I stayed at Bluesberry Woods in September 2019 for two weeks as an artist residency project. I’m WAKA, a Jazz singer from Tokyo, based in the Netherlands for 4.5 years and now based in Belgium. I was fortunate that I got to know about Bluesberry Woods through my school alumni facebook group, I immediately could imagine myself staying there for a while to work on my first album material.

What did I do?

I arrived with one backpack and one keyboard, when I entered the sculpture house, I immediately found the table perfect for writing music. I placed my keyboard on one side, and my laptop and music sheets on the other. The welcoming drink and the flower by the window, and this great view of nature outside the window was very inspiring for me. I spent most of the time inside the house, although it feels like you are almost living outside, playing keyboard and singing, composing and arranging songs. Those rainy days were perfect days for me to focus, a day passed by slowly, yet productively. I enjoyed making fire every evening as well, looking into real fire calmed me down very much, maybe I never appreciated fire so much before. Some days going for a walk in the woods, picking mushrooms and berries were so much fun, and eating them was even more special. Visiting the big lake on the my last day was very memorable, the vastness and the calmness of the water cleaned out my mind and my body.

How was my stay?

It was magical. I remember having the most vivid dream I’ve ever had in my life on the first night I slept in the Sculptured House, it was such a rare experience, and the vividness of the images in my dream was sharper than ever. When I told that to my hosts, they said it seemed to occur to many people who previously stayed there as well. Living in the nature, with the nature, was the best gift I could get during my stay, it of course helped me concentrate on writing, and gave me the calmness and the inspiration at the same time. It also made me think about how I normally lived back home, I realize that I can actually live without so much, the simplest basics were enough for me to spend my days happily. Last but not least, I enjoyed the company in the evening spending some time eating or chatting together with the hosts. I had some nice conversations and nightly discussions, they were very helpful for me to have a nice stay at the sculpture house.

Why Bluesberry Woods?

There’s something magical about the Swedish woods, and so as Bluesberry Woods. Something magical happened to me while I was staying there, which I cannot really explain. Infinite ideas and thoughts just came to me while I was writing music and lyrics, the ease and the flow of it was like never before. It has been hard for me to find a place I can focus for long time without getting interrupted, and this was exactly what I was looking for, the reason why I was searching for an artist residency place. I first thought two weeks would be just long enough, but it actually went pretty fast, it felt like just one week for me. It could have stayed a little longer.. next time! I recommend anyone who wants to work in a calm and inspiring place far from disturbance and confusion, to have at least two weeks stay at Bluesberry Woods (the Sculptured House)!

WAKA – instagram @waka.sound / facebook @wakasound