Jennifer Erikkson submitted an essay to Sydney Arts Guide titled ‘On Sweden, Coffee breaks, Electric Viola Da Gambas and Musical Boundaries’. It is published here in full, unedited.
Although populated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders for at least 50,000 years, post 1788 Australia is a nation of immigrants. My family is no exception. Knut Axel Eriksson, our Swedish grandfather, was a working-class merchant seaman from Stockholm. He stepped off a ship in Melbourne in the 1920s where he met and married my cockney English grandmother. He never went back to Sweden.
My grandmother was a milliner (hat maker) by trade, and an amateur pianist in her spare time. She loved Chopin, English music hall songs and much more! My grandfather played the harmonica, perhaps learned during the long weeks at sea. Music was in my blood. Continue reading ON SWEDEN, COFFEE BREAKS, ELECTRIC VIOLA DA GAMBAS AND MUSICAL BOUNDARIES