Hagia Sophia embracing my soprano saxophone

Before my concerts in Istanbul with Akbank Chamber Orchestra I was given the rare opportunity to play in the breathtakingly magnificent Hagia Sophia.

Consecrated in 537, this architectural masterpiece was the most distinguished church of Christianity for almost a thousand years. In 1453 it was  converted to be the Great Mosque of Istanbul and served as the citys main site of Islamic worship until 1935 when it became a museum and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Seeing Christian and Islamic symbols side by side I find very beautiful and awesome. It highlights the possibility of peaceful coexistance between people of all faiths.

And the acoustics….!

The warmth of the magical acoustic of Hagia Sofia embracing my soprano saxophone triggers a spiritual feeling.

12 seconds of loving memories of what I just played comes back and rests magically suspended in space.

To top it off Maestro Cem Mansur and Concertmaster Hakan Sensoy and I were invited to ride the rickety elevator inside the renovation scaffolding to the very ceiling of the dome 55 meters above the floor to say our prayers.

Wondrous how music connects people and places from all over the world.

Passionate musicians, enthusiastic audiences, men showing feelings of brotherhood by walking arm-in-arm, excellent turkish food, fresh pomegranate juice, sunshine and warmth, the Topkapi Palace Harem and lots of cats made this a journey that touched my soul.

Love,

Anders

Interfaith Climate Summit; SVT December 7 at 10 am

Last Friday, I had the great joy and honor of playing during the signing ceremony of the

2008 Interfaith Climate Manifesto in the Uppsala Cathedral.

The ceremony will be broadcast on Swedish Television on Sunday December 7 at 10 am

and available for viewing at www.svt.se for 30 days.

(also broadcast reprise monday December 8 at 15.50)

Anders Paulsson

www.anderspaulsson.se

For more info about the Climate Summit:

www.svenskakyrkan.se/default.aspx?di=173302

The Uppsala Interfaith Climate Manifesto 2008 * Faith traditions addressing Global Warming

As religious leaders and teachers from the whole world, gathered in Uppsala 2008, we call for effective leadership and action in view of the global threat to the climate. From religious traditions, with different approaches to religious life, we come together at this time in human history to assure the world of what we have in common. We all share the responsibility of being conscious caretakers of our home, planet Earth.  We have reflected on the concerns of scientists and political leaders regarding the alarming climate crisis.  We share their concerns.
The world religions are a source of empowerment for change in lifestyles and patterns of consumption. Religious faith remains a powerful force for good among a considerable number of the human family. We undertake this mission in a spirit of responsibility and faith.
From wonder to change
With a sense of wonder we look at life on planet Earth. It is a miracle and a gift!
Clear nights with the sky full of stars fill us with awe. It reminds us of our role in the universe. We have many reasons to be humble. Meditating on the sea shore, in the desert or in the forest allows us to feel one with the universe, yet we are so small. Faith traditions with diverse cultures and backgrounds converge to express wonder and awe at the gift of life.
In the history of the Earth, the climate has always varied. However, we are very concerned about the huge human impact on the Earth’s very complex and sensitive climate system. Today humanity constitutes a major force which changes the preconditions of life and welfare for most creatures on the planet. We know enough to realize that we need to act now in the interest of future generations. The situation is critical. Glaziers and the permafrost are melting. Devastating drought and flooding strike people and ecosystems, especially in the South.
Can planet Earth be healed? We are convinced that the answer is yes. Major transformations in understanding human life, lifestyles and work modes, economy, trade and technology are needed. Ethics and values are intrinsic to the development of new institutional structures and architectures of politics and finance. In the religious realm long-sightedness has always been important. More than ever before the world now needs extraordinary, long-sighted political leadership.
Our appeals to the copenhagen process.
For the Earth, salvation is about more than new technology and green economy. Salvation is about the inner life of human beings. Life without hope is detrimental to human existence. The peoples of this beautiful precious planet need to dialogue about what it means to live together, with global empathy in a global village. Religions can contribute to this in a decisive way.
As people from world religions, we urge governments and international organisations to prepare and agree upon a comprehensive climate strategy for the Copenhagen Agreement. This strategy must be ambitious enough to keep climate change below 2° Celsius, and to distribute the burden in an equitable way in accordance with the principles of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities. Greenhouse Development Rights offers one concrete model of such burden sharing. We urge all actors concerned to find politically acceptable tools to realize this.
The Copenhagen Agreement must counteract misuse of land, of forests, and of farmland, using creative incentives for landowners, users and indigenous communities to manage growing forests as carbon sinks.
We ask the global political leadership for:
• Rapid and large emission cuts in the rich world. Developed countries, especially those in Europe and North America, must lead the way. In the developed countries emissions should be reduced by at least 40 per cent by 2020 and 90 per cent by 2050 against 1990 levels.
• Binding cuts for the rich world on top of their domestic obligations. According to the principles of responsibility and capability countries should pay for international cuts in addition to their own domestic initiatives. These payments should be obligatory, rather than voluntary.
• Measurable, verifiable and reportable mitigation actions by developing countries, especially countries with fast growing economies.
• Massive transfers and sharing of important technology. All countries must encourage and facilitate the sharing of technology that is intrinsically important to reducing emissions. Developing countries must have viable and technologically responsible opportunities to provide for their populations.
• Economic incentives for developing countries to foster cleaner development on a national scale.
• Adaptation to climate change. According to the same principles of responsibility and capability, countries must ensure that poor and vulnerable communities are empowered and supported. Adaptation to climate change must not fail for want of money or other resources.
Humility, responsibility – and hope!
We urge political and religious leaders to bear responsibility for the future of our planet and the living conditions and habitat preservation of new generations, assured in this of support and cooperation from the faith traditions of the world. The climate crisis is a fundamental spiritual question for the survival of humanity on planet Earth. At the same time, we know that the world has never before been more capable of creating sustainable development. Humanity possesses the knowledge and technology. Popular commitment to doing what can and must be done is growing.
We are challenged to review the values, philosophies, beliefs and moral concepts which have shaped and driven our behaviours and informed our dysfunctional relationship with our natural environment.
We commit ourselves to taking and sharing responsibility for providing moral leadership within our various faith traditions and for others who so desire. We call upon all who have influence over the shaping of both intellect and spirit, to commit themselves to a profound reorientation of humanity’s self-understanding and of the world, whereby we acknowledge our estrangement and henceforth strive to live in harmony with Nature and one another.
We offer the gift of our various faiths as a source of empowerment for developing sustainable) lifestyles and patterns of consumption. We undertake this mission in a spirit of humility, responsibility, faith and urgency.
Now is the time to mobilise people and nations.
As people of different faiths, we make these commitments:
• To inform and inspire people in our own religious and cultural contexts to take responsibility for and to implement effective measures
• To challenge political and business leaders where we live and work to develop comprehensive strategies and action
• To focus on the struggle against global warming and draw upon our innermost religious convictions about the meaning of life. This commitment is a deeply spiritual question concerning justice, peace and hopes for a future in love and solidarity with all human beings and the whole of creation.
As religious leaders and teachers, we want to counteract a culture of fear with a culture of hope. We want to face the climate challenge with defiant optimism to highlight the core principles of all major sacred traditions of the world: justice, solidarity and compassion. We want to encourage the best science and political leadership. We commit our communities to fostering a spirit of joy and hope in relation to the greatest gift given to us all – the gift of life!
1. Ms Charanjit AjitSingh
Sikh, Great Britain
2. Father Dr John T. Brinkman, M.M.
Christian, Japan
3. The Revd Dr John Chryssavgis
Christian, USA
4. Prof. Larbi Djeradi
Muslim, Algeria
5. Dr Xiaoxin He
Daoist, China
6. The Very Revd Leonid Kishkovsky
Christian, USA
7. Prof. J. N. K. Mugambi
Christian, Kenya
8. Prof. Rosemary Radford Ruether
Christian, USA
9. The Rt Revd Thomas Samuel
Christian, India
10. The Ven. Bhikku Khy Sovanratana
Buddhist, Cambodia
11. Prof. Parichart Suwanbubbha
Buddhist, Thailand
12. The Revd Sally Bingham
Christian, USA
13. The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres
Christian, Great Britain
14. Dr Mawil Izzie Dien
Muslim, Great Britain
15. Sheikha Amina al-Jerrahi
Muslim, Mexico
16. The Revd Tore Johnsen
Saami/Christian, Norway
17. Ms Bernie T. Keldermans
Christian, Republic of Palau
18. Prof. Oren R. Lyons
Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation, Six Nations
19. The Rt Revd Sofie Petersen
Christian, Greenland
20. Mr M. Abdus Sabur
Muslim, Thailand
21. Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp
Jewish, The Netherlands
22. Prof. Hava Tirosh-Samuelson
Jewish, USA
23. The Ven. Bhiksuni Chuehman Shih
Buddhist, Taiwan
24. Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Jewish, USA
25. Prof. Xiaogan Liu
Daoist, Hong Kong
26. The Most Revd Anders Wejryd
Christian, Sweden

Standing ovations on US tour & hope for our future.

My concerts with Andrew Canning in Miami and Texas received standing ovations from cheering crowds, as did my performance in Dallas at the 8th Annual Festival of Hymns & Spirituals.

Many listeners were moved to tears by the music saying it was the most powerful concert experience in their life.

This is a special time in America after the heartwarming election of Barack Obama as the next US President. I have read his books Audacity of Hope and Dreams from my Father and have listened to many of his speeches and have been moved by the power of his vision and compassion for all beings.

To share his vision as citizens of the world is a truly uplifting experience and gives hope to all of us.

Love,

Anders

ELIASSON soprano saxophone concerto; Swedish Radio P2, October 4th, 3pm

My first performance of Anders ELIASSONs beautiful concerto for soprano saxophone & string orchestra will be broadcast this Saturday october 4th at 3pm on Swedish Radio P2. www.sr.se/p2/

The NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Mei-Ann Chen and the composer was present and in good spirits.

I hope You will appreciate this Music. I spent two years working on it daily and still enjoy hearing it!

Anders Paulsson

Welcome to the new site!

Hello dear site visitor and thank you for coming by my site.

Well, here it is, the new site.  Please do leave me comments about what you think.  I am quite thrilled by the possibility of having fresh and updated content looking so good thanks to Manex Ibar www.manexibar.com.  I will post new blogs here in the news section, where I will personally share my thoughts and experiences, giving you a backstage pass to what a soprano saxophonist’s life is like.  I’ll share my passions and meetings with great personalities and my opinions on matters of the heart.

I hope you will enjoy the site and find what you are looking for.

Love,

Anders

Knowledge is the beginning!

Today was a great healing experience with Daniel Barenboim & the Western Eastern Divan Orchestra.
It started by viewing a very inspiring, courageous film about the creation of the orchestra and their concert in Ramallah in spite of hate-infected conflict and generations of mistrust. ..knowledge is the beginning
http://www.knowledge-is-the-beginning.com/Story.html

This was followed by a panel discussion with Daniel Barenboim, the wife of the late Edward Said, the concert master of the Berlin Philharmonic and musicians from Palestine, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Iran & Egypt.
I was impressed by the highly intelligent, cut the crap & philosophical views expressed especially from Daniel.
“The need to create a mental space beyond prejudice, politics and military”
“The impossible is easier than the difficult”
“The SELF ESTEEM these young musicians nourished from the process
of meeting the “enemy” and realizing their unifying humanity” etc
My quotes may not be exact word by word, but I was deeply moved.

Having time to spare before the evening concert I decided to continue the Middle Eastern mood by seeing the excellent movie
Lemon Tree:

http://www.israelnewsagency.com/thelemontreemovieisraelpalestinerikliswallterrorismhamasjihadfilmawards489988032808.html

The concert was also a powerful experience and the Young musicians played beautifully.

Since I was I child and my parents divorced, the theme of my life has been building bridges.
I therefore treasure friends like You!

Love,

Anders