Uno Helmersson: the Multi-Award-Winning Swedish Composer Credited to World-Renowned Film and TV Soundtracks – Including ‘The Bridge’ – Who Now Steps into the Spotlight with his Debut Album, ‘FIRST’
While you think you may not know the name, we reckon there’s a good chance you’ve been graced by the compositional prowess of Uno Helmersson, without even knowing it. The revered Swedish composer and multi-instrumentalist has penned scores for many international TV and film soundtracks including the worldwide hit series ‘The Bridge’ broadcast in more than 100 territories and for which he was awarded a Golden FIPA. Most recently, Helmersson scored Jonas Rasmussen’s animated film ‘FLEE’ which won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Prior to that, Helmerson scored the fantasy film ‘Nelly Rapp: Monster Agent’, as well as Benjamin Ree’s documentary films ‘Magnus’ and ‘The Painter and the Thief’.
Other major credits include Karen Stokkendal Poulsen’s ‘On the Inside of a Military Dictatorship’; James Jones and Olivier Sarbil’s ‘On The President’s Orders’; Janus Metz and Sine Plambech’s ‘Heartbound – A Different Kind of Love Story’; and the Emmy-winning documentary series ‘Armadillo’.
So, at this point you might be having that ‘ah-ha, I DO know Uno Helmersson’ moment – whether you are or not, we are proud to recommend his debut album, FIRST (released today on Sancho Panza Recordings), as a must-listen. And marking the occasion is the hauntingly beautiful ‘In Memoriam’. On the track Helmersson says, “‘In Memoriam’ is, to me, the sound of loss and sorrow, of a grief that is unbearable and, at the same time, strangely comforting in its true and clear sensation. It comes in waves. You fall, then you rise again.”
FIRST is an eleven-track collection with each composition inspired by a moment in Helmersson’s life or something specific: a book, a film, or simply a sound. While the album captured the hallmarks of his TV and film writing – such as atmospheric soundscapes, haunting melodies, diverse rhythms, and unusual instrumentations – this debut release also showcases Helmersson’s talent for writing music in its own right, outside of his successful TV and film career. He further explains his writing process on the album in this documentary short.
Helmersson composed, arranged, mixed, and produced FIRST at his own ABHL Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. He performs alongside a string ensemble on most of the tracks, playing a variety of instruments including pedal steel guitar, double bass, percussion, piano, organ, and harmonium. The composer actively searches for and delves into what hasn’t been done before, such as building and repurposing instruments. For this album, he demolished a piano, drilled holes into its frame, and placed other instruments inside it to create new sounds which contribute to the unique and distinctive work.
Speaking from his home in Stockholm, Helmersson says: “I am delighted to release my debut album which has sprung from different moments in my life. The music on this album is for reflection and comfort. I have my own ideas of what the album is about, but it is mainly up to the listener to enjoy and find their own meaning to it. Whether we are here for a purpose or not, I like to think my purpose is to listen, reflect and to give in the form of music.”
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