zondag 11 augustus 2019

Busking in France (Streetlife...)




Just got back from two weeks busking in the South of France. I shared some postings on facebook and I will share them here again. For Dutch translation scroll down!
On the video we play a Sandy Denny song but then it was 12 o'clock and the churchbells started ringing every two minutes.

August 7
"I'm going with Mario to the square in front of Palais des Papes. This is not very easy for me, but I would still like to sing again. Mario always says: you play for me. But I play for others and there are passers-by who sometimes find it really nice and beautiful, that's what I want to give it for. But today there was a beggar in the street, she was very angry with me because I was in her street. I left, later I came back because she was gone. Yet she suddenly came back and told me to sing further on. I understand how it works, I even know very well how it works with street people. But I thought: merde, this is my place from 2 years ago and she is now sitting with me, I will sing for her. She found in, she gave me her cup. I sang to death, but it was heavy. She left and gave me the confidence that I would sing for her. She was like a child and said: we are going to share it.

Such a plastic cup does not work so well, but people threw something in. Later I looked for her in the streets of Avignon, and I gave her the cup. For a moment, but also for a moment, I saw a smile on her face. But I was also irritated and said (in French) that she should stay with me next time. I sing my head off and then she starts doing different things ... Avignon has changed. Life on the street is harder and ordinary people seem richer."


August 8
"Bonjour! This morning my great friend came to me and I enthusiastically shouted from afar: "Bonsoir madame!" To which she said: "Non, c 'est pas bonsoir, il faut dire" bonjour. (Sorry, Cik wasn't fully awake yet ...)

But the ice is broken, she put her cup next to me and said that she was going to walk around. When she came back I had put some change in it, because I am diagonally opposite her place. It is just like among musicians: you don't sit in each other's place ... when she came back we had a relaxed conversation, although she saw that I had much more in my hat than I shared with her. But that was right, I had been singing for an hour for it. The shopkeepers also came to look around the corner when she showed herself fairly committed when I said that I had a little sore throat.

Most (down-to-earth) street people are vulnerable, but this is a tough lady, I have to admit ... a big mom who stands up for her rights. Too bad I don't have a picture of her. Her name is Anyta."




August 9
"The street is so confronting ... today I sang and a child passed by ... not older than six years old ... he swirled in front of me while I sang ... and my first selfish thought was that I thought he was a bit of a joke with especially halellujage singing, he behaved in a way that I could not place right away :)

But after a few seconds I saw how he looked straight at me, a look that touched me ... and suddenly I knew it .... (... with anger at myself because I felt once again being wrongly rejected) and I stopped singing and asked:

"as-tu perdu ta mère?" (Have you lost your mother?)

And he nodded. The desperation of that child and that he came to me ...

I said a few times, grabbing his arm, "Reste avec moi" (stay with me), and the child nodded.

Somehow I remembered someone in the street calling out to a child, but in the meantime I thought: shit what shall I do now with this child who is now clinging to me here ...

And then I saw a mother in the distance and I said that I heard his mother and thank goodness it was. What I find so striking is that in the first instance you relate the world to yourself in such a way (I was only concerned with music) but that someone from an entirely different context unexpectedly appeals to you. I am so happy that I saw that the child came to me and that I just did not stay in my own whiny world. Today's lesson: sometimes someone really needs you. Open your eyes for that.


August 9
Tonight we played at the terrace of a special cinema, Utopia in Avignon. When we arrived they were already expecting us, we immediately got a table at the place where we would make music, because: first good food :)

Very hospitable reception from the cinema crew and a nice audience. Also nice with our new Danish friends Helle Houkjær and Jesper Skibber :)) Vive la France!

"
August 10
This morning we said goodbye to Avignon, and also to my new girlfriend Anyta, about whom I wrote in other postings. Just not in the picture (which is why I think I can place it on fb) but I can hear it well. I do think she could sing well: the guitar blues. She has a nice hoarse voice. Nice to experience again, better not to have prejudices on people who live so differently from you.
Au revoir! X



Before we left to Avigon we've been playing in Nimes, Uzes and Genolhac. In Genolhac we played on a terrasse of an 800 years old hotel. This was very nice to do. By the way, it's always great to play in the south of France, it never happened to me that I had problems with the police. It's all still possible up there! Vive la France!


Nederlands: 


Ik ga zo met Mario naar het plein voor Palais des Papes. Dit is niet heel makkelijk voor mij, maar toch zou ik hier graag nog eens willen zingen. Mario zegt altijd: je speelt voor mij. Maar ik speel voor anderen en er zijn voorbijgangers die het soms echt leuk en mooi vinden, daar wil ik het graag voor geven. Maar vandaag was er in de straat een bedelares, ze was erg boos op me, want ik stond in haar straat. Ik ging weg, later kwam ik terug omdat ze weg was. Toch kwam ze ineens terug en ze zei dat ik verderop moest zingen. Ik snap hoe het werkt, ik weet zelfs heel goed hoe het werkt met straatmensen. Maar ik dacht: merde, dit is mijn plek van 2 jaar terug en zij komt nu maar bij mij zitten, ik zal voor haar zingen. Ze vond in, ze gaf me haar bekertje. Ik zong me te pletter, maar het was zwaar. Zij ging weg en gaf mij het vertrouwen dat ik voor haar zou zingen. Ze was als een kind en zei: we gaan het verdelen he.
Zo n plastic beker werkt niet zo goed, maar mensen gooiden er toch wat in. Later zocht ik haar in de straten van Avignon, en gaf ik haar het bekertje. Heel even, maar dan ook heel even, zag ik een glimlach op haar gezicht. Maar ik was ook geïrriteerd en zei ( in het Frans) dat ze volgende keer bij mij moest blijven. Ik zing me suf en dan gaat zij ff lekker andere dingen doen... Avignon is veranderd. Het leven op straat is harder en de gewone mensen lijken rijker. 


"

De straat is zo confronterend... vandaag zong ik en er liep een kind voorbij...niet ouder dan een jaar of zes...hij draalde voor m'n neus terwijl ik zong..en m'n eerste egoïstische gedachte was dat ik dacht dat hij een beetje de draak stak met mn halellujagezang, hij gedroeg zich op een manier die ik niet meteen goed kon plaatsen 

Maar na een paar seconden zag ik hoe hij mij recht aankeek, een blik die me raakte... en ineens wist ik het....(...met boosheid naar mezelf omdat ik me in eerste instantie weer eens onterecht afgewezen voelde), en ik stopte met zingen en vroeg:
"as-tu perdu ta mère?" ( Ben je je moeder kwijt?)
En hij knikte. De wanhoop van dat kind en dat hij juist naar mij toe kwam...
Ik zei een paar keer, terwijl ik zijn armpje beetpakte, : "Reste avec moi" ( blijf bij mij) , en het kind knikte.
Ergens herinnerde ik mij dat ik iemand door de straat al hoorde roepen naar een kind, maar ondertussen dacht ik: shit wat zal ik nu doen met dit kind dat zich hier nu vastklampt aan mij...
En toen zag ik in de verte een moeder en ik zei dat ik z'n moeder hoorde en godzijdank was dat ook zo. Wat ik nou zo treffend vind, is dat je in eerste instantie de wereld zo op jezelf betrekt ( ik was alleen maar bezig met muziek) maar dat vanuit een totaal andere context iemand onverwachts een beroep op je doet. Ik ben zo blij dat ik zag dat t kind naar mij toe kwam en dat ik net ff niet in m'n eigen zeikerige wereldje bleef. Les van vandaag: soms heeft iemand je nodig, echt nodig. Open je ogen voor dat.



We hebben vanavond voor het terras gespeeld van een bijzondere bioscoop,: Utopia in Avignon. Toen we aankwamen verwachtten ze ons al, we kregen meteen een tafeltje op de plek waar we dan muziek zouden maken, want: eerst lekker eten 
Erg gastvrij ontvangst van de cinemacrew en een fijn publiek. Ook gezellig met onze nieuwe Deense vrienden Helle Houkjær en Jesper Skibber ) Vive la France! 



Bonjour! Vanmorgen kwam m'n grote vriendin naar me toe en enthousiast riep ik al van verre: 'Bonsoir madame!' Waarop ze belerend zei: 'Non, c' est pas bonsoir, il faut dire 'bonjour'. ( Sorry,cik was nog niet helemaal wakker...)
Maar het ijs is gebroken, ze zette haar bekertje naast me en zei dat ze even wat rond ging lopen. Toen ze terug kwam had ik er wat kleingeld in gedaan, ik zit namelijk schuin tegenover haar plek. Het is net als onder muzikanten: je gaat niet op elkaars plek zitten...toen ze terugkwam hadden we een relaxed gesprek, al zag ze dat ik veel meer in m'n hoed had dan ik met haar deelde. Maar dat was terecht, ik had er al een uur voor gezongen. De winkeliers kwamen ook even om het hoekje kijken toen ze zich redelijk begaan toonde toen ik zei dat ik een beetje keelpijn had.
De meeste (nuchtere)straatmensen zijn kwetsbaar, maar dit is een pittige dame, dat moet ik toegeven...een big mama die opkomt voor haar rechten. Jammer dat ik geen foto van haar heb. Ze heet Anyta.



Vanmorgen hebben we afscheid genomen van Avignon, en ook van mijn nieuwe vriendin Anyta, waarover ik in andere postings schreef. Net niet in beeld (daarom kan ik m volgens mij wel plaatsen op fb) maar wel goed te horen. Ik denk inderdaad dat zij goed zou kunnen zingen: de gitanesblues. Ze heeft een mooie hese stem. Mooi toch, om weer te ervaren beter geen vooroordelen te hebben op mensen die zo anders leven dan jij. 



Au revoir! X

vrijdag 26 juli 2019

Schiersong Festival Schiermonnikoog


Het Schiersongfestival ---------- scroll down for the English version!

Deze zomer organiseerde ik voor de zesde keer een leuk festivalletje op het mooie eiland Schiermonnikoog. Het festival is ontstaan door een samenwerking met het toenmalige Groninger Songwriter Circle en de eerste editie vond plaats in een stadsbus die 's zomers op het strand staat.
In de zomer van 2014 waren we met een groepje songwriters twee avonden in die bus aan het spelen voor een  klein publiek. Dat was een erg leuke ervaring, maar door de belangstelling van het publiek verplaatsten we het festival naar camping Seedune en Paviljoen Paal 3.

Waarom Schiermonnikoog? Dat is omdat mijn moeder daar geboren en getogen is, en mij daar iedere zomer mee naar toe nam. Ik ben heel erg gehecht aan het eiland, en inmiddels mijn dochters ook.
Mijn dochters doen ook mee aan het festival. Ze spelen gitaar en zingen.

We hebben voor de zesde keer een heel erg leuk weekend gehad! Ieder jaar komen er meer mensen kijken en luisteren naar de groep songwriters die op zaterdagavond en zondagavond drie van hun mooiste liedjes laten horen. Op zaterdagavond is het ook mogelijk om als publiek mee te doen aan een open podium. Zo onstaat er een mooi gevarieerd programma.

Ten strings shuffle 
 Op vrijdagavond starten we op twee locaties: een paar muzikanten spelen in het koepeltje in het centrum van het dorp. All credits voor geluidsman Mario die dit ieder jaar weet te regelen met Hotel van der Werff.
Mario voor de deur van Hotel van der Werff


De andere groep speelde dit jaar op het terras van Noderstraun, een restaurant/ appartementencomplex aan het strand.

VogelWho? bij Noderstraun 
Op zaterdag- en zondagmiddag wordt er gespeeld op het gezellige terras van de Berkenplas en Hotel Duinzichten op zaterdagavond op camping Seedune, en op zondagavond de finale op het strand bij Paviljoen Paal 3.

Open podium

Zusjes Camping Seedune

Jesje De Schepper / Hotel Duinzicht

Rachel et Valerie (Paal 3)


Paviljoen Paal 3

This summer, for the sixth time, I organized a nice festival on the beautiful island of Schiermonnikoog. The festival was created by a collaboration with the then Groninger Songwriter Circle and the first edition took place in a city bus that is on the beach in the summer.

In the summer of 2014 we were playing two nights on that bus with a group of songwriters in front of a small audience. That was a very nice experience, but due to the interest of the public we moved the festival to the Seedune and Paviljoen Paal 3 camp sites.

Why Schiermonnikoog? That's because my mother was born and raised there, and took me there every summer. I am very attached to the island, and now my daughters too.

My daughters also participate in the festival. They play the guitar and sing.

We had a very nice weekend for the sixth time! Every year more people come to watch and listen to the group of songwriters who play three of their most beautiful songs on Saturday evening and Sunday evening. On Saturday evening it is also possible to participate as an audience in an open stage. This creates a nicely varied program.
VogelWho? bij Noderstraun 
On Friday evening we start at two locations: a few musicians play in the dome in the center of the village. All credits for sound engineer Mario who manages to arrange this with Hotel van der Werff every year. The other group played this year on the terrace of Noderstraun, a restaurant / apartment complex on the beach.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, games are played on the cozy terrace of the Berkenplas and Hotel Duinzicht on Saturday nights at the Seedune campsite, and on Sunday evening the final on the beach at Paviljoen Paal 3.





dinsdag 30 april 2019

Musiciens du métro Paris

Hello guys,
You can watch a little vid right here:
It's been a while that I booked a trip to Paris. Me and Mario wanted to play in the streets but then I discovered this was forbidden! Really, I used to play there many times, even in the metro!
Now it's forbidden and I don't want to take the risk the police will take our instruments, so we won't play in the street. But then I heard that there is  a possibility to play in the metro of Paris. But you must do an audition for it. So I send an email, not expecting an answer. After two months I got this letter with an invitation for an audition. So Mario and I decided to go.
We took a train at night and first we went to the Highlander to play at an open mic. But we were way too late, the list was full untill almost 4 AM next day!!  We had some drinks and went to the hotel.

Next day we got up early and walked a long way with our guitars and suitcases, looking for the office of the RATP. (French metro). When we found it, we were way too early.
We were there already at 1 PM. Our turn was at 4.00 PM. We hang out a bit, but got tired and nervous while waiting in a small room with other musicians.We could listen to the other auditions which were downstairs.  The level was quite high that afternoon. I got this headache when it was finally our turn. I speak French just a little bit, so I had a hard time :) to answer their questions. I was prepared to tell why I would like to play in the metro, a good friend translated my motivation from Dutch into French, so I just read my story to the jury. We had to play in a real small room for at least 15 people.

We wanted to play two of our own songs, but after the first song they asked us to play a cover.
We played Suzanne (Leonard Cohen), because I always play this song when I am busking in France, so we could do that one.
When we were finished they said'Mercy'  and told us that they will send a message in ten days to let us know if we got this badge.
When we left we felt really depressed, we didn't think we did a good audition because we were too stressed and tired that day. Still, we were glad we did it, because we both felt we had to do this. It felt somehow important to both of us.

After 10 days I got this letter that we could get our badges and I was really, really happy!
So we got to Paris again and after we got our badges we played in the metro (Nation).
It was exactly what I expected, so it was okay for me.
Playing in the metro is not easy, I remember this from my travels. People come and go and are mostly in a hurry or thinking about their business, their jobs, travelling from one to another place. But there are also people who like what you are doing and they smile or give some money or give thumb ups. It's important to find a good spot to play, it must be a spot where I feel comfortable.
When we got home that day, we were excited, drunk, tired and happy.
Now we are members of the association 'musiciens du metro'.

Wednesday May 1st we will go back to Paris. We will play in the metro and hang around. Hope to meet you there! I will let you know as soon as possible where you can find us!
I made a special page about this subject in French. Click here:Musiciens du Mëtro EN FRANCAIS

Mario and I will play our own songs but in the last weekend of May I will be back and play Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen and Sandy Denny covers. And ofcourse my own songs :)
I made a setlist on youtube, you can watch it here: Annette on Youtube -


zondag 10 maart 2019

Hello GRONINGEN!

Hello Groningen!
I have been living in this cute town called Groningen for almost twenty years!
I grew up there and I founded this band called Scarlett. I played my own songs and had a great time. But then...  I had to move to Amsterdam because I could not finish my education at the Conservatory, I really needed a job, so I took this job as a teacher at a primaryschool in Amsterdam. I moved and became mother of two beautiful daughters who became great musicians.

But still, I like to come back to Groningen and meet old and new friends!
Mario and I played at a very little village, just in the north of Groningen, called Den Andel. The venue is called Andledon and run by very nice people who are very involved by culture.

Unfortunallity, when I got off the bus,  I got this message that a beautiful child just ad died, and so it became really hard to play well on that stage in Andledon. But I did it, and after the soundcheck I played a song for the child who had died and her little sister who is a pupil of mine. I was very in shock (actually I still am), and I needed to sing a song especially for them. Later on we played for the audience but afterwards, some people came to me and said to me that they felt that something strange was going on while I was performing. They were right, I was very chaotic and sad and needed all of my concentration to do this gig. But the host was so gentil and nice and after all we had a great time. Thanks to Andledon and its owners Erik and Johanna.
I made a little vid of this event, you can watch it here:







Last Friday we went to Groningen again. This was because we had this gig at café Singelier, a nice little café just outside of the centre of Groningen. It was crowded and noisy but still, we had fun because some real good friends came to listen and although people were talking loudly, they came to tell me that they really liked our music. So it was okay and we left the pub with good feelings. Thanks to Cafe Singelier and its owner Felix!






woensdag 20 februari 2019

Touring in Prague

It s been 20 years that i was busking in Prague. I was young and I didn't want to stop playing music when the police told me do. I never understand why in some cities ( including Amsterdam!) is forbidden to sing songs in the streets, so i was angry and when i had to identify myself, i didn't have my passport with me, so the police took me in their car to the police station where they took all my money. For that reason i didn't stay long in Prague and did not really want to go back when my daughter asked me to take her there this days.
But she got me there and I did not regret!! What a beautiful and lively city! So different from then!
Hardly no buskers though, but some good open mics and stages. I met some really Nice people and my daughter felt do happy in this city! Many things to discover so i recommend this city:)






woensdag 26 december 2018

new song, good therapy

Dear people,
Today I take it easy, have the flu, but I went for a cup of coffee at Noderstraun on Schiermonnikoog. I do this every morning, I stare at the sea and look at my smartphone for at least an hour.
I am with my daughters at Schiermonnikoog and enjoy the peace. Yesterday, Christmas Day, I was alone because my daughters were with their father and I used the whole day to write my new song. What a delivery. I have a memory of my mother who is ironing and trying to swallow her tears because I came in the room. I was about eight years old. I was very worried about her. She waited for my father all night.
I will never forget that image of my sad mother, I felt so powerless. I stood there and could not do anything.
When I processed this memory in my new song, I could not continue writing. Some experiences seem so meaningless but can have a huge impact on a child. But the song is finished and now I have to practice it and learn it by head. When my daughters came home, they asked me to get some food from the little store nextdoor. I didn't mind going, and after all I got this big surprise from the island of Schiermonnikoog: I suddenly saw a huge orange moon in the dark! It was just for a moment because there were clouds. I felt so happy by this present, I got really excited. I ran home and took some pictures. After this it was a good idea to go to bed and sleep. :)
Friday I travel to Groningen, where I will perform with Mario in the Pub of Klaas. I am really looking forward to it. Saturday we will play in The Irish Pub in Groningen. I wish you all a merry Christmas!


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