Tag Archives: video

elephant songs in suleymaniyah

October 2013 saw another episode of Elephant Songs, my ongoing project in which musicians from different backgrounds meet and create original music together. This time, the backdrop was Suleymaniyah, the economic heart of Iraqi Kurdistan … [...]

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escapism

Waiting for Erik Gustafson of EPIC to talk about elephant songs for his Iraq Matters podcast over more than decent espresso at the Rand Gallery, Suleymaniyah. It’s the second day of Eid … [...]

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teatime with the people

After arriving in hot and bone-dry Suleymaniyah I unpacked half my backpack, met up with the musicians (happy reunions and pleasant nice-to-meet-yous), and we started working. We had a week to come up with a repertoire … [...]

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elephant songs: last stop utrecht

On 2 November, my drumbiker trip Elephant Songs, a musical journey from South India to the Netherlands on an old motorcycle loaded with drums, was concluded with a beautiful evening at the Utrecht theatre farm rood|noot. A full house enjoyed fantastic Indian food cooked by Sanderien, Peter, Irene, and Suzy while watching a selection of filmclips of the trip or checking out the morning pictures … [...]

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burootje beuk

Not entirely sure what to do now the trip was almost over, I decided to to enjoy the early autumn light in beautiful Antwerp. From there, one cold and sunny morning I rode into the Netherlands to play with Rik van Iersel’s … [...]

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homely elephant improvisations

tweet    When I visited Berlin in 2007, I lived in my yellow camper van in the Volkspark Friedrichshain amongst other mobile-home dwellers during what must have the coldest spring since the banana war. Snowstorm on 21 March. The Kastanienallee in nearby Prenzlauerberg welcomed me with its [...]

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brrrliner elephant songs: church cucumbers & suicidal pizza

tweet    And how long is your piece? A surprising question. My drums and I had arrived at the Pizza Suicide Collective‘s Julian Percy Afterparty at Zur Möbelfabrik in trendy Prenzlauerberg expecting to find a selection of likeminded musicians to play an evening of good old-fashioned improvised [...]

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istanbuli nights

tweet    Upon my arrival in İstanbul from Safranbolu, singer Sumru and yours truly met at the Kadiköy boat station. Lots of tea (what else), and we chatted and walked around and watched the sunset over the famous skyline of Sultanahmet across the Bosphorus – in Europe! [...]

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songs of beyoğlu

Besides the most enjoyable improvised sessions I took part in in Istanbul, I was very lucky to have a few cosy evenings at the studio of streetfolk legends Kara Güneş. I had fantastic cheese, fell in love with the santoor, and had great chats with many wonderful … [...]

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elephant songs: nice to meet you

tweet    One of the aims of my trip elephant songs is meeting musicians in places I travel through on my journey from South India to Amsterdam. As I explained in the five-minute-film I made to introduce the project, when collaborating with people in this way, playing [...]

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safranbolu songs

tweet    In the part of the world I have now reached, tourism no longer means Backpackistan: Safranbolu is the territory of large touringcars, Koreans with elaborate cameras, unwinding pensioners, and European families on exotic summer holidays (as it happens, that’s how I came to Turkey the [...]

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off with its head – again?!?

tweet    Riding through the hills around Kaleybar, in South Azerbayjan in the north of Iran, the hole-in-the-head-problem had clearly returned. The weld in the engine head, done in Tehran just a few weeks ago, had holes in various places. Uphill the bike was wheezing like an [...]

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elephant songs: ba1pa, on one leg

The road into the mountains was wet and green and smelled accordingly. At a roadside restaurant our production assistant and general spokesperson complained about the kashk-e-bademjan, one of our lunch dishes … [...]

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beach fun

tweet    After finishing the successful shows in Tehran, I had planned to ride through the Alamut Valley to Qazvin, to visit the castles of the Assassins on the way. Then on to Tabriz, and up to Armenia. However, in the meantime, through CouchSurfing I’d met Komeil, [...]

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elephant songs: pil ahang at darbast

five videos of the _elephant_songs_ shows at darbast, tehran in june. [...]

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elephant songs at parkingallery, tehran

In the summer of 1998, Amirali Ghasemi started the Parkingallery, an independent project space in a former garage in the north of Tehran (expanded in 2002 with an online gallery). One good Friday [...]

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kodum guri hasti?

tweet    Walking into my favourite coffeeshop Café Un the other day, I was told – with many apologies – that they were closed. But when I asked if I could stay and listen, three faces opened up into big smiles; I shook a round of hands [...]

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elephant songs in lahore – multiple contacts

tweet    On Thursday 26 April, a fantastic selection of musicians from the Lahore rock and fusion scene joined elephant songs for a great show at True Brew Studios, Lahore. The evening was recorded by Jamal Rahman and Fatima Shah, and later mixed by Floris van Bergeijk. [...]

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rooftop meeting and show tonight

tweet    On Sunday 15 April, I was visited by Akmal Qadri and his son Nazar Abbas and tabla player Kashif Ali Dani. We enjoyed tea and music on the pleasant rooftop of Sajjad Hussain’s Lahore Backpackers. I met Akmal and friends again yesterday, when we rehearsed [...]

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peeru’s café

tweet    The first time I went to Peeru’s Café, my landlord Sajjad of Lahore Backpackers insisted I take a rickshaw – “for security”. When I told my driver my destination, well-known for its qawwali performances, he proudly announced he was a qawwal himself and sang all [...]

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playing temple music in india’s deep south

tweet    Spent the best part of my last night in Madras stuffing my life into the few (…) bags I can take on the bike – I always end up packing at night, which is why I prefer to leave in the morning: just in case, [...]

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jamming with egor in the broadlands

tweet    While I was grumpily attempting to whack the replacement rear subframe into the right spot on my bike so that it would line up with all the appropriate holes in the frame, a short Russian with a razor-straight fringe till just above his eyes started [...]

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elephant songs #1 – all star jazzband

tweet    The first official episode of Elephant Songs played in Bangalore for two weekends in February. We kicked off at the famous B-Flat in Indiranagar. The next weekend, we came back for a show at the beautiful Plantation House and at the Fireflies Music Festival. Musicians [...]

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elephant songs #0 – surprise prologue

tweet    A few days ago I had an enjoyable hour of chatting and playing on Yugi Sethu’s talkshow, in the company of friend & multi-talented singer Yogeswaran Manickam, also known as Yoga. The show is scheduled to be broadcast next Saturday, 21 January, and will be [...]

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mountains! please?

tweet    Last night in Pokhara, and I realised I didn’t know where to get a nice thukpa. This was after the restaurant I counted on for acces to their wifi network (conveniently available from my hotel room but in need of a password) turned out to [...]

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