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 @ email@example.com to buy tickets and/or if you need help finding accommodations.
a very special raised by swans performance will be happening in Bamberg, Germany on Saturday, December 1st, 2018, at Alte Seileri Bamberg.
please email Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve advance tickets (€10) and/or with inquiries about accommodations.
it’s been difficult to imagine writing an update of any kind over the past five and a half months. please forgive the extended silence. more soon.
a bespectacled chrysalis is moments away from passing through a gate. it is smuggling songs inside its brain.
i wish i wasn’t writing this. in late 2016 a terrible door appeared somewhere in the distance, a door whose location i wouldn’t be able to predict or avoid and whose other side i couldn’t bear to imagine. tried to dig under it, ignore it, destroy it with love and focus and hard work, but failed. on december 27th, 2017, i finally lost my beautiful number six, after 22 years and 7 months of the most extraordinary and tender togetherness. and the door closed behind me. there isn’t a raised by swans song in existence that hasn’t in an early home version had his purrs or meows or sleeping heartbeat appear on my vocal tracks. just as there is not a moment in the future where i will not miss him.
i’m sharing this to explain the longer than usual silence. to mark his passing, because he deserves it. and to explain the impossible release date last year also, to all of you, and to myself. forgive me but i needed to believe in it. and now it’s 2018 somehow, and though my little place is quieter and emptier and colder than it was, music is here with me again. songs i began recording last year for album #4 revealing their truths like invisible ink on a warmed map. new songs coming to life. i’m back to work.
i’d meant to write something about the european tour with Midas Fall but haven’t been capable and still am not. but it was a tremendous adventure. more perhaps about that in a later update. for now, i just wanted to say that i’m here. that my darling, miraculous number six, as much as my heart aches to admit it, is not. and that i hope you’re okay out there, wherever you are.
and number six, 1994-2017.
due to logistical issues, the show in Brno won’t be happening tonight.
thank you to everyone who came out to DAOS club in Timișoara last night. because of the Brno cancellation, it turns out it was my final show with Midas Fall this tour, and it was a beautiful and emotional night. Cluj was wonderful as well on Saturday.
we’ve decided to come back to Budapest for one last night together before i head back to Canada and Midas Fall continue on. after 15 shows with only one night off, we’re currently sitting in a rented apartment with some bottles of Romanian wine feeling a bit lost. like we should be unloading the van somewhere.
hate that this has to end. but it’s time to go home.
make sure to get to Midas Fall’s last two shows in Rotterdam and Ghent.
off to Cluj-Napoca with Midas Fall, another long day in the van. the show tonight is at Flying Circus Cluj and starts at 7:00 pm.
thought there’d be time over the past few days to say something about the shows in Plovdiv, Sofia, Bucharest, and Iași, but we’ve barely stopped moving. can only hope you all know how very appreciated you all are, from those who have come out to listen to those who have organized the shows and taken care of us.
see you soon.
Plovdiv tonight, at the Bee Bop Café. doors at 9:00 pm.
thank you for your warmth, Athens. going to bed glowing.