Besides assisting me in the survey of Swedish Sãckpipas, Zexuan had quite a few interesting french bagpipes waiting for him in this collection. These items could help him shed light on his own doctoral research on the border pipes of England and Scotland.
The “Scenkonstmuseet” has an impressive musical instrument collection that ranges from folk music objects to electronic instruments such as synthesizers. Quite remarkable.
These big facilities are on the outskirts of Stockholm. It is worth staying for the whole working day, and really taking advantage of all the instruments one can analyse. It took us two full days, but we came out of the experience with a wealth of data and wanting to go back for more.
A special thanks to Malin Karlsson, (Curator at the Swedish Museum of Performing Arts) for her amazing patience, hospitality and willingness to help scientific research.
We do forget that the people working at museums have to care for millions of items. They do so, in the hopes that these objects may one day be useful to society, artists, research, and historian. When researchers like us show interest in the objects, that is an indication that their effort was worth it.
The next day we flew from Stockholm to our respective homes, in Belfast and Helsinki. We were tired but also with a renewed hope in culture, institutions, societies, and humanity, across European countries.
We are all in “this” together… and that is just how it is supposed to be!
Also a word of appreciation for fellow Swedish pipers and researchers David Åsbrink, Jonas Åkerlund and Anders Norudde for their invaluable advice and information in preparing this fieldwork visit to Sweden.