Summer secret

Sunny stopover at Grisslinge Beach en route to Värmdö.

 

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Drone dabbling

Taking the Mavic Air for a spin on a dusky Skinnarviksberget evening.

Celebrating Stephanie

On a personal and historical as well as professional note, this week one of my first mentees — starting six years ago when I was still a postdoc in Texas, continuing remotely during my tenure in New York, and wrapping up in my past two years in Sweden — successfully defended her PhD in Biochemistry from Stockholm University.

Many congratulations, Dr Stephanie Heusser; I hope our scientific and spiritual paths continue to intersect for many years to come.

Valborgs in Gävle

Celebrating Valborgsmässoafton 100 miles north of Stockholm at the University of Gävle, in concert with local flavor Gefle Dränger, Gävle Vokalensemble, and Babsan.

Spring shoot

On the first weekend of spring — and the verge of our 10-year wedding anniversary — the generous & talented Rob Nero gifted us some seasonal portraits around Stockholm’s southern island Södermalm.

Haga hothouse

Sunday warm-up at the Butterfly House in Haga Park

—and a brisk walk home down the west bank of Brunnsviken.

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