On the 15th November I traveled to Erlenbach, near Zurich in Switzerland with composer and producer Sasha Shlain. I met Sasha earlier this year at Beyond Music and we were now invited to perform my songs at Seeschau – House of Sacred Arts. This peaceful place is owned and run by Regula Curti who we also met before as she is the co-founder of the Beyond Foundation. We had a very warm welcome by all the kind people there, such an heartwarming atmosphere and were reunited with more Beyond musician friends. In the afternoon we connected through some music improvisation.
To all those who were there: it was so good to see you at the concert, thank you for your time and your warm, inviting energy. Thank you Regula Curti for having us. And for those who couldn’t make it, here’s a small video of our day.
Yesterday I had the honor of receiving the Tamoil Culture Award for the Arts & Literature. It was a glorious day. The jury awarded me because of my artistic, inspiring and heart-felt lyrics, music and comics. Excerpt from the Jury’s speech: “Elly is able to write about what is sharp and painful in a way that makes it slightly muffled and vague and therefore easier to digest and look at. At the same time she knows how to make the vague visible with exactly the right words and has thus far written over a 1000 songs.”
I have of course thought about what all of this means to me. With a big award like this expectations automatically appear; maybe you wish me fame & fortune or that the sun will always shine for me from now on. The internal pressure does arise when receiving an award like this but… I understand that I receive it for all the things I have already created thus far. With this award and all the things that have happened to me this year I can, without a doubt, say that 2019 is the year of beautiful opportunities! From out of nowhere I suddenly feel seen and heard and this is a very, very welcome feeling. Thank you ♥
With the award I also got to take sea knight home with me, a brave warrior with a big heart. That suits me well because I happened to be on the look out for a fine man! It is a bonus that he is also the keeper of secrets, stories and discoveries. Myself, I am not a keeper of secrets, more likely a whistle blower. Or to put it differently: I sometimes feel like the canary in the coalmine. When the canary stops singing it’s a warning to the miners that there was a gas leak. My antenna is sensitive, my body responds swiftly and my belly is wise like a guru. If only I listened to it sooner, more often.
As a child I had my own story that I needed to tell and this is how the need to create drawings and songs came about. Luckily my mother gave me a voice that people love to listen to, I am really thankful for that gift. I think it is really special I can reach people with my words and melodies and that it brings something different to each individual.
To all those who have been there from the start… to the people who understand that I use my life and my art to process things, to examine and improve myself and thus make life more bearable… YOU are my tribe and everybody needs a tribe. Thank you for being here.
Music and creativity has been the common thread throughout my life. Even if I sometimes lose the plot, I am very happy with where it has brought me. I am going to try continuing on this path to see where it will lead me.
At the end of April I spent two glorious weeks at Studios La Fabrique (France) for the BEYOND Music Project under guidance of Grammy-winning producer Larry Klein (USA). BEYOND unites professional musicians, composers, singers and songwriters on a single online platform to connect and collaborate. After I was signed up for the Beyond Music network the lovely Heather Bond from Nashville (USA) contacted me for a collaboration and together with 20 other musicians from all over the world we were selected to participate on the album recordings. There was a constant flow of creativity, love and humbleness and it felt like a welcome, warm bath.
During my time there I filmed parts of my experience and there are now six short vlogs on my Youtube channel. I filmed all this from my point of view, so the people I spent the most time with will be most visible in these videos. Also my personal experience, thoughts and feelings in the process are highlighted.
Larry Klein invited amazing musicians to form the house band: Dean Parks on guitars (Steely Dan, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Elton John etc), Dan Lutz on bass (Lizz Wright, Melody Gardot), Adrian Utley on guitars (Portishead), Clive Deamer on drums (Radiohead), Manu Katché on drums (Sting, Peter Gabriel, Jeff Beck, Dire Straits etc) and Ed Harcourt on keyboards (Patti Smith, Marianne Faithfull). Engineers were: Maxime Le Guil and Steph Marziano.
The album we recorded in the studio is called ‘Same Sky’ and it was released this August. Besides the song Heather and I wrote ‘Different, you and I’ I also had a small lead part on ‘We are one’ and sang backing vocals on ‘Water’ and ‘Our colours’.
I’d like to especially thank Larry Klein for believing in my voice and empowering me. Regula & Beat Curti thank you so much for shining your light on this dream that you have made possible for all of us and Konstanze Wiedemann for planting the seed that grew into something so strong and beautiful. I will cherish this flower, water it and try my best to keep it growing.
Also a big merci to Studios La Fabrique for the welcoming vibe that they offer. Also Glen Dumbell, Doug Eglin and Jules, thank you for the amazing dinners, flavors and sweetness! It all felt like home and I hope to return to it one day.
Lastly, Beyond Music are organizing the opportunity to collaborate again this year following through to next year with a new theme and new producer. If you’d like to know more about this project click here.