Träd, Gräs Och Stenar — Träd, Gräs Och Stenar 1969 (Sweden, Psychedelic Rock)

Исполнитель: Träd, Gräs Och Stenar
Откуда: Sweden
Альбом: Träd, Gräs Och Stenar
Год выхода: 1969
Жанр: Psychedelic Rock
Формат: MP3 CBR 320
Размер архива: 120 МB


As most of you know, this band is a legendary Swedish minimalistic psychedelia band from the 60´s and the early 70´s. They began in the mid 60s as Pärson Sound. They were forerunners of avant-garde Psychedelia. In 1968 they changed their name to International Harvester and released the album ”Sov gott Rose Marie” and they paved the way for the use of Swedish folk music in Swedish rock music. In 1969 they changed their name to Harvester and during the same year they released the legendary album ”Hemåt” which is a mega Scandinavian rarity which no serious Psychedelia fan can be without. In 1970 after the Swedish rock musician Pugh Rogerfelt pioneered the use of the Swedish language in rock music, the band changed their name to the Swedish: Träd, Gräs och Stenar. (Trees, Grass and Stones) They released 3 albums of their trademark acidsoaked repetitive free jam psychedelia. These albums are unfortunately sought after rarities now days. The band organized a string of legendary free festivals between 1970 and 1971 (Gärdet Festerna), of which the first was illegal. These festivals were real people events free of admission and totally in the sincerest hippie spirit imaginable. Though these festivals weren´t big in size, (Sweden isn´t that big), they were bigger than most when it came to heart.
The Swedish psychedelia scene of the 60´s and early 70´s is the best kept secret and now at the dawn of the new ”millenium”, people might be prepared for the deep real people vibe of the Swedish scene. I doubt if any of the other scenes came this close to the real people hippie ideal. The Swedish scene achieved just this mostly due to the fact that it was a small and intimate scene. Just wait for reissues of Pärson Sound/ Harvester / Träd, gräs och stenar, Mecki Mark Men, Fläsket Brinner, Arbete & Fritid and countless others. Your new ”millenium” will never be the same after hearing these bands, mark my words! Enjoy this interview with the bassist of Träd, gräs och stenar: Torbjörn Abelli.
Yours sincerely Mika Kerttunen, Golden Void Fanzine, Sweden. 1999. May the sun, shine on you friends and friends to be may your hearts grow real & free of the illnesses of modern society.
Ömsint musik: Tender hearted music
An interview with Torbjörn Abelli
by Klas Sjögren.
Ömsint (tender hearted). What does it mean? It is a beautiful Swedish word. It feels like it belongs to a long gone era. It seems like it is rarely used now days. When I read articles about Träd, gräs och stenar and the band´s forerunner International Harvester, I have seen the word used at least three times. You begin to think about it. We haste ourselves ahead in life. We try to become something. It all has to happen fast, careers. We rush on. The whole fast hasty lifestyle, is amplified by TV, advertising boards and by the city centers. There is no time for tender heartedness. The pop music of today, is there tender heartedness there? I have searched for it but I haven´t been able to find it. I truly hope that it will appear. What do you get in its place? Cool poses, nice faces, trendy cloths and the hippest gear from London or New York in a Swedish deluxe packaging. We are a conscious generation but there is no place for tender heartedness. It doesn´t even rhyme with acid jazz or trip-hop (editor: the authors term, not mine). Forget it. The word is there , it is kind of etched in. I like it. It is etched to Swedish music phenomena by the name of Träd, Gräs och Stenar and their magical music. Who knows, perhaps there is life in that word after all.
What do the members of Träd, Gräs och Stenar occupy themselves with nowadays?
Bo Anders Persson has (to this point) worked as a music teacher in Jämtland (editors comment: that´s in North Sweden) for many years, and he lives at the moment in north Värmland. (Editor: that´s slightly more to the south) Jakob is a teacher and lives in Svartsjölandet, Thomas Gartz is the only one who stubbornly persists fighting on as a musician. I myself work as an art teacher, I educated myself to be an architect recently, but the work scene is hopeless at the moment. Arne who used to be a member of the band works with rehabilitating alcoholics in Bergslagen.
Could you describe how it came to be that you began to play in International Harvester? How it came to be?
It is a long story: Bo Anders Persson studied composition at the university of music (which Arne and Urban Yman [of Gunder Hägg] also attended) and I myself attended a music research course at the university. We got together during 1965 66? in different musical connections such as Fylkingen, Nutida musik concerts, in other words forums for the contemporary music such as avant-garde, including happenings, electronic music etc. That was the sign of the times. There was a growing interest (in some limited circles) for non-European folk, art music and experimental jazz such as Free form. There were all kinds of mixed forms of jazz and the new pop music, (”rock” meant Bill Haley and Elvis during this period) such as Rolling Stones and later Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan. What we discovered was that during listening, studying and analyzing what others had achieved, in a very limited framework of art music, our contemporary folk music develops. It has low status in finer cultural connections, but it has strong social ties and a lot of vitality.
The first wave of pop-music was considerably vital, every school had its pop band which played at school dances and youth clubs. 1967 was a time for changes. The first wave of pop music had played its part and new influences made their presence: a more heavier, psychedelic musical style combined with the flower power culture.
Bo Anders Persson and I met at the basement of the university of music in January 1967 and we tried to play Stones songs with limited success. During the spring/summer of 1967 we: ( Bo Anders, me, Arne, Urban Yman and later Thomas Gartz and Thomas Tidholm ) had three gigs under the name Pärson Sound at Moderna museet, Pistolteatern and Kungsträdgården. The music was more avant-garde, it was improvised music with electric instruments and consisted of sound experiments, very amplified, with tape loops. (Bo Anders had performances of his own which relied on techniques such as having 2 tape machines quite far apart with a tape in between them, with an instrument played directly into a microphone which than was loaded to a speaker and recorded simultaneously. The recorded part was played slightly later together with the new tones. The old and new loop was recorded and played back after awhile etc. The sound was stored and played against its self creating a complex tapestry in the form of a very slow tape echo, is this understood?)
In the autumn of 1967 the psychedelic club Filips had began at the premises of the old court pastry shop on Regeringsgatan where the Gallerian shopping mall is located today. It hosted a lot of suggestive music, projected lights, incense and psychedelic posters that you could barely read. Upstairs there was a smaller room for the experimental pop music and Pärson Sound played there several times. The music differed from previously a new form had developed with ostino bass (stubborn bass lines with 2-4-8 beats played around and around) together with heavy drumming and fuzz guitar playing counter rhythms, saw like electric cello and repeating horn phrases going around and around and around for hours. Many asked ”Are they ready with their tuning”, many left after ten minutes but surprisingly many remained through it all. It wasn´t enough that we were allowed to play we even received a wage for it as well: 40 SKr per musician. (Editor; that was a good wage for those days) In reality there was a need for the money and it proved that it was possible do this as a day job. (For my part it would last for the following 14 years to come).
From where did you get the name International Harvester?
International harvester is an American company that manufactures agricultural machinery. The name can also be interpreted as the international harvesting man: a symbol for the world revolution. ( what ever that now might be ) In Tom Wolfe´s book ”The electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” (1968) about Ken Kesey and the merry pranksters from California, describe their wild tours (a multi media exhibition they would probably call it today) in a 1949 school buss of the make International Harvester. When we began to tour, there came alarming rapport´s about Swedish ambulances with bad brakes of, guess which make? We changed our name to Harvester. During the summer of 1969 Thomas Tidholm left the band and the band reemerged as Träd, Gräs och Stenar.
How was the music climate during those days?
The music climate you ask? It was divided: there was the ”classic”/”serious” music and the contemporary experimental music in a isolation cell, there was the dance band music in the folk parks, pale mainstream music, mainstream jazz, the Beatles clones on the way out, the folk music hadn´t been rediscovered yet. Its difficult to give a just picture of it all, this is how I perceived it. The fact remained we were very alone doing this kind of music. Hansson & Karlsson had a short but intense career. Baby Grandmothers and Mecki Mark Men developed pop music. There was an enormous thirst after the ”new thing”, it was easy to obtain gigs, and there was a huge audience and adjoining media interest. Pärsson sound/Harvester often played together with cultural exhibitions such as Rikskonserter, at libraries, museums etc. An interesting development during this period was that many ogled less towards USA or England and consciously and independently went to develop and cultivate their own musical culture. Bo Anders Persson had an exhibition called Folkets musik (Peoples music) and released an album ”Spela själv” (Play yourself) with Rikskonserter as producer. It was here that our political platform was formulated.
What where your influences in those days (in art, music and politics)? Influences?
The list could be as long as anything! Terry Riley, John Cage, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Mingus, Charlie Parker, The Fugs, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles movie ”A hard days night”, Indian, Japanese, Chinese music, very early European art music. When it comes to art I´m too tired to give you examples. Politics: It was the dawning of the 1968 days with a lot of discussions and a lot analyzing of the situation of the world, local developments and about cultural developments past ands present. It was a reassessment of more or less everything, a new way of looking at old and known facts. It was a continuing seminary and testing of ideas which developed a more or less common political foundation for the group. It was out of the question that we would belong to any given fraction firstly due to the fact that in those days the left was still united. Secondly due to the fact that there were limitations in the groups ideology. The anarchists were the group, which were closest to us. There was never an ambition to have an official group ideology.
Tell us about the creation of your album ”Sov gott, Rose Marie”?
Sov gott Rose Marie (Editor: English translation; Sleep well Rose Marie) was recorded by Anders Lind (one of the originators of Silence Records) in Nacka school hall, if I am not mistaken with two microphones. Some tracks were laid on later such as singing birds and voices. It is one of our albums, which I am still totally behind. The whole of album is a well worked out and consists of no loose tracks.
Did any of you have any previous music schooling or been members of other bands?
About earlier schooling: see previous answers. Thomas Gartz played drums with Mecki Mark Men for several years. Everyone in the band had taken piano, violin, or /and brass instrument lessons during their school days.
”Rose Marie” was released on a Finnish label. Was there no one in Sweden who understood your music and wanted to release it?
The commercial labels were wholehearted uninterested and totally bent on not releasing our material. The small labels had not began yet.
Was it possible to exist as a musician during those days, did you have day jobs?
We lived cheaply, (it was much easier in those days) we did everything within the band, for most part we didn´t have other jobs, no one had a family. But sure we were poor.
This ”collective thing” seems like you were caught in already during International Harvester days. Was it not difficult to unite the bands individual wills when, creating the music? Of what I have gathered is that you were not only musicians but also poets and journalists etc.
The collectives shouldn´t be over valued. The collective labor in Harvester was more ideas than practice. The big group around the band only worked during a period of some projects such as the ”Good luck Show” series at the Pistolteatern theatre during the fall of 1968, or at the exhibition at Galleri Observatorium and during a couple of articles in the art magazine Paletten. Sure there were some collective ambitions and some collective practices both than and later. To work in a group is both demanding and stimulating: democracy within the group wasn´t formal and it wasn´t often well worked out, so there were times when members felt the consequences of it. At the same time the music depended on the responsibility of each individual member so that they took responsibility for the whole of the music. But sure there were conflicts and unfortunately there was no preparation to handle them. This didn´t fit well with the mentality of the times. Later during the Träd, Gräs och Stenar period there even was an expansion of the group during different projects. Often it was a question of friends joining the tours and helping out with this and that. Now and than there was cooperation with other bands.
Did you have contacts with similar collective music groups abroad? I know that there were music collectives such as Amon Düül and Faust in Germany.
We had brief contacts in Finland and Norway, but none in Germany or the rest of Europe. Träd, Gräs och Stenar played a lot in Denmark but didn´t have closer ties with the representatives for ”freer” music there, despite the fact that it existed. In Denmark rock music was more established within the mainstream society compared to Sweden. It was more commercially organized. Bands, light show groups, organizers functioned more like companies, where as in Sweden it all was organized more on an idealistic base, with collectives often by the side (or against) of the mainstream society.
Träd, Gräs och Stenar rehearsing for the second Gärdesfesten 1970
Then you became Träd, Gräs och Stenar. A cool thing with the green record (Editor: the self titled album from 1970) is the well worked out mix of Swedish folk music and rock, such as on the track ”Tegenborgsvalsen”. You met the old folk musician Tegenborg, how did that happen?
The Swedish folk music was of paramount interest for Harvester. The cultural heritage was rekindled and reinterpreted. The same listening attitude that we had towards Rolling Stones worked for Swedish folk music as well. The old folk music was much more diverse, rawer and more rocking than the polished more mainstream official folk music. Adjoining a book about the Swedish folk music instrument nyckelharpa released in the late 60´s was an album. On this album there were a few tracks by a folk musician from Uppland (Editor: slightly north of Stockholm) called Joel Jansson. His technique and sound was pure rock. Vi took to us some of his songs such as Tegenborgsvalsen. Joel Jansson played at the last Gärdet festival in June 1971. Bo Anders had some contact with him, besides the gig.
A vital part of Träd, Gräs och Stenar was the cooperation with the audience of what I have gathered. How did people react to your at times monotonic, hypnotizing music?
Audience cooperation you say? Yes, we had trouble rehearsing, and we had a tough time get started without an audience. The response and the wild ecstatic dancing helped get us on our way. At times, depending on the situation etc the music could become meditative. You could describe our method as, that we mirrored the vibe of the audience. This was an effective method when the atmosphere was heated. Once when we played in Strömstad we had to reevaluate ourapproach as we played for an audience of shy, insecure youths who were almost pasted to the walls of the hall. They weren´t familiar with our music and they were afraid to make fools of themselves. In other words in was a devastating atmosphere to play in and to develop musically. There was also another impossible thing we had developed. We had coined the phrase ”play yourself” and we promoted music as an unpretentious way of coexisting, in which everyone could anticipate. The ideology of the slogan ”Everyone can play, and everyone can join in” was literally interpreted by some, who joined us on the stage with their own instruments. This didn´t always work out with what we believed in. They didn´t realize that our playing was something we had worked hard at and it was an intricate form of communication.
”Play yourself” was a form of music we helped to develop with the aid of very simple instruments and musical structures, which anyone with an open mind could collectively anticipate in. If I´m not mistaken this took place the first time at Stadsmuseets yard in April 1969. Later on there were tours around the country with this rather crude form of folk music with cooperation with members of Träd, Gräs och Stenar. The group Ljudlekslänken (approximate translation: ”sound game link”) under the wing of Rikskonserter continued this tradition. They taught instrument making and techniques in how to play together. ”Klåjnk” at the museum of music is a result of this activity.
The debate could be quite strange sometimes. Often during the 70´s political representatives approached us and accused us of only singing about the moon and other hazy psyched out subjects instead of agitating to the audiences who listened to us. Sure we belonged to the Left, but these critics had a hard time understanding that 1. We weren´t good at agitating. 2. It wasn´t the right channel for it. 3. Most importantly we agitated through our music, in order to create cooperation, collective awareness, presence, joy, intensity etc. ”We are here and now”. It was an time of continuing battles and the arch enemy was the group who stood us the closest ideologically. We didn´t want to get into these stagnating conflicts, where all energy went to argue for ones point of view, instead we tried to listen and understand. We sympathized with many of the groupings, but we were disturbed, by the limitations. The debate was limited and left many aspects untouched. I say this an ”us” but there were individual differences within the band.
Another strange criticism was that we obviously played badly on purpose in order to lower ourselves to the people´s level. The bitter truth was that we couldn´t play any better. The simple structures in our music weren´t created because we thought the audience couldn´t understand the music otherwise. It was so because the music was easier to listen to and get into, when it was more continuous, repetitive and less varied. Compare it with the techno music of today. We were after the ecstasy, the magic, the hypnosis and this was achieved most effectively through relentless repetition.
Do you think the drugs of the times contributed to the development of your music?
The drugs, the grass played it´s part in increasing the listening ability. They were catalysts that aided the discovery of specific qualities in the repetitive music and the way it evoked ecstasy. Grass was used as an aid for those who wanted to get into the music. It strengthened the atmosphere. But one shouldn´t overrate it. In many cases it took the atmosphere down and dampened the vibe instead of increasing it. Many of those who smoked fell more or less into apathy. Specially, sometimes some of the youngsters got themselves into problems. When it´s all said and done it´s difficult to see the positive aspects of it all. Musicians and others with their lives in order, got through it better.
Is there any form of music or any other movement today which you feel has the same strong ideals and environmental awareness as you had?
The culture of today is a lot more disillusioned. It´s not merely the ironic, superficial sub cultural aspects but even the more serious aspects of it. Sure militant vegans seem familiar even if the term didn´t exist in those days. A funny thing is that there are many youngsters from 20 to 30 who are interested in our music. It´s not merely a question of interest but also a question insight and understanding! (Editor: Yes I agree in full, see you all at the next Träd, Gräs och Stenar gig!)
Why do you play live so scarcely?
Scarcely you say? We have played approximately ten shows per year during the last three years. It´s as many shows we have been able to play or been offered to play. Work and families take their time as well. Before our whole lives revolved around the band. The name Arbete & Fritid (translation: ”work and recreation”) refers to the fact that one shouldn´t separate the one from the other. Both of them are inseparable conditions of life. (Editor: the name is also that of another legendary Swedish 70´s Psychedelia band, in which Torbjörn and Thomas Gartz were members.)
What music do you listen to now days?
I don´t listen to music at all now days! There are too many sounds all over the place. Noises from cars, mainstream music etc. Silence is valuable and you can appreciate it after having teenagers in the house for ten years! IF I listen to something it will surely be something old or reissues by Träd, Gräs och Stenar/Harvester or Arbete & Fritid. The new band Hedningarna is a fresh and interesting new thing for the 90´s as is Anitas Livs. I have some cassettes with Talking Heads which I played often before. At times I can listen to folk music from Papa New Guinea which is truly Stone Age music! Naturally there is a lot of exciting new music. Thomas Gartz is interested in the unexplored, modern experimental music jungle and he plays me some stuff from there now and than.
I have heard someone say that everything possible has been done musically and that everything now days is repetition of earlier music and musical forms. What do you think?
No there is a lot more to be done. Even if the tones are the same, the combinations, interpretations, and the musical attitudes are in constant renewal. I also want to object. The use of music today is distorted. Why must new songs be constantly fabricated and disregarded and later disbanded. A more sustainable use of music should be desired. Old songs are just as good as new ones!


01. All Along The Watchtower — 8:16
02. I Can’t Get No Satisfaction — 11:07
03. Sanningens Silverflod — 3:53
04. Tegenborgsvalsen — 2:35
05. All Makt Åt Folket — 6:05
06. Svarta Pärla — 5:19

Bo Anders Persson — guitar, violin, flute, vocals
Arne Eriksson — electric piano, cello, flute
Torbjörn Abelli — bass, jew’s harp, flute
Thomas Gartz — drums, jew’s harp, flute, vocals


Категории: Albums, Psychedelic Rock, Sweden  Метки:

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1 year ago

Спасибо за альбом:) Сорри, но дебютник по всем данным — 1970г.! ?