I had a clear vision and some very specific goals. With my project Music on The Move I would inspire interaction and collaboration between artists, present quality music to a new audience, and give the artists a cultural experience. Yes, it was quite overwhelming and cliché-sounding at some point..but here I am, once again alone in the house after a week of people, music, hikes, concerts, wine, and laughter. Despite everything that could have been better or done differently, as always, I can truly say that I did reached my goals, and made a positive difference for some people..
The house is quiet. It's Wednesday morning at 09:00. I just sent off the artists with the bus heading for the Airport. I can feel my shoulders lower a few millimeters, and my breath go down a little deeper. Music On The Move in Norway is over...for now!
BUT WHAT A SUCCESS IT HAS BEEN
I had of course hoped for filled up concerts and smiling, satisfied audience and performers, but I tried to keep my expectations a low in fear of disappointment and disasters. I knew my artists would do a killing show, but how do I convince the people of my town to come see these unknown artists? "I promise it'll be good" is a vague and very subjective statement. I did have a little chat with the newspaper, and did some last minute flyer-promotion, but if someone would actually show up, I wouldn't really know until show-time. This was challenge number two. Challenge number one was getting the artists. Withour economy to give them a fee, I couldn’t really force anyone to commit well in advance. After the line-up had gone from 16 to 3 people, magic happened just days before the show, and I ended up with 7 great, talented, heartfelt artists on my team. Just perfect.
So what is this Music on The Move? What have we done??
I invited students or former students at Berklee College of Music as well as local artists, to come to my town and play shows. In the ended up with 7 individual artists who all are trying to make it within the msuicn senen and working on reaching out to a new audience.
Embraced in the smell of tare and wood, overlooking old wooden ships, the quiet fjord and blue sky, with coffee and evening silence, we played our first show at Hardanger Ship Preservation Center last Thursday. Little by little people started arriving, some I had hoped and expected would come, and some I didn't know or had never expected to come. In either case it was a great pleasure to welcome them, and share the moment with them. The artists soothed them with a little jazz, a little folk, a little musical theater, a bit of reggae, and a whole bunch of feelings, edge, love, and messages to get a cross. We had Alida Mckcaon from California, Nathalie Hernandez from Florida, Amalie Jensen Tolo and myself Eli Gauden from town.
Our Friday show took place in Norheimsund center at the outdoor stage. It was unfortunate that the one day we had rain and clouds was this one. But just as we started playing, the rain stopped, and people started popping their heads out from the stores around. We caught the attention from all bus-passengers, cafe-guests, people passing by, hotel guests, and so on. At all times there were people watching or dancing, kids and elders. This day we also had Devin(Demoh) and Sara Wolff with us, and played an altogether 1,5 hour show with varied and easy listening music.
Our Last-Night show was at Makalaus Pøbb og sånt in Øystese. Also here I was a little nervous. I was hoping to have at least 30 people come... In the end we had 115 people in the pub. How amazing, and fun! This show we also had Esteban Gomes and Daniel Kleffman with us, making a total of 7 artists who rotated on the stage, performing their heart out. They all did such a wonderful job and seem to really impress the audience. Some sat there for 4 hours straight, while others rotated between the back room, the bar and the dock outside. Such a good vibe, music, and just a beautiful summer night.
I'm looking back at these days and feel relief, satisfaction, joy and love. Feedback I've gotten are comments like "This is such a great initiative", "you have to do more of this", "they are so talented", "When are they coming back?"... or from the aritsts themselves “thank you for this experience”, “unforgettable weekend”, “please let me know next time you do this”…And it's THIS FEEDBACK that makes it worth it, and is the reason WHY I do this, and why I hope to do it more and inspire others to do the same.
One of my goals with the festival was to break some boundaries and create bonds between the individual artists. Why does this matter? ...It is important because we all are artists in the beginner stage. We're trying to settle ourselves in the business, and establish ourselves as full time musicians. One way to do this is to hunt down Mr.-I-have-worked-in-the-industry-for-20-years-and-know-everyone-and-have-all-the-money-kindofguy. Another way is to use each other; artists in the same situation. We can share music, knowledge, inspiration (!!!), not to mention, share GIGS. When I had all the artists in my house, we got to know each other well, we played music, played games, had wine, swam, hiked, talked.. it became like a vacation with friends, but it all rooted in the music. Chances are it'll lead to making music together in the future, and thus, creating opportunities and experiences for each other!!!
I could write much more about the different aspects of these past days.. but what I really want to say is THANK YOU to our wonderful audience who supported us at our shows. And THANK YOU to every artist for what they gave of music and joy. IT HAS BEEN A GREAT PLEASURE! And lastly, I'll ask, help me keep this going and create event like this where love and understanding happens!
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