25 Jan, 2013

Live at Tokyu Hands Cafe Shibuya! 

Posted at 12:33 under MUSIC, ART, MOVIES, JAPAN

My next live performance will be at Tokyu Hands in Shibuya, Tokyo, at Hands Cafe, HINT 7!

This is part of the Tokyo Northern Lights Festival, presenting movies, music, art and culture from Scandinavia and the countries around the Baltic Sea.

Date: 3 February (sunday)
Time: 17:00
Free entry

Place: Hands Cafe HINT 7
Tokyu Hands Shibuya, 7F

Tokyo Northern Lights Festival:

Shibuya Hands Cafe:
http://www.tokyu-hands.co.jp/handscafe/ ... index.html


22 Jan, 2013

Think Of Me music video 

Posted at 12:42 under MUSIC, MOVIES, OTHERS

Just found the music video for my song Think Of Me, from 2003!

I wrote the song especially for the short-film Marcus & Medelhavet by my friend Johan Pettersson, and the song & music video were also made in 2003. Maybe, it was the first song I wrote for my debut album Passion, released in 2004.

I say maybe, because it's 10 years ago, and I don't remember...

Filmed on location in Norrkping, Sweden.



08 Dec, 2012

Christmas Time (We can change the world) music video 


32 years after the death of John Lennon, we publish the music video for Christmas Time (We can change the world):

Please share and spread the love!


15 Sep, 2012

Actor debut 

Posted at 03:51 under MOVIES, JAPAN, OTHERS

Last Saturday, September 8, was the first episode of the Japanese TV drama about Shigeru Yoshida, the prime minister who rebuilt Japan after WW2. In this drama series of 5 episodes I make my extra actor debut!

Episode 2 will air tonight.

The drama features Ken Watanabe (as Shigeru Yoshida), Japan's most famous male actor, featured in American movies such as The Last Samurai and Memoirs of a Geisha, and David Morse (The Green Mile, Dancer in the Dark) as Douglas MacArthur, commander of the Allied Forces during the occupation.

Here's a 5 minute summary of Episode 1:
http://gyao.yahoo.co.jp/player/00397/v1 ... id=1736629

Did you see me? (hint: 26 seconds in...)

As I'm just an extra, it's really nothing extra (pun not intended!) but I may be in each episode, so keep watching!

If you have satellite TV, it's broadcast worldwide on NHK World Premium.

負けて、勝つ ~戦後を創った男・吉田茂
NHK Channel 1 and NHK World Premium
Saturdays 21:00 - 22:13
Information in English.

26 Mar, 2012

Setlist from Saravah 


Here's my setlist from the gig at Saravah:

1. This Sadness
2. Difficult
3. You Can Discover (John Martyn)
4. This Is Forever
5. Changes Changes (new song)
6. Slow Down
7. Mten Och Avsked (my Swedish translation of Encontros e Despedidas by Milton Nascimento/Fernando Brant)
8. Over The Rainbow (Arlen/Harburg) with special guest Chihiro Fujita
9. Balans

I took the opportunity to play some of the songs I don't play so regularly, to give some variation for those of you who heard me live towards the end of last year.

Here's a photo I borrowed from Chihiro's twitter, which she took of me during the soundcheck:

And here's a photo I took of Piece of Peace during their soundcheck, from backstage. From left to right: Chihiro, Ben, and special guest at the grand piano Tetsuro Yafune:

And a photo of me, taken between cups of coffee while waiting for the clock to turn 19, so I could go out and listen to the DJ:s.

After my performance, I met the owner for the first time, Atsuko Barouh, and could talk with her a little about music.

Thank you Toru Hashimoto, as always from the bottom of my heart, for inviting me to play at your event at great Saravah.


08 Oct, 2011

Slow Down #1 again 

Posted at 03:29 under MUSIC, PEACEBIRD, MOVIES

This week has been amazing.

Album release, a great release-party yesterday, and incredibly high rotation on Japanese radio.

2 days during this week, 'Slow Down' has been the most played song in Tokyo and Kansai FM radio. Over 50 million people live in these metropolitan areas and the amount of people listening to radio daily is enormous.

From monday to friday, 'Slow Down' has been among the 3 most played songs. Here's yesterday's chart:

http://musicfromradio.com/daylyranking. ... 10&d=7

Having my own little song played more than hyped releases by Major Label artists is just so funny. We didn't even release a single, the song found its own way out.

It's so wonderful, and I'm very very happy.

But I think I can't handle it, because I avoid thinking about it.


20 Sep, 2011

Pickin' up the pieces 


Just uploaded the first video from my new album to youtube:

Peacebird: Pickin' Up The Pieces

September 21 is UN's International Peace Day.

My album 'Peacebird' was released on iTunes today.


09 Aug, 2010

August 9 

Posted at 10:05 under ART, MOVIES, JAPAN

yesterday i watched Akira Kurosawa's movie RHAPSODY IN AUGUST. actually, it was a coincidence (??) that the story is about survivors of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki (which was 65 years ago Today), remembering, reminding, understanding and generational gaps.

some critics claimed that it ignored the atrocities of japan before the bombing, and just focused on a japanese family, some even saying that Kurosawa had made an anti-american movie. actually, the old woman in the movie, who lost her husband 45 years earlier, because the bomb, she says several times that she is not bitter or angry at the usa, she blames the war itself, not a specific nation. and i believe that the fact that the story tells of a family, gives authenticity to the movie, as they were not involved in any war-crimes themselves. this movie is about a family, not about the history of wars in asia.

however, we see the movie from her grandchildren's perspective, which gives the movie some kind of distance, despite the strong theme. Kurosawa was one of the best directors of all times, but this is unfortunately not one of his best movies. one reviewer whose name slipped my mind, called it a "sketch".

but it's a strong movie, with the old lady struggling with her own memories and her uncaring children as she takes care of her grandchildren who are staying with her as their parents have gone to Hawaii to visit a rich relative, played by Richard Gere. He does a good job speaking japanese. when american actors speak japanese it sounds usually very fluffy and childish, but i think he does a good job.

sorry, but i couldn't find a subtitled trailer:

i'm glad to know that Gere is also a buddhist and a true humanitarian soul. he was probably very happy to work with Akira Kurosawa, in a story about forgiving and learning from the past, in this movie that was one of Kurosawa's last.

today my thoughts are with the survivors and relatives after the Nagasaki bombing in 1945.


18 Jun, 2010

Shigeru Umebayashi 

Posted at 07:22 under MUSIC, MUSICAL, MOVIES, JAPAN

this week i met film music composer SHIGERU UMEBAYASHI for the first time. i was very glad to realize that Ume-san and i have a similar way of thinking and similar opinions about many things.

i like Ume's music very much, and he has written music for some really great movies, such as HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and last year's A SINGLE MAN.

as i am composing songs for a musical now - and i want to use japanese instruments such as shakuhachi, koto and taiko drums, and the chinese erhu - Ume pointed out a very important thing:

many musicians of these traditional instruments have a strictly traditional way of playing (intonation, feeling, etc) and may therefore not be suited to play on recordings where a "western" type of melody and feeling is required - such as in my musical.

we joked about finding a "punk koto player" who is not bound to tradition. Ume knows some of the best shakuhachi players in the world, and promised to introduce me to them at a later point, for the future recording of my musical (next year?).

Ume-san, i am really happy to make your aquaintance, and look forward to seeing you again.

yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

some of UME's music works:



16 Jan, 2010


Posted at 09:10 under ART, MOVIES

i've watched quite a few great movies lately, they're all from asia and deserve a mentioning.

china (director: zhang yimou)

the trailer only shows the action scenes, but i like the movie because there's actually a story. amazingly beautiful movie, colours, themes, etc. the "ethnic" music is the best i've heard in any movie, it's by japanese composer and producer SHIGERU UMEBAYASHI.

here is the love theme music, touchingly brilliant:

soundtrack at itunes

hong kong (director: wong kar-wai)

breathtaking is the word. a detailed study of passion and forbidden love, this is the visually most beautiful movie i've seen (some call it "2 hour perfume ad" because of the lingering beauty of every second). it also has music by SHIGERU UMEBAYASHI, here's the theme song used:

taiwan (director: ang lee)

a warm story of three unmarried sisters living with their widowed father. he's a semi-retired master chef, and the movie has lots of scenes with gourmet cooking. the main themes are the necessity of romance in life, the necessity of food (and drink!), and aging.

unfortunately, the only trailer available is this awful american trailer. please watch the movie instead!!!


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