Continuing the series of spotlight articles about the most prominent composers of MusicaNeo community, we invite you to read about the Swedish composer, arranger and singer Anders Edenroth.
It would be difficult to speak about Mr. Edenroth without centering the story around the vocal ensemble The Real Group where he is the founder and an indispensable part. So a tangible part of this article is going to be dedicated to the creative work of this outstanding quintet. But first let’s focus on Mr. Edenroth and see how he started his music career.
Anders Edenroth, Swedish composer, arranger, tenor singer, music producer and founding member of The Real Group
Anders Edenroth was born in Stockholm, Sweden. Two things designated his musical way from the early childhood – playing piano and singing. Choir singing was Anders’ major during the 10 years of studies at Adolf Fredrik’s Music School. Later the studies in this field continued at The Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm where Anders spent another 5 years studying music. It is in the academy where he met the future members of The Real Group and it’s where he realized that music would now become his lifework:
“When I was a student at The Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm 1984-89 I met with other young and devoted musicians that inspired me to aim for a career in music. At this time, I also formed a five-part vocal ensemble The Real Group with some fellow students. This became my occupation and I still tour worldwide and write a major part of the scores for the group.”
The fellow-musicians, already members of the recently formed a cappella ensemble The Real Group, went all together for a special post-graduate course finishing it with flying colors. That’s when the real journey of the real group began.
About The Real Group
- A professional a cappella ensemble; the music played includes Pop and Jazz, with all of the scores either composed or arranged by the members of the group.
- Since 1984 when the group was formed, its members have toured over 40 countries with over 2000 concerts performed and 20 albums recorded. Sometimes the members changed but it has always remained a quintet.
- The Real Group sings in English and Swedish.
- Among the sources of inspiration, the group marks the special influence of Bobby McFerrin’s unique vocal techniques.
- In 2002, The Real Group performed at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony in Seoul.
By the way, the behind-the-scenes of the group can be watched at their YouTube channel ‘therealgroupdotse’, where the ensemble leads a vlog and posts videos from both concerts/festivals and rehearsals.
Anders Edenroth has written most of the scores for the group’s repertoire. He also was the producer of some of the albums they released. We asked Mr. Edenroth about the other side of the coin, the dark side of composing and the effort it takes to be one. Where does he find the strength and, most importantly, the inspiration for composing?
“Inspiration often comes by chance. It could be a book I’m reading, an interesting conversation with a friend, a strong emotional experience of any kind. When I get these ideas I quickly write them down with a short description of how it came to me. I later use this creative scrapbook when I sit down and compose.
The biggest challenge to me as a writer is the time it takes. I’m becoming more and more thorough every year. Especially my lyrics take many hours to finalize. But throughout my artistic life I have always found things to write about and I’m still curious to see what the next unwritten song will be about.”
Anders is a busy musician. Besides the favorite quintet, he works with other bands, orchestras and vocal groups as composer and arranger, trying to experiment with the new vocal rhythms and textures. He produced albums for other musicians and wrote music for TV, commercials and shows. A few times he was awarded grants from The Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs and STIM, Swedish Performing Rights Society.
Singing and composing aren’t the only activities, though. Anders Edenroth has also been an active keyboard player (Jazz and Pop), and his music workshops during the festivals and international tours are attended with much interest.
At the personal site of Anders Edenroth at MusicaNeo and in our sheet music catalogue you will find the original a cappella music scores written for The Real Group. Both choirs and vocal groups can get here a few interesting works to sing. The level of difficulty ranges from the easiest to advanced, therefore, every performer can pick something relevant. Some of the popular pieces include the group’s Jazz/Bossa classic “A Cappella In Acapulco” and the popular early-years song “Chili con Carne” that is now frequently picked by musicians for performing at various music competitions worldwide. Here you can also download the artist’s arrangements of popular music standards, like the 1st movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 (“Gee! Mine Or Mozart’s?”). “The World for Christmas” has become the group’s manifest of the concern for the environmental protection.
At the moment, Anders Edenroth lives in Stockholm and keeps performing as a full-time singer in the group. He also goes on composing music for his quintet.
“I will continue to write scores for The Real Group but I’m also expanding my work as a commission composer and arranger. Every ensemble has its own unique expression that I try to capture in my scores.”
According to the musician, were it not for music, he might have become an inventor. Problem-solving and cooking are among Anders’ other non-musical interests. By the way, cooking often reflects in his works: take the playful comic jazz piece “Pass Me The Jazz” piece, for example.
We wish Mr. Edenroth and The Real Group further creative success and new achievements on the vocal music arena!