I am a conductor with one ear in Northern Europe and one in Southern Africa. To "conduct" literarily means "bring together" or "channel". It is not about waving your arms and shouting directions to get what you want. It is about listening intently and hearing a more beautiful sound than you've ever heard before. Despite the fact it is not there. Because of the fact it is not there. In order to manifest it.
In work as well as in life I attempt to listen to and bring together the seeming contradictions; the north and the south, the spiritual and the physical, culture and nature, male and female, family and work... Trying to hear the harmony. And see the oneness. In order to live in its manifested truth!
is a conductor, composer, poet, walker and an Oscars-nominated script-writer.
He is a native of Sweden but also a citizen of South-Africa. The embrace of these two geographical poles creates a lot of the inspiration and thrill in his music and writings. Most of his music, over 300 choral compositions and arrangements, is published by his own publishing company Peace of Music Publishing.
His work with film includes co-scripting the international hitmovie “As it is in heaven”, about a choir and its conductor. His work as a conductor, musician and lecturer has seen him travel to over 30 countries on 6 continents - but now he is also touring step by step on foot in the project “The Path”. It started in Trondheim, Norway summer of 2012, and has now taken him all the way to Central Germany, where he shares his songs as he walks his talks during some weeks each summer.
Anders studied choral conducting at the Royal Music Academy of Stockholm for Eric Ericson among others and composition privately for Bengt Hallberg, but confesses that his greatest musical teachers and inspiration come from local folk musicians from his two musical poles; his native Malung in Dalarna, Sweden and his adopted home country South Africa. He is a proud citizen of both, acting as a cultural bridge between the North and the South has become a life vocation.
As a founding member of the vocal group Fjedur Anders toured South Africa in 1978, a tour that shaped a lot of his consecutive work. In 1980 he returned to work a year as a volunteer within the Lutheran Church with music and youth in the township of Gugulethu, and Athlone in Cape Town. Back home in Sweden the work with Fjedur continued. Alongside exploring the fusion between Swedish traditional music, choral music and jazz, in concert and on vinyl together with some of the jazz greats of Sweden like Arne Domnérus, Georg Riedel and Bengt Hallberg, he arranged and produced booklets and albums with South African songs of Protest and Praise.
Through the international tours of Fjedur and his own extensive workshopping the songbooks, especially “Freedom is coming”, spread rapidly. Today the music has not only become an integral part of Swedish choral life but has spread globally and been translated into a number of languages as well. Later on Anders' attention focused on the music of Latin America through several tours to Cuba and Central America by himself and with his group Gondwana. His Swedish folk mass "Himmelen Inom” - "Heaven within", inspired by the “misa popular” of Latin America, but with words and music by Anders has won a place among the Swedish choral standards.
As a musician and educator Anders has given inspired concerts, seminars and workshops all over the world. In Sweden he has been a recurring guest-lecturer at the Music Conservatories of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Piteå and the University of Växjö, as well as at innumerable other educational institutions, choral festivals and local choirs. He has also given lectures at the theological faculty of Uppsala University. Anders also served as the first director of a unique world music education at the Stiernhööks gymnasium, Rättvik, Sweden.
In 1993 Anders conceived and initiated "Sång i Dalgång" a 24-day "song-walk" through the province of Dalarna, with an ad hoc choir and daily concerts. The model has later been introduced as "Sång & Gång" to other parts of Sweden. 2012 saw the birth of "The Path", a five month walk from Trondheim, Norway to Copenhagen, Denmark lined with 25 concerts and 3 seminars on the themes of Environment, Integration and Existence. Anders is chairman of the organization arranging the walk and walked most of the way himself, over 1000 km. The Path has since wound its way through Denmark and is now walking on German soil, following the river Elbe upstream.
In South Africa Anders, together with his wife singer-songwriter and cultural activist Jennifer Ferguson, developed the “Peace of Music Centre”, a cultural hotspot and meeting place in their home in central Johannesburg. It hosted concerts and workshops and acted as a vantage point for local cultural activism. The work with children was a priority, resulting in among other things the production of “Seeds of Peace”, a CD featuring some of South Africa’s most prominent artists, like Johnny Clegg, Vusi Mahlasela and Gloria Bosman together with street children.
Anders Nyberg has also worked successfully with film. In 2005 the movie "As it is in heaven", co-scripted by Anders, was nominated for an Oscar in the category best foreign movie. The film, about a choir and its conductor, became the most viewed Swedish movie ever as well as receiving great international acclaim. The sequel, "Heaven on Earth", with Anders seminal in its inception, had its premiere in September 2015.
If you want to know more about the background of Anders and Fjedurs exciting South African story, here are two academic papers; one is in Swedish, one in English, one is from a faculty of history, one from a faculty of music, one written by a Finnish Swede and one by a Russian South African. But they both tell the story, from different perspectives and with different emphasis, of Fjedurs encounter with the South African songs and their further spread in the world. Amandla!