Focusing on combining evocative melodies with inventive instrument usage, Swedish musicians Sofia ”Vargkvint” Nystrand and Jakob Lindhagen has recently made names for themselves within the modern classical world. Although being two separate acts, they are constantly blurring the definition of duo and solo work while performing.
Drawing inspiration from oceans, forests and folklore, Vargkvint’s music falls neatly between the definitions of folk, modern classical, pop and experimental music. Her conceptual debut album ”Hav” was released in April 2019 through Piano And Coffee Records, warmly received by an international audience while singing in her native language.
Regularly composing for films, to Cannes-nominated ”Who Talks” and ”Push It” as well as Swedish Academy-awarded ”Skörheten” (Fragility), Jakob Lindhagen has also released solo album ”Paces”, (streamed over 1 million times on Spotify) through contemporary classical label 1631 Recordings, as well as contributing to the label’s popular ”Piano Cloud Series”.
Both of their work has placed in several ”Album of the year”-lists, and has been played on radio stations such as BBC, KEXP and SR, and they have toured internationally on several occasions, including performances in Germany, United Kingdom, Slovakia, The Netherlands etc. Their performance at Müpa will be their first in Hungary.
Lately we’ve been digging through whatever we have at home that can produce sounds, and ended up having a lot of fun making music on old toy instruments! They are all out of tune and can’t be played traditionally, but there’s a special charm to that that has opened up for creativity.
Gain & Loss
Watching a lot of Netflix, haha! But we’ve been hard at work too – Jakob has been busy writing for film and media and has put the finishing touches on two albums, and Sofia has started working on a new album as well as being in the middle of releasing her rework-album, “Hav Reimagined”.
The special connection with the audience, the mindset during and the sensation afterwards! We’ve both been performing and watching a number of livestreamed concerts during the pandemic, and although it’s a nice substitute it can’t really replace having the audience and performer in the same room. There’s also that magical pause after having played the last note and before the audience (hopefully) starts applauding that we really miss!
Is it cheesy to say each other? During the pandemic we’ve collaborated even further than we’ve done before and really enjoyed that. Thinking a little further, Sofia wouldn’t mind collaborating with Björk, and Jakob with The Beatles in their prime, or sitting in with Hans Zimmer while scoring “The Lion King”.
When you get to the point that you’re making changes but can’t even yourself honestly hear the difference, it’s probably time to tell yourself that you’re done…
Health & Productivity
That’s a very tricky question, and something we both struggle with and discuss frequently. Loving music, wanting to spend your free time making music and also getting energy from it, sometimes makes it hard to draw the line when you actually need to pause and rest. We’re surely not alone in trying to balance this, and we think it’s really great that it is talked about more openly, especially in the social media climate we live in today where everyone constantly is showing only the best parts of their life and creativity. When it comes down to it, music should be about having fun.