More than 100 years ago painters went to Skagen in the north of Denmark to look for the magical light and to create a special technique in painting later to be called “Nordic light”. Ever since then the nordic light and atmosphere has been found in paintings, photos, films, theatre and music. I have been thinking about what is typicall for music done in our part of the world and especially music that has been spread worldwide, such as Abba, Roxette, Robyn. These are all artists that work in the field of popular music and music meant for partying and dancing. They have been described by journalists outside of Sweden to have a typicall nordic sound and style. So what is it? I listened to “Dancing queen” by Abba - I think Benny Andersson thought that he was doing a very happy song about a girl who is the queen on the dancefloor and everybody looks at her when she is swirling around in beautiful moves. But what comes out is something else - The melody is sad and with a melancholic atmosphere and tells us so much more that the lyrics. Then take a look at the face expressions of the two girls singing - there is nothing there that corresponds with the “happiness” in the lyrics. They look very serious, almost sad ( Journalists outside Sweden where fascinated by the blond Agneta Fältskog and I think it is because of the same reason: Beautiful and sexy but with a sadness in her face).
Is this the nordic light in music? Even when we are happy we are sad. It is said that the nordic light is best just before sunset and it is the same combination of light and darkness, the border between two worlds where we are dancing.