London dry

Spirit blending class at the Ginstitute, Portobello Road, London

…and a well-lit journey home via Oxford Circus.

London - 5

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Persian impressions

Our own Akademiska Kören i Stockholm enjoyed a unique opportunity this fall in collaborating with Aftab Kören, a local Persian-Swedish choir, to perform Afshin Khaef’s original composition Persian Epilogue. Directed by Khaef and accompanied by Stockholms Akademiska Orkester in glorious Berwaldhallen, the endeavor felt a timely celebration of eastern and western, classical and contemporary traditions. As loosely translated from the program synopsis:

The oratorio is based on a 20th-century poem by Siavash Kasra’i, alongside more ancient verses from Vahshi Bafqi and Rumi. Arash the Archer is a heroic icon whose name appears in the Avesta; the legend of his fateful arrow, shot to reclaim the border from invading Turan, is familiar to most Iranians. This Swedish staging of Persian Epilogue is the first on its scale, and perhaps the largest Persian choral performance to date in Europe.

The 80-minute performance was generously supported by KulturskolanArbetarnas Bildningsförbund, and the Stockholm County Council. Movement XIII: Manam Arash is sampled above, or read the BBC-Persian review here (perhaps with the aid of Chrome Translate for those, like us, less skilled in Farsi). Many thanks to Afshin and the rest of Aftab Kören for welcoming us into such a memorable project!

Top and asterisked (*) photos credit: Hamed Rafi

Southern color

Autumn at Södra Station, Södermalm, Stockholm.

Glimpse of Lisbon

Whetting our appetites with douro, percebes and pasteis during a Lisbon work weekend (cut even shorter by flight delays); hope to see more of Portugal soon.

Genial Gustavsberg

Final summer stay in the Stockholm archipelago, exploring Norra Lagnö and historic Gustavsberg. Skål to our courageous Berlin visitors, and tasteful AirBnB host Sara.

Antique abundance

Touring the 18th-century home and recreated gardens of Carl Linnaeus, father of modern taxonomy, in Uppsala, Sweden. Thanks to gracious guests Veronica and Dieter Söll for inspiring a beautiful journey.