… 2016 has been a year full of music. In various forms and sizes and colors and sounds.
I am incredibly lucky that I get to do what I do!
After an incredible year 2015 and the recording of the record (Home), IRINA was finally ready to let the record find its audience. We had to turn the page, let go of the songs so that we could focus on new things. So, until march 2016 almost all our energy went to that goal: creating an evening to remember. I wrote about this in my last post. I don’t think that there is more to say, really. Musically speaking, the work and effort we put into this record and into our live performances have really paid off: we are a well-oiled machine now and we can have fun on stage, without anxiety and self-doubt.
2016 has also been a year during which we have alternated between playing as full sextet and a trio (Irina, Kim and Erny). The fact that we can alternate between different formulas gives us an advantage when it comes to trying to find gigs. We can do certain things for certain moods. And it also is a lot of fun trying to find new ways of presenting old(er) material.
We were also part of a very special evening at the Mudam, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016. And I came very close to meeting and touching Patti Smith! 😉
We did the annual Rock am Park Hesper 2016 😉 It was great fun. And we had the pleasure of headlining an incredibly sweet and gorgeous festival: The Last Summer Dance Festival. That one knocked it out of the park.
We were also part of the Nordic Rock Festival, which was a big surprise, given that the it’s a festival for metal music. We did not feel like we belonged, at first, but people were so open and welcoming that it ended up being a really great experience.
I am very excited about all the things which come next: we are creating new songs, as a band, something we have never done before. And we will take our time and make sure that we enjoy the creative process as a band. We will certainly perform on stage here and there in 2017, yet our priority lies in strengthening our comradeship and our musical skills. It will be challenge – a wonderfully inspiring one!
I am very happy about the way things are evolving with my Naked Socks. Time issues have prevented us from rehearsing more regularly then we initially anticipated and yet we have been able to assemble a respectable repertoire of 20 songs. Ronny and Nilo are also starting to get the composition virus, so I am pretty sure that 2017 will be the year for the Naked Socks!
The Grund Club is evolving, steadily and rather rapidly. This year I was able to host two shows and I was allowed to participate in one of the Voices shows, which made me realize how much work all of this takes! I have so much respect for everyone in this project, putting a lot of time and effort into everything they do.
I will be part of the core songwriters for 2017, with great things coming my way, like for example a collaboration with Kevin Heinen for the Private Sessions. I am truly looking forward to this. I may resume the podcast adventure, which would be great fun, I want to do it right this time, though, so I don’t want to rush into things.
This year has also been a year of firsts: I was asked to participate at a Lyrics Jam, which means that a few singers were asked to perform their song lyrics as a poetry slam. I was really really nervous. It was not something I thought I could do. Turns out, I was wrong. And I had a blast doing it, too.
Kim and I also had the pleasure to accompany Isabel Spigarelli on two of her presentations of her brand new book (“Nichts zu danken“). We did try to adapt the music to the subject matter of the book and it ended up creating a warm and intimate 1h lecture. We got great feedback and we’re looking into new ways we could collaborate with Isabel. So, there’s something else to look forward to.
There’s a new band in town! Well, not really 😉 The band Crossroad celebrated their band birthday this year and asked me to perform three songs with them, all of which were rather unknown to me. It was a great night and I had so much fun that when the band asked me if I wanted to come by rehearsal some time to add a few songs to the repertoire, I was more than thrilled. What an honor, what an ego-boost. I can’t wait to go back on stage with them!
So, as you can read, I have been more than spoiled this year. And even though it does take a lot of my time and energy, I get back so much love and satisfaction in return, that all of the work is absolutely worth it!
I would like to thank my beautiful wife and partner in crime: Kim. I love her compositions, I love her way of finding new things/toys/sounds to play with and it is an absolute joy being able to share this adventure with her.
Lata: thank you for your continuous trust and for letting me be the comic relief in your grumpy old man routine!
Lugdivine: you not only catch the beauty of the people and things you photograph. You translate the soul of the musician on stage! It is a privilege to watch you work and grow with each project!
I already wish you a very merry Christmas and I hope you get to the New Year okay. See you in 2017 and whatever you do, do it with conviction, tenderness and compassion!