I have such a talented family. Earlier this week, I wrote about my sister Priscilla, who is an artist. Today, it’s time to talk about my awesome brothers.
My brother David Åhlén, is third in the sibling line and only two years younger than me (yes, my mom had babies three years in a row…). He has always been interested in music. While I got presents such as calculators and dictionaries (I was the “brainy” one), and my sister received gifts of sketchbooks and water colors, my brother (actually both my brothers) unwrapped toy saxophones and guitars.
Eventually we all ended up in music, playing piano, guitar, and all varieties of string instruments (except for viola, so we never had a perfect quartet). David started a band at age 14, which I was privileged to join as the keyboard player. We played original music and held a fair amount of concerts. Every year we entered a music competition for young musicians, and when I was a senior in high school, we actually made it to the top ten in the country (Sweden).
This was mostly due to David’s extreme talent in creating catchy tunes and his charisma on stage. He continued to play in various bands, but eventually decided that bands where not for him and pursued a solo career. He’s recorded multiple albums and has received raving reviews for his later work, where he has returned to his roots in the church.
David Ahlen manages to convey the emotional sense of a spiritual world in a stripped down simplicity displaying a raw and unafraid voice. ~Cyclic Defrost, Australia
David is able to pull off the artist life by living simply. For the past several years, his growing family has lived in a 3-room apartment in Stockholm, Sweden. They recently moved into a slightly larger place in order to give their three kids a little bit more space. He does what he loves and can’t really imagine doing anything else.
Enjoy this rendition of Lo How A Rose Er Blooming, which he recently recorded for a collection album:
My brother Tobias, who is six years my junior, started playing the double bass at age six. It was the cutest thing you ever saw. His teacher, who was also my violin teacher, took him on earlier than normal due to his amazing musical talent. By the time Tobias was 16, he was one of the best double bass players in the country. He was accepted into the Royal College of Music in Stockholm after just one year of high school.
During his college years, he participated in top notch youth orchestras and played with the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra on occasion. Tobias is also an amazing piano player and can mesmerize your heart with jazz tunes and you have no choice but to sing along.
Over the last several years, Tobias has spent much of his time on making string and orchestra arrangements for various recordings and events and enjoys composing original music on his keyboard and iMac.
Now my dear brothers have a joint venture, thehourislate, where they offer:
- A record label
- Music production / studio work
- Music for film / TV
I’m just so proud of these “boys” and what they’ve accomplished. What I really enjoy is how all of us siblings (there’s five of us – I have one more post to write!) have independently come to the conclusion that doing what you love is more important that living a cushy life. It took me the longest, and I’m thankful to have the support of my family.
It’s almost a new year. A good time for reflection. Make a list of the things you love to do and create a plan to maximize the amount of time you spend on those things.
We have only one life.
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