Sep 25

A Steinway in Bergen

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Norway. While I had fantastic time, there’s nothing quite like a trip to another country to really make you consider communication in a whole new light.

Many Norwegians learn English in school, and I was able to communicate with nearly everyone, Cab drivers, baristas, gallery owners – all eager to practice their varying English-speaking skills. Still, you can’t help but feel a slight barrier. Conversations where relatively simple and involved a lot of pointing and even in the excitement of sightseeing and meeting new people, it was easy to feel conversation-weary at the end of the day.

One afternoon in Bergen we made our way to Edward Greig’s house, Troldhaugen. Arguably Norway’s most famous composer, Greig helped to shape the cultural and music scene of his day alongside contemporaries such a Hartmann and Tchaikovsky.

Troldhaugen is perched on top of a small fjord about 30 minutes outside the city center, with Grieg’s house looking down the slope to the water. Pockets of wildflowers and tall pine trees create an idyllic setting. A newer addition to the property includes a small concert hall that features a daily lunch time performance, our main reason for journeying to the house.

Floor to ceiling windows played background to the Steinway, framing the water’s edge and sundrenched fjords made for a postcard-perfect scene. As the soloist began her performance, I couldn’t help but wonder if Greig, who had originally written the piece for his wife as an anniversary present, could have anticipated that a room full of American, German, British and Norwegian visitors would be enjoying his masterpiece more than a century later. While many of us in the concert hall could not have conversed easily, we collectively stood and applauded at the end, buzzing with the infectious music we had just heard.

The universality of music is a beautiful thing – a medium that can convey joy, excitement, sadness or melancholy in a just a few chords is powerful. Good music has the power to transcend time and language.

As a communication professional, I was reminded that really good, effective communication, like music, leaves an impression. A tagline, speech or billboard can make a lasting impact – invoking emotion or spurring action.

In a culture saturated with communication, the mass of dry news articles and droning Facebook posts can leave us communication-weary at the end of the day. However, the good stuff that comes out of practice and honing the tools of the trade transcends the noise and can lead to a symphony-like experience of connection. The culmination of message and medium playing off each other make a lasting impression.

While a globally loved, language transcendent press release may not be the most realistic goal for every client, at Sabo PR we strive to make every piece of communication impactful. Each time a client drops us a note saying, “I love it!” that’s music to our ears.


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