Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In May, June, and July entries will be blogged twice a month, on or about the 10th and the 24th.

Three You Tubes Illustrate A Swedish Folk Song

Below, You Tubes show Vartinna, then a performance of a Swedish folk song - two entries on Memorial Day, and a second You Tube performance of the Swedish folk song.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


also video

September 26, 1937 Husmodern

In the September 26, 1937 issue of Husmodern, Sally Salminen is interviewed for the second time that year, pictured this time seated in a summery field with her mother, another picture on the page a landscape view of her Åland Island village. The article tells of the author's summer with her family and of the progress of the prize novel:

KATRINA är nu översatt till norska, finska, holländska och franska, och i höst väntas de engelska, tyska, danska, och tjeckoslovakiska upplagorna bli klara.

(KATRINA is now translated into Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, and French, and in autumn will be English, German, Danish, and Checkoslovakian translations.)

The title's question -

Skall Sally Salminens KATRINA Filmas?

(Can Sally Salminen's KATRINA be made into a film?) -

is answered -

Det är heller inte omöjligt att man en dag får se Katrina som film. Man har nog sina planer i den riktningen i Hollywood. Sally Salminens amerikanska agent har föreslagit den ryska filmskådespelerskan Anna Sten för hvudrollen, och författartinnan tror också, att hon skulle vara utmärkt som Katrina.

(It is not impossible that one day one could see Katrina as a film. The plans are well-enough advanced in Hollywood. Sally Salminen's American agent has recommended the Russian film actress Anna Sten for the lead role, and the author believes also, that she would be a good Katrina.)

At the end of the article we learn:

Denna tidnings utlåning i förvärvssyfte förbjudes.

(I think it is forbidden to republish the article without permission.)

On the internet I learn that KATRINA was made into a film in 1943, and released in the United States with English subtitles in 1949.

On the internet also I learn KATRINA was made into a music theatre production by composer Jack Mattson, his music was written for an orchestra of 27 players and a choir of 25. It was produced to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Åland Home Rule in 1997.

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The Translation On Memorial Day

(See the You Tube below for the song Varvindar Friska. ) My mother was a talented piano player all her life and there was music in the family. This is a picture that looks very much like my mother's Uncle Eric - my mother's farbror Eric - in one earlier photo he is even shown with a violin. But his real instrument was the accordian. In the late 1980's I began to copy down sheet music with a whistle. In Minneapolis I found a plastic Yamaha recorder and began a first song translation from a song book my mother had left. I started with Vårvindar friska - as it happens, there are renditions of this song on You Tube.

There is one by Ingrid Bergman in a Bing Crosby movie that shows that folk music is experienced in intimate, very small groups. Then there is one by singers of today that express that folk music is experienced in very large groups - folk music has always been experienced this way, and has always even been played privately by one person alone.

The notes on staff are shown at the site, My Scandinavian Folk Music -

Vårvindar friska leka och hviska

lunderna kring likt älskande par.

Strömmarne ila finna ej hvita

förr är i halvet stort vågen far.

Klappa mitt hjärta klaga och hör,

vallhornets klang bland klipporna dör,

ström karlen spelar, sorgerna delar

vaken kring berg och dal.

(Winds in the spring dance play and whisper

Groves into circles paired into lovers

Streams whirl thoughts unsettled

soon in the dusk we take on a wave.

Hold back with heart's lament and hear

horns of spring echo and clang in the rocks

Streams tell the people that sorrow's watches

wake round the mountain and field.)

The words are appropriate for Memorial Day. They are meant for Valborgsmassoafton, an evening of celebrating and bonfires just before May 1.

Yesterday I put flowers on my mother's Uncle Eric's grave. I knew Uncle Eric. Uncle Eric died in 1957. I took my bike to that cemetery along a few miles. And I thought about the versions of the song I had been listening to on You Tube.

These are songs in Swedish. My mother's mother was from Finland, but from the minority that speaks Swedish. The national poets of Finland often write Swedish, but extol and support the self-identity of the Finland Nationals, who speak Finnish. Here is a song by Varttina, years ago Scandinavian Hour began to feature pieces they recorded. They are from Finland but sing in Finnish.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Public Melody #1

Click here to view Pulblic Melody #1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwcQzhlu1fg - The selection from Artists and Models is referred to in the post directly below called Mother's Day Weekend.

Mother's Day Weekend

Some second-hand books come with luggage, an earlier owner has placed a relevant clipping inside. Inside my mother's copy of Sally Salminen's KATRINA she has placed a clipping of an interview with Sally Salminen from Husmodern #11, 1937. (Forts. fr. sid 25.) is a very tiny scrap attached with a shiny silver straight pin. There are three photos, - the author, her mother, and her mother's small but homey house, where there is a lot of snow. Here I have made a translation of one or two paragraphs.

Sally Salminen

Svarar här på husmoderns samvetsfrågor

Sally Slminen

Answer Husmodern's Questions of Conscience

Sally Salminen, den unga åländskan som i våras blev vår tids Selma Lagerlöf genom sin prisroman Katrina svarar i dag på Husmoderns frågor om mörka tider och ljusa. Sällen ha vi fått dessa ganska begrundansvärda frågor så klart och exakt utredda på stående fot som Sally Salminens melodiska röst gjorde det. Ämnet var tydligen något som hennes tanke sysslat med förut. Så har hon ju också själv ett egendomlift öde bakom sig. Hon stod i butik, skaffade sig bildning genom korrespondenskurser, for till Amerika som hembiträde - och är i dag Ålands berömdhet. --Här nu hennes svar på vara frågor.

Sally Salminen, the young Åland Islander who in spring became springtime's Selma Lagerlöf through her prize novel, Katrina, answers today Husmodern's questions of dark times and light. Seldom have we these very meditative. serious questions as clearly and exactly unraveled to a good standing as Sally Salminen's melodious voice has. The material is obviously something of an idea she has had business with before. So has she also herself had a fate behind her. She stood (served) in a shop, gained her training through correspondence courses, before America as a domestic helper. And is today Åland's celebrity. Here now she answers our questions ---


Tror ni på ett slags mer regalbunden växling mellan mörka tider och ljusa? Har ni vissa olyskstider?

Do you believe there is an alternation between dark times and light?

Börjar vår "mörka tid" kanske egentligen med vår egen tanke?

To begin with the "dark time" perhaps properly with our own idea?

Har ni något motto, som rör det vi frågar om?

Do you have some motto which relates to what we ask about?

Jag har haft olika motton under olika tider, men intet som jag vill sätta som min egentliga ledstjärna. Jag brukar, när det är tungt och svårt, försöka se livet som en väg och är det svårt i uppförsbacken blir det lättare när man väl är uppe. En väg är ju inte baa uppförsbacke. - Det hjälper också att under den tunga vandringen inte känna efter för mycket, utan se bort från sin egen lilla person och försöka hjälpa någon medandrare som har ännu tyngre börda. Sådana får man alltid sällskap med. ---Den inställningen ger mig också bot i mörka tider.

I have had a different motto at different times, but none which I would set as my own guiding star. I use, when it is heavy and hard, - try to see life as a road and it is hard as you rise, it becomes easier when one is well up. A road is not only uphill. It also helps to, under the heavy travel, to not try to achieve too much. without looking away from their own small person and attempting to help some fellow wanderer who has a yet heavier burden. Such is one with society. This adjustment gives to me also a solution in gloomy times.

Tror ni pa förangingar?

Do you believe in foreboding?

(And so the questions and answers go.)

It was 1937. After their family orchestra had performed with the lodge convention and choir in Olympia, Linnea was invited to Eureka. She took her vacation from her job as a secretery in August and traveled on the train to San Francisco. She saw the new Golden Gate Bridge that opened in June. On a postcard she told the family she saw Artists and Models at the Fabulous Fox Theater in San Francisco. That it was good and her mother should go to see it.

Parts of movies , movie sequences, were attached, like luggage, and were easy to remove . After critics heavily berated Martha Raye for her performance with Louis Armstrong in Artists and Models, the music sequence for Public Melody #1 was removed when the movie was shown in Southern theaters.

But the punch line of the music sequence and its song, Public Melody #1 (like Public Enemy #1), is the music cases musicians carry: mobsters disguised themselves as musicians so they could carry music cases that contained weapons.

I went into a bank the other day. A man at the managers desk had a music case open and was playing a guitar. At this bank there is a lot of emotional memory that they call baggage. (As it happens I also have the two suitcases from the bank's 1960 Grand Opening we got for opening savings accounts.) However, as the guitar played, I thought only of a cartoon I made up and think about sometimes -

Panel one -A bank line of smokers.

Panel two - A bank line with a NO SMOKING sign.

Panel three - A bank line with one person playing a guitar, another an harmonica tapping their feet and having a nice time.

Panel four - A bank line of smokers and a NO MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS sign.

Today is the first National Train Day. It is also the day the project at Wright's Park in Tacoma holds the official rededication of the park.