Review: East of Eden by Taken By Trees (Rough Trade)

A Swedish Folk Sensation Walks into a Hotel . . .

| November-December 2009

  • Taken by Trees East of Eden

  • Taken by Trees East of Eden

With a voice that just barely tops a whisper and a demure disposition, the minor Swedish indie-folk sensation Victoria Bergsman may have expected that she would be invisible when she traveled to Lahore, Pakistan. It didn’t work out that way. She was spit on at a religious celebration and forced to fake a marriage to her traveling companion, a recording engineer and musical collaborator. The pair walked into a hotel that advertised Sufi music nights on the Internet. They carried a laptop and two microphones. Bergsman was exactly where she wanted to be: far from home and the clinical studio environment she abhorred. They found the proprietor and told him they were looking for musicians to interpret Bergsman’s songs and record an album. The man told them it was a holy month, and a dangerous time for a Western woman to be recording with Muslim men. He also told them he’d be happy to help. For 10 days Bergsman and her companion crammed into the proprietor’s home and recorded music between power outages with more than two dozen men. Bergsman says she was “doing something almost illegal” and constantly feared that she and the musicians would be discovered. Somehow, that fear never passed through the microphones: Bergsman’s soft songs left Lahore with the grace of cross-cultural collaboration and none of its inherent tensions.

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter