zaterdag 31 december 2011

Frank, Dion and me

Yes, just rehearsing every week and every time we're getting better !
This morning Frank put is bass gitar in the black box, but then the box began to smoke ! We don't understand what happened, so we called Houk, the guy who 's owner of the place we rehearse. He didn't understand either, but we just almost had made a fire. Finally Frank plugged his guitar into the left box which had a great sound, much better then the one which just almost burned down.

This is drummer Dion, he just drinks his coffee after we rehearsed.

zondag 20 november 2011

playing with other musicians

I really like to play together. Fortunality I found a drummer who likes to play with us, and maybe a gitarist. There names are Dion and Francesco. I also asked a gitarist from Groningen to play with me, and he answered that he wanted to, but we didn't make an appointment yet.

I tried to upload a few songs with Dion, but my pc crashed. I will try it again soon.

zaterdag 29 oktober 2011

Performance Tricky Theater

We played some of our songs in the Tricky Theater. My daughter took this photo while she also was making a video.
We will play 3th of November, but I have got a sore throat... I really hope I won't loose my voice this week 'cause I really look forward to it. We will play with a drummer for the first time...
We played Go Now and unfortunally I really sing out of tune, ever on the same place: the last note of the song...

woensdag 19 oktober 2011

Tricky Theater en Jet Lounge

These are the places where I've been playing some songs. I'm very nervous though, and I have to drink two glasses of wine to get over it. When I play I feel very happy, so I will try to get some gigs anywhere.
I had a throatinfection and couldn't sing ( and talk) for a while. Hopefully I'm totally recovered right now.
Next Saturday we will play with a drummer in Amsterdam-Noord.

On Thursday 3 November we will play a complete set at Tricky Theater in Amsterdam.

zondag 17 juli 2011

The Neighbors

Hi guys,

This weekend I wrote a biography about 'The Neighbors'. The biography is not finished yet because there is nothing written yet about Frank. He's out of town for a few weeks, so I can't ask him the names of the bands where he used to play in. When he comes back we will play somewhere in the centre of Amsterdam on a party.
I just received some pictures which were taken on the 'Zomaar Festival', and I like to show one of them right here. I hope I will receive soon another picture of Frank playing the base.

zaterdag 28 mei 2011

Just rehearsing

Today we rehearsed again. We are still looking for some other musicians. This is Frank. He used to live nextdoor.
Yesterday my two daughters played their instruments. I will upload a video of my oldest daugher Rachel. She plays the saxofoon. Tomorrow she will play in Paradiso, a very famous place in Amsterdam.

zaterdag 14 mei 2011

Singing all day

Well, yeah, just rehearsing all day. My fingers are really painfull.
Yesterdaynight I went to the studio all by myself and I tried some new songs.
On 9 th of July I will have another performance on a festival: Zomaarfeest.  I hope Frank will enjoy me.

Go Now
It's a song about my little brother. Well, when he was only 17 years old my parents were fighting on Christmas Eve. So he left home and walked into the night. With his best friend he broke in  and stole some coca cola bottles. But then the police came and hunted them. He got arrested and slept in jail that Christmas night... He never did anything wrong again.... I think....
Maybe you found the other version of Go Now on youtube. I play that one without plectrum and in Fism in stead of Em.

vrijdag 6 mei 2011

up to date

This year, 2011,  I met Dana again. He is a friend from Groningen and he was the man who sent me once to Willy's bar, where I sang every week. He also helped managing the band Scarlett.
When I met Dana again he told me he was kind of dissapointed I quit singing my songs. I told him I didn't hardly play music anymore, and singing with my guitar was already 12 years ago. I told him I have nothing to give. Then he reacted a bit shocked and I started to think about this 'giving part'.
You might not agree with me, but I really didn't believe that musicians who tell the world they want to give and share and make people happy were telling the truth. I believed making music is just to express yourself . There are lots of people who die to get some attention for the way they express themselves. Well, actually there's nothing wrong with that. I am just doing the same thing all the time. The giving part lies in the fact somebody might recognize himself in a certain kind of music and that might give  good feelings or vibrations. When I took this conclusion I decided to buy a camera and sing for the camera. I hardly couldn't stop singing after twelve years so I have uploaded over 30 videos now. I hope there might be some people who like it and if not, that's allright. Me, myself I find sometimes some clips on youtube which make me laugh and happy.
When I started to sing again in januari 2011 for the camera I met an old neighbour and I asked him if he would like to play bass and enjoy me. His name is Frank and he said yes. We rehearsed at my house and on Queens Day we had our first performance. We only do original songs. The songs were played by Scarlett, but I tried to rewrite them a bit so I could play them with Frank.

My family

I think I told you the most of my historical music story. Now I just want to show you a picture of my friend Auke who plays the vibes and our two daughters Rachel and Annika. Rachel started playing the flute but now she plays saxophone and Annika plays the violin.

My job as a teacher

I must say, I love my work as a teacher on a primary school , but I'd rather give Dutch, spelling, geography, history, mathematics, etc. than I teach music. Sometimes I do and nowadays I tried to sing songs like "Replay" and "Billionaire" with them, but the pupils prefer singing this as a karakao on youtube. Anyway, the kids laugh at my versions on youtube, but I really don't mind. It's not really my style but I have fun to try these songs.
Just watch my version of Billionaire :
And my version of Replay:
Here I do Soulsister:
Next week I will try to make a clip with my pupils.

donderdag 5 mei 2011

Last time busking

Just before I got pregnant me and Auke went to Slovakia and the Czech Republic. This is the last time I played on the street.
Praque is a great city with many musicians. I didn't realize the Goverment wanted that these musicians only have the Czech nationality. So when the police picked me up they took me in their police-car to their office. I had to pay back all the money I earned.  


Finally I did again an audition and this time I passed the examination.
There was a downside: now I was going to study classical singing. And that's not really my business !
Fortunality, I had a great teacher who wanted to learn his students improvise on their instrument. I didn't know what to do with my voice, so I took my saxophone to these lessons. When this teacher (Rob Smit)  heard me playing, he said: "Stop the singing, go on playing your saxophone. I"ll arrange a teacher for you."
So then I got classical saxophone lessons and I was happy to quit studying singing.
I really had a nice teacher ( van Lier) for the classical guitar, but they wanted me to learn to play the piano. It was better for the solfège part.
So I also quit the guitarlessons ( which I never took before, I only had a few classical lessons on the Conservatory, I really felt sorry I had to quit), and I started to take pianolessons. Which was also nice, by the way.  I think I have been studying three years and then I ran out of money. I got a basic grant, but my time was over now. I decided to study jazz for one year yet and so I did. I had a great time but still a lot of other things asked my attention at that time. So finally I left the Conservatory without no tears.

In these years I started my own band and I am still proud I did that. The musicians I played with  were really great and I am still gratefull they wanted to play my music.
Scarlett was very special to me. I wrote the songs and Bob, Manuel and Auke made the songs live.
We had many performances and even some people wrote about us in some music magazines.
I played guitar and saxophone, Bob played bass-guitar, Manuel guitars and Auke drummed.
You can hear the song "The Bastard" on youtube:

In the meantime I played also saxophone in some other jazzcombo's and one of them was called
"Nuversma's Frustraasje" which means 'a strangers frustration.'  We really played some good jazz and we played at a jazzfestival.

Carola on piano, John on drums, Auke vibes, Hans and Annette saxes and I forgot the name of the bassplayer but I remember he played really well.

At that time I also met a bassplayer called Gerard and he gave a workshop for jazzmusicians. I do have a picture of this, but I can't find it right now.

Then suddenly my life changed. When I quit the Conservatory I decided to look for a job as teacher on a primary school. I got tired of promoting myself as a musician and looking for gigs all the time. Besides, I often had to play music at night and I always had to ask to be payed for my music. To get myself together I thought it would be better to look for a 'normal' job with more guarantee stability.
I fell in love with Auke, de drummer of Scarlett and we moved from Groningen to Amsterdam.
In Amsterdam we did just one more gig with Scarlett and this picture was taken when we were the last time together.
And then I got this job as a teacher on a primary school in Amsterdam and I worked all day. And soon I got pregnant and so all my attention went to my family and work.

The Children Pop Group (De Kinderpopband)

One night I was singing in a pub some Irish songs and then I met a man called Dana. He liked my singing and he sent me to another bar. This was 'Willy's Bar', a cheap restaurants where students could have a simple but good meal. The restaurant was very populair and the owner invited me to sing there every Thursday night, while the students had their meal.
Now the man who sent me to Willy's had a little daughter. I told him about my plans to make popmusic with some children. I already had found a 10 years old drummer and a pianist. Dana sent his daughter Danielle to me and so I found three very good young musicians to play some blues with. They soon were on a local radio and in the newspaper.
I met Bram when he was only 9 ( picture on the right). On the left picture he is 12. Behind him a 12 years old bass-player.

Lotte and Rosa on saxes, Lester on drums, Judy guitars, Sandra, Anna singing.

The band became very succesfull. We rehearsed every Thursday afternoon in a dark basement.
Nina on keyboards

I have seen many talented children and I hope they still making music nowadays. It was great to meet them and to teach how they could play together in a popband.

Kinderpopband Groningen o.l.v. Annette Vogel

Tjitse (12) en Rob (13)

Rune (10), Tjaard (12), keyboards: Hanneke (11) and Wilfred (11)

Anna (9), Kasja (11), Ruby (11), peforming Live Radio

Musical Jobs

I knew what I wanted: to get a good music education at the Conservatory in Groningen. But I was not ready for it. I started to develope myself as a music teacher. My singing teacher gave the advice to give singinglessons myself. Why not do that ? I understood clearly how it worked: Take A Deep Breath And Make Sound.
I taught many people the possiblitys of using their voice, but most important thing I thought was one should feel free. Now there are two sorts of musicteachers: first, the teacher itself is an excellent musician and all you should do is imitate. Second: the teacher is not such a good musician, but he knows where the difficulties lie and he is damn good at explaining how to solve them. Well, I belong to the last type. What you see on the picture is some of my pupils. Once a year I let them sing for each others and we had a good time together.

I also started to teach children at a primaryschool. I only taught music and I worked with children from 10 to 13 years old. I played the blues and I let them sing. One day I took some of them for a performance on the 5th of May, when we celebrate Freedom.

I started to give music workshops for children and later on I worked with some of them when they grew a bit older.
Ofcourse I didn't make that much money to live from my musical activities, so I also had to do some other jobs like working in a restaurant and cleaning houses of old people and companies. I had a very busy life, especially when I started the Kinderpopband.

woensdag 4 mei 2011

The saxophone

When I did auditions for the Conservatory I was rejected.  My level was just not good enough to study music on this school. I felt very sad about this, but never decided to give up. There many people who were rejected in the first place, but later on they had a glorious career. But first I turned back to where I belong: the street..
Now let me tell you something more about this busking.  First, it's a very good way to make money. I earned in two houres about 60 euro's.  Second, singing in the street made me happy. I think it's a way of meditation. When I sing in the street I use my high voice and that makes me a little in trance. I watch the people who pass by and I feel connected.
Some people start to talk with me. They invite me at their homes and treat me as their special guest.
There are a few people who really don't like what I am doing, but I don't mind. I never forget an English young lady who passed me by. This was in Portugal where there use to be many poor people. She looked at me one second and she said to her friend: "Disgusting, how could she ask from Portugese people..." She was not realizing she just passed a few Portugese beggars, she didn't even look at.
People have many prejudices, they don't know how they actually condemn themselves by their ignorance.
I've met many beggars, but also many rich people. Both kinds took me to their places and showed me often their despair. Life is not always what you expected. There are many people who feel lost and that's why they were touched by my singing. They do not hear me, they hear themselves, although some of them deny their lonelyness.
There are also people who tell me they hear their youth back in the songs I sing. It makes them remember who they really are. The songs make them happy.
Though I had many times the feeling I got lost myself, I never regret the things I have done.
Now here's a picture where I am singing in the street, just by myself. It's in France and it's about one o'clock p.m. At that time nobody is outside, and the shops are closed.  A French lady is passing by. And there's nothing else. I like the silence when I stop singing. The contrast between silence and screaming is never as clear as then. A song comes and goes but the silence is always there.

My saxophone
The year after the auditions I often sang in a city in the middle of Holland: Utrecht. There I met many ordinairy people and I loved to sing for them and for myself.  My best friend Jan supported me to go on with singing and busking and I still always appriciate his encouragements.
One of these days I saw an advertisement in the library where somebody wanted to sell his saxophone. I made a very important decision: I decided to buy it. It was a tenor saxophone and I blew on it as hard as I could. After only one month I could play in C and Am and I took some lessons from a guy named Johan Huizing. He made me listen to Coltrane. I loved Coltrane, somehow I could recognize my screaming heart in his playing.
When I played the saxophone for a few months I enjoyed doing some jazzworkshops where I learned to improvise solo's.

workshop Johan Huizing

During that time I also played for a while in a funky popband which was called Trade Winds.
Trade Winds with twinbrothers André and Henry playing guitars and singer Bianca. Me and Heidi playing saxes

Smederij and Surpise

After I finished my education to be a teacher I totally got lost. I needed time to process my extraordinary experiences and to figure out why I felt so lonely. Now maybe you feel a bit sorry for that twenty years old girl  you see on this picture, but I really wouldn’t have want to miss the experience with this mental hospital. I really met there some of my best friends.  The institution itself did not bring any solution in understanding my emotions. At last I spent my time with having a lot of fun with the friends I made  there, although for some, their life was really hard.

In these year a friend called me and told me to put on the television. There was a documentairy about people with something called synestesia. This means to me I see always colours in words, numbers and letters, names, every day has its own colour, and so on. I also am in a colour when I feel very tired or sick and the colour can bothering me. Now I know this must sound really strange, but there are lots of people who have this and I've gotten used to it. I am glad I watched the documentairy about this phenomenon.
My song "Red" is about seeing colours and that can be really chaotical if you experience your mood swings all the time. You can read my songtexts on the songpages of this blog.
When I left this institution I decided to prepare myself to do to audition for the Conservatory of Music. I knew that would take me some years because I didn’t have any musical background. I was only a girl who sang in the streets. But music was the only way I could express myself, so I took singing and solfège lessons. My singing teacher was a nice lady who encouraged me to do audition.

Paulus, Hilbrand, Annette
I started a new band and tried to sing some jazz. This was really not my style, but I had a good time with some musicians called Paul, Dick and Hilbrand. We found a space to rehearse; it was a bar that’s called “The Smederij”, nowadays a nice jazzcafé in Groningen.
Dick, Hilbrand

One day I met this guy and he was looking for musicians who wanted to play in his Caribbean band. He asked me to sing and in these days I liked to try all kinds of music so I learned some songs in Spanish. I asked my friend Hanneke to joy the music, so we sang together. The band got for example Tineke on sax, and some guys on trumpet and trombone, Junior on drums . The names of the other musicians I forgot.  The band was called SURPRISE and we did a lot of gigs.
Salsa band "Surprise"

dinsdag 3 mei 2011

Back home

Well, when I returned from my Europe journey I somehow got lost. It was very difficult for me to adapt, but I really tried. I started an education to be a teacher and somehow I got three years later again a diploma.

At that time I studied in Groningen, a nice town in the north of Holland. During my studies I played with some different musicians and one of the bands was called "Stillus". Actually I had a great time with these musicians because we went that summer to France and Italy to play in the streets. We didn't make any money, but we had a lot of fun. We played covers from all kind of stars from the sixties.

Another band I played in was called "Speling'. This was more interesting because here we played our own songs. Paul played the guitar and Margriet the flute. Now how did I meet all these musicians from Groningen ? We didn't have internet at that time. We had the library. On a wall in the library you could write an advertisment that you were looking for other musicians.

With my friends I played some songs like "Venus", and some songs of a French singer called Michel Fugain. One day we won the first price of streetmucisians in Groningen !
Annette,Ria,Ellen in the Herestraat in Groningen

This was also the tim I discovered the music of Sandy Denny. I never listened to music so much. People always told me I sang like Joan Baez, but I never heard of her. One day a Canadese girl took me to a concert of Joan in Lyon (France) when I was travelling. It was nice to hear this lady sing and I even met her after her show. But anyways, when I discovered Sandy Denny I liked her singing the best. So later on I tried to sing some of the songs she did. You can watch me singing some of her songs on youtube.

How I travelled in Europe and made money by busking

When I was only 18 years old I took a train from The Netherlands to Paris, France. I decided to travel through Europe and I took my guitar with me. I've been travelling for almost a year and I sang in many countries. This photo was taken in Turkey, I think it was Bursa. The songs I sang were in English. I sang
"How many roads' from Bob Dylan and "I shall be released" and that kind of stuff. I sang really high, because if I didn't I for sure lost my voice. The higher I sang, the better people in the street could hear me.
I will give you a link so you can hear me singing this song. I must admit, I totally forgot the text and didn't remember in what measure I use to play it. Watch:
When I left home I travelled on my own for only two weeks. Then I met this 29-years old American girl named Jo and we hitched-hiked together from Denmark via France, Portugal, Spain, Marocco to Turkey. This photo is taken by Jo. She took it because she saw the shop with the name 'singer' behind me. It's somewhere in France.

It might shock you a bit if I tell you I sometimes sang between beggars in front of churches. This photo is taken in Bordeaux. I knew already the beggars up there and they found it no problem if I sat in between them. Actually, they showed a good sense of humour and we all earned enough to buy some food for that day. You can see Jo sitting next to our packages. In my autobiography ( which is unfortunately written in Dutch) I describe how I meet all kind op streetpeople and how sometimes they really impressed me.

Faro, Portugal

Athens, Greece
Padova, Italy

And this is how I looked: always carrying my backpack, guitar and a basket with three kiddies which we found on the road in Italy. We took the kiddies in our shirts, but later on somebody gave me the basket while I was singing in the street. We took them all the way to Turkey and back to Holland. One of them travelled finally with Jo to the VS.

This is the way Jo looked like. When I was singing in the streets she enjoyed me often by sitting near me while she was... sewing ! Sometimes I was really nervous to sing because I thought people might not like my music. She always encouraged me to go on, and sometimes she helped me out to get away from some drunks who bothered me while I was playing.
I have written a lot of storys about my trip in my autobiography, because this trip seemed to be the most basic journey I made in my life.