Posted at: 2019-12-31 11:44:28
Goodbye, 2019. You were a special year. Some things happened I had always wanted to do and I didn't imagine I would get close to doing them so soon.
One of the most special things was the short film/music video for Chabliz, which I directed and filmed last summer for their beautiful song When Sirens Call. Please watch it if you have not seen it yet.
As for my own music, at the beginning of the year I recorded A New Green. I am very pleased with it and I am happy I am not the only one. It is so far the best selling song on my Bandcamp, it has been played on quite a few radio stations in several countries, especially in the UK, and it received very good reviews in KMS Reviews (Germany) and Nordic Music Review (UK).
Recording and producing music is one of the best things for me; discovering new things in the songs and then painting them with different instruments and arrangements, and finding new ways they can travel and make new patterns. It is like a fascinating journey and I wish I could spend so much more time doing this. Except then I would need to stop touring. And that would be no good. So I try to divide the time between recording and booking shows when I am home, and there is never enough time for either.
But I have played some lovely shows this year, solo and with my great drummer Annewil who started playing with me at the end of 2018. The collaboration developed and grew and then... OK, I have to leave some surprises for next year.
I played mostly in the Netherlands but also in Germany! One of them was opening for Andy Jones, please check him out because he is just finishing his new album and I heard some songs from it at that show and it is going to be great.
And I did play two really nice shows in Finland, in a very special pub, Katubaari Axu in Tampere. I will return there on Valentine's Day/Friends' Day (14th February), so if you live near, please mark it in your calendars! https://www.facebook.com/events/2408747646008290/
I also visited Tampere on another occasion, to participate in WOMEX, already for the third time. It was a time of music discoveries and special connections with people – every time after WOMEX, my head buzzes for several weeks with everything that happened there.
So – it has been a year of surprises. Things I didn't expect happened, and things I hoped to get done are still waiting to get done next year.
You were a good year, 2019... And here is a little present for you.
A song written ten years ago that deserved a rerecording. A song about bad luck, or a difficult time, and how to overcome it.
There are different ways of dealing with a grey rainy day. In Ireland, I heard people say "What a beautiful day!" on a day that was so ugly, muddy, wet, cold and windy that it seemed like a joke, in a way that sounded very honest. A Polish person will react differently, maybe using some strong words. A Finnish person might say nothing, dress appropriately and go jogging.
There are things we can do little or nothing about, like the weather. But a lot of other things we can somehow change. There are different ways of dealing with unwanted situations or difficult circumstances. One way is telling yourself that things are not so bad, that they could be worse. And it is always true. And it might make you feel happier, but then you are also convincing yourself that there is not much point in trying to change anything, especially if it is going to be difficult.
Another way is to admit that things are bad, or not quite as good as they could be, and it is the first step to making them better.
This is why I think that although it features a plumbing problem, rain, mud, lost shoes and a little animal's death, The Bunny Song is a positive song.
I love my musician life. But I admit I am not happy with the situation with my album which is still waiting to be released. It has to change. I will keep on trying to solve riddles, climbing mountains and fighting the good fight.
New year, come and bring us snow, ice, wisdom, green energy, good surprises and opportunities.