A day in the life of a musician in the Alps
The young Swedish musician, Sofia Landgren, is well known in the Alps for her incredible live performances. Having lived in Val d’Isère for ten years, Sofia has graced the stage of almost every venue across the Alps and a lot of the private chalets too. Growing up in a musical family, Sofia drew inspiration from her pianist grandmother, and her mother who played both piano and guitar. After seeing a girl with a violin, Sofia was drawn to the instrument and quickly fell in love with music in all its forms. Having always loved the mountains, she finally moved to the Alps in 2009 for a winter season and was immediately drawn to the people, the food and the atmosphere. She knew then that she had found her new home. Sofia remembers one of her favourite days from last winter…
I remember starting the day early this one sunny winter’s day. I hit the slopes first thing and met up with friends to go splitboarding – it is like a snowboard that you can separate into two skis to ski up the mountain first, it is a lot of fun! While taking in the breath-taking views of the Alps, I kept an eye on my watch as I had a lunchtime gig across in Manchet valley and couldn’t miss it. Up on top of a mountain, and only able to access the venue by hiking off-piste, I soon realised that I was going to be late if I didn’t come up with a plan, and quickly. Rushing as fast as I could, I arranged for a friend to come and meet me with his quadbike. I hopped on the back with all my sound equipment and off we went.
I arrived at my lunchtime performance with plenty of time to spare and set up in the little restaurant. It is hidden away inside a yurt on the mountainside and is run by a mother and son team who open just for lunchtime. It was a fantastic gig and it is always nice to perform live in such a unique setting. After finishing, I made my way home for a power nap before my evening of performances really got going. I often finish working late into the night and if I want to catch the first run of the following day, an afternoon nap is vital!
My first performance of the evening was inside Consensio’s Chalet Lhotse. I love my chalet gigs with Consensio because the guests haven’t asked or paid for it; it is a surprise gift from the chalet team. As such, I sometimes worry that I’m intruding, so I’m always very courteous and shake everyone’s hands when I arrive – even the kids – and explain that I’ll be playing for them, and they’re welcome to play for me too. I love including the guests in my performances and creating an event we all enjoy together. Every gig inside Consensio’s chalets is completely different and I enjoy adapting my performances to the guests.
Sometimes the chalet staff pull down a big screen to display the lyrics to popular songs and I’ll play the chords on my ukulele while the family sing along, Other times I play background music while the guests enjoy canapés by the fire. I will sometimes even play a game of musical statues with the children while playing guitar. I like these Consensio gigs because I never know what I’ll get. Maybe they’ve had a long day and want to chill – and I’m happy to sit on the sofa with them and play ambient unplugged music on my ukulele. The next time we could all be dancing together as I play club tunes on my electric violin while they sing louder than me!
This one evening in particular I could tell the whole family was musical. They convinced their teenage daughter to play for me, she was hesitant but made her way to the piano. She started playing the most incredible self-composed piece. It was so beautiful I immediately started crying. It was such a special moment with everyone sat around the piano, listening to her singing from her soul. After she finished, I didn’t know where to begin. I was so floored that she dared to share with a stranger something she hadn’t even shared with some of her family. I looked around and noticed that all the chalet staff were also crying with us. I’ve since been in contact with her online to help encourage her in her musical journey; still to this day I cannot believe that she is not famous all over the world. This is why I make sure these gigs are so open, because if I’d just knuckled down and played my set, no one would have had the privilege of hearing her.
After finishing my performance at the chalet, I made my way to the piano bar at the Hotel La Savoyarde. They have an amp onsite already, so thankfully I only needed to take my instruments and pedals. There, I performed a solid two-hour set while people were eating their dinner. Often, I am booked to play on my own, but occasionally, like tonight, they also hire my friend, Clémence Avril, an accomplished pianist. We spent the evening playing duets, with her on the piano while I sung harmonies or played the violin. It is rare to play with another musician, so we both loved the opportunity to jam together on stage.
After being treated to a delicious meal at the hotel, I made my way to my final performance of the evening. I play at Dick’s Tea Bar nightclub twice a week. People wonder how I have the energy to go on after such a jam-packed day, but I love it. I played from midnight until 2am alongside their easy-going DJs and amazing saxophonists. We are trusted to have fun and do our thing on stage, and the staff really respect the musicians and support each other. It is the perfect way to end a perfect day.
Late that night, once I had finished at the club, I just wanted to get straight home to bed! It takes a while to wind down after an evening filled with so much fun and adrenaline, but I try to go to bed as soon as I get home. I love my sleep, so will lie in unless it’s due to be another bluebird the next day: then the mountains call…
You can find out more about Sofia Landgren by visiting her Instagram page. If you’d like to book Sofia or any other kind of bespoke entertainment while on your Consensio skiing holiday, get in touch with your guest relation manager to arrange. To see all Consensio’s catered chalets click here, and to see all Consensio’s self-catered apartments click here.