Working on artwork for the next Album. Here is one of the pieces for the song "There is More"
* I wrote this a year ago, and since today is a year after Nobbe's passing, I thought it was time to share some thoughts. “Life is so short.” This is a phrase we’ve heard a million times as we rush around our lives, busy busy busy, meeting goals, checking off to-do lists, getting things done. Life is so short. And we rush along to try to accomplish the things we want to have done before our time runs out, before the end of the race, before we’re swept away hoping that we’ve left our imprint on this world.
Yes, that's right! This summer I'll be on the road touring the U.S. of A.! Back to my homeland- I'm so excited!
I'm going to be touring as a duo, with the incredible Burkhard Mayer-Andersson on drums!! Ladies and Gentlemen, he's coming all the way from Germany to join me, so I want a set up a killer tour.
We are going to be able to play just about ANYWHERE: Clubs, bars, galleries, studios, back yards, front yards, kitchens, living rooms, abandoned buildings, pretty much anywhere where people can gather who want to hear music and where we won't get into too much trouble for making some noise.
So, where and how will this tour happen, you might ask. Well, quite honestly, I'm asking the same thing. This will be a full on DIY tour. I'm a DIY kinda girl, but most of my DIY projects have only been successful because of all the wonderful people that have come around to support what I'm doing.
I find that booking shows to be one of those most challenging parts of working as a musician. SO MUCH of it is about networking, and knowing the right people. Nonetheless, this is a challenge I'm going to take, and it's gonna work out great!
BUT it requires help from YOU!
As a duo, these are the dates we will be looking for shows:
AUGUST 4th-8th, 16th-23rd, 2015
These are the cities, I'm open to playing in + surrounding areas!:
Detroit, MI Chicago, IL Milwaukee, WI Madison, WI Eue Claire, WI Minneapolis, MN Des Moines, IA Columbus, OH Cincinnati, OH Louisville, KY Sweetwater, TN Chattanooga, TN Knoxville, TN Nashville, TN Huntsville, A St. Louis, MO Kansas City, MO Omaha, NE Peoria, IL Bloomington, IL
NOW, Here's where I would love YOUR help. Questions:
Do you know any good clubs in any of the above cities?
If yes, do you know personally anyone who works in those clubs?
If yes, would you be willing to share my music with them?
Do you know any people who live in the above cities who might be interested in hosting a house concert?
If yes, could you connect us? HERE is more info on how house concerts work.
Do you live somewhere other than the above cities and would be interested in hosting a house concert, or helping us find a show in your town?
If you answered yes, to any of those questions, please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Any help would be SO amazing!
I'm so excited to be back in my homeland- the land of endless possibilities, right??? This tour is going to pan out great! I'm feeling giddy just thinking about it!
Don't forget to email me with ideas, please pass this along and I hope to see you soon!
Thanks SO much for your help!
BLACK SWIFT HOUSE CONCERT GUIDE
Hello there and thanks for your interest in a Black Swift House Concert. House Shows are one of my favorite places to play for their unique, rewarding and memorable reasons. It's something special to host a musician or band in your home and to invite your guests to a gig at your own place. Below is A LOT of information. If you're serious about hosting a show, I'd suggest reading it to the end, otherwise right below I have a short and sweet explanation for those curious about what it means to host a show. I hope I find myself in your home bringing you and your guests the gift of music!
SHORT VERSION on Hosting a Show:
You, as the host invite at least 30 of your friends for a unique Black Swift show in your own home. The guests arrive, I play a set, donations are made, we all make new friends and everyone leaves happy. Unless requested, this is not a show where the host has to pay for live music, rather the host is only responsible for gathering the people together and leading the event.
Now onto the longer version:
By house this means basically any space you have access to where you can invite your friends to gather together and enjoy a concert. This could be your studio, back yard, theatre, winery, apartment, kitchen, patio, or of course your living room! Its only important that it's a space for you and your friends to comfortably sit (can be on the floor or grass) or with a little room to dance if inspired. :) My shows are about an hour long, so lets make sure everyone can get comfy.
Since there are only so many weekends in the year, please know that hosting a show under the week can be just as perfect and sometimes even better than the weekend. We don't have to party till the roosters crow, so it often works out to close up shop early for those who need to head to work then next day.
It's exciting to get a date set, so please send me a variety of dates that could work for you, so that I can work that into my tour.
To create a successful show, at least 30 adults should be there. This guarantees an atmosphere that feels more exciting for this event, and this helps to make it worth it for me to tour to your house. Don't forget, this is how I make a living, so we have to be sure to organize it properly.
A couple tips on inviting. In order to make sure there is a minimum of 30 adults, means inviting 40-50. Also, it really helps if you ask people to RSVP to make sure you know how many are coming. If you aren't sure you can get 30 adults to come, you could try co-hosting the event with a friend to ensure enough attenders.
If you have a large space that fits more people, of course this would be wonderful. The more the merrier! There's always wonderful excitement in the air with a packed out show!
Thoughts on kids.
Kids are generally loud. But I can be loud too, and I usually can win the loud contest. Most of the time when I've played a house show where kids are present, they usually end up being the ones front and center dancing to my music. Generally kids over 7 years old enjoy live music more. I do have some quieter songs where the kids would need to settle down a little bit. I'm fine with kids being there, that's just something you as a host need to decide because there's also been shows where a fussy child crying ends up being louder than me, and distracting the guests. But this is your house, and you decide the rules. If you would prefer that it is adults only, then one idea is: if there's a lot of parents with kids and the show isn't too late, how about having some activities for the kids in another room in the house? A Black Swift show could be a family style event, or an adult event, either way, I'm cool.
Invite a bunch of your friends!
When you decide to host, (yeah!) It's important to let your guests know the following, “This is a donation-based concert” Guests should know that they should come prepared to make a donation towards the artist at the end of the show. There's no suggested donation to be able to keep it open. People should feel moved in the moment to donate without expectations. If you have a friend who doesn't currently have a lot to donate, but loves music, they should be there too. Lets get that house packed out and get the music buzz going!
Sometimes there are hosts who would prefer to pay the musicians and not ask for donations. If this is you, just contact me and I can tell you my prices.
It's up to you if you want to have a pot luck, BYOB, or if you want to provide snacks. You do it in your style and in your way.
So you’ve invited everyone, RSVPs are in, and you’re ready for the show – here’s what happens next.
I'll arrive about an hour before the guests arrive to set up and do a soundcheck.
Guests come at the time we've decided the event will begin. We'll hang out and mingle for about an hour. After this, everyone comes together in the performance space, people find a place to sit down, the host gives a short introduction, and then I play my show. This will be about an hour long performance.
As soon as I finish my last song, the host gets up in front next to me with a hat or vase, or some kind of container and makes the donation speech. It should go something like this:
“Thank you all for coming tonight. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. I want to remind you that this is a donation-based concert. Your donations tonight will all directly benefit our artist, and will show her our appreciation for this amazing experience she brought us tonight. We're going to pass a hat and I encourage you to give generously. Thanks again!”
After that, we'll all hang out and get to know each other till everyone starts heading home.
QUESTIONS FOR YOU
Here is the list of questions we’ll need for you to reply to asap in order to factor your house into the routing.
- In what city and state and country do you live?
- What is the space you have in mind for the concert? (e.g., inside your house, an outdoor space, etc.)
- Do you want to host a donation-based concert as described above, or do you want information about paying a guarantee for the show instead?
- a) Do you think you’ll be able to get a minimum of 30 adults to come? b) What is the total number of people you might expect to come?
- When would you like to host a show? Please send me a number of dates in which you are open.
- What is the best email address and phone number at which to reach you efficiently?
House shows are really a wonderful and magical experience that can bring lasting friendships and great memories. I'm really looking forward to doing a house concert together with you!
Thank you for a wonderful 2014!
I wanted to send out one more email before this year is over to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who made 2014 so wonderful. I’m so proud of all we accomplished, - especially releasing our first full-length and none of it would have been possible, without the support of the community that has become Black Swift.
TO YOU OUR WONDERFUL FANS
Onwards and upwards to 2015
I have some really exciting plans for 2015 that I'll be sharing with you in the next couple of weeks. To give you a little idea, it entails more art, more music, more videos and more shows. Ideas have been percolating and I've been brainstorming on how to make this happen. I will be working together again with the talented Markus Merkle this year to work on some new music videos. My last big THANK YOU needs to go out to him for all the love support he gave in 2014. He filmed and directed the last music video- if you haven't seen it yet, you can click HERE to see it!
2015 is gonna be so good and I'm excited to share it all with you soon!
Hallo Black Swift Fans,
Wir sind wieder am ende des Jahres, und Weihnachten ist kurz vor uns. Ich will jetzt für November & Dezember buchen! Gerne kannst du mich ab jetzt zu einen Wohnzimmer Konzert im persönlichen Rahmen buchen! Ja, ich freue mich jetzt ein paar Wohnzimmer Konzerte zu spielen!
Hey Germany, Switzerland & France, I'm excited to be currently planning a short tour together with KAT JONES. Kat has a gorgeous voice and is a prolific songwriter, and I'm really looking forward to sharing the stage together! If you aren't on the tour path, check out her music anyway its a great mixture of americana/folk/indie... (kinda like the music I like to write, so its gonna be a great combo)
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Between October 8th - 16th, 2014, we are hoping to head to some of the cities (or surrounding cities) listed below. If you know of a good club we should play in, let me know, or if you would be open to hosting a LIVINGROOM SHOW, also let me know. Hosting a livingroom show virtually does not cost anything, its just a matter of opening up your home and inviting at least 20 people who are willing to contribute towards the live music.
Für mehr info auf Deutsch an wie ein Wohnzimmer Konzert functioniert, click mal HIER.
If you live in or near any of the cities listed below, and would be free to host a show,or know of a club we should play in just write mail to :email@example.com
Düsseldorf Köln Duisburg Essen Wuppertal Bonn Frankfurt Mannheim Karlsruhe Augsburg Wiesbaden Würzburg Stuttgart Zürich Bern Basel Strasbourg
Hey Everyone, As you know any connections of art with music are always exciting for me. I've been invited to play a solo show at the Summer Festival at KISS Kunst im Schloss Untergröningen. This a beautiful old castle now used as an art space. The information is below. The exhibition is fantastic, including artwork from Markus Merkle (see image below)
Der Sommer kommt zurück!
Kunstverein KISS – Schloss Untergröningen
Samstag, 13. September, ab 16 Uhr
sommerliches Fest auf dem Schloss mit
– Kaffee, Kuchen und Brotzeit durch den Heimatverein – Musik von Black Swift, Sally Grayson – beteiligte Künstler führen durch die Ausstellungen zu ausgewählten Arbeiten
nächste Führungen mit dem Kurator:
Sonntag, 7. September, 16 Uhr Sonntag, 28. September, 16 Uhr Sonntag, 5. Oktober, 15 Uhr
What a night! It's one I think I'll never forget. I'll tell you, there is nothing like working so hard at something and then seeing it become a reality. I wrote these songs and dreamed of putting out not just an album, but the very best album I could. With the help of SO many people from my co-producer David Arzt- who worked with on this with me the whole way through, to the many many musicians who gave their talents, to producing a pretty sweet little art booklet with the CD in the back featuring collages I've been working on for over 2 years, to the contributors of the crowdfunding campaign who pre-ordered to make it financially possible- we had lots of reasons to CELEBRATE! Here are some Photos (thank you Veronika) and Thank yous for the Evening:
We started the night off with the fabulous Swim Bird Fly. They rocked our socks off. After they played, I invited everyone outside for a Birthday Milk & Chocolate Chip Cookie Treat. (thanks to Christina, Veronika, Andrea, Michelle & Christiana for the yummy cookies)
Then we took the stage. Zwoelfzehn was packed and I was overwhelmed by how many people showed up to support us. Thank you- you brought such energy to our set and I didn't want it to end. Johnny Park of Swim Bird Fly who also mixed our album played on "The World Howls" with us. The last song we played was "Whiskey John & Irish" and in the chorus of everyone singing "love is love" sparklers were lit and it was completely magical.
Thank you to everyone who made this night possible:
To my amazing band- it was such a pleasure and so much fun playing with you talented folks! To Swim Bird Fly for opening up the evening! To all the Crowdfunding Campaign supporters who made it possible to finish the album and have something to celebrate about! To all the Stuttgarters who packed that place in, thank you for coming out to see us it was great seeing your beautiful faces!
By the way, if you missed it, here's the places you can get the new Album:
Get a physical copy: www.blackswift.bandcamp.com (shipping worldwide)
Download on iTunes: US: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-world-howls/id897351348?l=en DE: https://itunes.apple.com/de/album/the-world-howls/id897351348?l=en UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-world-howls/id897351348?l=en
Download on Amazon mp3: http://amzn.com/B00LLVTHHO
Find it also on: Spotify, Soundcloud, Google Play, KKBox, Rdio, Deezer, Xbox, and Rhapsody
Watch the video to the single "Branches & Sticks" here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OavQ7ooQ84
The gates have opened and Black Swift has been RELEASED!! Our first full-length "The World Howls" is now available worldwide!
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Get a physical copy: www.blackswift.bandcamp.com (shipping worldwide) Download on iTunes: US: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-world-howls/id897351348?l=en DE: https://itunes.apple.com/de/album/the-world-howls/id897351348?l=en UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-world-howls/id897351348?l=en
Black Swift Album Release Party!!
This is the moment we’ve been waiting for! Black Swift has been working SO hard for SO long and it’s time to CELEBRATE! Black Swift will be putting out their first full-length Album called “The World Howls.” This is going to be a great show! Starting the evening out will be the beautiful Stuttgart band, “Swim Bird Fly” (www.swimbirdfly.bandcamp.c
Also on display for the evening will be the closing of the exhibition, "Neoteric Saints” recent collages by Sally Grayson displayed in "Fenster Zeitgenossischer Realitaet” Also included in the series is Black Swift's Album Cover. https://www.facebook.com/
This also happens to be Black Swift’s front lady, Sally’s Birthday: and the best gift would be if you would come to the show, and celebrate together! Let’s pack that place out. Come, bring your friends and let’s celebrate together!
About the Album:
Black Swift’s new Album “The World Howls,” ranges in style from Tarantino road trip Rock to Morricone, to Fugazi to Tom Waits. Together with her collaborators Black Swift has been working steadily on a new album for over a year. The bones of the song were written by Grayson, but the rest has come from a variety of musicians who helped arrange and record in numerous places in America and Germany. “The World Howls” features Jerome Fontamillas (Switchfoot), Beverly Fre$h, Nate Lehner (The Guilty Wanted), Burkhard Mayer-Anderson, Mike Gunther (Mike Gunther & his Restless Souls), Jayathi Kyle (Black Audience), Stefanie Haecker and more. Of all her collaborators, her most consistent on this album are co-producer David Arzt (Jumbo Jet) who played and arranged on most of the songs on the album, Steffen Eifert (Same Same Here) on drums, and Tobias Unrath on bass. From energetic post-punk indie rock to epic dark ballads, to soul infused & blues influenced story telling, “The World Howls” stretches the gamet of songwriting and soundscapes.
This Thursday I'll be playing at the art opening for Markus Merkle. (see information below) This is not the first time I've played not only at one of the openings for this artist, but actually played in the installation. Just past Valentine's Day I think I'm still allowed to share a love story. Long story short: in 2002, I met Markus Merkle in India. We met up again in Munich and on a warm summer night sitting outside till late getting to know each other he told me a sad story. I said, "I just wanna give you a hug." He said, "what's a hug?" so I gave him a hug and he said, "That's a great word- that would be a great band name: THE HUG". So he decided to start a band called "The Hug." The next year when I was back in Chicago, he invited me to come back to Munich and play in" The Hug." He designed, built and installed this huge sculpture that filled the whole room of the Akademie Galerie. He also formed the band by inviting other musicians along and together we wrote songs and the band "The Hug" played in THE HUG. There's lot's of beautiful details left out of our story, but 11 years and 2 kids later, I've been invited again by my husband, Markus Merkle to play a show in his massive sculpture titled "Tinariwen." Once again musically inspired this time by the incredible band from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. His installation gives the feeling of being somewhere else, with it's tent like forms that one is able to step into, you have the feeling of being transported to a different place and time. Taking shelter inside this structure that rolls on and on like a long journey flowing, connecting, alone yet together. The zigzag forms bring the image of the ups and downs of life and love and relationships. In my opinion, it's as if The Hug has opened up further offering home and community. I know it has to me.
I'll be playing a short set of Black Swift songs, (haven't yet learned my African guitar rifts), but I'm looking forward to playing in yet another one of Markus Merkle's beautiful sculptures/room installations. Hope to see you there!
Die Arbeit Tinariwen ist eine von Markus Merkle speziell für den Ausstellungsraum in der Karlskaserne entwickelte Installation, die den Raum und seine besondere Atmosphäre nutzt, die Proportionen der Säulenanordnung und den Rhythmus der Wandhöhe zur Bodenfläche, um durch diese Neugliederung die Betrachter zu verführen, Fragen im Sinne der Kunst zu stellen. Tinariwen ist ein Wort von den Tuareg, das in Zusammenhang mit der Sahara auf einen leeren Ort, kargen Lebensraum hinweist.Die Form der Installation erinnert an Zelte oder Häuser, welche auch Sinnbild für das menschliche Leben sind und laden dazu ein, einzutreten.
Wie ein monumentales Kartenhaus faltet sich die Installation raupenartig in den Raum. Ein Raum der leer erscheint, dessen neue Inszenierung sich jedoch beim Betrachten auffächert, die Arbeit komplex in der Form und doch einfach. Fragil, zwischen Ruhe und Bewegung, des Auf und Ab des Lebens bietet Tinariwen Möglichkeiten der Herberge. Im Gegensatz zur Kunst, die an den Wänden oder freistehend in der Halle präsentiert wird, bezieht sich Tinariwen auf den Ort der Ausstellung selbst und tritt in einen Dialog mit dem Raum. Man kann von einer Korrespondenz von Kunst und Architektur sprechen.Das Material besteht aus Schilf oder Bambus, das in den verschiedenen Kulturkreisen auch als Baumaterial benutzt wird und einen vergänglichen Charakter besitzt. Nach der Ausstellung wird die Installation abgebaut und besteht nicht weiter.
Im Februar lassen wir im Club Zentral die großen Scheinwerfer aus und knipsen das Stehlämpchen an. Bei den Popbüro Sessions Live machen wir es uns zusammen mit EAU ROUGE, Kids of Adelaide, Konvoy und Black Swiftauf dem Sofa gemütlich und lauschen feinen unplugged Versionen ihrer Songs. Zwischen den Auftritten gibt es kleine Interviews zum Aufhorchen. Ab 19 Uhr könnt Ihr Euch wie zu Hause fühlen, ab 20 Uhr gibt’s dufte Mucke satt. Karten kosten an der Abendkasse 4 € pro Nase. www.popbuero.de/sessions
EAU ROUGE Sphärisch kriechen hallende Gitarren ins Ohr und über uns schwebt eine Wolke aus Bass, Synthies und zartem Gesang. Zu den Melodien der drei Jungs aus Stuttgart lässt es sich genauso gut den Gedanken nachhängen, wie zu tanzen. Obwohl die EP „Eau Rouge“ erst acht Monate nach der Gründung der Band entstand, wirkt die Platte so, als hätten Jonas, Bo und Magnus nie etwas anderes gemacht. www.eaurouge-music.com
Kids Of Adelaide Bereits 2010 stellen Benni und Severin fest, dass sie mehr verbindet, als die bloße Gastmusikerbekanntschaft. Fast schon ein wenig romantisch beginnt die Reise der Kids Of Adelaide auf Stuttgarts Straßen, wo die beiden auf offener Straße ihre Liebe zur akustischen Gitarrenmusik und herzerwärmenden Folk beweisen. Bis heute können sie auf zahlreiche Auftritte mit den Singer-Songwritern Tiemo Hauer und Max Prosa sowie zwei erfolgreiche Alben bzw. eine EP zurückblicken. Doch die beiden fangen gerade erst an. www.kidsofadelaide.de
Konvoy Moritz, Joe und Jan zeigen uns, wie eine Mischung aus deutschsprachigem Rap und urbaner Popmusik funktionieren kann. Früher waren sie noch als ZWPLS unterwegs, heute feiern sie sich und ihre neu dazugewonnene Experimentierfreudigkeit unter neuem Namen – mit Erfolg. Ihre EP „Konvoy“ enthält klassische Raps, elektronische Samples und eingängige Bässe und steht für ausgelassenes Kopfnickern immer zur Verfügung. www.konvoymusik.de
Black Swift Wenn man den Songs von Sally Grayson alias Black Swift lauscht, kann man kaum glauben, dass hinter diesen bluesigen Sounds und tiefgründigen Texten ein so fröhliches Gemüt steckt. Mit Leidenschaft in der Stimme, die in ihrer Dynamik und Klarheit an Jex Thoth erinnert, orientiert sich Black Swift trotz Vorliebe für Moll-Akkorde eher an Rock’n’Roll, Gypsy und landläufigem Folk. Besonders spannend wirkt dieser Kontrast in ihren neuen Songs. www.blackswiftmusic.com
So, I've been thinking a lot about social justice/ social activism. Seeking out justice, especially for the poor is something that has been deep desire of mine even since I was quite young. (as a child I used to play "homeless Barbie" but that's another story). Over the years of living in a quaint little German village where there isn't any homelessness and the intense needs of the worlds are easily overlooked, I've realized that this important aspect of my life was missing. I've been wrestling with what the means for me now, and with that I've decided to take small steps. Part of that is that I'd like to choose monthly an organization to highlight here on my website and in the social media world. (If there's an organization or non-profit you believe in, I'd love to hear about it) This is a two-fold process:
1. To keep myself informed.
It's so easy to forget about the condition of life the majority of the world faces. If I don't watch it, it can be easy to get caught up in my world and to fall into a "woe is me" mentality. But I have it good, really good and part of that I suppose has to do with perspective. I really want to maintain a grateful heart for what has been given to me. This is easier to see when I step back out of my world and problems and look at a broader world picture.
2. To inform and raise awareness.
My story short version: I lived in India and worked with the Delhi House Society. I ended up needing to leave earlier than I intended. I felt helpless in a lot of ways when I came back and didn't know what I could do to actively help the work of the Dehli House Society. The only thing I could do was to paint and sing about the people I met and the things I saw. This is an extension of that. My hope is to raise awareness and from that to bring about change. Even if it's small steps. Like these I'm trying to take right now.
So that big intro is leading to DELHI HOUSE SOCIETY. This is the organization I worked with in India. It was started by Ton Snellart who had the vision of reaching out to the poorest of the poor in Delhi- the lost and often forgot "destitutes" on the streets of Delhi. This formed into starting a rehabilitation home and a home for kids. Delhi House has had many amazing workers passing through, but currently most of the workers at the Delhi House are people who have been found on the streets, brought to hospitals and then the the rehabilitation home. Many of those people have stayed and the work continues on. It's pretty amazing. I wrote to the folks at Delhi House to ask what their needs are, and here are some current help they could use.
Here are some needs Delhi House has coming up:
- For the upcoming Christmas celebration, they are trying to raise funds for gifts for 30 Children at approximately 12 Euros Each and 24 staff at 25 Euros each.
- They are also looking for people to sponsor a bed. This would be 50 Euros per bed for the rehabilitation home.
Thanks for reading!
Hallo Black Swift Fans,
Es geht weiter! Die Wohnzimmern wo ich in Dezember und Januar gespielt habe war SO Toll das ich muss das weiter machen! Ich will jetzt weiter buchen! Gerne kannst du mich ab jetzt zu einen Wohnzimmer Konzert im persönlichen Rahmen buchen!