Last night I did my first ever solo guitar gig, a very casual affair at Pola’s latest exhibition opening at WerkStadt Berlin. It was the first time I’ve performed a solo set of my own music, and the first time I’ve done an entirely musical performance for over ten years.
I did two sets of fours songs. I thought I videoed both, but it seems only the second remained on my camera by the end of the night.
This is the first song of the second set, called Out Of My Mind, written in 2003.
I made sure the performance was low key, telling people to continue chatting while I play. Judging by audience reaction and comments afterward, the sets were quite successful. I hope to do more musical performances in Berlin in the future.
Yesterday, as I waited for a song before starting some writing, I became obsessed with my own reflection distorted on the back of the iPod. I thought it was highly amusing, and decided to capture it on video.
I thought the video was hilarious, but maybe only because I made it. I decided to show it to Pola first, before uploading it. She liked it, so I posted it to YouTube.
So far I’ve had good responses, and when I showed it to friends at a dinner party tonight they all enjoyed it too.
As I mentioned on twitter, I spent today in Helsinki and needed to buy a new juggling ring. Why? Well, I’m on a cruise, and for some reason I only packed 6 rings instead of 7. I guess I just didn’t count properly while packing.
I mentioned the fact on twitter and facebook, and got an almost immediate response from Samuli, a juggler in Helsinki, telling me exactly where to go. Result!
I found the shop. They had a single white ring left in the shop, a slightly outsized Mister Babache.
Back on the stage, an hour before the show, I thought I’d try out the ring, to see how it mixed with the thick Beard rings I normally prefer. I thought “I wonder if it bounces the same as the others on this black rubbery floor?” so did that as the first test.
So I threw it up and forward with some backspin…. and it broke when it hit the floor. First throw, first drop, I didn’t even have a chance to catch it before it broke! Thankfully I always have white electrical tape in my case, so I could tape it up and still use it for the show.
It reminds me of the joke I told about Passe Passe beanbags, those which split at the seams so quickly and easily that they lasted less time than Ben Beever could juggle 7 of them. Or something.
Needless to say, I’m going to stick with the thick Beard rings. As a professional who travels a lot I need to rely on my props not break after ONE drop.
On Wednesday I got a call from my agent about a last minute gig. I said I’d do it. The gig was confirmed at 5pm Thursday, and I was on the plane by 7:40pm. Today, Friday, I find myself in the delightful city of Tallinn, Estonia! Here’s the map of the trip (from Sosauce.com):
Baltic May 2009
As you can see from the image, next I go to St Petersburg. I stay there for two days. I’m really looking forward to this because it will be my first time visiting Russia.
The last cruise ship I was on, the HAL Europa, is in St Petersburg on Sunday, the same as my current ship. I hope to meet up with some of the cast/musicians who I got to know on the Atlantic crossing. I said to them: “Hey, I might get a cruise in the Baltic in May, I might see you there!” Of course, never expected that to be the case. But the two ships will probably be next to each other at the cruise port, so I’ll probably be able to track them down.
Next up are Helsinki and Stockholm, two cities I’ve visited before, but only in wintertime (for various juggling conventions). Then there’s two days at sea, a stop in Dover, and a flight back from Heathrow to Berlin.
Plans for this trip:
– Finish reading and review two novels (Little Brother and The Final Circle of Paradise).
– Write some more my novel (codename: Human Danger).
– Write an article for Kaskade (the European juggling magazine).
– Redesign my professional juggling website (currently the images are broken and it looks rather drab).
– Do two kickass shows (shorter shows than recent attempts).
– Take some interesting photos and get some new footage for my year long juggling travel video.