Tag Archives: art studio

A Special Performance at Wim’s Art Instillation and Last Performance in Amsterdam for 2016

Sunday August 14th 2016

I always wake up feeling hopeful that a person with a room in NYC has written back to me, but it hasn’t been the case yet. I have to keep the hope. I’m doing the best I can, and that’s all I can do. I have to try and keep calm. We went downstairs to watch the video Marja made of yesterday’s performance at the art studio. All four of us sat down to watch it on the screen TV. It was a special moment. It showed me the magical thing we have done over the past several years with Wim and Marja. We played with his art back in 2010. It’s a long process of creative collaboration and friendship.

We took the very bumpy and hot tram to the park and I was sad. I’ve been very emotional these days. I started crying thinking of having to leave Wim and Marja so soon. We’re leaving for London the day after tomorrow. It’s too soon. We don’t see them enough, and they’re some of our dearest friends. We got to the bridge in Vondelpark and a very talented violinist was playing. It really is astounding the talent some people possess and what they have to do to survive. He was gracious and after a few songs motioned for us to play. An artist came to paint us. She sat right in front so others felt more comfortable to watch us.

It was one of the hardest plays we’ve had physically in a long time. I couldn’t breathe and my legs hurt a lot while we danced. Ow. It’s because we haven’t been playing as much. We take a risk by playing in that spot. It’s not a very fun play by any means, but if we gather a crowd and sell CDs, it’s worth it. We always know people are moved by what we do. Because of yesterday’s very special performance, I felt performing in that space today under the bridge in the dust was beneath us. We would like to perform in museums! Play to and around the art! Now that would be amazing.

We took the crowded tram home, and I was pretty down, but we had a lovely dinner with Wim and Marja, which always cheers me up. Being with friends who understand us makes all the difference.

Saturday August 13th 2016

This morning I was hungry, but not in the mood to go get food before we went to Wim and Marja’s art studio at 2:30pm. We would do a short performance with Wim’s art around 4pm today for several of their friends. I took a pill for motion sickness, which left me incredibly tired, so tired I had to lay down and take a nap. Marja got out a mattress and put it in a dark place for me to nap. Bunny lay down with me for a few minutes. I got up with a half hour before our performance. I was groggy and confused. I quickly did some simple makeup and got dressed. About 10 people had arrived to watch. Artist friends of Wim and Marja. I didn’t know what would happen, and was anxious to start. Once we did begin playing, I was completely relaxed and unafraid, more so than I’ve ever been. We’ve played with Wim’s art over the years, but this one was the best and most fun for me since 2010. Here is the full performance.

It felt so freeing and fun. I was the one who started playing, instead of Thoth leading me, like what happened when we played back in 2010. I led. I started. It felt really good. We did this thing at the beginning where we started stomping together, and we ended the song together. We’ve always ended together, even when we first started playing together back in 2009.

Wim was so pleased. He sat and talked with us while we ate food Marja had brought. He told us all the things he loved. I love that. I was sleepy so I lay down on the bench in my furry pink coat. Wim pet the arm of my coat. It was sweet. We went home and played a fun game trying to read the Dutch signs on the highway. It was hysterical. We were all laughing. Later that night we went to get some dinner. Last few days in Amsterdam.

Having A WIM-sical Time in Amsterdam!

Thursday August 4th 2016

We went to Wim and Marja’s art studio today. It was 45 minutes from Amsterdam. They made it so cool looking. I asked Marja lots of questions about her new art pieces. I love her artwork, and Wim’s. They’re both so WIM-sical. Hardy har har. Marja’s art is so colorful. I love colors. ­čÖé

We spent the afternoon exploring their studio and working on music. I’m documenting the process, but I don’t want to share it until closer to when the album comes out, or afterwards. I don’t want to give away too much. We’re working with electronic loops and are thinking of making a concept album, maybe with the story I wrote for Ee-ay’La, or maybe something totally different. We just create and we’ll see how it goes. We’ll have plenty of time in Nashville in December to work on it at our leisure. I’m really excited about it, and feeling very happy and inspired. I am happy to be happy here because last year I was just stressed about the opera commission, which I thought was going to do something magical for us. With this new album project, whatever happens, there’s no stress or money or expectation involved, and it will be beautiful and fun no matter what. Actually, making Esh and Ee-ay was not fun, it was just really stressful and hard. The pressure was really too much for me, even when we made the concept album with Michael and Rhan in Oakland in December 2014. Too stressful. I was convinced we were wasting everyone’s time and a lot of our money, but it ended up being an album and a show I am so proud of making, but this one will be completely different. Different from all our other albums, and I have no idea what that means. It’s a fun thing to work on. I love creating music when there is no pressure. Having pressure is great for getting it done, but this way is more fun.

Anyway, Wim wants us to perform at the studio with his art next Sunday and invite a few friends over. We did that last year and it was really fun. I can’t believe it was a year ago. It feels like yesterday. Last year I didn’t enjoy Amsterdam at all because I was too stressed about the commission. We went home around 5 and continued working on music until time for dinner. Thoth made us salmon sandwiches and leftover chicken risotto. It’s SOO nice to have home cooked meals again.

Here’s my vlog:

Wednesday August 3rd 2016

Our first day in Amsterdam. I slept like a baby from 11pm until 11am. I was SO tired!! I spent the day editing the travel vlogs, then we took a walk to the grocery store to get food for dinner. Thoth would make chicken risotto for everyone. Yummy!

We came home and worked on music. We’re writing a new album in December. Practicing in this way is more fun for me. Thoth is using Reason to make loops in different keys so I can get comfortable with them. I hope to God we have a safe place to live in New York for the Fall so we can work in peace and play in the park, but I’m not worrying about it. Everything always works out for us. Wim and Marja asked if we’d like to go to their art studio tomorrow. We said yes, and asked if they’d like to come to the festival in Ruigoord on Wednesday next week. We were invited to play there. A few years have gone by they’ve wanted us to play there and we’ve not been in town. It worked out this year.

Thoth went downstairs to cook and I sat with him and we talked about our lifestyle and how sustainable it is. It’s a great life to live. Sometimes we work, sometimes we rest, but we are always being creative and we are always free and everything is always changing. We’re at home wherever we are.

Here’s my vlog from our first day in Amsterdam if you haven’t seen it yet.

Playing for Wim’s Art Instillation

Saturday August 29th 2015

Playing at Vondelpark bummed me out today. I was hoping we’d to sell some CDs, but we didn’t sell as many as last Saturday. That space is so hard to play in. Thoth says he loves singing with me no matter what is happening. His only sadness comes from fear of people stopping us. We decided to pack it in early. We had to be home by 5 to go┬áto Weesp with Wim and Marja for a performance. When we got home, I was so sullen and sad. “It’s a very ‘Fuck it all.’ kind of day.” Thoth said.IMG_20150829_160746548

We arrived at the studio in Weesp and ate something before I put on more makeup. I sat with Wim and Marja and told them how I was feeling. “Why is life so hard? It seems that life doesn’t get easier, we just learn how to deal with it better.” I said. “Exactly,” Wim said. “You learn to stop giving a shit as you get older.” Marja said 7 people had dropped out from coming at the last minute. “You never know who is going to come.” she said. That didn’t make me feel better.

I went into our little dressing room where Thoth was napping. “I don’t want to play.” I said. “You mean now, or in general?” he asked. “Now. Nobody is coming. We’re doing this for Wim.” I said. “It’s very little of him to ask in exchange for letting us stay with them for 2 weeks.” Thoth said. “At least he will enjoy it.” I said.

It ended up only 6 people came, including Wim and Marja, but we actually had fun. The lighting was perfect and I hid in a little door and Thoth went “looking” for me while improvising. “You’re really good at it.” Wim said later. We played 4 pieces from the opera, and I wanted to keep playing. Every time we finished a piece, the 6 people in the room cheered. I could tell everyone was enjoying it immensely, especially Wim. He’d built this structure with us in mind, so it must have been magical to see us performing around it. It’s a great set for us, and he was wandering around turning things on and off, which added to the intrigue. It was fine having so few people watching. Just so long as they’re enthusiastic, it doesn’t matter. ┬áIt’s so weird to┬áhave a bunch of people watching us in public and they clap so hesitantly, or sometimes way after the fact, or not at all.

The gathering.

IMG_20150829_215936202Me, feeling better.IMG_20150829_220820365

Thoth. IMG_20150829_220833006

Wim was very pleased.

Wim

Wim

We sat with everyone and talked, then once the guests left, Marja played the film she took of us. It was the first time we saw the opera as it is now. It’s beautiful, and it was wonderful hearing Wim and Marja’s comments. They were very into it. Marja films us really well. She knows how to follow our movements without getting in the way, and her camera phone takes great footage. We’ll post it after the show in Martha’s Vineyard.

It was midnight when we got home and flopped in bed. One more day of playing tomorrow, then we pack on Monday and leave Tuesday!