Fika (pron. ‘fee-ka’) is an exploration of my Swedish heritage and the links group members have with Scandinavian. It is the recording I always wanted to do but only felt able to achieve at this point in my life.
Elysian Fields is one of the world’s few electric viola da gamba groups/ensembles. Scandinavian repertoire started creeping into Elysian Fields’ set list quite early. This was partly due to the fact that our singer/violinist Susie Bishop has links to Sweden via her partner and visits often. She also sings in Swedish and plays the violin beautifully – the fiddle being the backbone of much Scandinavian folk music. Other group members also have Swedish heritage or experience including our bass player, Siebe Pogson. We continued to add to this repertoire and in January 2020 we hit the studio. We did not know it then, but the world was already under the grim shadow of Covid-19.
As our gigs started to get cancelled and cashflow dried up, we made decision to dig deep and finish the project. There is a reason for this. Fika is often translated in English as a coffee break. In reality, it means more than that. Fika is about making time for friends and family, to share a cup of coffee and a bite to eat. You can’t do fika alone although ironically, as I write this, many people are isolated or separated from those they love. Long before the current crisis we wanted to create a beautiful recording that would bring people together, as fika does. This music is our offering to the world.
released July 10, 2020
Susie Bishop – voice & violin
Matt Keegan – saxophones
Matt McMahon – piano
Jenny Eriksson – Ruby electric viola da gamba
Siebe Pogson – bass guitar
Dave Goodman – drums
Executive Producers — Philip Pogson & Jenny Eriksson
Producer — Matt Keegan
Recorded & mixed by — Richard Belkner
Mastered by Michael Lynch, Shoehorse Sound
Booklet design by Lyndall Gerlach
Artworks on cover and booklet by Nils Gunnar Zander