Well, I think it is possible. If you hear a song in a foreign language, you may get a different yet meaningful experience, even if you do not really understand the language. I have chosen to re-release three albums with their original lyrics because I believe there is a universal understanding of sounds — the musical significance in every vocal colour, in every syllable that fills a melody, released from the constrictions of nationality.
I define any text I produce as I define the music in what I create. Lyrics are transnational; they travel easily, freed from the conventions of geographical and political borders. Basically, you can decipher meaning from anything you hear. To me, lyrics are often a part of the overall mood and sound picture of a melody, rather than something that speaks for a specific nationality or belongs to a defined geographical area through the language used. The actual words and the semantics of the text narrow the songs down, while I think of the lyrics as opening the songs out.
Through the years I have released several albums, with different genres of music: orchestral music, chamber music, electroacoustic works, songs and surreal poems. But if anyone were to ask me which genre or album I rate the highest, I would not be able to choose. I cannot rank the FJB albums; it would be like ranking a mountain versus a valley. Genres are just human-made niches to help define artistic expressions of music in order to perhaps make it easier to relate to what you hear. Putting music into a niche creates some sort of order and stability.
The FJB albums are often conceptual. A story is told whether I sing and play the guitar or an orchestra performs a concerto. I wish to discard any pre-existing notion of what to expect from a release. It is just as important for me to publish a song as to publish a flute concerto or a symphony. The songs, the humour and the symphonic poems go hand in hand. Laughter, mystery and surrealism are equally significant. These elements combined create a "third eye" in what I make, and they are all a part of The FJB Fingerprint.
What about me personally as composer and artist? Am I as transnational as the expressions of art? To be honest, I feel naturally freed from the nationality concept. I belong nowhere and everywhere (well, perhaps even outside the world), just as the melodies and lyrics I have written do. I cannot feel pledged to a specific country if the country is teeming with bigotry, moralism and backward-thinking people. I have to be honest with myself, and therefore I have in many ways become exiled.
Basically, my whole production is a proclamation for personal freedom, hence a statement against bigotry. What I do, I do intuitively: I breathe in impressions and breathe out expressions. I have absolutely no political or religious affiliations.
There is one thought I cannot escape: the possibility that in the moment we are born, we fall into a situation in which we are stuck, since death seems to be so inextricably connected to birth. Perhaps human beings gradually register this subconsciously, and a common way to endure the invisible restraint of death approaching is to spin life-lies: to pretend for the sake of one's own happiness, or simply to maintain the will to persist. Many FJB lyrics provide thoughts around this.
Self-deception can take many shapes, and they are often coloured by moralism, politics, religion and the determination to impose one's own convictions and "truths" on others. Even though this might be seen to be both egocentric and cruel, the brain is perhaps programmed to keep one alive, and the accrued convictions feed the life-lies. Consequently, these deceptions gain a foothold as accepted conventions for a majority of people. It seems like death is the only way out of this lifelong confinement, and human beings find it comfortable to follow these conventions — life-lies as I call them — as death draws nearer. Meanwhile, the charade is unfolding, and human beings keep deluding themselves.
It is difficult for me to intellectually rationalize about this, being myself a part of the travesty, and being constantly reminded of, and confronted with, life-lies. Furthermore, it is beyond my comprehension how human beings can let intolerance and "moral hysteria" lead the way, and by so doing effectively undermine real personal autonomy and balanced thinking.
Still, I have moments of seeing pure innocence, and I occasionally experience inexplicable euphoria, and this is what makes it credible for me to justify making art, and staying alive. My sensory system is wide open, I constantly stare into the sun, but cannot close my eyes even if I wished. I am reminded of this every day, and it is a constant fight, because I feel alienated in society, and I find it hard to lie to myself.
If our existence is a tunnel starting with our delivery into a life of being stuck then maybe, at the end of the tunnel, there is an opening, a relief from confinement. There is a 50-50 chance of this, as I see it. We just have to wait and see.
For now, I am in the middle of this tunnel, communicating a universal language that may conceivably be understood by those of us who dare to lift our gaze.