Jour no#

Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.

Category: Yarr

Exile.

Dear diary, I have been stranded on this desert island for seven days now. My body is starting to get accustomed to the climate, and I have stopped craving the familiar. My mind is set on autopilot, which makes passing the hours comfortably numb. I find comfort in staring into the void, with my baby panda George by my side. I don’t find comfort in any position, because my back refuses to cooperate. The imagined ticking clock is in sync with my brainwaves. I know what my neighbours are up to, I know their timetable – yet I cannot confirm whether they actually exist. All I hear is drilling and hammering. If I’ve never seen my neighbours, do they really exist? Are the sounds I’m hearing just an echo of my own subconscious?

This is going to be a long one. I’m not even half way through the meds.

Yeah, being ill at home feels like being stranded on an island. Can’t go out because I’m poisoning myself with antibiotics, which screw up the body in order to screw the infection. Made the mistake of thinking I’m well enough to go back to work (honestly, I was just bored and restless at home), and caught a cold as well. Congratulations.

Argh.

Sónar 2014

Throwback Tuesday. Sónar, that beautiful thing, happened now quite some time ago. But that’s left some time to ponder and look back, and assess the experience as a whole. Sónar has one big advantage going for it and that’s the location – sunny Barcelona is not far from a paradise (if you subtract the hordes of tourists), so the mood will be set accordingly. What better way to spice up a beach holiday laced with beautiful foods and sights, than the most incredible sounds this world offers, as well as some brain tickling visuals and workshops?

One of the indications that Sónar is something else, is the fact that I’d heard about for years, way before I made it there myself, and it was always described with an air of something that… can’t quite be put into words. A certain mystique.

I was most looking forward to Massive Attack, Trentemøller, Bonobo, Koreless, Four Tet, Moderat, Jon Hopkins, Monki, Throwing Snow, and Camo & Krooked – the first “mainstream” dnb act to play at that festival. Eventually I didn’t make it to all of those, partially because old age is taking a toll, but partially because city festivals don’t call for crazy allnighters like standard festivals do. And that’s not a bad thing. The fact that the festival was divided in two, in terms of music, forced for some serious decision-making in what to go for and what not.

I was delighted to see Koreless and Throwing Snow, whom I saw for the first time ever. Beautiful music, a crowd that knows the smaller acts and enjoys the whole thing in a unanimous agreeing content smile. As expected, Bonobo Live filled Sónar By Day outdoor area to the brim. Having seen them live in Tallinn not very long before, I had my hopes high, but feared that perhaps they might be a little tired as they’ve toured the new album for a whole eternity now. I’m glad I was wrong about that. The absolutely stunning Szjerdene on vocals wrapped the crowd around her finger, and didn’t let go. It’s hard not to be mesmerised by her beauty and voice. Of course the main man Bonobo aka Simon Green himself holds the whole thing together with sheer el mágico through sound. He is a legend for a reason, a truly dedicated creative genius. His music becomes a force majeure. Words don’t do justice to what people experienced that night. Let it be.

Another highlight for many was most definitely Massive Attack, the founders of trip hop and Bristol sound. While I didn’t detect touring tiredness from Bonobo Live, I did notice a hint of it from Massive Attack. Don’t get me wrong, those guys have defined and determined my music taste in a very large part, and I do love them unconditionally (as do the other thousands who had gathered to Sónar By Night to see them), but it wasn’t quite the same as the first concert of their Paradise Circus tour, which I had the honour of witnessing in Tallinn quite some time ago now. The political and beautiful visuals accompanied the much loved anthems of trip hop, but in addition to the trance they induced (and in my case there may or may not have been tears on several occasions) among the crowd, a certain spark was missing. An awe-inspiring experience nevertheless. It was quite hard battling the cognitive dissonance of wanting to shut up and just brood over what I’d just experienced after Massive Attack, and being in the middle of a massive rave at Sónar By Night. And a good one.

I’ll only say this about Trentemøller – HOLY SH*T. I guess that describes it the best – cognition-changing beautiful music altered with an ungodly good rave. Anyone who loves electronic music, needs to go. It’s heartwarming to see so many people caring about music you thought was somewhat… well, not unpopular, but not as mainstream. Sónar leaves an air of a rock festival, but with much, much better intelligent dance music. I have to repeat myself and say that words do not do the music side of the festival any justice, so I’d rather refrain from saying anything further.

Now that I’ve drooled honey and love all over it, I’ll drip some tar into the honey pot as well. Organisation-wise there was a lot of confusion (among staff, too!) with the coupon system. That needs to become more straightforward. The “no cash” system should make it easier, not more difficult. Drink and food prices were definitely amove the average and in stark contrast with the rest of Barcelona. It would be cool if the festival wasn’t divided into two – and that day passes were sold. The fact that the event was split in two made me miss quite a few acts. Getting back from Sónar By Night proved to be only a half nightmare for me, because luckily there was a shuttle bus for accreditation holders. No luck for the ones who didn’t. Or if there was a way… then it definitely wasn’t communicated well enough.

Nevertheless, I want to finish with this: go to Sónar. You’ll be sweetly rewarded with an experience to remember. It’s something else.


Koreless


Trentemøller


Bonobo Live crowd absolutely loving it


Bonobo Live


Massive Attack

Lithuanian bird-wall.

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Note the additional drawn one.

Hat-trick.

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It’s all fun and games, until it’s not.

Funny how hurt boils up all this poisonous crap inside one’s little heart. It’s a chore and a half trying to morph this into something bigger, better, something to power whatever else. One can only hope the recycling is a quick process. Why not use it as fuel? The practicalities, of course, might turn out to be a bit more complicated… but I’ll give it a good shot. Bitches be adaptable. For anything to hold fuel, however, the container has to be fixed first.

Oh whatever, life can go fuck itself for a bit now. Pardon the vulgarity, but when one gets hurt three times in a rather short period of time, it makes one a bit erm, edgy. Metaphorical punching oneself in the stomach is in order. I guess people learn from their own stupidity. It’s always good to remember that really shitty things happen for a reason, and once you’ve reached the bottom, it can only get better. One door closes, another opens and a thousand other clichés.

It’s gone really quiet all of a sudden. The silence is deafening. At least there are the halcyon skies to drown into.

But hey! Look at the sunset my new ghetto flat provides. Pardon the slant, couldn’t be arsed to straighten it.

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And at least there’s music. Thank god for music. Simon darling delivered just when needed the most.

Paper trails.

En route to Vilnius and we’ve barely left Tallinn when some douche is listening to his questionable choice of music with headphones that seem to leak most of the sound externally. And he is also most definitely trying to deafen himself. Let’s hope his iPhone runs out of battery soon.
Anyway, I’m quite excited about going to Vilnius. Never been, only passed through. With Elina honeybunny there, don’t really need any more incentive.
The summer schedule at work starts in a few weeks with the first holidays, which means I will be filling in and doing the evening shift (as well). So this was just about the final call for a little downtime. Next time you see me, it’s probably September.
Mundane worries: the trouble with walking up early is that one gets hungry early as well. Eight and a half hours left.

Veritas odit moras.

The new home is fabulous to say the least. I’m definitely still in the honeymoon phase of excitement. Seeing as I am a sucker for all things sky and all things heights, I’m not sure I can get tired of the view and endless colours of fire the sunsets here provide daily. Change is good for the soul. I’ve got a whole new army of me giving me (will-)power and strength. Let’s hope this wave doesn’t push me off anytime soon.

And on a personal level things are getting crazier and crazier. Just when I thought the epitome of crazy had been reached, something completely unexpected decides to jump on board as well. Life is starting to beg for a novel to be written about it. All norms have been surpassed, and what’s happening now, is more like some crazy Hollywood blockbuster. But hey, if you buy the ticket, better enjoy the ride. Let’s see how long we can go before the defense mechanisms kick in and some other part of my brain calls for quits on the second violin situation. For now, happiness chokes the frustration.

Now listening to Mutemath – Control. “Surrendering somehow becomes so beautiful.”

 

It’s been so long.

I love it when situations, people, memories, and places get their own soundtracks. Those classic “our song” moments (eugh, cheesy) are soundtracks in sync. But anyway, in reality it’s just another little layer of emotions. And music does, indeed, make life so much better. So, I am super content I got to roam around Helsinki with a shared little secret in my ear. Silly self-explanatory smirk on my face, the arctic gale didn’t even seem so bad. Spring came early this year, and despite the weather changing, the spring has decided to stay. For now. One may or may not be speaking in riddles. Snicker snicker. It’s been too long since I last paid attention to this properly.

Helsinki was as lovely as expected. My heart wants to burst with happiness. When all shits on this planet hit the fan, I think of the wonderful people around me, and realise that I must have done something right along the way. How else would I have earned this army of sweethearts? Seeing my dearest ones loved and happy is the best thing ever. And yeah, have I mentioned I love-love-love Helsinki? My beautiful escape.

The problem with Helsinki is that one needs to take the boat there, though. And one should never take the Saturday morning boat. It’s a workout for tolerance, but demographically definitely a fascinating observation. Until the “DJ” comes on, and starts rocking out disco tunes from 70s and 80s (while mumbling into the microphone in between tracks; sound levels of course completely messed up, so everything starts with the speakers imploding a little – saying stuff like “yeaah, this is a sweet track, one of my favourites”), and the half past drunk tourists find their courage to hover on the dance floor a little. And the second leg of the trouble is the journey back. The homecoming boat wasn’t as festive as the Saturday morning one, but an exercise for one’s poker face. There’s always that one crazy person (not sure if actually a bit on the funky side, or just delirious, or maybe both?) that takes the dance floor and shouts his or her approval towards the people entertaining the indifferent commuting crowd. And then they hear their favourite ever song and then there’s no stopping. And then why not smear some lipstick all over one’s own face and even hair? Anyway. It’s always one hell of a ride. But maybe I’m too narrow-minded. Need more yolo.

I’ll go put out some fire now. With gasoline.

Oh, and watch this. This dog definitely knows how to yolo.

Tangle.

Jetlag is the hot topic of travelling and mostly discussed in the context of long haul flights. Yes, completely reversing day and night is a tricky business, but when one takes on a longer trip, one normally accounts for that, too. For me the smaller time differences do the worst damage. I’ve just got back from London, which is two hours behind. And I can tell I’m going to be staring at the walls-ceiling for the next two hours, which means getting two hours less sleep. And work tomorrow. This is going to be fairly unpleasant.

But London was oh-so-necessary again. The past almost two weeks have been a rollercoaster of all sorts. I’m sure there’s a diagnosis for what I’ve been doing. I seem to plan my life so that I can run along a sine/cosine graph. I’m gasping for air in equal horror and excitement, feeling the most alive at that fraction of a second of suffocation.

I’ve talked about this with several people who make their living by making other people’s lives better with their creations in them. It seems to be the standard that the most complicated states of existence bring about the greatest creative flow. I think I experienced the same in London this time. In my own little microcosm, I outdid myself. The bar has been pushed higher. The final product will follow soon.

And now a little cryptic meditation. Fear is a strange thing, it makes people make decisions full of fear. At the very moment it might seem like a good idea, but how can people live with themselves with a whole closet full of ‘what if’ skeletons shadowing every step? I’m not even sure if it’s sheer cowardice or self-deception. But when has anyone ever really managed to fool themselves? The world would be a much more exciting – but also at times more difficult – place if people had courage to look themselves in the eye and be wholeheartedly truthful with themselves. Only then can honesty with others follow. And if you’re not honest, what are you? I’ve come to this point with a little help from some people who are much better at the introspection thing, and have thought me a lot about how to push your own thought so that they actually flow freer. Of course the trouble is that when you free yourself, the amount of information-feelings-thoughts to process grows exponentially (as a tangent, if I may get all trigonometric again). Only half-processing one’s own shiz, the outcome can never be fully satisfying. But yeah, I can understand the scariness of truth. It’s not called the inconvenient truth for no reason. But what do we want more? Complacency in our comfort zone, or a clear conscience and a peace of mind, regardless of the nature of the conclusion?

I vote for honesty. I vote for feeling alive in all forms.

Now listening to ‘Tangle’ by The Hics.

 

The raw beauty of fear.

I’m going to have to give you boys and girls, and other forms of existence a disclaimer before you continue reading this yet another ramble of mine. This metaphorical brain splatter is going to be vague, inconsistent, and probably a bit weird and might leave you all ‘wtf is she on about’. Sorry about that. I need to process some trains of thought that are racing through my brain cells and making me crawl up the wall (metaphorically again, of course). No better place to store any intracranial implosions than the beautiful, safe space of the internets.

So anyway, I’ve been riding the old introspection wave for a while now. Bitches be ponderin’. Along have come some epic life decisions, which are too early to talk about (don’t want to jinx anything). And of course, when one makes big plans, life makes other plans. And to be fair, I am open to all sorts of manipulations. Whatever this eventually means. That’s how life on this planet rolls. Anyhow. The decisions are as scary as they are exciting. But as tradition has it, no decisions come without baggage.

I like my baggage in the form of skeletons, demons, fear, excitement, foolish purpose, and insecurity (in no specific order). But what I’ve noticed is that while I’m freaking out on the inside, this internal burn of a burn is actually a really nicely raw and honest feeling. How fucked up is it that you have to be at the brink of maddness to feel inexplicably alive and *here*. In this masochistic and mentally unhealthy way I’m enjoying whatever this is. I have no idea where I will be or what I will be a year from now. Maybe I’ll be just here. That’s fine, too. But my lord, I feel alive. And I am so scared.

I’m sure there’s a diagnosis for this.

Quarter of a century.

I dig my toes into the sand, the ocean looks like a thousand diamonds strewn across a blue blanket. I lean against the wind, pretend that I am weightless, and in this moment I am happy. I wish you were here. I wish you were. I wish.

It’s been a while since I last really listened to Incubus. Perhaps it would be a bit weird if I listened to the exact same music I did 10 years ago? (Editor’s note: the first paragraph was the starting lyrics of Incubus – Wish You Were Here, not some resurfacing teenage angst.)

Birthdays are wonderful in many ways. The main niceness about them is getting mauled by all the lovely people and getting so many hugs. Today did not turn out to be as glamorous as perhaps the 25th would require, but geez, being a grown up, birthdays do lose their magic. This is not to say I do not appreciate the lovely wishes. If all these happies actually went into action, I would not have to worry about the next three quarter centuries. I bow to you, my dear ones. You really make it worthwhile. Don’t mean to get all soppy now, but you do. I love you, my people.

When big numbers hit, one sometimes gets overcome by random introspection, so that happened today, too. I’ve possibly got the craziest and one of the most important years ahead of me. I’ve fixated some ideas that might bite me in the arse, and I’ve somehow got the feeling of this year being … significant. In whatever way possible. I don’t know. So let this be a mental note of me thinking to myself “something is up”. Let’s look back in a year and see what happened.

It’s a mix of sadness and anticipation that introduces yet another spin around the Sun in my life. Where the sadness comes from, I don’t know either. Ok fine, I’ll admit it. I would quite like it if I wasn’t alone typing this. *Slips out in embarrassment.*

I’d rather swim to the moon.