In the past six weeks, I have been following a fantastic TV programme called “Den sjungande trappuppgången”. In English “the Singing Staircaise”.
It is the kind of programme that always makes me happy, first because it is about music and second it is about people sharing a common experience. I love it when people get together and and do something that makes them feel good. It is even better when they create, when they play or sing.
I think that Lena Ekman-Frisk, the choir director in the programme, was inspired by another person, whom I truly admire, that is to say Gareth Malone. This man is a super hero to me. He always succeeds into finding people i a dead-and-alive hole of England who are willing to sing with him. And classical music, s´il-vous-plaît ! As if it was not shameful enough to sing in a choir. But he always makes it. In one of the episodes of the Choir broadcasted by the Swedish television, they were singing at Royal Albert Hall. I was so moved of course, that my tears just kept running and running down my face. I am always very touched by a human being´s kindness.
Anyway, I am not going to talk about Gareth, but about Lena. She is also a great personality endowed with a high level of passion, will and patience. One day she decides to go to not the most attractive sides of Malmö suburb to find new singers for her choir. She needs forty people. It won´t be easy to find them and on the day of the first rehearsal, eight persons simply dropped out without notice. It starts very badly, but as in all fairy tales, there is a happy ending.
It was really fun to follow this gang of heterogeneous people, the youngest being 16 and the oldest 82 years old. I was often suprised by their reactions, because they had never heard classical music before, except for one who was an opera singer. To me, singing and listening to music is the most natural thing. I grew up with it, my father only listened to opera and French chanson. My mother sang in her father´s choir. Moreover, my sister and I sang for many years in a big choir in Paris and we performed in some of the most famous venues and churches. I was surrounded by music and my experience was the opposite of Amar´s in the choir. I discovered rock, pop and other music styles at the age of 16!
Everyone´s got his own path. In the end, music is what matters. Any music. Well, except heavy metal…
Den sjungande trappuppgången on SVT play: http://svtplay.se/t/174351/den_sjungande_trappuppgangen
Lena Ekman -Frisk: http://www.lu.se/o.o.i.s/17060
Lena Ekman Frisk brinner för körsång: http://svt.se/2.152149/1.2666986/om_lena_ekman_frisk
Great to see Rickard Söderberg, one of our singers at Drottningholm Royal Court Theater: http://rickardsoderberg.se/wp/opera/media/den-sjungande-trappuppgangen/
About Gareth Malone: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gareth_Malone
Gareth Malone´s webbsite: http://www.garethmalone.com/