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Emilia Friberg – Skapa
Emilia Friberg, 74, was born and raised in Halmköping (a little to the East of Stockholm and to the West of Gothenburg). She has, for the most part, lived a normal life providing walking tours of local deep sea marine life and also as a scriptwriter for one man theatre adaptations of Alec Guinness movies which she would also play the piano for (although only for a few minutes at a time as her hands tired easily). Her life changed for the extraordinary when three years ago she was bitten on the right hand by a dog as she waited for the last triple decker night bus home.
The dog itself was an illustration commissioned for a one man theatre production back in 2006. The production was cancelled at the last minute and the illustrated dog, no longer needed, was free to wander the streets of Halmköping forevermore. In the days after the bite, Emilia noticed that under the fingernails of her right hand some small black dots were appearing, as if they had been smudged on with charcoal. These charcoal smudges soon spread and by the end of the week they had not only covered her fingertips but they were also no longer just black. Instead they were now made up of colours from across the spectrum (except for red which is of course banned in the town of Halmköping after a hastily typed mayoral memo was telegrammed to the wrong department).
Although she felt no discomfort or any other symptoms at all Emilia sought medical advice. Doctors were initially stumped but after a month of tests at Halmköping University they discovered that regular bathing of the elbows in the ice cold water of any the fjords of Sweden (specifically those which had been the subject of 50s postcard designs) would stop the illustration spreading further than it already had. At this point both of Emilia’s hands were completely made up of sketched lines and shaded textures (as well as nearly all of the colours of the rainbow).
This leads us neatly on to where we are today with your reading this extraordinary account. The graphite silver lining of Emilia’s condition was that her hands, now made of brushstrokes and ink, no longer felt the fatigue that had limited her piano skills throughout her later life. She can also transcend the usual physical limitations of human hands. Emilia’s fingers reach across octaves of keys, her thumbs can divide in two, her knuckles bend any angle needed. The result is unlike anything heard before in Halmköping or indeed anywhere else.
Live performances are impossible for Emilia due to her insistence that she only plays during the intervals of three hour long low budget performances of A Passage To India. This has sadly proved unbearable for any audience, promoter or venue staff. These recordings (compiled and presented here under the title of Skapa) that we have are the result of further medical studies and observations carried out by the team of doctors who first treated Emilia (full report now widely available for all subscribers of The Halmköping Scientific Journal [Berglund et al “Emilia Är En Bra Pianisten” (Halmköping University, 2012)].
It is of course just as much a phenomenal curiosity as it is a milestone in piano composition and performance. It is a huge pleasure to be able to sub-publish these works exclusively on behalf of Halmköping University Music Publishing with whom we hope to build a long and lasting relationship.
Master and Publishing Sync Clearance – Wake The Town Limited