Saturday, December 19, 2009

Strumming Swedish elf home movie of my life

So what do you do when some Swedish bloke makes a home movie about his brief waltz through an important part of your life?

You blog it, I suppose.

Fabian Grapengiesser accompanied songwriter Anders Elfstom from Sweden to East Nashville, Tennessee to make a record, and Grapengiesser (really, one must swoon over these amazing names!) made a compelling home move out of the journey and the session.

I'm projecting that this journey seemed larger than life to these two Swedes due to the name magic of Nashville. I'm guessing that exotic connection was what motivated this wide-eyed and loving intimate portrait of their session.

I can certainly relate. St. Louis is lot closer to Nashville than Stockholm is, but the music city always has held mystique for me. Many years ago one of my best friends and musical brothers, Lij Shaw, relocated to Nashville from St. Louis (by way of a stint playing blues in Hong Kong).

Lij has been able to make a living playing and recording music in Nashville, which strikes a certain awe in the heart of an amateur like me, and for many years I have thrived on the drive to Nashvegas for sessions with him. That is the amazing part to me about Grapengiesser's video - he fetishizes the pecise studio scenes and images that have become familiar and beloved to me over the course of many years.

Anders Elfstom (it seems important to note that the "o" in his last name bears an umlaut) recorded at Lij's latest studio, The Toy Box, in downhome East Nashville. As such, the tiniest details of studio life down there that I have come to know and cherish - the quirks of the alarm system, the dry-erase board and its ever-present forum for documenting inside jokes, the clumsy back gate for egress of amps - have now been documented for the world to see.

Our current songwriting project, Poetry Scores, recorded most of our 2009 record The Sydney Highrise Variations with Lij and Marc Primeau in The Toy Box. I know that the people who worked on our record in Nashville will feast on this video, and I hope the many artists and volunteers who support Poetry Scores' efforts will also enjoy a glimpse into our working conditions and process.

Anders Elfstrom - a man with a strumming elf in his name - is hereby invited to help Poetry Scores set a long poem to rock music, which is one of the things we do. Not only do I like the songs he recorded with my boy Lij in East Nashville, but this man has a strumming elf - and an umlaut - in his name!

Anders Elfstrom - The Nashville Sesssion
Produced by Fabian Grapengiesser

*Bonus Music Video*

Anders Elfstrom - "I Fell Into Your Arms"
Produced by Fabian Grapengiesser


Image of Lij, fretting at the drum kit, working with Dave Melson on a Poetry Scores session in The Toy Box earlier this year.

1 comment:

Fabolous said...

Thanks for the good words about the film - I have about ten more hours of film so it just might become a sequel...
Stay sharp / Fabian