The remastering of Ted Gärdestad
One of Sweden’s most acclaimed recording artists

Background

We have had the pleasure of visualising the remastering of Ted Gärdestad, one of Sweden’s most acclaimed and beloved recording artists. Ted was a singer and musician who managed to capture hope, heartbreak and a love for nature in his melodic songs with lyrics written by his brother Kenneth. Highly relatable texts with topics that are as contemporary today as they were 30 or 40 years ago and near enough every Swede still have their own personal relationship to them. The music was recomposed and arranged by Peter Nordahl together with Norrköping’s symphony orchestra, an initiative together with Universal Music Sweden.

Details

Almost two years have passed since Peter Nordahl started working with Ted Gärdestad’s music. It is an interpretation, a remastering and a celebration of the late singer-songwriter. The search went deep down into old archives to find the right material for the project. Seemingly ancient eight-channel tape recorders and VHS players were tracked down in Germany and refurbished in order to use some of the old studio recordings. The master tapes were digitalized in Britain and to heat-treat tapes, a laboratory oven with air throughput had to be used. Since the vocals on the album are original recordings the entire symphony orchestra with its many musicians had to follow Ted Gärdestad’s voice, pace and tempo live while recording everything on 120 channels with 110 microphones. Ten new-old songs were chosen for the remastering together with a never previously released single – Alice.

Solution 

Stockholm Design Lab created a visual world around the remastering and the new album. Inspiration was drawn from the music and the lyrics. The result grew to have many layers. Symbolizing the music’s note sheets, movement and flow. It also represents the collaboration between the many parties involved in the project. The system is highly recognizable yet flexible where each song has its unique composition based on the notes. Black is used for singles and white for the album. In motion, the elements embody scenes drawn from the lyrics that flow with the music and follow its dynamics.

Results

It has been an honor to be able to work with, and interpret the music and the project. Our goal and ambition was to create something timeless and pure, worthy of the music and legacy that Ted left behind. The visual identity consists of vinyl and CD-covers, individual posters and visuals for each song, thousands of dots and an equal amount of lines and the studio’s born-again love for the music created by Ted.