We migth have categories some day… When we know which ones.
You’re not steady until you go…
Great news friends, fae and followers! You helped us make a difference, and thanks to you our ‘Be the River’ ranked #2 in Prog’s Tracks of the Week 18/8.
So, you know who you are, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
And congratulations to Nova Cascade!
How did all of this start?
Last Friday the weather held up, so we took the kids to a small beach nearby. Little frogs were out and about, and the kids built a frog island for them. Planted tufts of grass and herbs in the sand to create little hiding places.
Three or four hours passed easily. On our way home Nicko suddenly said, “Prog’s chief editor wants a band picture.”
“Um, okay, why?” I wondered.
“I think it’s because I sent ‘Be the River’ to their Tracks of the Week. Perhaps they’re thinking of including it…” Nicko replied.
And Prog did. It’s been a crazy week, and I’m kind of glad we didn’t spend hours and hours on doing a pre-save and lavish launch of ‘Be the River’ because to have a sporting chance in this vote we needed to get to work informing our tribe to give us a helping hand.
What can I say, you guys have been amazing!
The vote ended today, and ‘Be the River’ ranks at 2nd place. It’s more than I ever thought possible. So, again, thank you, thank you! And thanks to Prog for including our wild child ‘Be the River’.
We get the question now and then if progressive rock really is our genre.
It’s fair to ask, our music doesn’t cooperate being stuffed into just one box. Overall, I suppose the umbrella genre would be ambient rock, and then some songs, like ‘Be the River’ is more down the road of progressive than some of the others. Our ambition in making music is to make music we love, music from our hearts.
Let’s follow the heart,
Here’s ‘Be the River’ again. Enjoy the mountains and the moors from Sweden!
And here’s Nova Cascade’s ‘Sleeping Dogs’ for the curious:
Here’s the link to the vote and a podcast for progressive music that featured ‘Be the River’:
The spark of inspiration lives everywhere. It’s passed from person to person, it’s whispered by trees, it’s sung by birds, it’s the mermaid you glimpse along the coastline on occasion and it’s the ‘one of a kind’ colour of the sunset one special evening.
Even if the spark is there, and we begin, far from every project comes to fruition. It’s the very nature of art and the lesson we’re learning along the way. Not everything is meant to be. But run with the project that feels right. It’s okay to stop and let projects rest for a while, then pick them up and take a new direction.
3rd of July 2020 appears to be a magical day. It’s the day Christine (Zema’s healing/Divine Alchemy) posted her prompt for epic music. I saw it, scrolled passed, scrolled back, scrolled passed and then back again. Intimidated, thinking I could never compose epic music. Then, since the Universe insisted, I sat down and tried a few beats. That summer the first skeleton of ‘Be the river’ was born.
I saw before me the river. How it starts small up in the mountains, the playfulness, how it grows, how it’s both stillness and power, how it’s life and death – the music attempts to give sound to this visual. The river of inspiration and flow. In it swims the salmons – each salmon a new idea – just take what you need. Part of the river is the water spirits, and above the surface flits dragonflies.
The salmon is a powerful spirit animal, teaching us how to carve out our own path in life. A message of not giving up. The dragonflies symbolise transformation, joy and lightness of being, and a connection with the spirits of nature.
Nicko, Christine and I had many ideas on just what the collaboration would look like for this song, the pictures for it, even the music… So many of these had to be tried and then discarded. The strange feeling of wonder, but at the same time ‘why doesn’t it work?’.
Nicko and I even had this song mixed and mastered only to go back to recording because the synth drums sounded wrong – like they didn’t do ‘Be the river’ justice. That was when Nicko contacted Marco Minnemann and he used two drumkits to create his version of the ambient drums.
Then back to mixing and mastering.
Still, the video material ideas eluded us. Again, many ideas that had to be abandoned… It sounds simple, as if it’s just to drop ideas and move on. It’s not like that. Dropping ideas actually hurts – like a loss that’s not okay to grieve. It thwarts the flow, hinders inspiration and joy. So, this too, we have to work through.
Christine set this project in motion and has been a supportive partner all along. She’s adding her frequencies and energy work to the project and we, Enchanted Duo, compose and materialise the music.
‘Be the river’ is waiting for you. 8th of August is the magical day we set it free ❤️❤️❤️
Salmons and dragonflies,
Music needs roots, a thick durable trunk and a canopy that reaches the stars – because music is where we come from, where we’re standing, and our dreams combined.
But music doesn’t fit into the rat race – in fact, creativity doesn’t fit into the hustle culture, and so, we decided to make room for music – for dreams. We started our own company, consulting part time because we still need the buckets for the funding of our dreams – but most importantly, we’ve made time to breathe, to think, to exist and to make dreams come true – big and small, old and new.
You never know what you will find until you find it – or perhaps, truer yet, until it finds you – life and its serendipity patterns.
Twenty years ago, we made music in the kitchen, Cubase and Nicko’s electric guitar our faithful companions. The songs over the years are a flora of acoustic, dreamy pop, progressive rock and experiments where the album Explorers marks the end of attempting to mix our own music.
Returning to the roots – the Swedish forests and its myth – Werifesteria enchants us onwards. Older, hopefully a little wiser, the hustle game having hardened us and taught us patience – and the necessary sense of humour – we’re empowered by the many collaborations this new album tosses our way. To delegate with a clear framework, but at the same time also allowing the other person space for creativity is our moto. This is how we love to work – and perhaps one of the keystones in working with the Werifesteria album. To trust and respect. Alone in the dark forest at night you need to trust and respect. And we love hearing back from our Werifesteria friends about their positive experience – how working with this project also give them something extra in return.
So, what have we found?
A sustainable process of working with our songs.
The opposite of the rat race, but in a productive way. It’s not about finishing one album and then start the next – it’s about letting each song mould through its seasons – allowing the creative life to be a constant and a cycle. To leave room for thought and all the up there ideas we want to try.
A sound that feels just right. Yes! Finally, like coming home.
It’s not radically different from what we’ve been doing all along, but it has developed into a living organism that reveals something new every time we listen.
The context of our music.
The books that dive deeper into the nature and surroundings inspiring us endlessly – lore, tales and poems. And the art that, that at long last, welcomes the beholder into our realm.
Guess we’ve been dancing in the forest all along, just didn’t know how to take you with us.
Love, lore and werifesteria,
Anneli and Nicko of Enchanted Duo
Painting the forest floor in spring.
The white coat grieving the death of winter.
Just a blink of an eye
And the numerous anemone children
Move their game underground.
Tiny spring bouquets
And a dedicated small vase
Just for wood anemones
And that one time of year.
Just because the moment is brief,
Doesn’t make it any less powerful.
Nor less magnificent.
The spirits of the land.
In our modern world some still believe in land wights, others don’t.
In Swedish we say ‘Landvättar’. Sometimes these spirits include elves, trolls, giants and more – and sometimes land wights are their own type of creatures. With a second sight you might see them, but there are other psychic gifts too. Perhaps some people hear them, while others feel them.
These spirits live in or under trees, water bodies and rocks. Perhaps like the Lady of the Elderberry tree – always ask before you pick her clusters of flowers.
A land without its wights is a harsh and dangerous place to be. You’ll get lost, and nothing you plant will grow.
The Vikings took this very seriously. Old records from the Icelandic Book of Settlement describes that, upon reaching harbour, it was forbidden to keep the gaping dragon-prow on your ships because this might scare the land wights. In Egil’s saga a terrible curse (nithing) details how the land wights was going to disappear, and because of this the people living there would wander astray.
Here in Sweden folktales speak more about Little People (jordvättar) who builds their homes underground. For example, if you were to pour out boiling water you always had to call out a warning first as to not hurt the Little People. Because if you did hurt them, they might make you sick or in worst case set your house on fire.
On Christmas the tradition to put out a bowl of porridge still lives. Nowadays, people say it’s for Santa, but going back one, maybe two hundred years or so, this bowl was for the house wight. A spirit looking after the house and the farm animals. A good relationship with these spirits was very important. The house wight has often been depicted as a small man with a pointy hat. Kind of like Santa, but dressed in grey and brown.
I love to just let my pen live its own life – see who wants to be drawn. Like a drawing practise.
Below are a few of these creatures.
Nothing but love,
When I was in school, I hated Valentine’s Day… Yeah, I know, but I’m sure many did with me. It was the day when my classmates would buy roses and send love letters, and the popular kids would get showered in ‘valentines’ – and me?
I wasn’t popular enough to ever receive anything. Sometimes my friends and I made cute cards for each other. I think I also sent a note or two at some point, but it was no use. Unrequited love and all that. Nowadays, I kind of think it was all for the best. That back then when I was fifteen I was too young and sensitive to let another person in – no matter how fervently I longed for a boyfriend.
I read a bit about Valentine’s Day, just because I wanted to know. (And yeah, it was a bit of research for My Funny Dragon Valentine too…)
There was a saint a very long time ago, who when imprisoned sent a love letter. Not sure if any of this is true, but it’s what the legend says. This note is what has later become known as ‘valentines’ – the cards and gifts sent on this day.
But not all parts of the world look at this practise with a friendly eye. Albeit, a Christian saint from the beginning, this is more of a commercial practise than a religious one. Still, understandable, where other religions dominate Valentine’s Day is not necessarily received with open arms. I also read that in some countries these public displays of affection are not appreciated either, which is another reason this day might be banned.
Do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? Sometimes. Just buying a bouquet of roses might cheer cold February up. And a few extra kisses keeps a relationship healthy and strong.
In February there’s still snow,
And no roses grow.
My heart may beat a little faster
As I recognise the dark phasing out.
A couple of months with cold breaths still remain,
Until spring rings the doorbell in May.
Already, my heart is celebrating
The return of the light,
To begin a new cycle of life.
On behalf of Anneli and Nicko, here’s their old production “Bridge between reality and dream”.
AI’s don’t like water,
We all have people we admire, and I’m no exception. Ross Tan is one of my favourite artists, especially his tutorials and the way he works with digital art. Super inspiring! So, yeah, I know I’m not just starting out… Even if it feels like it at times. I’ve been drawing since childhood. And I’ve tried drawing on the computer on and off. I just love drawing hair for example. But mostly I work with photo collaging and adding in painted elements, sometimes acrylic (like Idur), sometimes water colour (like the Elven reading nook) and sometimes just pure digital art.
I’ve been thinking for a while to invest in Ross Tan’s photoshop brush kit, and finally got to the point where I did. And yes, yes, yes! I’m in love. This is going to be so fun. And an unexpected bonus is that I’m suddenly super inspired to start creating my own brushes too. There’s like tons of settings that do awesome things. Combining tech, art and love.
So, my Fae beast under the willow tree is the first picture using Ross Tan’s photoshop brush kit (and some other favourites…) I love how everything came together, like the tree, the roots. I’ve never drawn a tree trunk like this before either. And I just wanted this feeling of a creature sitting underneath the root system, hidden from sight, but contributing with its special magic nonetheless.
The flower was meant to be this creature’s tail… Not sure it really looks like this, but oh, well…