The philosophy behind Lisa Ekdahl…


She can be described as an underrated artist. Why? Because those works that she can offer isn’t what the most of people wants… Simply. Another thing to consider? Of course! Our concept of art is never simple as we would love to have, but, an alternative definition that we could assume is this: ‘an artist is who could bring pleasure and a perspective of some reality‘. Lisa Ekdahl is someone who in the recent years has proof with her music, something that have said Solomon:

I saw all the works that were done under the sun, And look! everything was futile, a chasing after the wind.

Anyone could say that she doesn’t sing those words in a specific way; but, if she/he could take seriously this, could read/hear some of her newest creation to find something like this:

You say we have nothing in common

I wouldn’t say that if I were you

All of us come in through the same door

There’s just one race and it’s the human race

There’s just one face babe it’s your face

I can you see it shining trough

Can’t you see it shining trough

Don’t tell me that you don’t

Just tell me that you do

At first, the words reminds our own humanity. As good as it gets, we are here because of the same door (birth), and, as in the rest of the song is explained, soon we will depart. Beyond that, doesn’t look for a difference between the humanity in kind of races, and much more than that, try to show some hope about it. The common way to describe humanity is this:

Homo homini lupus est

Something that explore Lisa here:

What you give I keep with mine

I hold you close to me in trust that

I’ll be alright, I will be fine

A thought that could be understood completely if we have in mind something that’s said on Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran:

Ce que tu donnes, c’est à toi. Pour toujours. Ce que tu gardes, c’est perdu à jamais (What you give, it belongs to you; what you keep to yourself, it is lost for ever)

Taking all this together could bring some light to the essential meaning behind the voice and music of this artist: to know, to hold, to forget. Could it be that easy? Certainly can’t be so easy, the right example for that is in our  contemporary age. The war used to be a way of confront people face-to-face, but, now it’s more subtle; anyways, the objective remains the same: the pursuit of power. Again… To know, to hold, to forget. Three steps for hapiness? For a selective ignorance? Maybe both. The hapiness is a kind of ignorance, at least.

  1. To know what is truth/lie and what is good or bad.
  2. To hold what is good/bad, truth/lie.
  3. To forget what is unnecesary for living.

Three steps that I  imagine and defend when I hear other song of her:

The world keeps turning we can’t change its course

What I can’t hold by love I won’t hold by force

The world keeps turning beyond our control

What I can’t hold by love I won’t hold at all

Till now I only have consider her newest songs, as I said at the beginning. A lot more can be found in her early work singing in english, but, as some already know and other can know further, the jazz pieces that she used to sing and record, are standars of that genre of music, so, It would be difficult to think anything about the real thoughts behind a singer who only sings the songs that others have written. But that’s not the case of the songs that I have quoted here. What is the philosophy behind Lisa Ekdahl? Beyond that she promote the equal treatment, that she gives us three possible steps for being happy, and that she claim that only by love we can hold something or someone, there is one thing that I haven’t put on analysis yet:

  1. The possibility of change, or the self-awareness that can make us better.

Where she sing about that consciousness? Here:

I keep an eye on myself all the time

I only close one eye when I sleep

I keep the other one open all the time

Even when you seem to think my sleep is deep

Deep, deep, deep, deep

I keep myself on a leash all the time

Even when you think I’m running wild

I tell myself now don’t you run so fast

I tell myself girl, don’t be such a child

Child, child, child, child

I have a list of rules up in my head

I think them through in bed before I rise

Even so you seem to think I’m out of line

Even so you seem to think I need advise

Advise, advise

Your advice, advice

I have a way of falling down from grace

I have a way of tripping now and then

But don’t forget they say you learn from you mistakes

I wanna learn and if not now then baby

When, when, when, when, when

(I wanna learn and if not now then baby, when)

When, when

Tell me when, when

That self-awareness allowed can be hear by everyone on the record of her concert at Olympia (Paris, 2011):

Music made me focuss, and focuss made me relax

An interesting confession that almost everyone could assume to themselves. Forgetting her voice and the genre of music that she usually sing, there’s another thing that could represent an obstacle to her internacional fame, and that’s the look of her face. For someone it could seem superficial, but, behind that there is another comment that she made on the same record at Olympia:

I could do less.

I could do less.


Less expression.

After she said this, talks about a taxi driver she saw one day, and, only looking at his face, she could know how he felt (and even what he maybe have been thinking) in that moment. It’s appear that the superficial face could be an certain theory about her, but, I want to believe that is a mask that could bring her (and for those who look at her) some kind of peace. What I trying to describe? I’ll explain this with another quote of the movie Monsieur Ibrahim:

—Je veux dire que sourire, c’est pour les gens heureux (I mean that to smile, it is for happy people)

—Et bien, c’est là où tu te trompes. C’est sourire qui rend heureux (And well, there’s where you are wrong. It is to smile which makes you happy).

Thelema, or the will to power, is here. Repeating ourselves ”I could do less expression”  could open a door that change us. Then, the superficial face represent a psychosomatic influence (not only for herself). It sounds like a crazy thing to believe, but, it’s just a personal thing that I usually think about Lisa, who always bring me calm when I look/hear her. She can be described as an underrated artist, but she have my attention; could it be enough for her? It’s one of those things that I won’t allowed to know. Anything more to say? Only a few words from another song she has:

There was a boy

A very small enchanted boy

They say he wandered very far

Very far over land and sea

A little shy and sad of eye

But very wise was he

And then one day

One magic day he came my way

And as we spoke of many things

Fools and kings, this he said to me

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn

Is just to love and be loved in return


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