He became a composer but he could equally well have applied himself to the creative art of cooking and become a chef and explorer of raw ingredients and spices. Sten Melin’s approach to composing a dish and to composing a score is basically the same, he closes in on it, he challenges it, he lets himself be taken by surprise and out of this encounter the unexpected is born. A piece by Sten Melin can be so quiet that the audience hardly dares to breathe, or “molto brutale sub. presto possibile”– very brutal and suddenly as fast as possible, as he writes in the musicians’ parts. Nor is he afraid of the bizarre: songs about fibres, for example, or a set of variations for saxophone quartet on the popular song “Upp på källarbacken” (“Källarback Variations”, 1993).