Making Something Out Of Nothing – Per Gessle gets into classical music

As SVT informs, world star Per Gessle continues to break new musical grounds. In recent years he has made electronic music, country and recorded a Metallica cover. Now he steps up on the classic stage.

He says:

It’s like being in a toy store. There were a lot of instruments that I didn’t even know existed.

On 1st September, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Joachim Gustafsson and singer Emmi Christensson recorded the piece, Making Something Out Of Nothing, written by composer Tommie Haglund with lyrics by Per Gessle in Stockholm Concert Hall.

The authors come from widely differing musical worlds, but are both Halmstad residents and ran into each other at the confectionery Regnbågen down in the city center.

Tommie says:

We started talking to each other. Later I would have a festival with my music in Stockholm and asked Per if he wanted to come and listen. He did and I was very happy that he came. The idea arose: “what if you were to do something together”.

After Gyllene Tider and Roxette, Per Gessle has increasingly made himself known as a musical chameleon. This autumn he will go on an acoustic tour with old hits, but he has also had time for electronic music with the Daft Punk-scented side project Mono Mind, a solo album with country musicians in Nashville and a cover of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters.

For the moment, it is therefore classic that applies.

Per says:

I try to do things that feel fun and challenging. Otherwise I get bored.

He enthusiastically talks about the Metallica collaboration, which will celebrate that this autumn it is 30 years since the group released their self-titled album Metallica.

Per tells:

Under the name PG Roxette, I have collected the old Roxette band and done a cover of ”Nothing Else Matters”. It sounds like an old Roxette ballad all of a sudden. I’m very proud to have been asked by them.

The text for Tommie Haglund’s Making Something Out Of Nothing was picked up by Per Gessle from the drawer and filed.

Per tells:

It was actually written for the last Roxette album, ”Good Karma” many years ago. I wrote my own music for the lyrics, but never really liked my own music, so when Tommie asked about lyrics, I already had one that I like a lot.

In addition to the premiere in Sweden next spring, the plan is for the piece to be exported to Colombia. The Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra, with Swedish Joachim Gustafsson as the new chief conductor, will perform it at home in March 2022. As an extra spice, Per Gessle’s lyrics will be translated into Spanish and probably sung by Colombian superstar Shakira.

Tommie tells:

It’s the orchestra’s suggestion. It would be fun if she manages to sing it.

In SVT’s video – where you can hear a snippet of the piece – Per tells:

For me, it’s pretty much about understanding oneself, if one has to describe it briefly. It’s a quite tough lyric. It questions a lot.

Stills are from SVT’s video report.

Per Gessle and Tommie Haglund write music together

As Hallandsposten informs, Per Gessle and Tommie Haglund write music together. Tommie Haglund represents classical music, he has composed chamber music, works for orchestra and for choir. For the song the guys cooperated on, Per has written the lyrics and Tommie has composed the music. The title is Making Something Out Of Nothing and it’s about getting older and looking back on your life and the choices you made.

Once it’s possible to organize events again, the song will be on the repertoire of the Tommie Haglund Festival. Due to Covid-19, it will happen only in spring 2022. Founders of the festival are producer Anders Wilhelmsson and Joachim Gustafsson, conductor and artistic manager. Lars Nordin is involved in marketing and design.

That Mr. G came into the picture was because both he and Tommie felt that they wanted to try something new. Haglund says he and Per lived in parallel universes musically, but they have the same bottom. Lars says it’s fun that both Tommie and Per live in Halmstad, they were born three days apart, Per on January 12, 1959 and Tommie on 15th January the same year and they have both made an incomparable international career in their respective genres.

The first text Per sent didn’t really fit Tommie’s music, but Mr. G sent another almost immediately and that one just flowed into Tommie’s music, as he says.

There will be an album recording together with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm and it’s already decided that Emmi Christensson will sing the song both on the album and at the festival in 2022. Lars informs Hallandsposten that she has a fantastic voice and has, among other things, played the lead role in The Phantom of the Opera in London. Her relation to Halmstad is that she attended the high school there.

After Per listened to the song, he sent an SMS to Tommie telling that he thinks it sounds fantastic. You travel in time and sometimes end up in old black and white 40’s movies, sometimes in a Bacharach romance, but usually in Tommie’s own wonderful musical rainbow. Per thinks it’s a feast for the brain and heart, Hallandsposten writes.

Photo by Lars Nordin

Update on 8th August 2021: As Tommie Haglund informs, Making Something Out Of Nothing will be recorded on 1st September 2021 with Emmi Christensson soprano and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Joachim Gustafsson. It will premiere live at the Tommie Haglund Festival on 23rd April 2022 in Halmstad with the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra.

Update on 1st September 2021: Hallandsposten informs that ”Making Something Out Of Nothing”, a song by Per Gessle (text) and classical musician Tommie Haglund (music) is being recorded today with Emmi Christensson soprano (who is very excited about the recording and says it’s a very beautiful and emotional piece) and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Joachim Gustafsson (music director of Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra). It will be played live at the Tommie Haglund Festival, 21-24 April 2022 in Halmstad. The song will be released on vinyl with Emmi singing on side A and an instrumental version on side B. It’s out for the festival. Tommie tells that the piece will premiere in March next year internationally in Bogotá, Colombia, by the city symphony orchestra. Many suppose that it will then be Colombian world star Shakira who will sing.