Saturday, May 10, 2008

The music of the night

Music has amazing powers.

A few measures of the Swedish pop group Kent's lyrics streaming from my speakers, and I am a teenager again. "Nobody can get this close," they sing (in Swedish). It is 1995, and I'm walking the streets of my hometown on a warm summer night. My friends are there, chatting and laughing; we are on our way to the bus stop after a long evening of partying.

"Stairway to Heaven" brings me right to the party. Guitar afficionado H.B. is playing, and everyone else is humming along. Someone is getting drunk off of homemade rhubarb wine and two other teens are making out in a corner of H.B.'s mom's living room.

Bryan Adams' raspy voice sings "Thought I died and gone to heaven," and I am laying on the couch in my childhood bedroom staring up at the ceiling, wondering why nobody loves me. My feet are hanging off the end of the yellow and brown piece of furniture, because it is just a little bit too short for my 165 teen centimeters. Papers are spread out all over my desk and floor, and a black travel typewriter sits in the middle of the orange rug with a blank staring back at me.

When the famous A minor chord of the "House of the Rising Sun" starts to play, my mind takes me to the radio studio at Virginska Skolan, my high school. Nina and I are recording our first demo tape. Running between the small half-moon shaped studio and the control room, we manage to record ourselves without outside involvement. From children's songs to drunkards at a New Orleans brothel, our selection ends up being quite interesting.

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