”A creature in captivity is often driven to pointless, repetitive behaviour.”

BREATHING is the first of composer Mikael Karlsson’s series of Talk Music pieces called “Traps”. The video made by Anna Österlund (Ravishing Mad) and Truls Bråhammar is Anna’s debut as a film photographer and director and it’s not trying to merely illustrate the piece, but instead goes for adding more information to the mystery. The text deals with misconceptions, isolation and irrational behavior as comfort.
The film shows two little girls seemingly at play in the forest, but as we linger with them we start noticing that they’re measuring time and behaving in irrational, robotic or animal ways. They’re on a very strict and hectic schedule somehow, and us watching them worries them.
An effective society sometimes forces people into apathetic behaviour in order to cope with everyday life and the sence of being trapped in a treadmill can be frightening. What do we do in situations when inexplicable routines traps us like animals, do we manically continue forward or do we protest?

Read more about the film:

Starring Ada Bråhammar and Olivia Holmgren
Photo: Anna Österlund, Edit: Anna Österlund and Truls Bråhammar
Music and words by Mikael Karlsson performed by Sirius Quartet Violins: Fung Chern Hwei, Gregor Huebner Viola: Ron Lawrence Cello: Jeremy Harman

Shot near Malmö, Sweden, with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and edited in Adobe Premiere CS4.
Copyright 2012 © Anna Österlund and Ravishing Mad Ek. För. All rights reserved.

Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson, based in New York, holds a masters degree in composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music and graduated Summa Cum Laude with departmental honors in June of 2005. He is deeply engaged in finding new ways to perform classical music and in 2003, he co-founded the film scoring collective Please MusicWorks LLC, which has grown to include more than 100 of New York’s best performers. Mikael composes both classical pieces and modern electronic music which has received numerous awards and his music has been performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Swedish Royal Opera to mention a few, and his music has also moved on to the video game Battlefield – Bad Company. Among collaborations, his work can be found together with the work of Lydia Lunch, Mariam Wallentin, Kleerup, Lykke Li, Benoit-Swan Pouffe, Alexander Ekman, and many more.


Fashion designer and photographer Anna Österlund holds a bachelors degree in Arts with a major in fashion design from the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås in June 2006. She runs the anti-fashion label Ravishing Mad from Malmö, Sweden, together with her husband Truls Bråhammar. Anna creates both ready to wear fashion and experimental collections, short films, music videos, art installations, photography and constant collaborations with dancers, musicians and artists in order to widen the definition of fashion, and to explore the sociological aspects of fashion that allows us to express our identity. Anna Österlund has been named “reinventor of denim” by the Italian fashion magazine Collezioni Sport and Street, for her draped silhouettes, hand painted denim structures and extremely high waists and her collections has been shown on the fashion weeks of New York, Paris, Berlin and more.

Born and bred in the downtown scene of New York City, Sirius Quartet has been blending the precision of classical music with the energy of a rock band for over a decade. The four conservatory-trained musicians are also highly skilled improvisers, whether playing acoustically or with electronic effects they push beyond the conventional sonic vocabulary associated with string instruments. From Lincoln Center and the Köln Triennale to the Knitting Factory and CBGB’s the Sirius makes itself at home in a wide range of venues and musical styles. For the last several years the Quartet has partnered with American Composers Orchestra and composer Randy Woolf to bring ACO’s Music Factory and Rhythm Factory education programs to the public schools of New York City.