i hadn’t realized it until recently, but it turns out that the concert coming up on December 1st will not only be the sole raised by swans performance happening in the southwestern quadrant of the Upper Franconian region of the Free State of Bavaria during the year of 2018, but also on the entire planet Earth. minus the ones i’ve unwittingly put on for the birds and mountains outside the attic window as i work, that is. not to mention the phantom mice downstairs, who likely aren’t even listening, but using the opportunity to urinate into the toaster.
this will be my third appearance in Bamberg since 2015, thanks to my dear friend Martin, who has arranged all three down to the smallest detail. each has been unique and deeply significant to me, and if you’ve been to either past show (or both) you know what an enchanting town Old Bamberg is (you’ll forgive me for using the word “enchanting” once you’ve been, whether i end up forgiving myself or not), with its warren of cobblestoned passageways, its rivers of rauchbier (also, i should note, of water; the Regnitz runs right through/beneath the centre of town, its beauty as intoxicating as the smoked beer, especially at night, and especially in tandem with the beer), its buildings humming with hundreds of years of history (some dating from the 13th and 14th century), its delicious food, its daily outbursts of church bells, and its natural history museum, where in 2016 i gazed upon both a two-headed duckling and some 200 year-old pears.
so: come to Bamberg in December. the 200 year-old pears are reason enough to visit. skip the concert; see the pears. i’ll understand.
in 2019 i hope there will be more concerts than one. currently i’m finishing writing album #4, breathing again after a blur of underwater months courtesy of too many cement blocks attached to my brain, alone and kicking hard in the house where i wrote much of ‘Öxnadalur’, clocks turned to the walls, a bearded shadow nursing an incubator full of songlings, several of the more grown up of which i’ll be bringing with me to Bamberg. those in attendance will be the first people to hear them. i’ll also be playing songs from my past three albums.
after album #4’s release sometime in 2019 (#4 will be as fully orchestrated as the previous three), i’d like to get a band together again and do some proper touring, both with other musicians and alone.
please forgive my blathering but i need to take advantage of a rare day and write and post a proper update while i’m feeling brave and wide open. which to be honest is a rather easy way to feel only an hour or so after listening to Maurice Sendak saying, during an interview (and this only a few months before he died), “live your life, live your life, live your life,” from a small speaker across the room.
the poster for the show is attached. thank you to my old friend Antranik Tchalekian (skullwingdoors / underwoodghostways) for once again capturing my brain-pictures (plus an actual photograph, this time) with his ultra-talented hands. and to Reimar for preparing a print-worthy version. and to both for their patience.
i hope you’re all navigating your own dark hallways without feeling too scared or lost, or better yet, that you’re feeling lit up and healthy and loved, and i very much hope to see you in Upper Franconia in December, specifically Bamberg, where i will be coming straight from the inside of a snow drift in northern Iceland to sing to you and to see what it’s like to be around human beings again.
remember to email Martin @ firstname.lastname@example.org to buy tickets and/or if you need help finding accommodations.