Meet Clara Birch, a Danish singer-songwriter who captivates audiences with her beautiful, strong, and touching songs. Her honest lyrics, sung in Danish, resonate deeply with listeners, as she sings about love, vulnerability, and dreams. This episode of Low-Fi Backstage is dedicated to Clara Birch, an artist that truly connects with her audience.
“I have learned that people in general are lovely guests”
Low-Fi’s Host of the Month is Annika and Johan Aspén-Franzén, the couple behind the host profile Lummig innergård med växthus. Annika and Johan are hosting concerts at their home on Ingarö, an island in the Stockholm archipelago.
Annika is a social worker and a licensed psychotherapist, and Johan works as an assistant nurse/housing supporter in a group home for adults with various diagnoses. The couple moved to Ingarö 14 years ago when they just happened to walk in on a viewing of a small summer house and fell in love with the neighborhood with forests and beaches, just within a 45 minutes bus ride from Stockholm.
“Since we moved here, our number one hobby has been renovating our house and creating a home and a garden. We truly love our corner of the world. We have built a greenhouse and an outdoor bar from leftover bits of timber and our neighbors cast away windows and there are many various areas where you can sit and enjoy the tranquility or maybe lay down in one of the outdoor beds and listen to some music”.
Prefer smaller, more intimate concert settings
Both Annika and Johan enjoy music and there is almost always something playing in the background in their home. They often go to big concerts but have always preferred smaller, more intimate settings. When Annika discovered Low-Fi, she knew it was for her.
At first, Annika saw herself attending concerts as a guest. However, Annika and Johan used to gather their friends and family at least twice or three times a year, but during Covid-19, that was not possible. The idea of hosting garden concerts appeared as the perfect answer to them feeling a bit isolated. “In the garden, it was easy to keep distance and follow the rules of the pandemic. I created a profile and soon had several requests from various artists. When we listened, the French artist Magali Michaut immediately stood out as someone we thought would be perfect in our small intimate space. We wanted acoustic artists preferably performing original songs. We contacted her and arranged a concert together in August last summer. It was fantastic!”
Annika also shares a memory from her first concert with Magali Michaut. “I remember the overall sort of bliss from the first show, looking out over our garden seeing all these people enjoying a night out in our yard. It was just very satisfying, a bit strange and a great experience!”
“We love our own place and sharing it with people“
“We think that we have created an atmosphere where people feel like they are coming to a place that feels like home, welcoming and warm. I think we’re both quite easy to get to know, even if I am chattier and louder than Johan. We laugh and joke around a lot and are both very organised and quite laid back at the same time. We love entertaining guests. Or rather, we love our own place and love sharing it with people who do too, which they often seem to do”.
Annika and Johan hope that their guests will have an experience to remember fondly. At their place, they can meet people in a different type of setting, and take an active part in creating the atmosphere for the other guests as well as for the artist. “These concerts bring audiences and artists into our home and into our private life, and that brings us closer together as we co-create musical events”.
From hosting concerts, Annika and Johan say that it takes more to sell tickets than they first thought. They have hosted two concerts, one with Magali Michaut and the other with James Walker in May this spring. None of them are Swedish, which means that they didn’t have their own followers to come to the concerts and more promotion was required from Annika and Johan. “I have also learned that people in general are lovely guests, very positive, curious and respectful of the fact that we’re in our home”.
Have received kind words from their guests
Annika and Johan promote their concerts by inviting all of their friends, posting on all of their social media channels and different groups and sending emails to specific people they think might enjoy a Low-Fi concert. For their upcoming concert, they have also printed flyers that they put up on local advertising boards.
By hosting concerts, Annika and Johan share that they have received positive feedback from their guests through Low-Fi and private messages on Facebook and Instagram. “That really makes all the effort we put into this worthwhile. Not to be praised but to be able to provide them with an evening to feel so happy about. That is a very sweet feeling!”
Looking ahead, Annika and Johan have one concert planned with the French singer-songwriter Magali Michaut on July 8th.