Lyrics Cecilia Damström
Publisher Music Finland
Category Vocal Music / Chamber Music / Orchestral Music
Year 2011-2013
Duration 10 min
Orchestration soprano and piano or sinfonietta
Availability Soprano and piano score at Music Finland

Five songs for soprano and orchestra or soprano and piano to texts by Cecilia Damström

I. Stanna (Stay)
II. Int’ ett ord (Not a word)
III. Kallare (Colder)
IV. Stigar (Paths)
V. Jag vill (I want to)


Program note

Dagbok is my first song cycle composed to five poems from my diary (hence Dagbok which means diary in Swedish). The poems are written 2009-2011 while the songs are composed 2011-2013 and the whole song cycle was premiered by my sister Jacintha Damström and my friend Maritta Manner on the 7th of May 2013 at Tampere Conservatoire.

In Western classical tradition lied is a term for setting poetry to art songs. Traditionally poems that have been composed into lieder often center on pastoral themes of romantic love. I find lied, through its short and partly on point texts often acts as a mirror to the society of its time. This can also be noticed in a few aspects in Dagbok; the first three songs are about feelings after someone has “ghosted” you, a familiar term in popular culture today (when the person you are seeing stops responding to you as suddenly as if they would have died). 

The third and especially the last song “Jag vill” can be seen as a strong embodiment of the emotion rage. Rage is an emotion that all though history has mainly been “prohibited” for women to show, or if shown, it has almost always been punished by society (through ridicule and questioning). Through gender studies this phenomena has been researched to a large extent and several books have been written about the topic; how men are allowed to show rage but not sorrow while women are allowed to show sorrow but not rage. (For example: “Rage becomes her: The Power of Women’s Anger” by Soraya Chemaly, 2018.) But as we all know: feelings don’t ask for permission, and all feelings are valid feelings. I think therefore that these two “angry” songs also work as a mirror for our society today, where it slowly begins to be accepted that also women can express such emotions as rage through text and music. Also in a even more broad sense it is a mirror of our time: love and life is being described from a hostorically neglected perspective, the female perspective.

Dagbok is due to its nature a very personal piece of music which has been followed by many more very personal pieces. In the beginning (and sometimes still) it felt terrifying sharing something so personal with a whole audience. But I believe sharing personal and authentic feelings is what can make us connect as humans, to either feel and understand someone else’s experience better or maybe even to recognise your own experience and feel someone one else has been able to set it to words (and music). I believe understanding oneself and each other is the key to more compassion and more compassion is the key for a better world.


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 Listen on SoundCloud (orchestra version)
Dagbok 2011 (soprano and orchestra, text: C.Damström) Op.21 (10 min)


7th of May 2013 World premiere by Jacintha Damström and Maritta Manner  (see recording above)

13th of May 2013 Helsinki premiere at Korvat Auki by Jacintha Damström and Maritta Manner

6th of April 2014 World premiere of orchestra version with Jacintha Damström – More info

14th of May 2014 My Rectial “Landet som icke är” with orchestra and Jacintha DamströmMore info

27th August 2016 at Kokonainen Festival performed by Jacintha Damström and Hanna-Mari Zinovjev

4th of June 2022 at Arabia Kaikuu Festival performed by Maija Rautasuo and Pinja UkkolaMore info

14th of June 2022 at Kuopio City Hall performed by Emma Hartikainen and Tanja NiiranenMore info

20th of June 2022 at Villa Hakasalmi performed by Emma Hartikainen and Tanja NiiranenMore info

2nd of July 2022 at Kallio-Kuninkala performed by Emma Hartikainen and Tanja NiiranenMore info