Amanda Bergman has been coming to Gotland since she was a child. This little white island provides the backdrop to so many childhood memories – from gravel-scraped knees to a pounding teenage heart. Now, Gotland has inspired Amanda’s latest song, ‘Falcons’.
An island of inspiration
Gotland is limestone country. Gravel roads appear white in the bright sunshine, which shimmers
on the water’s surface as if it were dancing on the Mediterranean rather than the Baltic. Encased in stone, you can find the fossilised plants and animals that called Gotland home over 400 million years ago. Magnificent, mushroom-shaped sea stacks line the coast and reach for the sky. These natural towers, and the stunning cliffs that keep them company, form the unique silhouette of Gotland’s landscape – a landscape immortalised by none other than the late, great Ingmar Bergman.
Over the years, Gotland’s inspirational atmosphere, majestic light and powerful allure has attracted artists, authors, politicians and filmmakers in need of creative nourishment.
"I believe nature brings out
a desire to pause and reflect."
Amanda Bergman, Musician
“I know the fire’s slow/Lock and leave it, go/I had never been so hurtful before/Leaving love in a haze/Falcons circling for days” – Lyrics from ‘Falcons’ by Amanda Bergman.
Music as a mirror
"To Swedes, Gotland’s landscape is so different from that found on the mainland. But this is what draws people here. When you’re presented with a foreign landscape, you perceive things differently. It becomes easier to lose your preconceived notions of how things should be”, explains Amanda.
As well as inspiring musicians and filmmakers, Gotland has a strong connection to the world of literature. For many years writers have rented cottages here, which they use as both a source of inspiration and a place of solitude. To write a novel or compose a poem isn’t just about setting
words on a page. It’s about the art of listening and observing the world around you, while having the patience and emotional tools at your disposal to realise your vision. For Amanda, Gotland provides all of these things and she uses songwriting as a way of discovering more about herself.
"Music becomes my own personal therapist in a way. When a song is finished, I find myself in a completely different place to where I was when I started writing it. My music allows me to examine a different part of myself. This is why I find songwriting so rewarding. It can take you from one place to another – both physically and mentally."
Learning the secret language of scent
Sometimes, all you have to do to travel somewhere new is close your eyes and surrender to your sense of smell. To find out how different aromas can help lift ourselves out of the everyday we talked to Swedish perfume brand, Agonist.
The connection between Chicago and Sweden runs deep. Like a brother and sister who have chosen different roads to follow but whose shared past forms an unbreakable bond. Follow us as we explore the Swedish side of the Windy City from the passenger seat of an XC90.
Living with the XC90
A part of the everyday