Archive for October, 2009
Yes, we reached India. After a really crazy last weekend, packed with all together five flights and endless car and cab transfers in 60 hours and two shows in very opposite places in Europe, we jumped on a plane to Mumbai early Monday morning and arrived in Mumbai late at night. We grabbed a cab and left to the hotel someplace in a city I have never been to (I have never been to India in the first place).
The first thing that hit us was the unimaginable poverty in every corner. As we later learned, one passes endless slums before reaching the more central areas of the city (which, for the most parts, has at least as many people living in the streets). It is unknown how many people actually live in Mumbai, since there are is an estimate of a few million people far far below the poverty line, unregistered, living in some corners in the streets, sleeping on nothing or a piece of cardboard.
I knew that the situation for the vast majority of the population here is bad. But it’s always a huge difference to witness and experience something like this with your own eyes.
To see all of this, this dilapidated infrastructure of a city which falls apart in every corner, yet still has so much beauty, is hard to bare. I am aware of the endless privilege I have as somebody that can live out his dream, gets to travel and perform in all these places, can make music and art and even release/ show it (while people even take interest in it), but all of this is put in a very different context when seeing millions of people living in conditions like this (and I am aware, there are much worse places on this planet). This trip will leave quite a dent in my reception of reality, that much I can already say after less than 48 hours in this place.
But enough talking. Besides many many other things, this city also has an unmatched sound and a noise level that is hard to take for somebody that is used to, well, calmer environments, and also as somebody that is quite sensitive to his auditive environment.
The first day, we just walked around in the city and the surrounding of our hotel, which is close to the Victoria Central Station. The building is beautiful, and the amount of people passing through it incredible. There are endless fans dangling off the ceiling, which create a permanent hum, which is static and not static at the same time. Also, they create so much wind that they actually create interferences with the microphones (which sounds like recording in stormy weather).
The streets are crazy loud and busy. This is a little bit what they sound like. If you want to emulate the experience, play it really really loud…
The next day we were passing through the Mumbai Art Academy, which is actually right across the street from our hotel.
The old and very rotten buildings are located inside a very beaten up park which is mostly inhabited by crows and lots of other birds. It certainly has a very uniques sound to it…
Here is the sound clipping from the gardens
Amidst all of this, we found a little building with the name “Canteen” on it, and it even looked like it was still used as one. There was one painting on the wall that i really loved:
On Friday, we will play here in Mumbai in a club called “Blue Frog”, and on Saturday we are off to New Delhi, where we will give a concert in the gardens of the New Delhi Goethe Institute, where we will also give a lecture and workshop on Monday.
In between the Arctic landscapes of Tromsø, northern Norway, and the insanity of India we played an incredibly overwhelming show at the Elevate Festival in Austria. Thanks to our wonderful hosts and the amazing audience! We had such a great time!!!
Before our show at the amazing Insomnia Festival, we went out for a long hike to the edge of the island that the city of Tromso is build on.
We ended up at an amazing “beach” with a stunning view in the middle of nowhere- this place just feels like one finally reached the edge of the world:
Here is the snippet of serenity this place had in stock for us…
On our way back we had to stop at a random intersection- all the cars have spikes on their wheels which make a beautiful sound, at least in my opinion.
This is how the tires look like:
And this is me recording in the intersection:
I will miss all the amazing people we met in Tromsø and also the amazing, so beautiful, indescribably peaceful landscape. If you ever go on a performance tour- I highly recommend to start it in the Arctic. It’s such a calming experience that it actually lasts for quite some time…
With all this amazing nature we were exposed to we never forgot what the original purpose of our trip up here was: our show at the fabolous Insomnia Festival which had its opening last night.
When it got dark and cold outside, we were rehearsing in a little recording studio around the corner from our hotel (everything on the white table is our live setup):
Also, there was a huge picture in the local newspaper:
We can’t wait for tonight!!!!!!!!!!
Last night we saw something that I dreamed of seeing for all of my life: Northern Lights, or Aurea Borealis in their scientific name. I can’t quite write too much about it; other than the fact that was crying because i have barely seen anything so beautiful and touching in my life.
Berit Bendiksen, our wonderful tour guide (and wonderful person in general) was so kind to pick us and some other artists up and drove us out of the city so the view would not be disturbed by the city lights.
I forgot my recorder, so there is no sound to it. Imagine absolute silence and just the sound of small streams of water gushing down from the mountains.
I am so thankful to all the wonderful people at the Insomnia Festival that made all these efforts to bring us here. Thank you all!!!!!!!!
The pictures were taken by Ronni Shendar.
On day 3 of our amazing trip to the Arctic, we took a very early ferry to some of the small villages around Tromsø, basically up one of the main Fjords, and back to the city. We left around 7am, it was still dark outside, and watched an amazingly blue sunrise- it felt like a curtain was slowly lifted before our eyes to allow a sight that can only be described as breathtaking. I have never seen such dramatic landscapes in my life before.
I tried to record on deck, but since it was really windy on deck and it was a speed boat, it was almost impossible to capture anything else other than the wind in the microphones.
So instead, i walked from one end of the almost empty ship to the other, capturing the amazing sound of the gigantic engines, recording also in corners to also capture some of the impressive standing waves (well, standing frequencies i mean).
And here is the amazing soundscape of the ferry…
For a whole set of pictures, go to Ronni Shendar‘s photo blog.
2nd day in the arctic, this time we went up on some mountains: windy, cold, snowy, amazing, beautiful. And this is how it sounds… btw, the two black dots far away are Menelaos Tomasides and Charlotte Bendiksen.
The rest of the day we spend rehearsing in a lovely little studio for our show at the wonderful Insomnia Festival next Friday.
And this is how i looked amidst all this amazing-ness (thanks for the pic, Ronni!!):
As you might know, we will be touring for six consecutive weeks, and i will document this long and exciting journey and performance tour with an irregular audio diary, accompanied with pixelized pictures from my cell phone camera.
Here is the first part- we took a 1 hour road trip to a huge island slightly south of Tromsø, northern Norway. These two recordings are taken somewhere on the island Kvaløya Sálir (Google Maps), one on the shore, the other on top of a mountain. Words can’t describe how unbelievably beautiful this place is. Thanks to our amazing tour guide, Berit Bendiksen!!! For more pictures, go to Ronni Shendar’s amazing photo blog, she’s got all the fancy lenses and cameras on her…
This place sounds like this.
And this is how the place sounds like – the little pops are raindrops on the cover of the recorder.
And this is how i look like in front of the scenery, amidst +1°C weather (thanks Ronni for the amazing picture!!):
Hurray! Available! Out now!
You can listen to parts of it on my Myspace page.
Following the great international success of Glitterbug’s album “Supershelter”, everyone has been curious to hear what this unique and unmatched producer will bring us next. And truth is, there is a lot! Glitterbug has been working on piles of new enchanting materials, tracks, projects and remixes.
As a first release in a series that will lead to his next (double CD) album, is the “Dim Flares EP”: a dream-like, intense and deep moody EP that carries that very special Glitterbug sound to a whole new level, touching on deep emotional techno with a utopian 4/4 perspective.
This beautiful EP opens with “So much More”, an epic track that releases its melancholic-euphoric mood slowly over the course of 9 minutes, turning itself into a beautiful, hopeful, hand-raising screamer that floods the dance floor with overwhelming warmth and heartfelt love. Side A ends with “Deadpan”, an intense dark ambient miniature that lets us peak at Glitterbug’s world of score-like ambient compositions.
The B-Side begins with “Daubed Beams”, a Deephouse track all Glitterbug. “Daubed Beams” feels like what mid 90’s Detroit techno released on Warp would have sounded like: unbelievably deep, pensive, warm, divine and pumping.
c.sides’ latest emotive EP culminates with “Be Content”, a warm track with a deep drive of warped pads, a dark bass-line, airy percussion and unforgettable arpeggios. This exhilarating dance track is layered with bottomless emotions, the kind you want to close your eyes to, hug the person dancing next to you and wish it would never ever end.
The “Dim Flares EP” is the first in a series of 3 magnificently moving EP’s (by Glitterbug, Christian Löffler, and a collaboration between Glitterbug & Ostgut Ton’s Murat Tepeli) to be released on the c.sides Label in 2009-2010, all leading up to Glitterbug’s extraordinary next double album which is currently in the making and will be released in spring 2010.