Day 14: playing at Bandra Base

Daily Movie:

Day 14: Concert at Sandra Base in Mumbai

We played a concert at a small cultural Venue called The Bandra Base

Gepostet von Scylla am Samstag, 19. Januar 2019

Waking up in Mumbai, seeing the surrounding in the light of day, listening to the constant concert of honking is a special experience.

We walked around the neighborhood, had some chai and got settled in.

Haase and Immo tried to get a Riksha, but they would not take us with the taximeter running, they wanted to charge a fixed price, that was obviously too high, so we ended up walking to a restaurant that Haase had been to before.

We went to Bandra Base after lunch, to check out where exactly it was and met Wood, an american, who is somewhat working there.

He told us to come back at 16:30 to setup and soundcheck, as there would be a dance class from 18-20h.

This time, we were looking for a taxi, and again: fixed price!

Well, 150 Rupees later we arrived at Bandra Base with all of our gear. 5 or 6 Tickets had been sold online, so we knew, there would be more people in the audience, than on stage, which is always good.

We did not book the sound guy for 1000 Rupees, so Immo fulfilled his duties as engineer and also installed the recording equipment, while Haase and Buttlar got comfortable on stage.

At the end of our soundcheck there were already a few people waiting for the dance class to begin, so we left to get some dinner around the block.

We ended up eating in front of a take away place, sitting on the stools of their drivers, or rather riders, because they were delivering on bicycles.

On the way back, we stumbled across a beer and wine shop and could not resist, so we hid in a dark alley and enjoyed a cold one, while fantasizing about being apprehended by police for drinking on the street. We kept the bottles wrapped in paper, figuring, if that is legal in the US, maybe they have a similar rule here. We still don’t know.

We played for about 75 minutes and at 23h everything came to an end.

The deal was a 50/50 split, so our payout was 500 Rupees!

Back at the Hotel, the accumulated Data was transferred and our concert setup discussed, as to how we can improve our common playing situation.

Work in progress!

Day 13: on to Mumbai!

Daily Movie:

Scylla and Flowin IMMO in India – Day 12: Concert in Thiruvananthapuram

We played at the Goethe Zentrum Thiruvananthapuram and had a lot of fun! Here also a videolink to our "Zugabe" in Malayalam: https://youtu.be/xOetrnlRVeQ

Gepostet von Scylla am Freitag, 18. Januar 2019

 

Bobby picked us up at the hotel and we returned to the Goethe Zentrum, to meet with the Boss, who is also Honorarkonsul for Kerala, to talk about future visits, and also bringing along Imran and Hanif Khan, to present the german/indian fusion on stage. It was a very friendly meeting, and now they are open for our concept to be sent after returning to Germany.

And we even made it into the newspapers!

Percussion shopping was on top of the list, as Buttlar was looking to buy coconut shakers, a friend of his had recommended. Bobby picked us up and we drove to the shop, where a friend of Bobby, a guitar player who was at our show yesterday , and his father opened the door for us.

Time for lunch, which is when Bobby showed us a videoclip of him acting in a Mollywood Comedy, yes, there is not only Bollywood, but also Mollywood, the Malayalam version of film industry. Funny stuff…

Bobby was a very nice host, fun to be around, but we had to say goodbye.

After two more hours of hanging out at the Hotel, a driver took us to the airport and we checked in without further problems. The flight was a little bit delayed, but we landed in Mumbai after about 2,5h flight time.

Another prepaid taxi took us to Bandra, a part of Mumbai, where Haase had already been before and we managed to find the Hotel Linkway on Linking Street.

The rooms were indeed different to the ones we had for last night in Thiruvananthapuram, but we new, Mumbai was going to be loud…

Quarter Canteen was the bar next door, and we managed to drink one welcome beer before they closed down at 1:00h.

Good night in Mumbai!

Day 12: Concert at Goethe Zentrum in Thiruvananthapuram

Daily Movie:

Scylla and Flowin IMMO in India – Day 12: Concert in Thiruvananthapuram

We played at the Goethe Zentrum Thiruvananthapuram and had a lot of fun! Here also a videolink to our "Zugabe" in Malayalam: https://youtu.be/xOetrnlRVeQ

Gepostet von Scylla am Freitag, 18. Januar 2019

One last dip in the Ocean, one last coconut for breakfast and we were on our way to the big city.

Charles got two porters to carry our suitcases up the hill. Tough dudes, who carry heavy loads on the head!

Sadiq dropped us of at the Windsor Hotel around 14:30h, for the first time on hour trip we had three single rooms on the 8th floor. Great view over Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala.


We jumped into the pool and were ready for pickup at 16h to go to the Goethe Zentrum for setup and soundcheck.

This is where we met Bobby, who Haase had been in touch with for the coordination of our concert. The Goethe Zentrum is a language school, but they also host cultural events in their garden, where a small amphitheater is set up.

A huge backdrop with our names had been printed and the sound crew was almost ready for us. A group of young german students was there and eager to try their first real life small talk with Germans, and take some selfies, of course.

Djidin, the sound guy, was very cooperative and soundcheck was done quickly, we even setup our recording devices to record individual tracks of the music for later mixing.

After soundcheck we went to the front of the house and met a few young men, who had been studying german for the past few months, as they are planning to come to Germany to continue their engineering studies. Their german was pretty good already, although they also had not had a normal conversation with a native german. Communication is fun!

The theater filled up pretty quickly and we started playing on time, splitting our set into three parts: first Flowin Immo , then Scylla and finally the collaboration of both acts.

The Kerala crowd reacted well, and things got wild, when for the last number some words in their language called Malayalam were used instead of german words. They proposed Sundaren (beautiful man) and quickly Sundari (beautiful woman) was added. Sundaren Sundari !

After the show, we were presented with a gift basket of almonds, cashew, dates, raisins and some chocolate sweets, and we had to take one group selfie after another.

You can see a lot of photos from the show here:

We packed our instruments and were taken back to the Hotel, had dinner and went to bed after an exciting day in beautiful Kerala, the land of the coconut!

Day 11: Backwater Boys in Poovar

Long story short:

Day 11: Kovalam Backwaters Boattrip

we became the Backwater Boys today…

Gepostet von Scylla am Mittwoch, 16. Januar 2019

Haase and Immo got up around 9 and went for a morning swim followed up by a fresh coconut and a breakfast at the german bakery with indian Dosa, a thin rice pancake filled with curry potatos. We could have had Frankwurter sausages or Käsespätzle… who would have known…

Some video and audio editing ensued, as you all shoud be able to take part in our experience here.

Also a short Promo Trailer for the Alcheringa Festival was recorded by Immo.

On our last day in Kovalam Beach we had to see some more of the surrounding area, so Charles arranged his driver Sadiq for us and a boat trip through the backwaters.

We had scheduled a taxi to the Kovalam Backwaters for 15:30h, a boattour through mangroves south of Kovalam. The ride there through the town of Kovalam and other villages was very scenic and our driver Sadiq, the same one who had picked us up at the airport showed us a viewpoint on the way, where we could look over a fishervillage, which we would visit on the way back, from a hill above. Beautiful!

The price for 1,5h boattrip was 3500 RP for two and 500 RP for the extra person, Sadiq negotiated 200 RP discount, which he would later on get as an extra tip. Lots of boats with mostly indian families were on the water, sometimes we got into traffic jams in the very narrow waterways, leading us through palmtrees as far as you could see. We passed by floating restaurants and also a floating hotel, saw eagles and other birds.

Needless to say a lot of photo and video footage was taken there.

On our way back we bought some red bananas, this time for a more realistic price of 70 RP for 7 Bananas or 1,35 kg. Tasty.

Sadiq took us into the small fishermens village which we had seen from above before, a christian settlement directly in a forest of palmtrees by the beach. We got out of the car to take a look around at the beach and a group of young boys who were playing football were very interested in us. Johannes and Johannes joined the game for a few kicks while Immo was filming the scenery. Sunlight was fleeting, we continiued on to the fishing harbour where three mosques of different sizes where situated.

Sadiq told us about a cyclone that happened last year, which killed many fishermen, as they did not know it was coming. They only have mobile phones, and their service stops about 15-20 kilometers out in the sea. So as a consequence the Kerala Government has issued satellite phones to the fishermen, so a disaster like this would not happen again.

We stopped by our hotel for an hour, Immo edited the Promo trailer while we had a beer on our balcony with an austrian guy, who just started his one year trip around the world.

Time for Dinner, this time at Black Cat restaurant. Gobi 65, Chili Paneer and some spicy fish, topped of with a chocolate pancake with icecream.

Perfect last evening in Kovalam, as we are headed to our concert in Thiruvananthapuram tomorrow.

Day 10 : Rooftop Session for real!

Coconut, Fruit Salad and a dip in the sea for breakfast. Add a scoop of ice cream and some coffee.

Ready to set up the rooftop session before lunch. The sun is relentless. burning down on us, the bodies sweating, the machines melting.

But still, we were done in time, to get some good food at Anitha’s and then beginn at 16:30 with less heat and still enough light.

We played a session and then suddenly the electricity was gone. Vincent, who was working the reception, kindly offered to switch on the generator so we could continue. 

Charles dropped by and started live streaming , although most of the music could only be heard on our headphones… Great setting on top of the Vedic Heritage Boutique Hotel, overlooking Kovalam. 

Scylla recording a music video on the rooftop

Gepostet von Vedic Heritage am Dienstag, 15. Januar 2019

The electricity once again disappeared after two to three sessions, but came back so we finished the day with a piece called „Strom“, german for Electricity. 

Packing up went quickly and in the fleeting daylight, but then the Gigabytes of material had to be transferred to hard disk. Johannes and Johannes went to the beach to find the place for dinner, as Immo kept feeding the computer with todays data and typing the blog. 

152 Gigabyte later time for dinner…

While the data transfer was still running Johannes and Johannes tried to go for a little evening swim in the dark, when they were caught and yelled at by Kovalam Police. A serene goes of for about a minute at 18h to get everybody out of the water… the ocean is closed for the day….

Here is the daily movie:

Day 10: Kovalam Rooftop Sessions

We did some live Recordings on top of Vedic Heritage Boutique Hotel, the music you hear was created on this day.

Gepostet von Scylla am Mittwoch, 16. Januar 2019

 

We met at ABC , which was the first ever restaurant in Kovalam back in 1977, things have changed since then…. Dinner was delicious and we finished things off with a Kerala Cocktail at fusion bar.

Back at the Hotel we skipped through the sessions we recorded today, dope results with just about 7 Songs/Jams.

Day 9: Kovalam Beach Rooftop Session Soundcheck

The first alarm sounded at eight but somehow the day started at eleven. 

Down at the beach we had fruit salad and fresh coconut und took the Gopro for a swim, bodysurfing the waves. Immo got washed around while trying not to loose the camera and landed straight on his head and right shoulder, ouch.

After not buying the beach towel, the wooden box or the cigarettes, which we were offered kindly while sitting on the beach, we needed to get out of the sun and ended up at a vegetarian restaurant to have a fresh juice. The waiter came back and told us, that the electricity was off, so no fresh juice. We switched to lime soda and plain rice, Dal, Chili Gobi, Lemon Rice and butter papadam instead. 

Upon heading back to the hotel we explored the upper floors and the roof for our planned recording session. From the roof there is a great 360 degree view over all of Kovalam which is pretty much covered by green palm trees. But: no electricity so we have to wait for it to come back on.

Our modular setup is tricky, different components from different companies, lots of cables and signals and sampling rates… plus the cameras! 

The Sun was sinking quickly and our setup was still not right. We still did some Soundcheck Sessions to know what we had to fix afterwards. It turned pitch-black within a matter of minutes and we moved everything to Immo’s room to fix the setup for tomorrow. 

That took a little while, but the results seemed to be a better situation for tomorrow.

Gigabytes were transferred before we headed down to the beach for dinner, this time at Malabar, our host Charles had recommended the style Kadai, be it veggie lord with fish or seafood. We had a very funny waiter, the Beer was once again served in Tea Cups and named Pop Juice on the bill. 

Day 8 : Kovalam Beach

We woke up around 10 , went to beach, bought 4 red bananas for too much money, bought 2 pairs of flip-flops for too much money, but the first fresh coconut for 50 Rupees to drink and eat afterwards was well worth it.

We jumped into the water and had no further questions.

We had lunch at Ocean Breeze Restaurant, trying to realize where we had landed.

In the evening we went down to the beach to enjoy the sunset and have a few drinks. Charles had told us, that only a few bars have a license to sell alcohol, so the ones that don’t have one sell it too but at a higher price because of the risk of getting caught.

We sat down at Fusion, a good-looking bar, overlooking the beach from the first floor Terrasse, the Kingfisher was cold, the orange juice looked tasty, so we went for a Cocktail called Sundowner, which was served in a fresh coconut. Nice!

The sun went down quickly, hidden behind the fog of evaporating seawater and within 30 minutes it was pitch black. Out there on the see lots of lights appeared, as the fishers were starting to do their thing.

Time for some food, so we visited the Crab Club, and indeed the beer there was served in Tea Cups and the bottles stood under the table. Tasty tea!

Fish in Banana leaf, Shrimp masala and Tiger Prawn curry were a good way the fight the hunger, so we walked down the boulevard in a half coma. 

As all shops were already closing up, we ended up at a tailor shop, looking for more suitable pants for this weather, and we did find some simple cotton pants for 600 Rupees.

We walked around the corner from Lighthouse beach to Kovalam Beach and then tried to go for a shortcut back to our hotel. Well, it still is a labyrinth, especially in the dark. But this way, we were able to see parts of Kovalam we had not seen before and probably will never see again.

So now it was definitely time and reason for another cold drink. 

We had seen a sign saying music cafe before so after finding it again, we sat down and asked, whether they do have music and or if we could play there. 

Turns out it is only the name, no music in Kovalam…

Heading back to the hotel, we stopped at fusion once more, and at 23h all things were coming to an end.

Day 7 : Luni to Kovalam

We got up early to catch breakfast and to say thank you and goodbye to Imran Khan, who left earlier than us with part of the participants for another week of workshops and sightseeing somewhere else.

His brother Irfan took us to the Jodhpur Airport and we arrived so early that the Checkin counter was still closed. Because our luggage was a little too heavy, we put some of the heavy items in our carry on and made some last minute adjustments using the Check in scale.

A Chili roll and a slice of indian pizza later the counter opened, but now we had to get our luggage through the security check at the other end of the hall.

We thought we would not run into problems in a small airport like Jodhpur, but boy were we wrong…

Airport Personnel does not seem to know drum set parts, like foot machine or cymbals, so Johannes von Buttlar had to unpack all kinds of stuff, get his suitcase x-rayed three times until he was good to go. Immo was already standing in line and had to let people pass until the other two could catch up. When it was our turn we should put all three suitcases on the scale and ended up with 74,94 kilos, 60 grams short of the 25kg limit per piece, yes!

We thought we had tricked the system, when Immo was approached by an Air India employee, asking if this was the carry on luggage, he lifted the two pieces up and said he had to check…

Long Story short: 500 Rupies per Kilo overweight, our carry on luggage in total was 14 kilos over so Johannes Haase paid 5000 for 10 Kilos and we could continue, risking the same problem in Delhi.

In Delhi we were supposed to have two hours of time, but when we landed our time window had shrunk to a little less than an hour. We had to leave the domestic sector and walk to international departures, which was weird because we would not leave the country.

After showing our passports and boarding cards for 5-6 times, going through another security check, we finally arrived in the right terminal and boarding had not yet started, so Immo took the opportunity to buy a harddisk, as the SD Cards were all full already.

Waiting at the gate we had to get some food so the healthy stuff from the vending machine had to do, Johannes Haase also bought three bags of different nuts.

The flight to Trivandrum was supposed to take 4,5 hours and a driver from the Vedic Heritage Hotel would be there to pick us up. Well, we landed an hour later than planned and Immo’s suitcase, which was labeled as fragil would not appear on the conveyor belt at the baggage claim. We showed our baggage number to one of the employees and share enough, they had the suitcase set aside behind a door, so it would not be thrown around at the baggage claim.

Our driver was there and took us to Kovalam, where a guide was waiting at the roadside to escort us to the hotel through a labyrinth of small walkways. Luckily it was downhill when we arrived at about 00:30h rolling our luggage to our new home.

Charles, the hotel owner was waiting for us, but only whispered, to not wake up the other guests. No bars or restaurants where open anymore in Kovalam so we called it a night after a cold glass of water.

Day 6: Raaga Taala Retreat Grand Finale

The day started with opening our social media office in front of room 59, the blog entries of the last 4 days had to be shared, while drinking some chai masala.

Today we decided to go for an extended walk to discover the salty river Luni. We walked through the village headed to the right direction and after a few deadends we found the riverbed.

The residents greeted friendly, especially the kids repeated their hellos and bye byes a few times and even came up to shake our hand.

Some young boys were playing cricket in the fields an yelled in our direction to invite us to play.

A bunch of puddles of water surrounded by a white saltcrust were left but no actual waterflow. The bushes were littered with trash of all kinds and some cow corpses were rotting away in the sun. The stomach of one cow was completely filled with plastic bags, but that did not stop a stray dog from chewing on the remaining flesh.

We crossed the riverbed right next to a railway bridge and a honking train passed over it.

We got up on the rails and a crew of about 5 men came in our direction with a sort of draisine to measure the width of the tracks for safety reasons.

On the way back to the Fort we walked along the rails and a young man on a motorcycle stopped to find out where we were from. He told us he was shopping for dinner and had already bought oil and a kilo of garlic, but more importantly asked if we were on Facebook, he handed over his phone so we could find our profile and he could send a friend request. While we were doing that uncle 2 kept calling, he answered and told us that he had to go back to the shop to buy two kilos of chilis. He invited us to come to his house, but we had other plans. His name was Suresh.

There was a railway crossing and cars and motorcycles were waiting for the gate to open, but some riders just limboed under it, so at some point the guard just opened it and everybody got on their way.

Just a few steps from our Fort another man greeted us and offered an Indian cigarette called Beedi. It turned out him and his friend were sugar bakers and they showed us photos of their food on their smartphones while two boys were looking at us with shy interest.

Upon returning to Fort Chanwa preparations for the final evening were well on their way: the big stage was set up again and all the different workshop groups were busy practicing their routines.

At about 20h the program started with Imran Khan and his 7 Sitar students accompanied by flute and tabla, followed by the Tabla players und the singers.

They all presented, what they had learned n the past week, some of them had never touched the instruments before or sang at all.

The singing Guru performed with the Tabla Guru and a Harmonium player, to show some more classical Indian music.

By then Suresh had sent two Photo updates via Facebook Messenger with the food he was preparing to invite us over, but we could not leave…

After that the stage was switched and it was time for the dance performances, a classical one and for the absolute finale: Bollywood Dance!

They made us all join in, so at the end it was a big Bollywood dance party. Who would have known that it is so much fun!

Time was flying, so Dinner started at 23:30h, we cheated a little bit and had a tomato soup earlier.

Chaitanya and Ajush, both participants of the Tabla group, who we had met on our first trip to Jodhpur market, sat down at our table and we got to learn more about the intricate language of the tabla. There is s special syllable for every stroke combination on the tabla, so it depends on your vocabulary how many combinations you can play. Fascinating stuff!

When we were about ready to go to bed we met the Prince again, and he invited us to have another drink with him and his son.

We talked about religion again, and he told us about the history of islam and hinduism in India and how complicated it is to convert Hindus, as they will just incorporate Allah or Jesus with the rest of their gods.

Because his son was into 70s rock music he told us a story about him in his early teens on the beach of Goa, when a VW Van pulled up, a bunch of guys came out and set up their instruments and played for the 25-35 hippie looking people on the beach for about two hours. Then they ended their spontaneous concert with the words he would not forget: Thank you very much , it was a pleasure playing for you, back in our country they call us Led Zeppelin …

We exchanged contacts and he invited us to stay at his home in Jodhpur next time we visit.

 

 

Day 5: Royal Palace , Camel Ride and Dinner in the Desert

After yesterday’s concert and the following celebration we missed morning yoga once again. Maybe it is still jetlag?

We grabbed a quick lunch for breakfast and hopped on the bus to Jodhpur. First stop was at the maharaja Palace to have a look at the museum and the garden.

We had already seen it from the big Fortress, as is situated on a rock on the opposite side of Jodhpur.
We had our first safran ice cream, the first impression was like licking soap, but after getting used to it, it was good.
It took another hour to get to Osian, north of Jodhpur, where we jumped on to jeeps and had a bumpy ride to the camels which were waiting on a dune.

Chai was served and we had the chance to take a ride on a camel. It is quite exciting when it gets up, you have to hold on tight, once it is moving and you adjust to it’s rhythm it is a soothing massage.

A traditional band was set up on the dune and played for the group, while a little further down the dune an Indian couple was having a romantic photoshoot in the sunset with a photo team and even pyrotechnics !

We could choose to ride the camel or the jeep ack to camp, where dinner was awaiting.
The same band had already set up next to the campfire and started playing in the dark, as there was no electricity at the time.
Only lit by the fire and oil torches it had a nice atmosphere. Finger food was served around the circle we were sitting in and soon the four female dancers got us all to join their dance around the fire.
The generator started und suddenly the whole place was lit up, changing the vibe, but you could finally see the band again.
About an hour and lots of finger food later, it was announced that dinner was now ready… better not miss yoga tomorrow morning!
We are sitting on the bus now, making our 90 minute return to Luni.
Great Trip, thanks to Imran, Tina and their whole team.