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.

 


Trailer for Living Room Documentary :)

The Living Room Tour – Trailer from Pandorasdiary on Vimeo.

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Day 10! Oh Oh wait a minute Mr Postman! I want Postcards too!

10 days left… and leaving on Sunday!

OMG! OMG! but it soooo expresses what I’m feeling right now! (using a fake American accent!)
ARRRRRGH! Excited with a twist of nervousness…
Excited because it’s really going to happen- all that planning and thinking and late nights and talking and writing…
It’s coming into fruition..
Nervous BECAUSE it’s happening – Yes today is a day for writing in capitals.
Absolutely gobsmacked that we have raised £444.00 towards our target of £2000… Thank you to our Team of crowdfunders.. but now we’re gonna get ambitious- let’s hit 50% before we leave!

We want to send you postcards!
Postcards from Amsterdam, Nancy, Basel and Munich!
And in order to do that, we need your pledge and your address.


Join our crowdfunders Rosie Lacey, Felix Xfile Macintosh, Paul Michel and Charlotte Dornemann and order your postcards before Saturday night…
Or if you would like to support us, get credited in our documentary- or even be in our documentary 🙂 but your budget doesn’t stretch – Pledges from £1.00 are available. All pledges are supporting our dream both morally and help towards our expenses.
If you have pledged, keep sharing the love and share this with anyone you know might be interested in being involved.
Also, maybe you know someone in Amsterdam, Nancy Basel or Munich- they can join in the concerts or watch and get to be in the documentary too!

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Day 14: Danny’s Living Room – Yasmine’s Homecoming

Danny Clark, Yasmine’s best childhood friend, invited Yasmine and me to Lincoln to play an intimate belated birthday gig in her cosy dragon and book filled living room.
We are always up for adventure, especially when it involves living rooms and music (yes, we’re special that way!) and two days later, we were in a car on our way to Lincoln.
About half way, we stopped at a motorway petrol station to fill up, and the attendant was drumming to the beat of his internal tabla;
“All together?” dak dak drak go the fingers.
“Yes-“ I said.
“34.65” drak dak da dak dak da dak dak
“Are you a musician?”
“Yes.” He grins. “I’m a singer and am working on album, my ep’s just been released.”
“We’re musicians too! Where can we find you? Soundcloud?”
“Yes, soundcloud. Subesh.”
“Space?”
“Su-besh.” He pointed to his name tag. Ah. Subesh… See you on soundcloud!”
“Yes, hope to see you on soundcloud!”

So… from petrol station promotion near Grantham to… Lincoln.


It may have been our smallest audience so far, but it was a magical evening for us all.
According to Yasmine, our host, Danny, doesn’t usually sing in front of an audience.
I don’t claim to be a great performer or musician. I write songs from my heart, and strum to the beat. But what is becoming increasingly clear is the purpose of these living room concerts. I have a gift. We have a gift to share with our hosts and audiences in living rooms across Europe. That gift is music, that everyone has the ability to appreciate and make music, and this sharing of music is forging connections between human beings, a connection to our creative souls. And it seems to be inspiring people to get back in touch with that side of themselves. It is amazing to see the “I can” look on faces. I am so humbled by this, and so sure that what I’m doing is right.
According to Yasmine, Danny doesn’t sing in front of audiences. Not only did Danny sing, but she also played the piano and the bodhrán to accompany Yasmine on the keyboard and me and my guitar.
The keyboard provided a special homecoming for Yasmine- it used to be her keyboard and has all sorts of recordings from her past.
Tank, who didn’t think he should bring his guitar to play, turned out to have a lovely smooth mellow voice and has even written a number of songs himself. We rotated, taking turns performing and accompanying each other.
Jon-Paul even played his one and only song called the “Plinky Song” which Yasmine transposed to the piano and called the “Plonky Song”. Ok. We were being special.
The living room concerts we have played in 4 living rooms in the UK for audiences from as few as 5 to more than 20. It has been great preparation to prepare for what might await us on our travels, in Europe. We come bearing the gift of hope, inspiration and renewed trust in human kindness. What could be more fitting from a performer named Pandorasdiary?
Every concert has made me smile to myself, honoured, blessed and humbled, amazed at what is being created in each living room we visit.

Yasmine, with Danny on bodhrán

Wake Up

16 days left!

ok… I’ll admit it.. I missed two days writing, but we’ve been really really busy… promoting the living room tour to the max.

So… to recap the last few days- a lovely article published in Inbox Magazine about the gig at 45c Studios in Winchmore Hill.

On Wednesday we were super busy bee, doing a show for K2K community radio in the afternoon, and off to Finsbury Park to the Silver Bullet for a bit of Open Mic in the evening.

On Friday, we’re off to Yasmine’s hometown in Lincoln to cause mayhem in someone’s living room here.
We’re only joking…. not.

Fearless Females on K2K Radio by Sarah Kate Michel on Mixcloud

Jimmy James has released some footage from the Saturday night’s concert… (yes, sneak peak for u!)

Day 19 A Weekend of Couch Concerts: Chapter 2- Drayton Park

On Sunday the 17th, we were invited by Leoncia and Raf to their lovely flat near Drayton Park for an afternoon living room concert.

It was a chilled affair sharing some lovely baguette with brie and grapes, red velvet cupcakes and nibbles served with wonderful music from

Leoncia aka Leonheart, Pandorasdiary and Yasmine

And poetry recitals from Aisha and Jamilla- perhaps the youngest and most audacious examples of this vanishing art.

Thank you to Leoncia, Raf and Georgie for hosting – especially Leoncia for the copious cups of coffee/tea etc. and videoing everything
To:
Roz and Kevin
Bess and Nessima
Yasmine and Anne
Adam for coming to take photos
Janis and Nessima for the lovely cupcakes
Tino x

More photos and footage to follow.

Day 20: A weekend of couch concerts- Chapter 1 45c studios

Chapter 1 Winchmore Hill – 45c Studios
45c Studios – hosted by the marvellous Jimmy James

I don’t think words can describe the amazing slushy feeling I had after this beautiful evening.
Imagine: a starlit living room, with a sparkling baby grand, 3 guitars, a cello and a violin in a living room filled with talented people. Some know each other, some don’t.

piano

By the end of the evening, new friends have been made, music shared- and promises to meet again after the living room documentary is completed to share and view it.

Read more from Claudia: blog and her animation and much much more: Princess and Coyotes
Listen to more from:
Rosie Lacey
Annee Patrice
Leahy Ardon
Jimmy James

Ayshe and Zac
(Was even more powerful live!)

The concept worked- even better than I imagined. Still flying 🙂

Thank you to the Jimmy Tree and Cruz Irie X for photography and footage.

Day 21: Winchmore Hill Couch Concert

15 days to lift off; 21 days of crowdfunding to go-
Tonight we are playing a secret location in Winchmore Hill with brilliant guest acts there are 2 invitations left- if you would like to come and watch you can pm me facebook.com/pandorasdiary or email sarah.michel@gmail.com on the event site and I will send you the address.

Starring
Our marvellous host, Mr Jimmy James, producer, rapper, film-maker, logic master… (the list goes on)

Yasmine Latkowski, classically trained pianist and vocalist, with a unique, haunting vibe.

Yours truly, Pandorasdiary, with some guest stars, including LT, and Mina Sassoon on violin.

Ayshe Naomi- with Jimmy James & Zac

LT is an mc raw, honest lyrics, collaborating with many genres.

Rosie Lacey, kick-ass indie songwriter with strong lyrics from the melancholy to the hilarious.

Mina Sassoon, Persian-English Folk on the ukelele.

Leahy, celloist and songwriter.

Also:
Alexandra Ricaurd
Zachris Pensar
Daniel Alejandro

Twitter Love – Yasmine L’s Like for Like Campaign

On Tuesday (sorry I was supposed to blog this yesterday) partner in crime Yasmine Latkowski gave out free singles of ‘Just Can’t Say To You’ to anyone sharing and promoting the living room tour.

Thank you to:

Smart Women’s Recording Club
was the first to share our living room tour adventure.
In fact, without Smart women’s recording club this project would not be happening. Producer and musician Felix runs networking events for female musicians, marketing workshops and mastermind groups from her lovely studio in Caledonian Rd.
Thank you Felix @Tigersonic for your constant support. I would recommend her events to any female musician, from beginner to professional.

Felix Xfile Macintosh is a producer and bass player. She runs inspiring networking sessions and workshops for female musicians.

Felix Xfile Macintosh is a producer and bass player. She runs inspiring networking sessions and workshops for female musicians.

Danny Clark was the second to receive a free single! She is currently starting a business in designing hair falls. They are mainly used for tribal belly dancing, but they can be used for anything!
yasmine blog 2

Costumier Saurus
: thank you for retweeting our living room tour!

‘Our costumes enable visitors to better understand something, be it a period in history or a scientific theory. We make costumes for performance, display, dress up and educational handling. You’re the boss, whatever you can dream up we can make. Oh and yes it can be hard wearing and machine washable if you need that too.

Our costume themed lectures and workshops are basically time travel with a needle and thread. We cover sewing and textile skills relating to a broad range different historical periods. Go on…challenge us.’

Thank you everyone for your support! I hope you enjoy Yasmine’s single.

Want to be in our documentary? Post your living room antics here

Send us a 30 second video of your living room antics- can be funny, shocking, sad, random… We will post your videos on pandorasdiary
The videos with the most likes on youtube will be included in the documentary. You can add a link to your website/ fb page/ blog etc.
Send your video to: pandorasdiary@gmail.com

Thanks to Felix at Smart Womens REcording Club for this fabulous idea! xxx