When I was in my teens, my family and I lived in Nepal for five years. Growing up in a foreign country so different from my own has had a huge impact on my life.
In retrospect, maybe one of the most important things to happen there was my reintroduction to music. After a few years in a Norwegian marching band I had pretty much lost interest in playing music. Practicing was a chore and the spark was gone. This was about to change.
During the last three years of my time in Nepal I was introduced to a man named Mariano Abello. I started having saxophone lessons with him during the time he was in the process of starting up a music school in Kathmandu. This school came to be known as the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory (KJC). At KJC I got the opportunity to play with other young musicians and even do a few gigs around the Kathmandu valley. This brought new life to my interest in music and it was around this time that I decided that I wanted to become a musician. Of course, in hindsight, I realize that I didn’t really know what being a musician actually meant, but I had decided nonetheless.
Now, seven years after my return to Norway, I have finally gotten the opportunity to go back and visit. In a couple of weeks I will be travelling to Nepal (12th-30th Oct). During my time there I will be exploring how music can be used in relation to mental health issues. I will also be playing a few concerts in the Kathmandu valley and holding a master class at my old school, the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to revisit, and I hope and believe that my time there will be one of learning and growth, both as a musician and as a person.
Photo 1: The Himalayas | Photo 2: Me and Mariano at a concert in Kathmandu (2009) | Photos by Egil Hagen