zondag 9 december 2012

Houseconcert in Amsterdam / Desiree Schilling

As you could read yesterday I tried to have no expectations about the gig I was gonna have last night.
So the whole evening was a big surprise to me...
 When I arrived at the house of Desiree Schilling,  the first thing I was thinking about was the murder of Theo van Gogh. He was murdered  in front of her house some years ago as he was cycling to work in the early morning of 2 November 2004,.This man  was a Dutch film director, film producer, columnist, author and actor.
 The day after the murder, Dutch police arrested eight Muslim radicals belonging to a group later referred to as the Hofstad Network. The Dutch Complaints Bureau for Discrimination on the Internet (MDI) received many complaints about websites' praising the murder and making death threats against other people.
 I remember this very well because I passed that spot everyday when I cycle to my school. The day of the murder I just passed the spot, it was only 5 minutes later when he was shot down.
With this on my mind I rang the bell of the house and a nice lady opened the door. She's called Desiree and she showed me the way to the stage. This was in her living-room where she had put some tables and chairs for the audience. I heard another singersongwriter playing in another room. She was called Femke and she took Diego and Nadia with her. Desiree's husband offered me some good red wine and after a soundcheck we all had dinner together. Rufus arrived( I met him before when we played in ZAAL 100 ) and when he sat down to eat his spaghetti he started to hum and buzz.  "I am a starting truck," he said, and so the other musicians tried to start their truck also. There was a nice atmosphere and Desiree asked us what she would tell the audience about us. She also told me the night was a public night, at first I thought she gave a party just for friends. She likes to organize  a public night once in a while, people pay just  a small compensation for good food, drinks and live music. She had also invited guests of the hotel in front of her house.
I didn't think so many people would show up, but the room was overcrowded !
There was a really nice atmosphere in the room. Here you see Diego. He is from Colombia. He studied music in Amsterdam and he is a very good bass player.
This nice woman helped Desiree with the dranks
Rufus, waiting for his turn to play his beautiful poetic songs

Now there is a very important thing to know if you are listening to musicians. Sometimes it is important to tell musicians what you think of their music or their sound. Last summer I watched the singersongwriter contest on the Dutch television and there was a woman who sang her songs. The songs were nice but everybody could hear that her pronunciation of the English language was not correct. So the presentator told her. Than she said: "Why did never ever somebody tell me this before ! ? "
I mention this because last night I had a great audience. The great thing about it was that people really listened and after my performance there were some people who told me - in a nice way- what they thought about it. So now I know I still have to work on the balance of my voice and guitar and that I have to give much attention to every word I say so that everybody really can understand what I am saying in my songs.
(Another great thing about the audience last night was that they only started to yearn after eight songs, and I will give my compliments for that, not because I think my music is that sleepy but just because I can't be quiet and listening for more then 40 minutes myself.)

Last night I started the set with the song Song for the Addicted This was what I decided because I missed our cajunplayer. I am not sure if he will play with us again but I hope he will relax and everything will be allright.The song Irish Girl in Paris didn't go that well, I missed a chord but when I looked at Mick I saw and heard he caught it up and followed me. 
At the intro of RED we decided to do some percussion, but I couldn't hear Mick that well, I hope we did allright...after the concert a woman came to me and she asked me if she could download the song somewhere, well the latest version on internet is this one, but we will make a new mp3 because there must be percussion in it. RED
Bird in a glass house
After our performance Femke played her songs with Diego on bass and Nadia ( vocals & violin)

At the end of the night people some people started to dance.The whole week I had a sore throat so I didn't think I would make it tonight with my voice, but I did it and I am so glad I came to this houseconcert.I didn't want to miss it. I think Desiree started a wonderfull initiative, she made a good meal for us and she made good food for the audience. 
Desiree Schilling

Of course, I do realize that it's maybe not polite to mention our salary, but as a musician I think I should say something about this. In these times it's very hard for a musician to work for money and so most of times me and many other musicians play for free dranks, good food, good audience and good times. This is okay for me but actually I don't think it's right to expect that musicians always play for free. I really appreciate the idea of Desiree. She, herself, asked the people to donate something for the musicians in her hat, and I must say, this was a good thing of her to do. It feels as if people  respect what you are doing, even if they maybe didn't like it. So thank you sweet audience and thank you, Desiree ! This night I think we all had a great time.  

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