Our main reason to go to Sweden for just one day was a concert by Finnish folk band Värttinä. My very own second main reason was to do some art – taking photographs in Uppsala, sure. But I also like to take inspiration for some creative results. So I also did a movie. Enjoy!
This video is available on Dailymotion | YouTube | Vimeo.
To be honest, I didn’t even want to do a video from that short trip to Sweden from Germany. But I’m always fascinated by clouds, especially when you’re sitting in a plane and fly above them. And my brother suggested I should do a video from the landing in Stockholm. So I did and added the starting from Stockholm the day after plus the landing in Berlin to my smartphone – and a few pictures between.
Now, I’ve already cut a few videos from William Regal segments in NXT & Breaking Ground, so I thought it was time to use those cutting skills for something useful. And the idea of this short film was born. Since I shot all the videos and photographs, I do own the rights of the movie. Of course, I wanted to use some music and found this great page of public domain music. For this special short film I was looking for some psychedelic sound and instantly found Dave Howes. He had just the music that fitted perfectly to my video / photograph collection, and I used “Romeo Alpha” and “Columbine”.
So, I think the music very much adds to the pictures and helps to tell the story of this short film. The title “no humdrum between” is basically rubbish; I just thought it sounded interesting. Objectively it’s just a movie about landing with a plane, starting and landing again. But I see it as the peace on Earth that you can witness from everywhere on this planet when you’re just high enough. When you’re up there, you actually feel so small, but also those huge problems on Earth seem to be so small as well. What human beings fighting about against each other basically seems to be irrelevant and useless up there above the clouds. And there are also the little pieces like the shadow of the plane you can see on several occasions and the geological beauty in some photographs.
So, yeah, I quite like what I did there. And if you enjoyed, too, please leave me a message / comment.
But this short film was just one part of what I’ve brought back from Sweden. My brother is a huge fanboy of Finnish folk band Värttinä and I also enjoy their music. I already was in Prague, Czech Republic, to watch them at a small club. This time they were in Uppsala, Sweden, that’s about seventeen minutes by train north of Stockholm in a more grown-up setting, so to speak. Because in Prague the audience was quite young while in Uppsala it was rather old. That might say something about the special taste in music of younger and older people in those countries.
If you look up Uppsala and its sights, there are a lot of buildings and parks to watch. But we just went to the Uppsala Cathedral to use the rare time we had left before the concert took place. On our way to the cathedral there was this nice bronze statue from a person with a sextant in hand. The statue looks right at the Uppsala Astronomical Observatory that was founded by Anders Celsius, the proposer of the Celsius temperature scale (why on Earth is his Wikipedia page protected due to vandalism? what exactly is there to vandalize about Anders Celsius? some American people who state that Fahrenheit is better?). So, maybe this statue represents Celsius but I’m not really sure.
Uppsala – from the little I’ve seen – is a very clean and friendly city. There are very few graffiti on walls and the air was clear. Temperatures were just under zero degrees CELSIUS and tiny layers of snow were seen here and there – that’s just my weather! I also have to point out the considerate car driving in Uppsala and probably entire Sweden. Car drivers will start to drive slowly, so you can cross the street, even if they are still about one-hundred metres away from you. Well, actually this might be the case all over the world. But it’s definitely not the case in Eastern Germany where car drivers will put their foot on the gas pedal in desperate need to make you wait even longer roadside before you are able to cross the street.
My brother wanted to go the straight path to the cathedral. But if you want to take interesting photographs, the straight path never really is the good one. In the case of the cathedral, the straight path went across a little bridge over river Fyrisån and then there was already our desired building. To get a few more interesting perspectives, I suggested staying on the other side of the river, walking to the next bridge and only then heading straight to the cathedral. And this decision brought a few interesting photographs I could work with.
But I don’t want to talk just about the art behind my photographs but also something about what’s in the pictures. That means: let’s talk about history. And since we kind of made a pilgrimage to the cathedral and paid it a visit, too, let’s talk some history of the Uppsala Domkyrka.
The construction of the cathedral was authorized through a papal bull from 1258. The main building was was between 1272 and 1420 but was consecrated only in 1435. Just imagine that’s almost two centuries of building to see the complete cathedral. And the latest substantial changes were done in the 1880s.
Gothic style always has been my favourite in art and since the Uppsala Cathedral was built in French Gothic style, this also might be the reason why I couldn’t stop taking pictures from it. The facade of the cathedral was built in red bricks, so that always makes for a great visual spectacle around sunset like you are able to see in the picture on the right hand side. The towers are built from limestone and decorated with several stars that also reflect the sunlight at sunset or sunrise – brilliant concept.
The main entrance portal is flanked by the two main towers that are 119 metres in height. And when you walk through the portal, you are welcomed by two gargoyles left and right from the portal. Right in the middle a statue of St. Erik is standing. He’s the patron of Sweden and the cathedral was dedicated to him as well as to St. Olaf (patron of Norway) and St. Lawrence. Also part of the main entrance is the huge rose window above the portal that reminds the visitor of the portal of Saint-Denis in Paris, France. I just captured this window in the photograph. From the inside the window is very colourful and just beautiful at sunset.
I’m always fascinated by stained-glass windows in churches. Because of the fatal wars of the 20th century, most churches and cathedrals in England or Germany don’t have their original windows glass art any more. Most windows only have got plain glass these days. And also the cathedral in Uppsala lost most of its original stained-glass art in the fire of 1702. There are still a few smaller windows with the original stained-glass art but the huge windows have been destroyed. But a few windows were restored in 1893, like these two. It has the usual religious topics like Trinity: God the father, God the son, and God the holy spirit. A little more information you can find here. Of course, the reigning king at the time, Oscar II, king of Sweden and Norway, immortalized himself this way. The inscription at the bottom of both windows reads:
And I also like the morbid character of churches that is sometimes hidden like in this icon on the floor inside the Uppsala Cathedral or more obvious in the exhibition of the mortal remains of saints and kings. Those high halls of big churches and cathedrals may give you the impression of your own immortality but in the end we are all mortal. And in some cases that’s kind of reassuring.
We left Uppsala Domkyrka just around sunset, went back to our hotel for the night. And finally went to the Konsert & Kongress building for the Sverigefinnarnas dag, i.e. day of the friendship between Sweden and Finland, that the concert by Värttinä was a part of. If you see that Värttinä is about to do a concert next to you, go for it – it’s a lot of fun, even if you don’t understand anything those girls are singing.