Archive for September, 2008

Meeting Danica

September 30, 2008

As I’m writing this post we are driving through the Serbian mountains. We have left Kragujevac where we were very warmly welcomed last night by twelve year old singer Danica Krstic and her family. In less than 24 hours we got to know them a little bit and recorded two beautiful traditional Balkan songs; Zaspo Janko and Ajde Kato. The first was filmed in the orthodox town church (Danica wearing a traditional white dress with colourful flowers)..a stunning atmospheric church with iconic paintings everywhere..A lot of golden ornaments and the smell of incense. No musical instruments were allowed in here, only the two pure voices, singing a melancholic song. As Bert pointed out..there was not even an contrast to Dutch churches where a lot of things are possible nowadays.

with Danica and the musicians

all musicians

Afterwards we went outside to meet with four musicians, some of whom we’d met the day before and they were excellent players. With this small orchestra (violin, double bass, accordion and guitar) Danica and I recorded the song Ajde Kato. Bert was the sound engineer for today and didn’t play himself.

So I sang in Serbian today..and managed to remember the words, not knowing what they meant but concentrating on the sound and trying to follow the pronunciation. I think I did well..the people were satisfied and the priest gave me a compliment. It was a fruitful day!

(I also was interviewed and filmed for a TV Station and they will use a track of the Ygdrassil Live at the Folkwoods Festival DVD in their broadcast)

traffic jam in Serbia, on our way to Kragujevac, on sunday

traffic jam in Serbia, on our way to Kragujevac, on sunday

waiting for our recording session in the beautiful orthodox church

waiting for our recording session in the beautiful orthodox church

singing with Danica (Zaspo Janko)

singing with Danica (Zaspo Janko) Danica and Linde

with Danica and her orchestra, outside the church (Ajde Kato)

with Danica and her orchestra, outside the church (Ajde Kato)











On our way

September 26, 2008

We´re on our way!  Yesterday our departure from Groningen was filmed live by TV Noord This morning we took off with the entire group of 8 cars in Hilversum, in the centre of The Netherlands. After some delay and getting stuck in traffic on the autobahn this afternoon, we are now halfway Germany.

Tomorrow we´ll leave for Budapest (Hungary) and then Serbia…for a very special musical encounter. I´ll write more soon!

(p.s. iedereen bedankt voor alle fijne comments!!)

Getting excited

September 21, 2008

We’re getting excited..we’re nearly ready to go. Here’s a picture that was taken today..Bert and I in front of the Landrover. The Fylde cittern is at present still at Henk Helmantel’s atelier, so Bert poses with his own cittern, the one he’s had for years. The still life painting is now completely finished. I wonder what it looks like!

Some news..

September 16, 2008

The Dutch music news site Folkforum has written an article about our upcoming journey that can be read here

Some other news is that shortly after our upcoming departure on the 25th of September, we plan to hold a brief stop in Serbia in the town Kragujevac, to meet Danica, a twelve year old traditional singer with a beautiful, mature voice. I’m really looking forward to meeting her and to recording and singing two duets with her.  It’ll be our first musical encounter on the two months journey to Bhutan. A Serbian TV station will be doing an item on it as well.

Songs and Paintings

September 13, 2008

Our departure date, the 25th of September, is getting very close! In the last few weeks Bert and I have enjoyed trying out the film equipment that will be used during the journey, together with Hans; the filmer. Last weekend we spontaneously  re-recorded One morning in the Springtime;  the song that I recorded with Ygdrassil for the 2002 album ‘Nice days under darkest skies’.

On my youtube channel there’s a nice preview of it.

Meanwhile Henk Helmantel has finished painting the special still life of the cittern, the instrument that we will bring with us to Bhutan. Here are some pictures of the actual cittern (together with some Bhutanese objects and a piece of sheet music of the Road to Bhutan titlesong) and the painting when it was still in progress. Impressive, isn’t it..