zondag 27 oktober 2013

Today - October 27 - is a special day

Today is a special day for me : the day my adulthood started . It is the day when I left my parents as an 18 years old girl and I went on a journey into the  wide world . For ever.
On October 27, I took the train to Paris and started travelling through all the countries of Europe , included Turkey and Morocco . What I did not know is that the rest of my life would be based on this trip.
I started off with a interail card ( travelling by train for a month ) and after that I hitched hiked. With backpack and guitar I wandered from city to city to make music .
I was soon joined by a woman from the USA . She was a ship's cook but  as an American woman  an Arab country in which the ship was moored wouldn’t let her in. So she flew to Europe to visit and soon she met me (in Venice). We looked nothing alike, but needed each other badly. I needed her strength, and she needed my tent and cooking utensils. During the trip we had lots of struggle, but we were also very loyal to each other. Only later, when I was back home, I realized that there was a strong bond between us. It was not just been a physical survival ( life of the street is tough ) but also a mental journey that has shaped me . I not only carried the backpack with tent , clothing and cookware with me , but also a large luggageof the Past. This trip has beaten the bridge of my childhood to adulthood , a road which still would last long.
I have not  made ​​a CD yet , not even an ordinary good mp3, but I have written a well sold autobiography . Pseudonymous course, because the biography is very frank .
If you are interested let me know , I will send you a link .
October 27. At the moment I write this it’s 11.04 am , and at this time I was sitting in the train to Paris . There were only French people in it and I sat alone for 5 hours.
Tonight I would roam around in the dark with my guitar through the streets of Paris ,  too scared to get my guitar out and play . I remember well what a hurry all the people seemed to have in that big city . “Hurry to go home” , I said and I felt yealous because I was already homesick.The first night of this trip ( which took a year)  I met a guy who asked if he might  play my guitar and I said yes . It was on the square of the Pompidou. Nobody payed attention to his playing and then he told me to go to the subway, and play there . But I did not dare.It was a hard day, that first day, October 27.

  Luckily I'd take the step tomorrow and discover that I could come around with  singing folk songs . I discovered my strength and learned how to survive under difficult circumstances.  I learned to believe in the goodness of people, despite the occasionally unpleasant experiences. I still feel save at public places, just drinking coffee (with lots of sugar because sometimes I didn’t have much to eat). That’s one of the reasons I go everyday to the restaurant of the HEMA; I feel happy there because I am aware of the temperature, the people and the coffee. I stare out the window and imagine I will play in the streets again after I drank my coffee, and I remember that will feel safe again while I am singing, because singing is like a meditation.  
Today I recall as a dark rainy day of Autumn , an uncertain beginning of a new life . A beautiful and intense life. I will celebrate this date in the HEMA again. With a hot cup of coffee and I will realize where I am now.


woensdag 23 oktober 2013

Funky town

Last months I have been working on my songs. I decided that I only want to play when I really believe in what I am doing on that stage. I mean, I got tired of being insecure all the time and I started thinking of what I want with my music. ( It's for me almost the same question as what do you want in and with your life)  I think I change my mind a lot, my point of view is not really steady and sometimes other people need to tell me where I am heading for, cause I can be totally unaware of many things. Anyway, what I wanted to tell me and you is that my heart goes to funk these times, good steady funk, and that's why I had a great experience in the Waterhole last night.
I think it was the houseband which was playing:  there was a drummer and two pretty good bass-players ( one of them played with Danalyze earlier in the evening; I started the night at Backstage Hotel with the Amsterdam Songwriters Guild.) 
The energy of the band in the Waterhole reminded me a bit of Jan Kuiper, a guitarist from Groningen. I once heard him playing with his band the Jungle Warriers in Utrecht and - wow, man - the music really makes me crazy !
Back to my own music. What I like is folkmusic, I like the voice of Sandy Denny very very much. And I like funky stuff. Now I wrote two songs about hookers; and one of the songs got this groove I like to play on my guitar. I always felt a little ashamed to play that way but I decided to go for it. I mean, this is what I like to do: bamming on my guitar. And if I really like to do that, I should go for it. So now you know :) 
So watch this vids and you'll understand what I mean:

Okay, let me tell you about last night. It was a very interesting night because I spoke to some people while watching and listening to other songwriters.
It was the first time that I played in the Backstage Hotel; a nice place where the ASG (Amsterdam Songwriters Guild) have an open mic every Tuesday night. You have to go there early because the list is already full at 8 pm. Unfortunally there was something wrong with my guitar, so I played on the guitar of Paul Bond, another songwriter. Playing on guitars of other people is sometimes a bit hard, but this guitar was great ! ( I'll ask him what kind of guitar he has.) I got confused only one time: this is a weird experience what sometimes happens to me and that is that I sometimes become alienated; I don't recognize the world around me anymore. -Okay, this is pretty weird to tell you, but I don't suffer from it - unless I don't recognize chords and strings.... and this perfectly happened when I played the song Schizophrenia. 
Actually I first wanted to tell the people what happened to this song, but the timing was not good last night, so now I write down here that  a year ago I played this song on a session and I played the song together with Glenn Hayes. He is a bass-player and he told me he liked the song very much and  he recorded the song. I was very surprised what he did to the song, he changed the structure,  but I liked it very much ! Now this musician suddenly died a few months ago and last night it was the first time I sang the song again after he died, so I had to think of him all the time. 
And  while I was playing this song, I forgot how a guitar works... but my authomatic pilot saved me. 
You can listen to the recording of Glenn right here: 

There were a lot of people at Backstage Hotel last night and I had a nice time with Otto. Otto playes his songs on the guitar in a beautiful way and he's also the guy who encourages me to write on my blog again.

The conversation I had last night with Otto reminded me of Dana, a very important man in my life who encouraged me two years ago to start making music again. It's actually because of him I started singing again after 13 years not making any music.

I was surprised to meet Steve Cline at Backstage, he was a friend of Glenn and he did the sessions in Lijn 10 for a while. 
I met two women from France, and they were staying just another night in Amsterdam. They enjoyed the music of all songwriters and I liked to watch how they had a good time.

Leonie is a songwriter from Amstelveen and I must admit, after we left the hotel they didn't sell any red wine anymore because we drank it.

This is Danielle, she took a nice bassplayer with her, later this guy played the bass in Waterhole, I really enjoyed it. The guy with the hat is a songwriter called Sjoerd. 

With Max, de host of the ASG nights in Backstage Hotel

It was a pleasure to meet Lily Kiara

After the ASG-gig we left the Backstage Hotel and danced and had a good time in the Waterhole, Dzuana, Danielle and Leonie even got on that stage again ! 
Today I will work on my songs again, I have to work out Schizophrenia and theother song about the hooker ( "the Prostitute"). Yes, my songs are sometimes very weird indeed, I am not always aware of that actually, so please tell me ( in a friendly way) what you think about it :) 
Next gig is Sunday October 27, on the Pekmarkt in Amsterdam-Noord, and in the night at The Voices; I will write about that gig on this blog because the date is a very special day for me. 
drummer in de Waterhole