2008-06-11

On her way to international fame?

74 year old Sylvia Nilsson is recording her own songs on CD, by heart!

I have never experienced anything like this! Every line of the lyrics is there in her mind, says Mats Axfors of the recording studio. Photo: Bevan Berthelsen

 

I have never experienced anything like this! Every line of the lyrics is there in her mind, says Mats Axfors of the recording studio.
29 of her songs are now recorded on her first CD, and about the same number is under production.

74 YEAR OLD Sylvia has received all her songs and texts, starting in the seventies, and she decribes their coming like this:
-It feels as it coming above me, and then it descends and results in a melody. I often see a picture inside me, which results in the text, e.g. “Chrystal Palace”, “Angel song”, “Hello Hello”.

LIKE THE WORLD-FAMUOS silver-smith Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe, Sylvia joined in the spiritual brotherhood of SUBUD during the nineteen sixties, and there the inspiration started.
-When I was about to leave Indonesia in 1970 and said goodbye to Bapak,the founder of SUBUD, I told him I felt like singing, Sylvia says.
-Yes yes, he said, sing on the Radio and TV. Then he walked towards the door, and I just stood there, thinking – what on earth shall I sing?
-He heard my thoughts, turned around at the door, and said: “Don’t worry about what to sing, all the songs you needwill come to you”.

-I CONTINUED to New Zealand an after a couple of weeks the songs started coming. One evening, during two hours I got five songs, both lyrics and melodies. Then I had to write down the texts and remember the melodies. I managed that by singing the songs again and again half the night.
-Then the songs came one by one. When I left N.Z. one year later I had 36 songs, then there came others while I was in Australia, Sylvia tells the journalist of Tranaas-Posten, continuing:
In 1972 I came back to Sweden. By then I had received 76 songs in English. Once here I started receiving songs in Swedish.
Bengt Roslind of Radio Sweden I Malmoe had read some of my lyrics. He called med and said: “Come in here so I can hear the music to these wonderful lyrics”.
As soon as he had heard them he took my hand an led me to the studio for the recording of a radio programme.
In 1974 we made a TV programme of 30 minutes, so what Bapak had predicted already in 1970 really happened. I made two LP records too.

I RECEIVED SO MANY songs that I did not manage to write them down. During the nineteen-eighties the flow of lyrics and music ended.
In the 1994, a new song came to me, urging me to receive new songs. Starting 1995, I received new songs during three years. Then it ended. I was also tired of playing the guitar and even felt sick when I looked it.
Some friends suggested I should get a keyboard, so I mounted my bike and said aloud: “Take me to a keyboard!”.
My bike ride took me finally to a Malmoe street I had never been on before, and there was a sign: “Sale of keyboards”. I bought the finest and most expensive one they had since I had recently won some money.
Luckily enough I had learned playing piano as a little girl, otherwise I would never have managed the keyboard technique.
It turned out later that on this keyboard I could arrange and find backgrounds to all my songs. I tried other keyboards but that din´t work since they did not have suitable accompaniments and the technique I needed.
One year later I learned that there was only one keyboard just like mine for sale in Sweden. It was in Norrkoeping, so I at once bought it as a reserve if the first one should break down. If I had not bought the second one, the recordings of the CD:s had not been possible. Now I have one at home and the other one at the recording studio with Mats.

AFTER A FEW YEARS in the United States, 1997 to 2000, I finally landed in Tranaas in 2004. I have had a very bad conscience for not getting started with the recording of my songs.
Last Xmas I received a letter from a SUBUD member from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who I met 36 years ago. They had often enjoyed my LP:s from the nineteen-seventies, and asked: “Don´t you have anything more on CD?”.
It was like he had pushed a button! Suddenly I felt the urge to sing and play again. I realized that as I was going to be 75 this year it was high time to document as many as possible of the lyrics and melodies that I have been given, before it was to late.
I knew that Mats Axfors had a music shop in this town and that he has a tip top recording studio. I went there in Januari and we immediately started preparing for the recording of the 29 first songs, and they are now on the first CD. We are now working with the second one.
All the texts are somewhere within me and they com when I call for them. I don´t need written texts when I sing them.
My songs and my music are the only things of value that I can leave after me to this world, says Sylvia.

- All the texts are somewhere within me and they com when I call for them. I don´t need written texts when I sing them.

-Some friends suggested I should get a keyboard, so I mounted my bike and said aloud: “Take me to a keyboard!”

- I realized that as I was going to be 75 this year it was high time to document as many as possible of the lyrics and melodies that I have been given, before it was to late. Here with her dog Linn.

THESE TEXTS AND MUSIC is not amateurish. The whole first record is clearly the work of a pro, both lyrics and melodies, with a clear warm voice. They give a remarkable delight for both body and soul, and the feeling of wellbeing remains for hours after hearing them.
I Would not be surprised if Sylvia Nilsson became an international celebrity at age 75!

Text and photo: Bevan Berthelsen

 


 


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