deadline for the heart of Iceland: nine days.
even amidst the lovely narrow streets and tolling bells of old Bamberg, i can’t stop thinking about the current state of emergency regarding the future of Iceland’s Highlands. in its usual quietly relentless way, the national power company (Landsvirkjun) has been working on a blatantly illogical proposal that will ensnare and then destroy the wild and beautiful heart of the country it has already taken so much from.
please consider supporting Gætum Garðsins (Protect the Park) in its goal to protect the Icelandic Highlands as a national park – much more information is available on its facebook page:https://m.facebook.com/gaetumgardsins/
and also please visit the wonderful Heart of Iceland site, where a petition can be signed: http://heartoficeland.org/
finally, an articulate and emotional explanation of the potential effects of Landsvirkjun’s proposal by Andri Snær Magnason and Björk at a recent press conference (article in Icelandic, text in English):
come join me and Icelandic poet Sigurbjörg Þrastardóttir tomorrow evening at Villa Concordia in Bamberg for a very, very special show, part of the 5th annual Bambergliest festival. doors are at 6:30 pm, and admission is free.
thank you for a beautiful night in Toronto, and for the warmest send-off i could have imagined. my heart will still be glowing as i head for Germany.
thank you also to dan, TWiMFeST, and The Tennessee for having me.
i’m reckless with live shows because i love them so much. i don’t care whatsoever about making money from them (perhaps to my detriment) – all i need is a way to get to and from the city or town the show’s in, enough to eat so that i don’t pass out onstage, and somewhere to sleep, even if it’s just a tent or a hollow tree. if i’m bringing a band with me, it’s different – i need to make sure that the musicians playing with me get paid (and sleep indoors), because they’re taking time away from their lives and jobs and families, and i’m hiring them to help me out. but alone, i only have very basic needs, and once i have those needs in place i will go anywhere, anytime. as an example of how much my desire to play for all of you trumps common sense, right now i don’t even have a flight home from Europe booked, because i can’t yet afford one. i’m crossing my fingers that some people come to the shows, and that i can sell a few CDs.
otherwise i guess i’m building a raft. but this is fine with me, this uncertainty, because without taking chances, nothing awesome ever happens.
i have no booking agent, no manager, no label, no publicist. no official outside help with the business side of all of this. all of the November dates in Europe are happening because of the direct intervention, financial support, co-planning and generosity of some amazing people who i’ve only had the pleasure of meeting online so far, through countless exchanged emails. i crammed as many shows as i possibly could into the three weeks i am away from my part time job in November, and am intensely pleased and proud to be playing in all of the cities i am playing in. but i’m sad to be missing so many of you as well. still, maybe it’s not clear just how much work, planning and cost goes into this sort of thing.
the show in Bamberg, Germany is happening because of an arts grant a wonderfully determined and generous man named Martin helped secure, not to mention a whole lot of thoughtful and exhausting planning on his part. i first heard from him one year ago, and we have been working on this show since then, slowly but surely. i wouldn’t have been able to afford to fly to Europe in the first place if it hadn’t been for him, and that’s where all of this started; how i am coming to Europe at all.
Moscow is only possible because of the combined efforts of a small group of lovely people who first wrote me many beautiful letters and then decided amongst themselves to team up and pool their money to help fly me to them for a private show, because they knew i would be relatively nearby, in Germany. again, i couldn’t have afforded to go at all without their direct help and fundraising. they have been incredible over the six months we have been making our arrangements.
finally, all the dates between Bulgaria and Offenbach, from the 17th to the 27th, are thanks to the planning, past knowledge, patience, and generosity of Liz and Rowan of Midas Fall, who were kind enough to have me along on part of their tour when i was looking for more shows to play. they’ve toured Europe before, and without being allowed to join them, it would have been a real struggle to find places to play. it’s difficult approaching a club as one person, with no space between being the artist and the booking agent. or at least, i’m hopelessly terrible at it.
of course there has been endless planning and expense on my part as well, from rehearsing and writing new songs to arranging visas and an IDP and sending CDs to sell to renting a vehicle while i am over there and somehow saving money to pay for fuel, food, and accommodations on my nights off. but the credit lies most with the people above for this tour. and this message is here not only to say a heartfelt thank you to all of them, but also to try once more to explain that i am never ignoring any of you when you ask me to come to your town, or choosing one place above another. it’s just that as a completely independent artist, who must work a part time job to pay his rent, i have very limited resources.
so i always appreciate any help i can get. i’ve been successful in setting my own shows up in the past, and will continue to try, but remember that you only see the successfully booked gigs displayed on my sites. the many, many failures are invisible.
i’ll learn a lot from this tour, and don’t plan on stopping after this. i’d like to try to finally play some shows in the USA in 2016, among other places. you are so close, but there are costs involved even in just crossing the border as a musician, and i’ll have to have at least a few shows guaranteed. this has stopped me in the past, but if i can make it to Europe, i can make it to you. and everyone else too.
so that’s all. know that every time i read the name of another country or city or town in a comment or email my heart races and i wonder how i could get to you. i just want to strap my guitar and Number Six on my back, grab my compass and start walking.
2 new songs ready to sing at 11 upcoming solo shows.
3 weeks away from Bamberg, Germany.
4 weeks away from Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and the 1st date of a 9 city European tour with Midas Fall.
5 november: overseas/underseas solo show, Toronto, Ontario. the 1 year anniversary of Öxnadalur. tickets disappearing.
11 upcoming raised by swans shows now trackable here.
image below: ‘sightings’, via Bandcamp. born inside my chest in Berlin, Germany, 09/05/12. Victory Day. recorded and released 07/13. dedicated to my grandfather, and Berlin itself. on 26/11/15, i finally get to sing it back to both of them.
purchase for 1 dollar or more and help put petrol into my tiny rented car and nutrition into my body while i am far from home. purchase any or all of my music from Bandcamp and know that you are helping me do the same. and that i am grateful.
dangerously excited to finally officially announce some of the European dates i’ll be playing in November (more to come, possibly).
grateful beyond measure to Midas Fall for having me along for part of their tour, which is a celebration of the release of their third album, ‘The Menagerie Inside’. and of course to Martin Beyer, once again, for starting all of this by inviting me to Villa Concordia.
i’ve been dreaming of coming to Europe to play since i released ‘Codes and Secret Longing’ way back in 2005. and even before then. still finding it hard to believe that it’s actually happening.
more (but still rather sparse) details here, but i’ll be adding more over the next little while as they come to me. for now, just know that i’ll be there soon.
10/11 – Bamberg, DE – Villa Concordia (w/ Sigurbjörg Þrastardóttir)
17/11 – Plovdiv, BG – Bee Bop Cafe (opening for Midas Fall)
19/11 – Bucharest, RO – Fabrica Club (opening for Midas Fall)
20/11 – Iasi, RO – Underground Club (opening for Midas Fall)
21/11 – Cluj Napoja, RO- Shelter (opening for Midas Fall)
23/11 – Zupanja, CR – Cafe Bar Okac (opening for Midas Fall)
24/11 – Trnava, SK – City Club (this one’s still uncertain)
25/11 – Loukov, CZ – Barkà Kafe Bar (opening for Midas Fall)
26/11 – Berlin, DE – K17 (opening for Midas Fall)
27/11 – Offenbach, DE – Hafen 2 (opening for Midas Fall)
advance tickets for november 5th at The Tennesee in Toronto are available here.
since this night is only a small part of a festival, and i’m only a small part of the night itself, i’m afraid that i have no control over whether there will be tickets available at the door on the night of the show (dan tells me that the night may sell out, as a matter of fact). so i apologize to anyone who doesn’t have the means of buying tickets online.
i did ask dan (the main organizer/promoter) for a possible solution, and he’s been kind enough to offer other options – please get in touch with him at either firstname.lastname@example.org or add/contact him via facebook (he goes by ‘dan monologues’) if you’d like to make alternate arrangements.
more very soon.
sorry for the long silence. things have been difficult.
would much rather be writing and sharing music than an update. but these things are approaching, and in spite of my brain being locked in a safe on a sunken ship, i know that i should be saying something about them. especially as i’m about to disappear again for a little while.
1. Bamberg, Germany – solo show, Tuesday, November 10th. Villa Concordia. best to get in touch with Martin Beyer regarding the guest list to ensure a spot at this very special evening, which features the poetry of Icelandic poet Sigurbjörg Þrastardóttir, and then some music from me. it’s free to attend, but if you’re travelling far, a spot on the list will guarantee that you get in. Martin is kind and helpful, and can even recommend accommodations if you need them. his email address is email@example.com.
2. TWiMFeST, Toronto, Canada – solo show, Thursday, November 5th. i’m grateful to dan of Two Way Monologues for inviting me to perform this year at this festival, a partnership of Two Way Monologues and The Indie Machine. of the nights available, i chose the 5th, as it’s the one year anniversary of the release of Öxnadalur. this little show will also be a good-bye before i head to Europe (see above and below). it’s happening at a peculiar venue that i’m not familiar with, called ‘Tennessee’, and my set is at 10:00 pm sharp.
i could really use the support before i head off across the sea – or into the sea, depending on how things go. so i hope to see you there. please have a look at the facebook event, and if you can let dan know that you’ll be attending, i’m sure he’d appreciate it: https://www.facebook.com/
3. Europe – solo shows, November ?-?. Liz and Rowan, the core of Midas Fall (UK) have been generous enough to invite me along for a small section of their month-long European tour in mid-November. so far it sounds like i will be opening for them in Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, and Germany. please check the tour section of this website for full details over the next little while.
more when i feel a bit more like myself.
sending my love, and hoping you are safe.
a (rare) interview is now posted at Austin, Texas-based tunebabe.com. i decided to give another a try after all this time, and thankfully, emily was a lovely and thoughtful interviewer, and made things very easy (perhaps too easy, as i ended up rambling a bit – my responses are edited as a result).
most gratifyingly, i’m very proud to be featured as her ‘artist of the month’ for July.
the link to the article is here.
the one interview answer i would like to clarify is that i do not think that streaming music is the same as stealing it – the transition i made was a bit abrupt and unintentional. i do, however, think that streaming services ultimately demean and grossly undervalue both music and its creators. not that most people are even aware of how they work, sadly.
i talked a bit about all of you, too.