Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’


October 5, 2012
Efterklang and the Wordless Music Orchestra at the Met Museum

Efterklang and the Wordless Music Orchestra at the Met Museum

Efterklang and the Wordless Music Orchestra at the Met Museum

Efterklang and the Wordless Music Orchestra at the Met Museum

Efterklang are a Danish avant garde rock group based in Germany.

Last month they released Piramida, recorded at a remote location in what was once northern Sweden, now part of Russia.

Pyramiden, after which the album is named, is an abandoned mining town in Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic. Pyramiden is Russian for pyramid.

Imogen Heap has a way of capturing sound and weaving it into music. Efterklang have done the same with sounds from Pyramiden.

Pyramiden was premiered at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art in New York.

It is a pity Efterklang have not released Pyramiden, especially the live concert from Metropolitan Museum Of Art with the Wordless Music Orchestra, on bandcamp, as then the album would reach a far wider audience.

Pyramiden is their fourth album. Earlier albums are available on bandcamp, but only the odd track, which is to abuse bandcamp.

Efterklang are playing the Dome in Brighton 28 October 2012, Bridgewater Hall in Manchester 29 October 2012 and the Barbican in London 30 October 2012 (sold out).

Special thanks to Shadowboxer for drawing my attention to Efterklang and telling me they were worth a listen.

Julian Assange holed up in Ecuador Embassy in London

August 16, 2012

We absolutely must fulfil our obligations under the Extradition Act… we remain determined to do so. – William Hague, British Foreign Secretary

No one is going to terrorize us! — President Rafael Correa

Amazing crass stupidity of British government, makes one ashamed to be British. Overnight William Hague has thrown away all the goodwill the London 2012 Olympics has generated worldwide.

If the police storm the Embassy, even to hint they will, means no Embassy worldwide is safe, it is open season on embassies and diplomats in pariah states.

Julian Assange has committed no crime in UK. Sweden could have questioned him at any time in London, but chose not to. They questioned an alleged murderer in Serbia.

Sweden is a poodle of US. Sweden has refused to give guarantees he will not be extradited to US. If I was Swedish I would be ashamed of what was being done in my name.

Anyone would think a mass murderer wanted for War Crimes was holed up in Ecuador Embassy. But even if one was, the British could not storm the Embassy.

Julian Assange could be questioned at any time by the Swedish authorities in London. There are no charges laid against him, he is simply wanted for questioning for what what are not even offences in English law. Not only has Sweden refused to question Julian Assange in London, they have refused to give any reason for this refusal.

Former Stockholm chief district prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem also made it clear that the Swedish government had no legitimate reason to seek Assange’s extradition when he testified that the decision of the Swedish government to extradite Assange is “unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate”, because he could be easily questioned in the UK.

This is not about fulfilling obligations under the Extradition Act, and it is hypocritical to claim it is.

The Extradition Act should be scrapped. It allows people to be extradited with no evidence against them being submitted to an English Court. People have been extradited for parking tickets, unpaid (or challenged) restaurant bills.

Julian Assange is an Australian citizen. Australia is another poodle of the US. They should be protesting loud and clear at the mistreatment of one of their citizens. They have remained silent.

William Hague accuses Ecuador of harbouring an alleged criminal. Maybe Hague should get his facts right. Julian Assange is wanted for questioning, no charges have been laid against him. How therefore is he an alleged criminal?

An attack on Ecuador is an attack on Latin America, a growing market for British goods and services. Unbelievable crass stupidity by British Government.

British government in threatening Ecuador is seen as acting as a colonial power bullying a small Latin American country.

Scandinavian fiction

April 11, 2012

I read the Millennium trilogy a year or so ago, mainly following a recommendation from Paulo Coelho, as it was a series, a writer, I had not heard of.

I thoroughly enjoyed. I read one after the other. Having been in Sweden, knowing some of the places made it all very real. I felt Steig Larssen was writing about real issues, maybe he was.

What Stieg Larsson showed was that writing a thriller, does not have to be bad writing.

Once you have read the Millennium trilogy, it is difficult to read any other crime or political thriller.

Jo Nesbo was compared on book covers as ‘the next Stieg Larsson’. What a load of bollocks, but to be fair to Jo Nesbo, that was the cretinous publisher, not he.

No, Jo Nesbo is not the next Stieg Larsson, and if you read with that as the expectation, then you are in a for a grave disappointment.

That is not to say Jo Nesbo is not good, he is, but he is not Stieg Larsson.

The problem is the publishing industry, or at least that which can be termed fast publishing, always on the look out for the next blockbuster, the next best-seller, the next me-too copy cat of whatever was he last blockbuster best-seller.

With the success of The Da Vinci Code, the market, and that sadly is what it has become, a market with books reduced to a commodity, the market was flooded with me too Da Vinci Code books.

The same has happened with the success of Stieg Larsson, every Scandinavia writer has been promoted as the next Stieg Larsson.

Both Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo expose the dark undercurrents of Scandinavian society. Both have extreme violence, sexual depravity, but it is not a glorification of, not gratuitous violence, it is to shock.

I remember when Olof Palme was shot on the streets, the sense of shock. A killing that has never been solved.

There is a sense of darkness.

Last year we saw the massacre of young people at an island lake in Norway by a crazed gunman.

I was in Stockholm in the summer, before the country was mired and bogged down with the problems caused by mass immigration. It was warm, it was light, people were out on the streets.

I do not think I would do well in the cold, long, dark winters.

The story of Saint Lucia

December 16, 2011
Saint Lucia ceremony

Saint Lucia ceremony

The story of Lucia, the symbol of light amid the darkness for Sweden, has many different versions. Although her feast day is celebrated on December 13th in Sweden, she was born far away in southern Italy, in the third century A.D. It is said that she became a Christian after she prayed for her mother to be healed. After she witnessed her mother being healed, she made a vow never to marry and to give the money that would have been her dowry to the poor.

She refused to marry the man her family had chosen for her. Some say he denounced her for her faith and was responsible for having her put to death. Lucia died a martyr’s death in 303 A.D. and was declared a saint. She is Santa Lucia to the Italians, Santa Lucia to the Swedes, and St. Lucia, or St. Lucy, to all English speakers. How the story of Lucia came to be such an important part of Swedish culture is somewhat of a mystery. Did the Vikings know of her and brought her legend to the North? Did the monks and priests tell of her martyrdom’s? Of course. Sweden was once a Roman Catholic country and the stories of the saints were often told & retold in the Catholic religion. However, Sweden has been Lutheran for hundreds of years. It is not clear how the saint from Sicily became Sweden’s beacon of light during the darkest period of the year. To this day, December 13TH is one of the high points of the Christmas season and candles are lit all over Sweden to bear light against the darkness, as Lucia did.

Lucia was said to wear a white gown with a red ribbon tied around the waist. On her head she wore a wreath crowned with a ring of lighted candles. She would bring food to people, who were dying of hunger during a famine many years ago. Every year at my church we have a Lucia service. A new girl is chosen every year. On her head is a real crown is actual candles that are lit. It is a beautiful service. I myself am Italian. The church I attend is Swedish. My Uncle(Zio) had told me that in fact the man Lucia was suppose to marry was the one who turned her in. Not only did they burn her body but took her eyes. In Italy all the statues show Lucia holding a plate with two eyes on it. I find it interesting that the Swedish honor her in such a wonderful way. To all St. Lucia was one who beared light against the darkness even though it cost her life. What would we do if faced with the same situation?

Told by Jessica Gottling on her blog.

Top story BackwardsAhead Go Ahead Magazine (Saturday 17 December 2011).

The plight of Iraqi Christians

August 20, 2010

Since the illegal Bush-Blair war against Iraq, Christians in Iraq have been under threat. They have a choice, convert to Islam, pay protection money, flee the country or stay and be killed.

Th churches are under attack. More than half the Christian population has now fled Iraq.

Sweden is where many of these Iraqi Christians have fled.

Iraqi Christians are now facing forced deportation from Sweden back to Iraq. A Swedish court has ruled that Iraq is safe. Safe must have a different meaning in Sweden.

Many Iraqi Christians have now gone underground to avoid forced deportation. Those who have been forcibly removed from Sweden and have been tracked have fled into neighbouring countries, had they remained in Iraq they would have been killed.

UNHCR has criticised Sweden for forced deportation of Iraqi Christians to Iraq.

Also see

End of Christianity in the Middle East?

Muslims converting to Christianity

Arrogance and greed of Tony Blair

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