Hållsta is a very small town in Sweden, 400 km below the Arctic Circle. In fact, it is only a road that leads to a small town called Hållsta Kvarn. Time has stood still in Hållsta. The few houses that stand there are all made of wood, of course in the traditional Scandinavian red color. But the most important thing that stands out is nature. It is all nature in Hållsta, where the bears, lynxes, wolves and foxes are still genuinely feared. Where there are traces of elk and deer everywhere, where the squirrels and birds occupy all the trees. Where in every stream or lake there are indications of beavers, martens and ermines.
The summers are beautiful so close to the sami border, because of the late spring the summer feels like fresh spring. The days are infinite, nights do not exist. Every facet of nature works at full speed in the short summer to take full advantage of the beautiful weather. Before you know it, it’s winter.
And the winters are unprecedentedly cold. From the end of October to the middle of April there is usually snow, sometimes a lot of snow. And that’s getting more and more, because it never goes away again. Everything that falls at the end of November only disappears in the spring. Everything that falls after November builds up the snow cover. Due to the low population density, large areas of the snow cover remain white and untouched, only the animals leave traces. The trees are full of snow, which makes the whole atmosphere very wintery.
A visual fairy tale, but with great dangers. A few hours without our western comfort in this cold is immediately deadly. Car trouble without a phone is life-threatening. A walk in the forest without a map and tools risky. A powerful contrast that fitted well with the ideas of the composer about surprising contradictions. That is why he gave this suite the name of that little village in the north of Sweden.