There’s a fantastic street musician in Stockholm. He plays the cimbalom, wears an old blue wool jacket and a stylish moustache à la Chaplin. I filmed him at Slussen, where he usually hangs out when not traveling the green metro line. And then made a song with this video clip serving as a musical backbone. For some time we had been looking for the guy, to check with him if he’d be all-right with being a part of the band. And to get his name on the record cover. But mr. Marlon, as we’ve named him in the absence of a real name, was nowhere to be found. With the deadline of the printing of our album cover slowly but inevitably approaching, I was loosing hope of getting an approval by the mysterious mr. Marlon. The only hard facts I had on him was that he spoke hungarian. And a little spanish. At least that’s what I thought he was trying to tell me at Slussen, when filming him a bit more than a year ago.
My friend Bence, who speaks hungarian and works just a few steps from where I first met Marlon, had promised to keep an eye open in case he’d show up again. Or act as an interpreter if we would run into him. But the weekend before printing the cover, there was still no Marlon.
One last go at it – I spammed Facebook asking all of Stockholm for help with finding the mystery man. Within a couple of hours the first signs of Marlon appeared. Ella Frenning had spotted him on the metro a couple of weeks earlier. And Christopher just saw him on the train heading the opposite direction at T-centralen. Spisa.org joins the quest on their blog. But no-one succeeds to get a close encounter with mr. Marlon.
Tuesday arrives, and in the printing workshop Sanna is about to develop the original she’s gonna use to print the cover, when I get a Facebook message from a Thomas Skoog. He just met Marlon on the metro, and managed to get his mobile number. So I get Bence on the phone, trying to work out a strategy on what to tell mr. cimbalom. While Bence brushes up on this hungarian skills, Sanna takes a break in the workshop. I anxiously await a call back from Bence, cursing myself for never dealing with things in time. What if Marlon hates swedish jazz musicians. Refuses to have any dealings with Hoob records. Pulls a law suite. Or casts an ancient spell on us. Things like that happen.
Bense calls back.
“Nils, I failed!” Marlon is rumainian, he has just told my hungarian friend in broken spanish. And that’s basically all the information Bence pulls out of this confused phone call. But – there’s a plan B! A colleague of Bence’s is half rumainian, and volunteers to make a second phone call. Another five minutes or so pass. This time I’m even more nervous. And Sanna’s patience is running low. We have to get to work – there’s 700 posters to print and time is flying.
Bence is on the phone again. Yes – communication has happened! Mr. Marlon has a name – Aurel Feraru. And doesn’t mind being one of many parents to our new-born record. As long as he get’s a copy or two. Thank you Thomas Skoog, Bence, and romainean colleague. And thank you Aurel Feraru!
A small step for mankind. But a giant leap for the conscience of Nils Berg Cinemascope.