_ Grains of Salts
Here in the music library, we have collected the songs on which we made studio recordings. For every song we record there is a text that describes why we wrote that particular song or thoughts about what the content of the text evoked in us - and a slide show, a simple music video to the songs. For us is music, lyrics and picture a whole. Together it becomes a form of expression for the great things that life gives us and it here is our way of expressing them.
CLICK on the song you want to listen to. First comes the text, after it comes the video with the song.
Darkness swallows us. The gray days of November are merciless. It is as if the cold fingers of darkness close around us and hold us in its merciless grip.
But soon. Soon, soon Advent is here. The hope of the gloomy days. We need that little flickering light to give us hope. We need to seek that which gives us light. New power. Willingness to continue.
Because it is not only the physical darkness that surrounds us. It;s an unusually dark November we;re living in - and by that I don't just mean that the sun shines with its absence. But it's a year and an autumn that frightens and worries in a way that none of us ever before experienced. Who drills his way into every cabin and every nook and cranny with his fated distribution of life's lot. Who gets to live, who gets to die? Who gets to keep feeling good, who gets their whole life irrevocably and brutally changed?
We really need hope. More than ever we need to hold on to something. The trembling light. A thought that something good lives in us. There is something beautiful out there that can burst through the darkness. At least with a streak, a hint. That life still carries one with faith in the future.
Advent is here in about two weeks. But this year we need to let Advent get a sneak start and warm our hearts.
Advent means the time of waiting - so why not start our waiting already now? Wait - and expect - us a hope of life. Open our troubled doors ajar.
Let in a warming stream of light.
EVERYTHING IS CLEAR //
"Everything is ready" with Grains of Salt is a song about life. About what we can see and can't see. About hope.
The inevitable, but at the same time the most natural.
Life is here and now. We who live and breathe. In us humans, life beats its heartbeats within us right now. Right now, this second.
But life is also here and now right now, for those who have left us. They live in our world with the presence they left behind. Whatever faith, religion or gut feeling we carry, I think we can agree on this. That the people we loved continue to live. Within us. Beyond us. Above us. Around us. In our heart, in our memories - they live. And today we want to remember them. Today and every day.
I woke up this morning and pulled up the blinds. Out there the morning light lay as weak as an old mans heart. In the glittering stars of the frost I saw the faces I loved. Grandma and grandpa, grandma and grandpa. I saw the glimmering light of those who had walked the paths before me. They have stepped on the earth, but they have also wandered out of time.
Living on earth means constantly living with the yoke of time. Always a beginning and an end, a pace, a goal to reach. Sometimes its like I glimpse life beyond this, a life without time. I can sense it in the whistling of the wind, like a vague reminder. I don't think of death as something threatening and dark, but as another way of living. Without time. A place where someone is waiting for me with a loving hug. Some call it God, others call it a belief in love.
Life and death are not far apart. Only a thin membrane lies between. Death separates us from our loved ones, but only by the distance that is between one human;s skin to another. The communion we had with another human being can never be taken away by death. It is equally alive and present between people regardless of whether the heart is beating or has stopped.
Click the link below to see and hear the song.
THE HEART NEVER WAITS //
Waiting. To long for. It is not simple.
We humans want results quickly. We want confirmation, yes, we want immediate reactions and happy exclamations about everything we do. In the absence of that, we at least want to get a feeling that we are on the right track. Be safe and calm in the fact that what we are doing and what we are waiting for - is and will be good.
Waiting for another person is the hardest. Impatience builds up and uncertainty rubs deep within us. Waiting for someone you love can sometimes be experienced as unbearable. When you stand with your heart in your hand, you are most exposed. You are completely unprotected there. And being unprotected is probably one of the things that we humans dislike the most. We prefer to create safe paths between the emotions. We prefer to have control and protective walls around our weakness and smallness.
In a strange way, we often associate longing and love for another person as a weakness, at least if it is not clearly answered and confirmed. Then we sneak in the hidden and try to find ways forward without exposing ourselves. Without coming across as weak, small and stupid who hoped and believed that the other person wants to receive our finest gift. Our only heart.
But if we don;t stand there. Standing with our hearts in our hands. In all our fragility. If we don;t dare to expose ourselves. Then we risk never getting there. We risk remaining alone and without love, there behind our shields of protection and control.
The heart never waits, everything changes right now. As seasons change, stars are born as before. So give me the peace to stay, so I can see everything clearly. That everything has a meaning, that everything has an answer.”
So I would like to turn it around. Dare we risk not exposing ourselves? Do we risk not telling the person we love how we feel?
Can we find peace to stay. And see if we get an answer. Maybe it will be the beginning of the rest of our lives.
IF I NEEDED YOU //
This was the first song we recorded together. The unforgettable year 2018.
It was the hottest summer in decades and we were on a driving holiday in Skåne. With the AC on top, we listened through songs that we love and are inspired by. One of these was the recording with Emmylou Harris and Don Williams with the song If I needed you.
When we got home from vacation, we were eager to start experimenting with music, and this song was an obvious start. If I needed you has become a symbol of the start of what is now Grains of Salt.
LIFE THROUGH GLASS //
In order to be counted as a real person, you have to fit into the norm. In the shape. Be a square brick in a square hole. Say the right things at the right time. Like the right things, just enough, but not enough to be odd. Feel what is said, yet perceive what is not said. Why it wasn't said. And then understand why, without anyone telling you.
We who are called normal, i.e. fit into the norm that society has created without us even reflecting on it, with personal variations of idiosyncrasies, insignificant enough to generally fit in - we can probably never really understand. We can only try to imagine what it might feel like to be in life, but at the same time stand on the sidelines.
Like looking at life through glass. Act square so convincingly that people think you are, when you actually have a completely different shape. A form that, with society's rules of the game, is informal. With edges that wear and press all the holes you have to go through, so you end up sore and chewed hard. Lina Liman has written the book The Art of Faking Arabic, A Story of Autism, describes it this way: "Others don't see my anxiety about things they themselves long for, or my struggle to understand contexts that are completely obvious to them." She also writes: "No matter how good you are at faking Arabic, the art does not work in situations where you have to understand Arabic." ...//… "Going about faking is also very stressful in itself. Trying so persistently to live 'like everyone else' when you fundamentally lack the same conditions is not only doomed to failure. It creates a perfect soil for depression and anxiety, exhaustion and darkness.”
My and Daniel's song Life through Glass is about this very thing. About trying to fake Arabic - trying to imitate the dance that one is expected to be able to dance. Autism, ADHD or other cognitive or neuropsychiatric diagnosis is often invisible to those around. Many do not know themselves that they have an existence that demands more of them than most others. How to know that? You have never lived in a body other than your own!
People with fantastic qualities, many times smarter than most, or creative and driven, often fight an invisible battle to 'belong.' Feel that they are like others. Or just get space to be who they are. Life through glass wants to draw attention to this. Maybe create an ounce of greater awareness. That we are all amazing people. And to dare to announce our differences without shame or judgment. But let it be clear and something beautiful!
So we can help create the very best conditions for all children and adults in our country.
SHADOW PLAY //
We have probably all been involved in a collision with life at some point.
You become confused, tired and perhaps angry that things did not turn out as you had planned. After a while, you brush off the annoying gravel and find new ways forward. But when life takes a stranglehold on us, then the eyes turn black. It is a feeling of merciless despair.
It is a world that cracks with abysmal cracks where the depth seems to have no bottom. It is a state when the words in one's head cannot be formed into understandable thoughts, but reason is consumed and torn apart by thought storms that destroy everything in their path. When life takes a stranglehold, it's about trying to survive. It's about finding something to cling to, while the storm rages and hits hardest. Until the stranglehold loosens its grip a little. Shake for some air. It is important not to give up. It's about wanting to continue, even if you don't know how it's going to happen.
What is it that drives people to continue living even when life turns black? What do we have to cling to? How do we find fuel for the weak, flickering flame within us? The flame of hope. In many cultures and eras, people have turned to an accepted belief in God. But what do we cling to today, when there is no such given faith to turn to? You may not have to believe, but you may need to want to believe - in something. Willingness to believe that life has a meaning, a hope and a future.
I think you need to find a way to dare to surrender. Break down, be in despair and be like a child. Like a little person who is sad and afraid. To emerge from this and dare to see that the world was not destroyed around us, that the earth did not collapse. Kyrie eleison is Greek and means "Lord, have mercy on me". It has been used as a kind of prayer in the Christian worship liturgy. I think it's a beautiful way to dare to be small. To cry out to something bigger, like the little child looking to its parents for comfort. Showing one's despair and smallness is at the same time a way of showing one's primal power. His human longing to continue living. Believe that something greater is out there that wants us well. Which comforts and soothes us.
Because it has to go, in some unfathomable way. It is what makes us human. That we dare to believe. We dare to believe that there is hope. We believe that something has mercy on us. Kyire Eleison.
UNSAID WORDS CHRISTMASSONG //
~ What words have you not said?
We have a number of days in life. We do not know exactly how many we have been allocated, we only know that the days are limited. We don't know how far, but we know we have today.
Christmas is a holiday charged with moods as trembling as a blushing teenage crush. A feeling of being seduced by the smells, tastes and warm nostalgia of past Christmases.
The reality feels extra harsh at Christmas, which is something that we get to experience in an intrusive way this strange exceptional year. The pandemic leaves nothing unaffected, no one or nothing escapes and neither does Christmas. The well-needed leave may not be available due to work in healthcare, sick leave and lack of work leading to dwindling household coffers and for many a catastrophic financial loss. And worst of all is when hope is extinguished. When life is at stake. When we lose people we love or don't get to meet those who mean the most to us. In a merciless way, this year we have had to think about what are the true values in life. What is really important, really?
Are there words you should have said to someone? Maybe it feels late. Maybe it's not you who should make the first move. Maybe it feels too awkward and you think you can say that later. We can do it then. After Christmas. Another time. But a year with corona has taught us that tomorrow may be too late.
Christmas is not magical, but Christmas is a beautiful holiday when we have the opportunity to create something beautiful, together. An opportunity to use for what matters. You and I. We. But this year we have to find new ways, new ways to do it, because this year it is more important than ever to take care of each other and the family we humans are on earth.
Maybe give away something you have to a family with children that you know is struggling financially. Or maybe take the time to talk for a while with the neighbor on the street. Or a Merry Christmas SMS.
We need to make a little extra effort this year and help each other have a nice Christmas, as nice as it can be. So Christmas night doesn't feel so dark and reality so brutal.
Life is too precious and short to squander love and friendship through conflict and misunderstanding, which breeds anger and bitterness, which breeds abysmal loneliness. Life is an amazing gift that happens right now, when you get to share it with the ones you love. So say what you've been meaning to say regardless of the reaction you get. Doing what you can is also showing love.
Life is too short to let it go.
SUMMER HOUR //
In Sweden we celebrate Christmas, New Year, Easter, All Saints' Day and ... summer. Sure, we celebrate "Midsummer", but I don't really think that's an accurate description. We celebrate SUMMER in short.
A little extra festivities during the midsummer weekend, but otherwise I think of the three summer months as one long Swedish holiday. - And what a holiday it is late! It celebrates the unimaginable return of life. A way of life that is available to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone, regardless of faith, religion, status in society and money.
Summer bursts through with its lush vigor and gilds our senses with its presence. It gives us color in all the colors of the rainbow, it gives us more scents than we can count. The sun and the wind sweetly caress our cheek and body. Summer fills our entire being and awakens our dormant minds and creates new energy and desire.
And it makes no difference to anyone!
It beautifies every backyard, flowers appear between paving stones, soft fragrance spreads in the corner of every small green patch, whether it is a bus stop, gas station or castle park - it fills with the same life and richness. It penetrates every little crack. It teaches us that plant power is a powerful force. The inherent will in all living things can make the grayest and hardest place soften and give way to life. For beauty, life, desire and creativity. Because summer is like an image of creativity. The ingenious work of all insects, the ingenious shape of each petal and all the ways in which nature excels.
Now the sweet summer time is here. Let it sweep you in and let yourself be infected by its power. Let it fill the noise of the soul with new life.
TOUCH OF THE MAKER //
Every morning we open our eyes. A new day meets us. Another day in our everyday life, maybe a job, for some people maybe children and family. A new day in our life here on earth. Of course. This is where we live. This is our existence. This is where we read the newspaper, check through Facebook, experience seasons, feel joy and sadness.
This is where we spend our time. Life. Here. With a globe that has a fever, with norms and with countless moments of human interactions that sometimes lead to close and deep relationships.
So what happens in us when one morning we are not allowed to open our eyes? When we don't get a new day to manage? What are we then? Where are we? Do we no longer exist or have we just changed form? Have we traveled to a new dimension, a Nangijala? Or are we moist soil in the ground that becomes part of the universe without a conscious existence?
If today I found out that I am approaching that morning. That morning when I can no longer open my eyes to get up, read the newspaper, feed my cats, pack gym bags and when the evening comes, hug my children good night. If I knew that everything that I feel and live in today might soon end. How should I behave then? How do I stand that thought?
A friend of mine recently received such a message. That maybe there will come a morning in the not-too-distant future when he won't be able to open his eyes and continue with his life. He is in the middle of life, but perhaps he is approaching a premature farewell. A farewell that seems disgustingly wrong and unfair. He is in the middle of life and has children that he wants to see grow up and a life partner that he wants to grow old with. It stings to the bottom of my soul when I think about this. I think about how terrible it must be for him. How angry and disappointed he must be at this brutal cross. But when I read his words and understand his thoughts, I am filled with something else. Something not even close to disappointment or anger. He talks about gratitude. About life as a gift and not a given. He writes: "There are no guarantees and that's perfectly ok, there is trust, there is hope and love. There is an embrace to rest in. It lasts, it is enough. Even in darkness, even in despair.” He feels pain. It is obvious. This is not a text that wants to idealize a person who has an incurable disease. This is a text about a person who sees life as a gift, regardless of when the farewell to earthly life takes place. A text about a person who feels that there is hope and love, even in despair.
Because despair must be allowed to exist. It is what makes us human. But it can go hand in hand with hope. Gratitude for what actually is and has been. Touch of the Maker is a song inspired by this person. But also inspired by the greatness of life. No matter what we believe or don't believe, there is greatness that everyone can see.
See with your inner and outer eyes. See it in the spring flowers that defy the dark crowd and stretch upward. See it on a windless summer night. A sunset by mirror-like water. A lone deer grazing at the edge of the forest. We see it every morning when we open our eyes. The first thing we encounter is the light.
We live and I think we also die, in the light.
I HAVE WALKED UNDER THE STARS //
Can you long for someone you haven't even met?
- Yes, I'm absolutely sure of that, because I've experienced it. I think there are different kinds of longing.
There is earthy, bodily longing; like longing for rest after a long day, or for food.
There are also deeper human longings, such as longing to talk to a good friend or one's children. Such longing can express itself as a physical ache in the heart. Like when a child longs for its mother, then the longing is sometimes so powerful that the child almost becomes physically ill. The body needs to be with the person it lacks, so as not to perish. It's like the heart needs to come home.
Then there is spiritual longing. The longing for something or someone that you may not even know what or who it is.
The one you long for doesn't have a name, a face, but still I think this can be the deepest and most powerful kind of longing.
The deep longing for love. The longing for it - that your heart needs - to be whole.
It is a strangely strong force, this longing thing, I know that for sure, because I have experienced spiritual longing. I have longed, hoped, searched and waited to find the one my heart needed to be whole. Both Daniel and I have experienced it, each in his own way.
That is why the song "Jag har gån under stars" touches us so infinitely deeply, because it describes precisely this powerful longing. It is a poem by Pär Lagerkvist set to music by Frida Örhn and Bo Sundström.
"I have gone under stars
To come here to you,
where you waited for me, with hands that are warm ... // ...
Here is the earth where we live,
I will grow old here with you
To a deeper and more secret joy.”
I just stood in those meadows and walked on those paths, which I filmed for the song, waiting to find him, my love.
Now I have found him.
And here is the song that describes our longing.
A UNIVERSE IN YOUR EYES //
Two people say yes to each other. Two choose, give their promise, their love, their life - to each other.
"A universe in your eyes" is a song written for these two people - it's (Grains of Salt's Daniel's brother) Marcus marrying his beloved Sofie.
When the wedding invitation rolled into the beautiful spring, the words to the song were born, about finding each other and seeing a whole new world in each other.
A whole universe.
Now the song has been waiting for its wedding couple - to whom we now wish all happiness, love and prosperity.
Thank you for being in our lives!
THAT WE HAVE EACH OTHER //
“I WAS AFRAID OF EVERYTHING.
I was afraid to be loved, afraid to be hated, afraid to love, afraid to live and afraid to die even though sometimes those were the only things I wanted.”
The song That we have each other is about Elin and her journey back to life. What is in the introduction are her own words, about how she felt for a long period during her teenage years and as a young adult. She had no faith in the future, she saw no possible way to go. At least not alone.
Then one day she was no longer alone.
The song is about the meaning of having someone by your side, who takes you for who you are, with all that that means. Both the beautiful and the ugly. Both the sparkling and the broken. And how it is then possible to cope with your own struggle, thanks to knowing that that person is there, with an open heart.
When Elin got Micke by her side, with security and love, the undemanding and self-evident, she found a will and strength to fight. To survive. Choosing life. Face your demons. Start healing. Find new ways. And finally. Start living again. Live what is life.
That life continued, with Elin and Micke getting married in 2017. The song Att vi har varann was written for their wedding by us in Grains of Salt (Daniel is Elin's older brother). Elin and Micke got married at home on their farm, where they live their lives with their cows and milk production. Since then, they have also had two small children, Pontus and Ronja. Life continues to challenge them, sometimes hard. But in every step of the journey they have each other.
That we have each other is no ordinary love song. It's a song about having someone to fight your battles with. About becoming strong together, not by sucking strength from each other - but by loving each other - just as you are.
Please share as comfort and inspiration for people who may be in similar situations.
This is the story of the frost. About the crystals that clothe the earth in winter. And about when they sparkle in the heart.
The first snow is like magic. In one fell swoop, everything changes. From a darkness of gray toneless shades, to a world of sparkling light. Even the dark becomes light. The branches of the wall glisten white by the lonely, dark roads and crystals dress bare trees and fallen loose in shining robes.
But Fairytale of Crystals is not only about the light from the snow, but also about the magic of experiencing the light of another person in one's life. Someone who can light, who can warm, just be there, when the days feel difficult. Someone who takes your hand and causes hope to spread in the body, like a spark that lights a candle.
It's also magic. To feel the inner light rekindle. To feel that you are not alone.
Welcome snow and frost to us! We need your light and your magic. And take care of the people in your life who are there when you need them. Who takes your hand. Which fills you with a new light. If it's just a little spark.
So it shines brighter than all darkness.