We are having our last day in Southern India, already busy packing, saying our good bye’s to the Arabian Sea and our little daily routines we developed here, and: we started rehearsing again! This time for our show at the Plateaux Festival in Torun, Poland. You should better not miss this one! We will play on Saturday on the main stage, together with Lusine and Akufen. See you there!
Archive for November, 2009
So. We are still 15km south of Mangalore, and we got through a tropical Cyclone (named Phyan) that confronted us with some of the most extreme weather at least I have ever experienced. We had some serious floods in the area, unbelievable thunderstorms that even hit the hotel that we are staying at, and endless walls of rain for something like 48 hours, including power outages, which, well, forced me to take some serious computer and music breaks… yet I managed to make three new tracks which i am really really happy about.
We took a little trip to the city while the rain was still going strong… this is how the bus ride to the city sounded like.
One of us had to do some bank transactions, and here is a little audible impression of the State Bank of India in Mangalore…
But the tropical storm is passed us now, and the sun is back and with it the electricity (most of the time).
Here is an impression of what i can hear in the early morning when I wake up, and what i see from our balcony.
Today or tomorrow we will start rehearsing for the next upcoming show, at the Plateaux Festival in Poland. We are really excited about it, but the weather change will be challenging i guess…
We landed in Mangalore yesterday afternoon, which is on the shores of the Arabian Sea pretty far down south of India. We will stay here for a couple days, and I finally have some time to work on drafts of tracks that I started during this wonderful, yet sometimes emotionally challenging trip.
In case you want to know exactly where we are: here is a Google Maps Link…
My little, very rudimentary studio is located on the roof of our tiny hotel (which is 15km down south from Mangalore), and all i can see is palm trees and rain-forest vegetation around us, and i hear the sound of the waves and the notorious crows (that one finds everywhere in India), if I do not wear my head phones.
This is how the place sounds like.
We sadly only spent 2 days in Calcutta, and we saw so very little of this beautiful, strange, captivating, lively city. So here is a second impression, this time of a little street corner somewhere in the center around lunch time, with endless people eating at one of the endless little food stands, which i do not dare eating at anymore after i got horribly sick in Mumbai.
We arrived in Calcutta, yet again a city which is not comparable to any other place we have seen so far, and it’s actually quite different in many ways. It feels much more like being in Asia, being so far in the east, even almost at the border to Bangladesh. We will sadly only spend 2 days here, but we all fell in love with this city.
Also, this part is under a communist rule for almost 30 years (the oldest democratically elected government worldwide, so we are told), and maybe that’s why some things seem to be less extreme here than anticipated- but again, we are here for such a short time that we actually did not have a chance to even leave the center of the city, which is the 2nd largest in India (also something i did not know before).
We will be performing here tonight at a club called Roxy, inside the Park Hotel, where we are also staying, and will leave right after the shows to Bangalore (argh! the flight leaves at 6:15 in the morning), which is again a 2,5 hour flight down south.
Here is a little walk through the center of the city that we took right upon our arrival here.
Again we were cruising through slums, dust, through a city that consists of endless gated communities, walls, huge streets, and is totally inaccessible without a car or one of the ever-present rickshaws (with or without a motor). We went all the way out to the south to meet some artists that we performed with last Saturday that are cooperating with a bar/ cafe there to establish a commercial art space, and- without being prepared- ended up in shopping mall that looked like it could have been in Dubai- glitzy, shiny, with the obvious Luis Vuitton flagship store right next to the Dior flagship store, you can imagine how it looked like.
Here is an audio impression of our (hopefully imaginable) confusion.
For those of you wondering where the heck they could find a few more pictures from our India performance tour, i can highly recommend to go to Ronni Shendar’s Photo Blog. Amazing pictures, some of them horribly sad.
Sorry, it’s in German… but it’s really really nice!! Even though i am not so sure what my music has to do with the Shoegazer genre from the beginning of the 90s…
“Der Glitzerkäfer enttäuscht auch auf C.Sides nicht, sondern enthüllt stattdessen sein glühendes Shoegazer-Herz. Schwebende Flächen, die sich der allzu leichten Greifbarkeit durch eine fast schüchtern anmutende Zurückhaltung verweigern. Ambientwolken, unter denen permanent ein tiefes Dunkel spürbar bleibt, das einen anlockt und dazu verleitet, sich an der vermeintlich weichen Oberfläche ins Fleisch zu schneiden. „Mächtig“, kann man da nur sagen. Vier Tracks, die in ihrer eigentümlichen Tiefgründigkeit eine abstrakte Epik entfalten, die mich auf seltsame Weise an Velvet Underground erinnert. TEM”
You can find the original review here.
After a quite demanding weekend with performances in Mumbai and New Delhi, we are now taking a break in a small hotel in New Delhi.
The shows in Mumbai and New Delhi could not have been more different- Mumbai took place in an upscale venue in a warehouse area, the Blue Frog, and we had a bit of a difficult time since it seems to be common that clubs here also cater as restaurants. So, we played our shows, while people were seated at tables and were having dinner- it was a little odd. The Glitterbug & Ronni Shendar live show also took place under special conditions, since we were not allowed to use the back screen for the projection because of the logos of the sponsors of the event… ouch.
Performing here is a totally different experience anyways. Especially in Mumbai, since the city is absolutely mixed, having poverty and wealth just centimeters away from each other. If you walk in the city at night, one literally has to climb over sleeping people in the streets everywhere. It feels like there is no separation between the extreme ends in this society, at least not as far as the public space goes. You can have fancy apartment buildings and 5 star hotels directly neighboring slums, and since there are millions of people living in the streets, you find beggars and homeless people everywhere. And at the same time, segregation between rich and poor is absolute and merciless (and confronts us all with our own privileges, coming from the wealthy west and trying to somehow deal with our strange position here).
The show in New Delhi was a totally different (and absolutely wonderful) experience, since the local Goethe Institute invited us to perform in their Garden. We had a few hundred very diverse people in front of us, and even though it took a while to warm them up- after a bit, the whole thing actually turned into a wild and amazing party, that sadly was over at 11p.m., due to the fact that it was open air and also because New Delhi (and India in general) has very harsh rules considering closing times etc. But we all were so glad to have had this experience and we’re all so thankful to have met all the amazing people at the Goethe Institute New Delhi!
The day after, we met a Berlin based artist who was invited for a project in the Goethe New Delhi also downstairs in our hotel for breakfast, and he invited us to join him for a picnic which was the closing event of the annual Queerfest here in New Delhi (thanks Ins!!!). Much can be written about issues of gay rights here, but it should be noted that basically homosexuality has been illegal until this summer, so this was certainly a very special event for the scene here.
The park where the picnic took place also caters as one of the main cruising areas in New Delhi, and this is how the place sounds like during day time.
Over the course of the afternoon, something like 50 people arrived, and the queer scene seems to be quite mixed and diverse. Here is a little snippet of the picnic ambience…
After the picnic, we went back to the hotel. The only form of public transportation here is rickshaws and taxis, while one can’t just stop a cab in the street. So, if you are not in a place where you can just order one by phone, you are more or less stuck with the little motorized rickshaws, and here is the sound of one of the rides. It might sound a little muffled; that is due to the fact that i had to record from inside my back to avoid wind noise in the microphones.
Sadly, I did not feel well this morning, i caught myself some strange fever that hit me out of the blue. So i did not join the bunch for the daily trip… so this is how my day sounded like. Basically, when indoors, the sound of the air-conditioning is everywhere… and one can’t leave the windows open due to the mosquitos that seem to be even more harmful during daytime because here in the north of India, they carry Dengue Fever. For sure somthing that i would be very happy to miss out on…
We will have two more days here, and after that we will be off to Calcutta and Bangalore for the weekend.