Star Whores flashmob in Munich

On a sunshiney day, at the Bavaria Statue in Munich…
germany-munich-bavaria-statue-hall-of-fame
People begin to appear dressed up, and start to paint each other’s faces. A tall lady arrives with light sabres and a yoda face mask. Another arrives in a zebra print and dons a day of the dead stormtrooper mask.

Then this happened.
You can be part of this, too!

Dress to impress the force, and join us in Wood Green on the 1st of May at 5.30pm –

What would you wear to a Star Whores Party?

science not fiction (2)

Pandorasdiary is a boho folk collective with a passion for making life fun and adventurous for them and the people around them.
Their latest exploit is “Star Whores”, a song written for Star Wars day a few years ago when Pandora was invited to a Star Whores party – and couldn’t figure out what to wear.
This year, Pandorasdiary plans to release the track on 4th of May – Star Wars Day – but it wouldn’t be fun without some dressing up and putting on random catwalks and a chance for people to show what they would wear in the most mundane of settings.

Pandorasdiary invites everyone to have an opportunity in joining in with the fun!
SEND US a pic or video of yourself ready for the virtual star whores party tag it @pandorasdiary #starwhores on Instagram, twitter or Facebook

JOIN A FLASHMOB:

8th of April 3pm – Bavaria Statue, Theresienhoehe, Munich, Germany
22nd of April 12.00 March for Science (Meeting point TBC)
1st of May 5.30 Wood Green Station

No flashmob near you? MAKE YOUR OWN FLASHMOB!

Email pandorasdiary@gmail.com and we will send you the full track and be on hand if you have any questions. Tag pics and video @pandorasdiary #starwhores

What does the track sound like? Well, here’s a teaser 😊

More information – questions?
Website www.pandorasdiary.com
Email: pandorasdiary@gmail.com
Facebook www.facebook.com/pandorasdiary

Electrofolk vs. Folk at the Sawmill

Bye bye pub, hello living rooms

Pub venues where people don’t care about the music are a waste of time and money for everyone. That is one of the reasons living room gigs or house concerts have become so popular in the last few years. Audiences come specifically to listen to music in an intimate space. The musicians enjoy their performance. The music breaks the ice. As some of you know I am passionate about living room concerts, and regularly organise gigs at my and other people’s houses. A very important element is hosting the event, making sure the event is a whole – not just bands randomly placed in a room.

This last gig of the year is both a departure and continuation from the living room concert, and is my experiment for the coming year. I would like to recreate the special living room vibe in a more public venue, and possibly add to the excitement by choosing interesting, alternative venues. So the first of these events will be held in The Sawmill.

The Sawmill 

I found the venue on HireSpace, and chatted to one of the lovely three musketeers who run the place. It is currently a passion project with irregular pop-ups and future plans to open a cocktail bar. So I was really really excited to find out that they would be equally excited about an event in their space. It is all made of upcycled wood and features a lovely honky-tonk piano – I’m thinking this event might end in a jam ))

The Acts: Electrofolk vs Folk

Portrait 

LA-based classically trained pianist and singer-songwriter loops, experiments with sound to create electronic folk.

Matilda Eyre
Electronic beats meet powerful yet silky vocals –

Pandorasdiary

Juxtaposed to the electronic sounds, Pandorasdiary will be presenting their newest addition to their sultry world folk act – a mandolin. Plus, some new weirdness to get everyone involved, and Maya sings some gorgeous new backing vocals 🙂

If you are interested in getting tickets:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/electrofolk-vs-folk-at-the-sawmill-tickets-19725363092

Back in UK – upcoming gigs

4th of October: Talk and gig at IKON 2015IMG_4963
24th of October: Gig at secret warehouse party (pm me for invitations)
25th of October: Sunday afternoon tea and tunes, Archway, London (pm for invite)

5th – 10th of November: DE/CH mini tour with Maya! (More dates to be announced
6th of November: Offenburg with Anne Pe

Christmas gig in Munich (More soon!)

So… what did it say? Tribun Medan article –

Tribune 19th of April small

When I got a reply from Tribun Medan, agreeing to interview me about the “Game for Two” project, I thought they’d use it for a bit of background colour… Imagine my surprise when Anya, me, John Retno, and Pandi splashed across the front cover of the Sunday edition…

So in case you’re wondering… this is what it said…

English musician makes video about North Sumatra

“My name is Harahap”

Sarah Kate Michel replies promptly when asked what interests her about North Sumatra. “My clan name is Harahap…”

IMG_4020

Maman, a local cameraman, joined us during the shoot at Ganagi Studio, Medan

Of course, is not really named Harahap. She is from England, and when she makes this statement, she is sitting behind her desk in her house in London. Through FB messaging on Thursday evening (17/5), Sarah says that she used to live in Medan. Living with a Mandailing (ethnic group from Sumatra) family, her friends used to call her that. “It wasn’t an official thing, but I’m happy to say it”. writes Sarah. When asked if she can speak any North Sumatran languages, she says she doesn’t really speak it, but can understand a little when people speak Batak or Mandailing. Apart from her friendships with local people, she learnt the language through songs. “I like the songs: “Boru Panggoaran. Juga Sai Anju Ma Au and Lissoi. I learnt them and can sing and play them on guitar, “she writes in proper Indonesian. Sarah is a musician. She and a number of friends perform as Pandorasdiary.

Anya filming from motorbike

Anya filming from motorbike

Initially, we start the conversation in English. But after Sarah starts writing her answers in Indonesian and even in Batak, we stop using English. “So let’s just use Indonesian, Sarah?” writes the Tribune. “olo mattong,” (no problem) she answers in Batak. Of course. No problem. “Don’t worry, I’m at home in Medan too.” Born on 22 January 1979, she contacted Tribune with a message on tribun-medan.com’s fanpage, telling about her music project that she is currently working on. . “I’m hoping to share the project with radio stations in Indonesia. Especially in Medan and Jakarta. I have heard of Kompas Gramedia and Tribun cos i used to live in Medan,” she explains. In our chat, that took around three hours by facebook messenger, Sarah said that Indonesia, especially North Sumatra, has become her second home.

Shooting music video in Bukit

Shooting music video in Bukit

She first came to Indonesia in 1994, when she travelled to Java and Bali with her family for two months. She was impressed by the Indonesian people’s friendliness. However she regretted not being able to talk to them properly because she didn’t understand the language. “I met lots of local people and they were really kind to us, but I wished we could really talk not just small talk. And I knew that I wanted to learn the language and come back,” she remembers.

Two years later, she returned, this time backpacking. This time she came to Sumatra. Upon a friend’s recommendation, this pretty woman arrived in Bukit Lawang, a tourist village in the rainforest with a river in North Sumatra, and fell in love.Sarah decided to live in Bukit Lawang and learn Indonesian. Still unsatisfied, she deepened her Indonesia language abilities by studying in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and the University of Hull. Her love for Bukit Lawang was the reason she made it her main location for her newest music clip for two songs: “Memories” and “Game for Two”.

“Basically last summer I was in Bukit Lawang – I had been away for 4 years and came to visit friends there. I met John Retno and Pandy who work in Bukit Lawang and are very talented musicians. They play in the local band. I told them I wrote my own songs and they asked me to teach them 2 of my songs. So I played the songs for them and they loved them and arranged them for two guitars,” she says. Since meeting these two local musicians, Sarah was convinced to make Bukit Lawang theh location for her music project. “Bukit Lawang is really exotic. It is not an exaggeration to say I’m crazy about it. It is really extraordinary.” She says. Sarah returned to London I September 2014. She shared her material with Anya, a creative who founded Guerrilla Tactics, a creative studio that specialises in creating video clips. And, according to Sarah, Anya was totally persuaded when she showed her videos and footage from Bukit Lawang: “I showed her my film and she was very excited. Because Bukit Lawang is so beautiful!”

Sarah is sure, that in Anya’s hands, who has previously worked for Vanguard and HBO, her video will truly show Bukit Lawang’s beauty.

“Basically there will be an event with live music and videos. We plan to launch at the Indonesian festival in London “Indonesia Kontemporar”. I will perform with a band and there will be a screening of the final music video of ‘Game for Two’. There will be two versions of the song in Indonesian “Permainan Berdua” and in English ‘Game for Two’,”

… Although she loves Bukit Lawang, Sarah is disappointed. According to her, this beautiful place is being left to grow like a plant without any care, even though a little care would make it a place so beautiful it would be difficult for [any other locations] to compete with its beauty. Its impressive nature and flora and fauna. So amazing. “I think it is possible to do more. I think it is also really important to promote sustainable tourism to visitors -both locals and international tourists. Like not littering, not feeding the animals (especially orangutans). Also the government should look after the roads better,” she adds.

Seems like Sarah truly loves Bukit Lawang. She even knows what Bukit Lawang needs right now: tourism promotion, how to care for the orang-utans ecosystem, improve access roads, which sometimes cause problems for local and international visitors.

(eris estrada sembiring)

Big thanks to the awesome editor of Tribun Medan, Eris Estrada Sembiring. who was very very nice about me 🙂 and for taking his time to find out about the project.

 


Have guitar, must travel – Zurich

Zurich

Have guitar, must travel – Switzerland mini-tour

Day 1 – Zurich

I’m just on the train to Luzern. Am filled with love from the kindness of the many people who looked after me in Zurich, my lovely CS hosts, Alexa and Heather, especially – making sure that I was fed, occupied, even lending me a bike and detailed instructions for a trip up the Limmat River – and stop at a really cool café, the Bucher cafe. They even have little sheep skins to sit on… and of course, loads of books and cultural events.

Nicholas, who I met on a bridge selling the local homeless newspaper, Surprise. I met him on my first day in Switzerland, walking over the bridge. I bought a newspaper and we chatted about music, about life, about travel. He gave me a long list of musicians to check out and some really valuable tips about music – he composes music in his head when he’s selling his papers on a beautiful bridge in Zurich. Niko, a fellow couchsurfer, came to rehearse the melodies to a few songs.

I arrived in Basel at 10am and when the pilot announced that it was 6 degrees outside, I thought to myself “youre taking the piss right?” But it was cold, and my host was at work, and we’d agreed that I would come round at 8.30… So, I had the day free till 8 pm to explore Zurich – so I checked out the Kunsthaus, which is free on Wednesdays. Also Café Zähringer, which Nicholas had told me about, he said I should ask about gigging there another time… At 5pm I was a bit cold and seen enough pretty doll’s houses and views on the East side of the Limmat, so I went to sit down in Langstars Hostel which is situated bang in the middle of Zurich’s red light and alternative district.

Every Wednesday, the owner, Lukas, organises a jam from 8pm in his café attached to the hostel. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay but I caught the beginning of the jam session. Normally jam sessions start off slow and awkward, but within minutes Lukas was on the piano, with a full band and a rapper. (video)

It is on my to do list for Zurich next time for sure!

At 8.30 I walked round the corner to Alexa’s house – I couldn’t have stayed any closer if I’d planned it! I had written Alex a request but didn’t realise how close it was to where I was playing on the Thursday.

When I arrived in Alex’s beautiful apartment, we spent the evening chatting, eating and drinking wine. It was so cosy and so cold and rainy out, that we just chilled.

Have guitar, must travel – Switzerland mini-tour

Day 2 – Langstars gig supporting Awaken Tales

Today I spent the day cycling up the Limmat and to Zurich lake (pics) taking pics of the contrasts of Zurich’s landscape, graffiti, banks, nature, expensive boutiques, artist’s galleries, picturesque doll’s houses and churches – the Chagall window in the Frauenmünster is a must see.

At 6pm Niko arrived to rehearse a bit and eat noodles with my hosts, Alexa and Heather (indomie of course (    !). It’s a kind of CS tradition to provide at least one meal for your hosts (apart from doing the washing up).

We were enjoying the talk and food that it was 9 before we left to go to Langstars. When I arrived, my old friend, Bang Agun was there – who I know from Bukit Lawang and Alex, the drummer from Alex, is not only a fantastic drummer but also makes films and is an awesome person, and by some new twist of synchronicity made a documentary about an Indonesian guitarist from Medan of all places.

Awaken Tales

Unfortunately the video of my performance at Langstars – especially the jams with Alex and Nico didn’t work L so that will be only in my memory. Here are some pics though x

Have guitar, will travel Part III: Koh Tao

Unfortunately beautiful Koh Tao has become synonymous with the recent tragedy – but it is stunning- the surroundings are not spoilt but it is covered in guesthouses and restaurants from the end of Sairee to the end of Koh Tao.

This makes it however, a great tip for musicians – there are loads of places to play, but only one real jam – this is also where I suggest you go if you are interested in gigging on Koh Tao – or just to have a fantastic night jamming away in a rooftop venue.

Every Sunday, the RawArt Moovement get together for a jam upstairs in Moov bar – expat, visiting and Thai musicians gather to jam all night – it is really fun – it starts as more of an open stage, then disppears into impro land – the audience, owners and bar stuff are all beautiful and great funraw-art-moovment!
check out their events here

If you need some more reasons to go, here’s a music video I made there including footage from the boat and of some of the amazing firedancers at ACBar – the youngest is only 13 years old! Also – the sea crashing on the beach is seriously inspiring!