- 19 Oct 17
Olaf Tyaransen speak with the legendary Swedish composer and ABBA co-founder BENNY ANDERSSON.
Thank you for the music. In May 2013, a dedicated ABBA Museum was opened in the heart of Stockholm to honour Sweden’s biggest-ever musical export. In amongst all the glitzy costumes, stage props, memorabilia and gold discs (the band sold a staggering 375 million singles and albums in their decade-long career), one of the exhibits on display is simply called ‘Benny’s Piano’. The instrument is connected electronically to ABBA co-founder Benny Andersson’s grand piano in his own RMV Studios on the island of Skeppsholmen, about a mile away. At any time of day or night, its ivories can, as if by magic, suddenly begin to tinkle.
“It’s where I’m sitting right now,” the 70-year-old musician explains down the line, speaking in a clipped Swedish accent. “I have a grand piano here in my studio, which is a Yamaha. It’s set up with electromagnetic stuff. So when I play here, I can transmit over the ‘net to the piano in the museum, which plays exactly what I play here in real-time.”
Benny’s piano must have been extra busy in recent times, as the legendary star recorded his latest album. Featuring 21 unaccompanied tracks from his lengthy and celebrated career, including reinterpreted songs from ABBA, his musicals and other solo compositions, Piano is soon to be released through iconic classical music label Deutsche Grammophon. In the album’s liner notes, Andersson writes, “I feel like I am playing my memoirs.”