together, we float.
greetings from indonesia. i’m in ubud, bali, possibly the most beautiful place i’ve ever seen on earth, and i don’t say that lightly. but look, i mean…
and i’m sorry-not-sorry – this blog is going to be lonnnnnng because i’ve been in recouperation mode but have so much to tell you. i’d like to start off by saying, because it’s worth saying (especially to those of you who have followed my blog since 2003, with all the sturm, drang and depression and tour-wearines that went along with it) that i am INCREDIBLY GODDAMN HAPPY.
i’m as happy as i can ever remember being in my life. nothing astounding has happened to merit this happiness, no huge cosmic surprises from the sky…i’m just…incredibly happy. everything feels very manageable, i’ve managed to learn how to be a mother and simultanesouly work and tour, nobody i know is currently dying of cancer, the 15-show australian tour i just wrapped was a massive success in more ways than one, the edward record is ready to come out, it’s not snowing anywhere near me, and…yes. i’m just really happy right now happy.
speaking of oz, if you came to any of the shows on the tour and are australian and new to the patreon – WELCOME. welcome welcome. it’s wonderful here.
sxip shirey, who has been in adelaide at the festival, just sent me this round-up review from a random journalist who came to the adelaide show:
“Going into ‘An Evening With Amanda Palmer’, I had no idea what to expect. I knew nothing of her work. All I knew was I wasn’t in the mood for a two-and-a-half hour show.
It turned out to be probably the most honest and gut-wrenching show I’ve seen, and had me wiping away tears on more than one occasion. I didn’t want it to end.”
now that also makes me also really goddamn happy.
this was such an odd tour: i didn’t have anything huge to promote, i just wanted to play and connect with the australians and see what happened when i tried to manage a family and writing and playing shows. i know now: i can do this.
i also have a wonderful thing happening, internally – the germans would call it “zukunftmusikvergnügenheit” (yes, i made that up – it means “pleasure in music that has not happened yet”).
one of the best things to come out of my time in melbourne, clocking the hours that i could snatch in a rented rehearsal space, was NEW SONGS. i’ve written a steamingly raw batch of them…and they’re unfinished but electric little things in my head, and i’ve been writing songs for long enough now that i have my own relationships to them in their many forms (they go from embryonic, to fetal, to newborn, to toddler, to teenage, to adult, to…well, i’ve never had to “retire” a song, so let’s stop there).
and one of the best things about writing a huge batch of songs that nobody’s heard is that i develop my own relationship with them. i wait and see which ones come knocking, which ones start popping into in my head without any inviting.
they just appear.
and when they just appear and start playing and re-playing their cellular bits and choruses and bridges in my head , that’s when i know they are good, because that’s how good songs work.
it’s like having my own little personal radio station that nobody else can hear, and there is just something so delicious in the anticipatory nature of having written something that has never been shared, but simply lives, fermenting, in your imagination in its pre-pubescent format, waiting to be arranged, recorded and delivered.
it actually makes me realize that my long-felt guilt about not listening to music as much (i was a constant-music listener, never to be seen without headphones, from the ages of 13-19) is possibly explainable by the fact that i became more interested in the custom Amanda-Palmer-satellite-channel that was beaming my own to-become-material into my head than i was in listening to “Disintigration” for the 677th time.
my own personal radiohead.
i also am really proud of myself that i accepted the cosmic donut to take a few days off in bali before contiuning on the road…it’s a place i’ve wanted to visit for years.
i was first inspired to come here when i met john hardy at TED….he’d given this TED talk about his dream-green-school-made-of-bamboo, and i fell in love with the ideas and his gung-ho weirdness. he said COME TO BALI I WILL SHOW YOU MY DREAMS, and i was like…fuck yeah i will. i took his card (which was, of course, made of bamboo) and kept it in my wallet forever, because…it was made of bamboo and i loved having a bamboo business card in my cash clip.
fast forward to when i was at TED in 2015, four months pregnant with ash, and his daughter elora hardy stepped onto the TED stage to give her own talk (which, poetically, has surpassed her father’s in number of views) about her work as a bamboo architect. she’d been given an invitation to speak at TED only 3 weeks before giving the talk, she was FIVE months pregnant, and not only did she KILL HER TALK, but we bonded over our pregnancies and pressed our bellies together, vowing that i’d come to bali at some point and visit and our babies would romp. co-romp.
here’s one of the houses (all bamboo) that elora has constructed on bali:
the play-date that was written in the stars occured today and the two babies (nyan, elora’s son, is exactly one month older) hugged and romped and eeped together in a fresh rainwater pond and pushed each other around in a hand-carved canoe near a waterfall.
if these are to be my average play-dates…i’m in.
also magnet-ing me to bali was the fact that i also had a contact for robin lim, a midwife (i found her through my midwives at the farm, where ash was born) who’s currently doing some phenomenal work here…she’s some sort of otherworldy natural-childbirth super-hero kicking ass and bringing safer birthing experiences to women in indonesia (you can learn more here).
i went today to her birthing clinic, and it’s fantastic. local women in labor walking around in the bali breeze. and it turns out her daughter, lakota, is married to a grunge balinese rock star named robi. his band is called Navicula, see here.
are you following me? or are you following all these links and going down youtube holes?
either way, good. so it turns out they’re both fans, and robi is playing a festival in Ubud tomorrow (sunday, march 19th). so i’m going to play with him. so if you happen to be in bali…scooter on over. he’s/we’re on stage at 3 pm.
we are only here for three more days…and then we’re heading to lesvos, greece.
remember when i hit you guys up for a good place to visit to help/volunteer with the refugee crisis next week?
well – all roads wound up leading to a grassroots organization called Because We Carry (go read the link, the backstory is super-inspiring and i’ll tell you more about them later when i report on the whole trip).
if you don’t keep up with world politics and the refugee crisis and want to know why on earth i’m going to lesvos, greece, of all places – simply read this.
i’m going to spend a week volunteering with Because We Carry, meeting refugee families, playing a weird little gig for the other volunteers and the families there, and meeting with the UNHCR to travel around the island a little and learn more. i am going to go visit this pile of lifejackets.
while i’m there, i’ll be based near the Kara Tepe refugee camp.
my mission is to see what i see, absorb, feel, take notes, and report back to you in blog form (or maybe write a more official article – dunno).
i’m hopefully going to have a camera person (a friend of cookie’s, the amazing UK fan/patron many of you probably know from live shows…she’s been living and volunteering in lesvos and she’s going to be hepling us out there). so maybe we’ll get some footage of weirdness/trueness.
it also looks like i’ve cooked up a last-minute semi-ninja gig – with proceeds to charity – in a small music club in lesvos SO I F YOU ARE IN THE AREA, hold march 28th (at night).
i carry you with me.
all of you.
all 9,000+ of you.
i had dinner tonight with lakota and robi-the-balinese-rockstar and over the last dregs of the meal robi told me that my kickstarter antics had inspired him and his band – a while ago – to crowdfund their own project. he told me it had been harder than they thought – because most of their supporters either didn’t have credit cards, or their indonesian credit cards were declined as suspicious by the website. aie aie aie.
they’d heard about my patreon and i started talking about it and i realized…this whole exercise feels familiar.
i remember all the chats with artists back in 2010, trying to explain the weirdness of kickstarter before everyone was using “kickstart” as an art-money verb. i hope that’s the case with patreon in five years.
sometimes i am able to crawl out of my pile of shit to do and my little head-bubble and realize just how profoundly fucking epic it is that you 9,000 here are supoprting me in my artistic efforts. it has changed the way i live this life and it has changed the way i make and feel about art.
i am so so grateful for every one of you for trusting me.
we were also talking – after the food was gone – about how good art doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
it doesn’t happen because you sit down in front of a piece of blank paper, or pick up a guitar, or a paintbrush.
it happens because you eat and drink and smoke with strangers, because you go to refugee camps, because you say yes to the puppet show in the crumbling building, because you brush your teeth with a washcloth because you still haven’t found a place to buy a toothbrush, because you read the newspaper and cry, because you attend to your child’s cries and change their exploded diapers in the middle of the night, because you see constellations you’ve never been able to see before, because you read books left in cafes, because you forget to make the phone call, because you gaze down and see cars, because you jump in without noticing how deep it is, because you look up and see mosquito netting, because you kneel at cancer bedsides, because you just decided to stay in bed like proust, because you decided to never sleep in the same bed twice or with the same person twice, because you wonder WHAT IS BED, because bed is an idea, not a reality, because you get an idea in a bar and you rush off to the crowded bathroom and you try to ignore the techno while you sing the idea into your phone’s cracked screen, because you do all of this…and THEN you sit down in front of a piece of blank paper, or pick up a guitar, or a paintbrush.
no life, no art.
you are all, as one giant collective, an invisible lifejacket that i hold in my hand and don when i need to cross.
well, speaking of that….here is a report from the Department of Things.
you may have noticed that i didn’t thing anything in the month of February. sometimes that happens, i won’t stress. Things are coming. you got charged nada.
i’d been hoping to get the missy higgins podcast out, but the editing and audio have been taking a long time to knock together, so…it comes hopefully by the end of this month.
aside from that there are TONS of stuff in the works right now…a secret video from Theatre Is Evil (you heard me right), the documentary footage that i took in cuba with Jason and Jherek, a few super-arty videos (yaaaay) for the edward record, and the video/song collaboration that i’ve been slowly piecing together with abel azcona – the picture you see at the top (or bottom, dependin’ how you’re reading it) here is from abel of the beach shoot in spain last week – tons of people volunteered. (hi alex! hi felix!)
so that’s coming out too, at some point, and the music is sounding beautiful.
webcast-wise….i’ll probably need to wait until i’m back in the states in april to find reliable enough wifi to do another webcast for you $10 folks. stay tuned.
and as far as an everybody-webcast goes:
we’re hoping to Thing-Film-Cast one of the edward/amanda shows in june so that everyone can enjoy the fruits of our labor live…we will probably never do a tour like this again. (and by the way, San Fran, Vienna, Los Angeles and Prague are ALL SOLD OUT and everything else is getting there!)
i am so glad you loved the chiara video for “beyond the beach”….
if you havent’ seen it yet, it’s here, the project page for the whole edward+amanda record:
i think that’s it. i love you all a ton.
i carry you with me.
together, we float.
———–THE NEVER-ENDING AS ALWAYS———–
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2. see All the Things i’ve made so far on patreon: http://amandapalmer.net/patreon-things/
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