June 23, 24(Saturday, Sunday) Canada Driftpile Valley The North Country Fair

Damo Suzuki with T.B.I.

Yesterday, Pauline brought me to Winnipeg Airport. She seemed to be very tired, but I guess she was happy…she liked result of our music. Crystal, Tippy’s girlfriend picked me up from Edmonton Airport. Tippy is good friend of Tracy and Darryl.

He and other sound carriers are already gone for the festival as they had performances of their own.. In Edmonton I found Japanese restaurant while Crystal was getting ready at home for trip, I went there without any doubt…even their chief was Japanese… it was not quality that I imagined. This time blind faith was not by my side. Then after around 4 hours drive to North. On the way, I tell you I saw most beautiful sunset in my life. It was not looks like from this world. Canada’s sky is huge, clouds are fantastic. Around 10:30 PM sunset…this unforgettable scene begined short before 10PM. Yellow to Pink, Pink to Orange around sun changes colours…a nature spectacle. then turn to red …what a nice view. Such a beautiful scene even forget to take pictures…then only sun is red and other sky getting dark and clouds covers sun.

Crystal, she lived in Marburg, Germany was also amused for this nature theatre. and after while we drive through forest fire ruine for 30 hour, her son attended us has already sleeping. Tragic landscapes with burned trees. She explained me around 8 years ago this space was in bushfire and fire devil damaged something like 200 quarad Km. It’s ghost landscape. We arrived around midnight at Driftpile Valley. Was not really good weather in darkness, even worse wet and cold. I brought myself to strange Hotel later. 23rd was also rainy..wet and cold. we performed at kind of workshop…5 stages at Festival and the space we performed was quite far from main stage, so not that much audience. Tippy set up his small drum kit at middle of stage.

We were Tippy, Benny, a Norwegian, founder of Origami Galakitika….Tippy informed me that one performed with Origami Galaktika twice he can release under this name. Benny is doing similar thing like Network project. He is a Norwegian you can imagine like norwegian tree and looks like viking..silence nice guy with tender voice. Beside we had saxphoneplayer and Rap singer trio who made things quite well. My second day at festival was more hard rain and some artist performed against rain sometimes it was really hard like waterfalls.

Audience stayed at their tent. Cold and wet..it’s not really fun…also we didn’t know when we perform. All schedule was chaotic. Waiting and waiting for very very long time in artist tent. After rain was gone we performed at small stage unfortunately for little audience. Organiser couldn’t find bass for Benny so he couldn’t join. we were trio, Tippy, me and a young heavy metal guitarist from Cargary. But, he played well improvised space sound. Next day Crystal , me and her son took ride back to Edmonton….

I stayed by Cam who arranged me this performance at unlucky festival. Next day at breakfast I had nice talk with Tippy, Tippy’s mother and Cam’s mother. Two old ladies were really nice to speak with me. Tippy’s mother was a music teacher. Even she knows some Japanese traditional music tunes.

June 21 2007 (Thursday) Canada St.Nobert Solstice Sircus

Damo Suzuki with Doreen Girard (Cello), Natalia Zielinski (Violin) and Absent Sound: Josh Butcher (Organs, Vocals), Kelly Castle (Drums, Vocals, Percussion, Guitars), David Fort (Guitars, Bass, Vocals) and Robert Menard (Guitars, Samples, Loops, Vocals)

The day before we arrived Toronto, picked up by Tracy, this time she organised my Canada tour. This trip is not only performing in Canada. This time I have quite a lots of time between shows, to see this land and end of trip visit my friend Bill and Sue in Washington States for a couple of days. After lost of German sausages which we bought at Frankfurt Airport, I brought for my friends at Canadian immigration…

It’s pity some country does not accept to bring tasty things from other countries. (Specially meat) Canada, New Zealand and Australia among them. This was totally blackout of me…I was forgetting this rule when I saw tasty sausages at Frankfurt airport.

When we arrive Tracy and Darryl’s house. Darryl, the producer was busy working with two Canadian duo at his studio. When all come together, then we drink German sekt (sparking wine) Prosit!!!! Was good I went to bed at around 12 o’clock, so next day I have nothing from jetlag. It’s good!!! Flight to Winnipeg. Pauline, promotor of small festival and Rob, guitarist of Abset Sound picked me up from airport….but, they went wrong place waiting for me .so….it took an hour we met together.

My stay for a night is a big house where an another guitarist Dave live with 9 young artists. Dave was preparing wellcome dinner, grill of Fish caught from the river through Winnipeg flows. This was first hard contact with mosquitos whole of this trip. Seems to be Winnipeg is hardest place for this as one told me if you arrive Winnipeg all you have to do is just running and running…. They are kinda hard core and naughty. Itching make me mad. I was invited for rehearsal…generally I don’t do any rehearsal….but, what I do I am alone in the city?…make a bit of music.

Under rehearsal room was huge warehouse for fantastic secondhand theatre costumes for 2 stocks. This would be perfect place for person who has interest in fancy clothes and it was fantastic place…tons of clothes!!!!They were so happy after rehearsal and ready to go for next day. Today I changed the stay…move directly next to the venue, the ruin of the church, a fantastic ambiente..but, moskitos follows. It’s nice art centre I stay they served me organic food.

There are some interesting acts before we performed. We did long set, one piece for around two hours or so. Absent Sound bought an old school bus (you know, that yellow one), You might see them travelling around North America one day. Pauline was temperamental person, she carry lightning equipement doing this and that. She runs organic farm and beside this she organise art/music shows at Winnipeg area. Very powerful lady. My sound is also somewhere organic too……..

April 29 2007 (Sunday) UK Aberdeen Triptych Festival @ the Tunnels

Damo Suzuki with Hen Beverly (Bass Epex), Mike Napier (Guitar), Andy Smith (Electronics), Jim Wilkie (Guitar) plus special guests: Mathew Black (Drums), Ray Dower (Bass), Dan Hadden (Saxophone) and Shingai Shoniwa (Bass)

This was longest stretch on this short 5 days trip to UK. From Leicester to Aberdeen took altogether 8 hours, two times change train..at York and Edinburgh. Train ride in Scotland is really nice. I have been this stretch between Edinburgh and Aberdeen for a couple of times. It’s beautiful part of travel and never bored feeling like back home.

You can see sea direct right hand, left hand you can see green hills or rocks and sheep…. also there was some golf places…this is typical landscape in this part of Scotland. Andy, one of sound carrier tonight, picked me up from railway station which is just a few block from the venue, Tunnel. It’s nice venue in small-but-very-amazing -city Aberdeen. Aberdeen has some charm. 2 years before I was here I saw thousands of seagulls on street at early in the morning…nobody was on the street. And this granit houses and wet street and dump.. in twilight ……It still keeps in my brain photo.

Hen is my friend and organized already three shows in Aberdeen and he performed also that much. He was really happy to see me and he push me (as friendly gesture) my body whole of the evening as he is not still believe I am here instead my ghost are here. WE didn’t see each other for 2 years–My gray hair made me a bit stranger? This was part of Tryptich Festival like last Wednesday in Glasgow. Performed together with some old faces from Aberdeen and spacial four guests. Three basses!!!…No, it’s OK…there are nothing I really surprise more..I performed with 8 guitarists, with 4 laptops, with DJ, etc…etc….Shingai is very cute female bassist, she normally is front singer/base of hard working Noisettes. (Around 2 weeks later on May 13, they performed here in Cologne. we went there to see them performing. we liked it.) She have so beautiful smile on her face anytime…it’s nice.

I arrived there near to 7PM, so I had no opportunity to check sound. Every sound carriers of the night were quite confused from sound check…some of them told me. But, performance seems be far better than they expected from sound check. Anyway I have to wake early around 5AM to get train to Edinburgh then to airport. Even there was hotel room reserved I didn’t go to hotel, instead I, Mathew and Sihngai went to Hens apartment and listen my music from Purcell room on April 2nd. They liked it.. Now time to go, Taxi waiting outside door…..

April 28 2007 (Saturday) UK Leicester Quad Studios

1st Set: Damo Suzuki with Plexus: Murray Ward (Guitar & Laptop) and Rod Warner (Guitar) 2nd Set: Damo Suzuki with David Teledu (Guitar, Analogue Synthesizer) and Black Carrot: Oliver Betts (Tenor Sax, Bass Recorder, Electric Piano, Percussion), Tom Betts (Drums), Stewart Brackley (Electric Bass, Contrabass, Voice) and Euan Rodger (Percussion, Tapes, Voice)

I guess I performed in this university city around 35 years ago. Hotel was near from railway station even I can reach by foot in 5 minutes. Yesterday was brake day I spend the time quite relaxed and also move to Glynn’s place..there were Glenn’s twin kids and after joined by Glynn’s brother. Meet up with Black Carrot percussionist Euan a bit of for sight seeing.There is the market which is largest covered-market in Europe.

Afterwhile He set me in an Restaurant….After dinner my stomach become uncomfortable and was not really good condition that for whole performance along. Pitty is that not that much audience. It’s new club in city also even very difficult to find it.

Two interesting performances with different formation. First one was trio without percussion, second one was with Black Carrot plus concert arranger David. 

April 26 2007 (Thursday) UK Sheffield Nether Edge Club

1st Set: Damo Suzuki with The Gated Community:Mick Beck (Tenor Sax, Bassoon), Geoff Bright (Tenor Sax, Voice), Neil Carver (Electronic Effects), Charlie Collins (Vibes,Percussion), Anders Cox (Electric Bass), Karl D’Silva (Clarinet, Alto Sax), John Jasnoch (Plucked Strings), Tywi Roberts (Electric Guitar), Angie Rosenfeld (Cello), Derek Saw (Tuba,Brass), Paul Schatzberger(Accordian), Beatrix Ward Fernandez (Violin, Castanets) and Ben Woodrow (Electric Guitar) 2nd Set: Damo Suzuki with The Tajalli Vortex : Jonny Drury (Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Clarinet, Vocals), Matt Harling (Tenor, Soprano Saxes, Tajallifone), Glynn Heppenstall (Keyboards, Synths, Violin) and Dan Sumption (Bass Guitar, Noises)

Just I performed here in Sheffield 5 months ago and come back again. There are many experimental sound carriers in the city. Organiser Jonny arranged last my performance here also. Train ride from Glasgow took a quite a lot around 7 hours change train at Dancaster. So, naturally I had to wake up early. But, I can relax in train.

Train is most comfortable way to travel and I like most. You can move and much space, no security check, no seat belt…people changes.The venue is small without stage without PA. And many sound carriers share to 2 sets….oh, yes then 2 pieces hot meals. Now a days I perform 1 set 1 piece..which is normally 1 hour to two and half. You know I’m not that interesting to make music. I like to create energy to share. This is an experience for every body in that room.

So, small place like here to perform we have much contact to audience.It was full of sound carriers and friends. So, we are kind of unit all together in same time in same room and this experience. Matt who performed 2nd set developed Tajalifone, made by himself. it’s monster instrument as the owner/player he is over 2 meter high.

Many smiles in the room. I will come back to Sheffield again November..a couple of days later I’ve got offer from Jonny again. Improviser scene is getting bigger here ….we will see what will be happen.

April 25 2007 UK Glasgow Triptych Festival @ Tramway

Damo Suzuki with Hamish Black (Guitar) and Future Pilot AKA: Sushil K Dade (Bass, Electronics), Raymond MacDonald (Saxophones), Bill Wells (Keyboards), Douglas MacIntyre (Electronic Guitar) and Sace (Drums)

80 minutes flight from Cologne to Edinburgh. Picked up by man named Dave, a Celtic Fan (In Glasgow there are two soccer teams Celtic and Rangers sharing champion since more than 100 years in Scottish soccer league…I heard of since end of 19th century (!!!!)..I asked him if he is a guitarist and born in January…I smell some times from people…and I was right…Dave was quite surprised. He took position as driver at this Triptych Festival which is find in three different Scottish cities Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen every year. I am invited for Glasgow and Aberdeen parts. Tonight I perform on same stage with Einsturzende Neubauten, a well known 80’s successful German band.

I performed with selected sound carriers from Glasgow curated by Sishil, who has been in contact with me since long , willing to perform with Network..also Future Pilot, the band of his own released CD with one song with my voice. But, this time is first time to meet him in person as I did recording through telephone. Network tonight is rather big band. Drums, Bass, 2 guitars, 2 Saxophone, sound effects/melodica and I. Pity was just we had only 45 minutes. One of them was youngest Network sound carrier ever!!!…a 16 years old Hamish, who contacted me a couple of months before saying he like to perform with Network if I come next time to Glasgow. At that stage I had this performance fixed and I just invited him to Join….It’s nice start for him in front of 700 people as premier.

As usual at every performance I was quite often hanging around merchandising table. Merchandising personal (British guy and Australian lady) of Einsturzende Neubauten helped me to sell when I was not there (for own performance or whatever…). I saw there quite a few people I know. One of them was some times guitarist of Network John, and told me that sound carriers met last my performance here in Glasgow found good in chemistry and after that they formed the band. ……It’s really nice to hear such a story. Good luck to them. Also nice to see the lady from Edinburgh, she missed our show, but she was still cute and in nice mood. Send many greetings to Edinburgh!!!

Hamish father was there and he seems to be very proud of his son. Next day my son Marco has his first concert, but I’m on the road and I can not see him…. Every beginning of tour I sleep not really good. But, I had to wake up to catch the train to Sheffield…I am writing this in train to Lancaster. Sometimes I am too lazy to write down diary…but, Diary is so…write down when memories are still fresh….There are many thing I have to change.

April 21 2007 (Saturday) Germany Offenbach @ KJK Sandgasse

Damo Suzuki with The Whole: Member (Bass, Electronics), Stolle (Guitar, Electronics) and Christian Wolf (Drums, Electronics)

Offenbach is near to Frankfurt I and Elke drived by car to the venue, around 2 hours drive from Cologne, nice friendly venue. Responsible person at this venue Michel is very worm person. Also the drummer of the band Christian is working here. I performed here two years ago with same band..The Whole. I know bassist of the band Member since beginning of 90’s. He performed with on same stage that time. My band was called Damo Suzuki and friends. They are musically one of few German band who stayed and trust in their music. It’s just pity at the moment in Germany…I can say it’s quite tragic…the band like this who is keen on making good music is not accepted. It was really nice to perform with them again.

Last time we performed together Michael made compilation CD for the venue and our piece called NUMBER ONE. Light show was fantastic Cosmic Klaus who came from Pforzheim, south Germany. I met him two years ago when I performed in Wuerzburg with Mani, Axel from Guru Guru, Mandog Keiichi Miyashita and two other guys.

After show some young people come to our dressing and drink beer and talk together. Very comfortable evening. Stayed as usual Jurgen’s apartment. 

April 16 2007 (Monday) Russia St.Petersburg @ Orlandina Club

(1st Set) Damo Suzuki with Aleksei Degusarov (Guitar), Aleksandr Leonov (Singing Saw, Folk Winds), Roman Nevele (Bass), Mikhail Ogorodov (Keyboards), Nikolay Rubanov (Sax) and Katerina Sidrova (Drums) (2nd Set) Above members, Andrew Lavrenenko (Djembe), Sergei (Djembe), and Aleksandr Vahivskiy (Djembe)

Normally, when I have a day off I will make a bit tourism. Yesterday I slept so long and when I wake up it was already around one o’clock afternoon. So, time was too late to visit Hermitage..a one of best known museum in the world. I had been there for one time and it’s really huge. In case you see all things they own (even including things they don’t show temporary) and in case if you take a minute to see each of them…..it’s take twenty years (!!!) ..I don’t know this is true…

I remember one of my Russian friend told me. So I was planned to visit there again….But, I was not able. Since I’m in Russia I drink quite a lots of this good vodka everyday. All part of my body seems to be salendered by vodka. Anyway Sasha invited Katja and some of his friends whom I know from several visits here in Peters for dinner. Sasha, his friend and I went to Market to buy fish and vegetables. Sasha said he can smoke fish at home and he is good with this business, So, there is no another answer ..I like to try homemade smoked fish and I will make soup and salad.

In market was funny, a woman was shouting when she saw me. “Orange from Columbia with bit of cocaine!”or some stand still and just watch at me very curious if they see one from an another planet. I like markets, to be there is just interesting,,one in Barcelona is great..my winter headquarter Melbourne has great market too Queen Victoria Market where I visit almost every day. It’s something really living. I was happy to have company that evening and cook for them. They are really enjoyed my foods as well. Sassha’s smoked fish was great too. Sure, there was again this vodka!!

Today I met Richard, an sound carrier friends from Austria, unfortunately he has gig at different venue in Peters with his project. He is really friendly guy, he moved to here a couple of years ago because of his sweet Russian lady. We went same Restaurant like the day before yesterday, Katja and Sasha took me. I found that place like Russia you can eat good is even Chinese Restaurant, taste much better than one in most western countries. They make chinese food with Russian flavor..and it’s really taste good even normal restaurant like here…always there is pretty girl serving. Was really pleased to meet Richard again and we promised in near future we make performance together again, he went for sound check.

Orlandina club is first time to perform. It’s on Monday. Some people were so friendly buy me vodka. Like the day before yesterday Sergey, manager of Aykton, a well known Russian band was there with his wife. Katja played drums. Nikolay the Sax player of Aykton has been performed with me many times….(even there is interesting live video with him from my very first Peters show) he is still old fox on his instrument.

Second set we sent three Djembes on the stage, Sasha brought his friend and young guy from the day before yesterday. Then other sound carriers went on stage. The stage was really full. With rhythm of percussion audience get into trans. There was one unit of energy in the room.

After this I took train back to Moscow. this time I was traveling alone. This is first time ever I travel alone with sleeping wagon in Russia. (Wait…I did it already in year 1968) Every cabin on sleeping wagon had four beds like youth hostel both side one lower and higher. This time no vodka…I’m not interesting to drink alone anyway. Alcohol is social drink. In Cabin there were 2 males, 1 female and me. Nobody spork anything and dark. I bought Russian Sushi at station…which was not really bad..rather good than many fake Sushi in another countries. Satisfied stomach and also this is absolutely first time since I’m in Russia being alone. so tiredness ruled my body. I went quite soon to sleep deeply..when I woke up train stay in silence….I couldn’t believe it’s already Moscow. Even most of people left train already. I heard someone say “Morning, Damo”…it was voice of Dan. We went to Boris’s place..he will back tonight. We’re off course watching soccer in TV. There was an another Manchester United fan.

We went out to get meal….It’s really better than fast food in west they have potato with many different souse. I wished to have potato with caviar…this time I didn’t eat caviar. In black market where you can get better one for cheaer were no caviar at all…. Boris and Katya came back from Kiev, then after we went to Japanese Restaurant.Boris means I have to try Russian Japanese food and I have to tell him if this would be Japanese food. Off course they didn’t have Uronhai also no Japanese rice snaps. But, taste there were not so bad. Better than I thought anyway. I ordered different things..but, one Sushi.Nigiri Sushi with “Black Gold”…Caviar.

Next day I had to wake up early in the morning to catch air plane, Katya and two other friends brought me to airport. Goodbye Russia for a while, this time also I enjoyed being here and perform with Russian sound carriers. My flight was not direct flight, via Munich to Cologne. Nowadays, you cannot buy liquid even after security check if you’re not fly directly to your destination since February 13th (I guess) in Europe. So, I could not keep Russian life at home in Germany. No, tasty good Vodka for home.

In Munich at security control even they wanted to keep Caviar, I bought at airport Moscow but, it’s not black gold,,it’s red one. “What is this” security woman asked me “It’s caviar” She didn’t know if she can keep or not. One security guy shouted We should try it!!” I said, OK, Ok you can do it …but where is champagne?” “OK you can go.…”

April 14 2007 (Saturday) Russia St.Petersburg @ Maina

Damo Suzuki and Nikolay Oorzhak (Throat Sing) with Safety Magic : Michael Avsharov (Bass), Igor Rozanov (Percussion), Sergey Nebilsin (Drums), Dan Lerman (Tres-Guitar), Oleg Marjakhin (Saxophones), Peter Nikulin (Digeridoo), Oleg Pankratov (Guitar), Pavel Novikov (Tabula, Dorbuk, Bansuri)

Arrived around 8 O’clock in the morning. I cannot remember but it was light, just cold and I’am tired. St.Petersburg is one of my favorite cities in Europa beside Barcelona. Has own atmosphere, yes second big city in land has kind of feeling I like..has much culture (I don’t say Moscow has less) I mean..Barcelona, Melbourne, Osaka, Hamburg, Edinburgh…they are much more interesting than largest city of their land.

I heard once around 80 percent of land’s budget flew to Moscow and rest 20 percent share with all other part of Russia. You may see everything from west if you go to shopping in Moscow. But, very very expensive. For example men’s suits from So and so famous Europe brand costs enormus high, many Russian’s comes to Europe for shopping trip (even very expensive here) and go back with flight.

All inclusive Flight, Hotel, Shopping still it’s much cheaper to be in Europe. I don’t know this is true..but, I heard from some people. One say Moscow is most expensive city in the world nowadays. Well. let’s back to beautiful city St.Petersburg. We took bus to the venue we play tonight..first we picked up (An another) Katja, who sometimes organise my shows in Russia like last time. I know her since my first tour in Russia.

The venue is kind of night club atmosphere, quite large space. Katja took me to Sasha who will be my host for next two days. He is editor of news paper. he has collection of percussion instruments (He is percussionist and even he traveled to other places in the world with his music as well) also I saw some skins for Djembe which is preparing in his bathroom also he has hundreds of Whisky collection here and there..some in his treasure wooden box. He asked me if I like to taste some of them. I explained that before I drunk whisky and I loved it but, now I’m not that fun of Whisky ..even fine ones like he has.

Afterwhile I asked him if he can join our show the day after tomorrow as Djembe drummer. He was a bit surprised but, soon he found his answer…he will come with his instruments. The night was so long..this was same festival like in Moscow’s first performance. I had only 40 minutes performance but, there were many “voices” on run before my turn. Was alone in dressing room for quite long time. Tuva throat singer/shaman Nikolay asked me if he would make duet with me. Sure it’s welcomed good idea…perform together with one of my favorite etheno music Tuva throat singer.

He asked me after concert if it was OK…I said it’s always OK. I am awaken to travel to Tuva in near future. After concert one young guy asked me if he can join with his Djembe on Monday. I say why not then see you on monday.

April 13 2007 (Friday) Russia Moscow @ Dom

Damo Suzuki with Safety Magic : Mickael Avsharov (Bass), Sergey Nebolsin (Drums), Dan Lerman (Tres-Guitar), Arcadiy Marto (Electronics, Sampling, Calimba), Oleg Marjakhin (Saxophones), Peter Nikulin (Digeridoo), Oleg Pankratov (Guitar), Pavel Novikov (Tabula, Dorbuk, Bansuri)

Boris and Katja went to Ukraine for business, so Dan picked me up and I stayed for a while at Pashha’s office. First he brought me to his own cafeteria to take breakfast, he said he was waiting for me. I said since in Russia I drink too much and I feel dizzy..then, he served me vodka with a lots of pepper a small spoon full of it and wait until all pepper stay bottom of glass…this is good for that feeling I do always he said…I didn’t believe but, I tried for his kind service…I said it’s horrible!!!…..then after he showed me slide show and music he recorded in Goa.

The venue is an art space, I perform here for second time, venue with chair…nice and friendly people working here. It’s special atmosphere Today’s performance is just with Safety Magic..but, a bit change in member compare to last night. Nazar, the smiling violinist is not and Sergey plays drum instead 2 meter and more length giant drummer Andrey. (He was there for watching the show, second set he was banging table.)

Sergey is small one like me. He was a cook even win award, cooked for political party functioners..unfortunately I had no chance to try his cooking art. We had enough time to create time and space of the moment and audience get in trance. Before performance I had nice speak with Russian music paper man for interviews at the venue upstairs. As everytime move to St.Petersburg took this time night train.

They say it’s quite boring to travel this stretch at day time. Pashha and his assistant joined without any information without suitcase to travelling band (Do they have ticket?). I understand why they like to travel in the night for an another reason. There was vodka is going around and we had quite long but, quite a short sleeping night…Everybody drink a lots here. I might lay down for minutes..everybody in good mood. As I look back since I’m in Russia I drunk quite a lots.

In restaurant with Boris after every dish Vodka after Vodka. But, they have really good quality vodka which is impossible to buy in west. Good quality stuff they keep it for themself. French does too their great sortment of great wine….