia Talvik somehow still conforms to American interpretations of her own original music, a North Sea siren blending sparkle and melancholy, creating a special niche of folk music.
You all know that you need a gingerbread house to make Christmas complete. And you also need some kids to help you build it. I decided to let my cello player Christian, who also happens to be an architect and should know a thing or two about building houses, and his daughter Gunnel help me build one. This is a re-run from my 2009 Christmas Calendar, but it was one of my favorite episodes and I think you’re just going to love it! And the best thing is that you can download the template for Christian’s gingerbread house HERE and bake it at home!
Welcome to my 2012 Christmas Calendar! Through-out December 1st-25th I will do fun Christmassy things everyday and you can follow the calendar here on my website, on Facebook or you can get it straight to your inbox every day by clicking on the link below!
So for the first window of my calendar I’m giving you my new Christmas single “One Last Wish For Christmas”. Every year I release a new original Christmas single. It’s always for free, but you can choose your own price if you want to pay for it anyway. A huge thank you to my wonderful band back in Sweden who have done an amazing job recording and mixing the single; Joakim Lundgren my co-producer, perkussionist, backing strings arranger, mixer and masterer, Marcus Högquist on guitar, Christian Hörgen on cello, Janne Manninen on bass and Kristoffer Jonsson on trombone.
And thank you to all of my friends and fans who supported my tour this year! I hope you all enjoy this little token of appreciation. Merry Christmas!
It’s been amazing that I have received so much help, support and interest from my fans during the production of my two latest EPs. Thanks to YOU I have been able to record and release them, and for that I am eternally grateful!
Now it’s time for me to start making part three of the L.O.V.E saga and I need your help again. This time it will be a little bit different. For one I’m using Bandcamp instead of Pledgemusic and this time I have affixed packages to make it easier for you to choose your level of involvement. Like before, you’re very welcome to send me an email or comment below if you feel that something is missing amongst the items available to pledge for and I’ll be happy to include it. You will still receive updates from the project such as blogs, pics and videos.
The interesting thing about this project is that I have four different producers, the four guys that also happen to be in my backing band. They are all very talanted but they all have very different taste in music and I thought it would be interesting to see how they interpreted my songs if I gave them the chance. ‘L’ was produced by my cello player Christian Hörgren and ‘O’ by my drummer Joakim Lundgren. We’re now down to ‘V’ and this time it’s my bass player Janne Manninen who produces the EP. His roots are more dance and electronica than the others and this EP will be very different from all my other stuff. But it’s still me doing the vocals and guitar and it’s all my songs, just in a new exciting suit.
For the 4 EPs I’m releasing this year I’m using 4 different producers. And not any producers but the 4 guys in my backing band also known as The Tallboys. The producer for my first EP “L” is Christian Hörgren. Christian has been with me for more than 5 years and can be heard playing cello on all my previous albums. Here’s a little interview with the man in charge.
Hi Christian Hörgen, producer of the first EP in the L.O.V.E saga! How does it feel to be the first of 4 producers involved in this project?
– I’m pleased, honored and very excited. I think this is a great idea to let the members of the band take care of one recording each. It forces you to really make a statement about the song, not only your single part.
Is this your debut as a producer or are you in fact a veteran?
– I have produced several albums with my own bands and projects, but never for another recording artist.
How come you decided to do this and are you excited about the EP?
– How can I say no to such a flattering offer, Ha! To be honest, It was a tough decision to make since I’m on a parental leave with two kids. It’s always hard to make everything you dream of doing actually happen. But this time, together with some help, support and understanding from my wife and kids, we actually pulled it off.
What’s your main inspiration as a producer?
– I like to work with acoustic instruments, and I like weird instruments. I also like clear and simple ideas, and how you can question those ideas by making small changes in the arrangement of the song. I’m no big fan of an artificial studio sound in the Phil Spector tradition. I’m more into traditional, or even vernacular music superimposed with art music, like the things Jimmy O’Rourke is doing. Or Wilco.
What do you think will be different with this EP from Sofia’s previous albums?
– It’s really hard to tell. It’ has the airy and clean sound from the first records, paired up with the sweet americana vibe on the recent ones. I have tried to do it my way, not Sofia’s way, Ha!
You have played with Sofia for many years, how does it feel to be the producer as opposed to a musician working with a producer, and will you be as hard on yourself as you are on the other musicians?
– It’s a big privilege to help Sofia develop her great songs in my way. It has been so fun, yet difficult and very challenging.
Which instruments will you be playing on the EP?
– I play the kalimba (african thumbs piano), autoharp (American folk zither), electric and acoustic cello, piano, Fender Rhodes, hammond organ and I also made some field recordings.
Do you think that you and the other producers will create very different EP:s or will they sound alike?
– My friends in the band are so talented. I’m sure they will do it in their completely different way. But I have no idea what it will sound like, Ha!
If you had an unlimited budget, what would you do?
– I would hire Brad Mehldau, Bill Frisell, Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson to do the instrumental parts, playing Sofia’s songs together with the Brodsky String Quartet. I would ask Danny Elfman to do the arrangements, or perhaps Stephen Sondheim. To be honest, that sounded more like Brewster’s Millions. There is no clear connection between budget and quality. I would rather have unlimited time than budget.
We thank Christian for the chat and look forward to hearing the result of his hard work!