In days of expansive arenas, corporate hegemony sucking the soul from local venues, and bands having to pay to play rather than be rewarded for their skill, it is a wonder as to how long the live music scene can survive. Thankfully there are artists not only capable of inciting wonder within, but looking to perform in a way that is more special, that lets music subtly quivering with emotion to speak directly to the listener.
That is one of the beautiful things about the living room tour from pandorasdiary. Usually playing ‘something called indie folk’ over beats, pandorasdiary (Sarah Michel) is currently touring living rooms around Europe armed only with a guitar, and fellow musician Yasmine Latkowski and cameraman Andy Suhendi. Leaving behind lights and equipment, and all the paraphernalia of concerts they are getting back to the nub of what performing is about – engaging with the audience.
The whole tour is being filmed and created into a documentary. A powerful lesson in the beauty of a passion for music and a desire to create, the project is being self funded, with support given via crowdfunding. People who wish to support can pledge for downloads, handmade Diary EP, postcards, DVD and tickets or sponsor a living room gig, with pledges ranging from £1.00 to £150.00. Crowdfunding has paved a way for projects like this to even be possible. The project seems one perfectly suited to such a system of funding. Personal donations fuelling intimate concerts for a special exploration of music and its magic.
Whilst all the locations are small, each provides very different circumstances and audiences. All kinds of performers are invited to take part and collaborate and often people who didn’t plan to perform end up performing. From rappers and grunge in a studio, jazz in the living room, an afternoon session for parents and children, a gang of couchsurfers jamming, a session in an Indonesian restaurant, and a concert in a washing machine workshop, the opportunities, and outputs, are endless.
‘It becomes part concert/open mic.’says Sarah. ‘I normally check out the atmosphere and improvise according to what feels right. It is very organic. The energy is amazing- people really support each other and give and receive confidence to perform. ‘
Sarah describes her art as Lebenskünstler which is a German word describing person who approaches life with the zest and inspiration of an artist. Clearly this is something that has been brought to this project, and inspiration has been fuelled by the network in which pandorasdiary operates.
A member of Fearless Females Collective, a group of female performers, who run a monthly open mic, and a weekly radio show, Sarah and Yasmine, met each other through all women’s workshops run by Tigersonic studios as part of the Smart Women’s Recording Club.
‘It has been an amazing source of confidence and motivation to get going musically… the combination is a very powerful one.’
If you are interested in and inspired by the project, and would like to contribute, visit www.pandorasdiary.com You can also keep up to date with the project via the daily blog.