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The beautiful journey of music and art- touring with Satoyama

--on mastering the Italian positive way of life, how not to panic when you have a suitcase of paints, and friendship bounding

After one week of resting and recharging batteries, I’m sitting in front of my laptop, starting to unpack with all the memories and sharing these stories with you. As much as posting photos on social media give you a bit of glimpse into what we have been doing, I felt like a lot of it is being lost, so I decided to write about it, mostly for me to recollect these precious moments, that years later, I can come back to it, and reminisce. A place for me to ramble :)

Two weeks being on the road doesn’t sound like much, but two weeks of touring was something else, after a few days, you got used to the routine of waking up early, getting ready fast and being on the road, sleeping again and arriving at venues, setting everything up and doing soundcheck, then performing. Even though it wasn’t the first time for me to be on a tour like this, the last time with Satoyama, back in 2017, was a bit different. We were mostly in one place for a longer time. Two weeks of touring means two weeks of communal living, eating together, sleeping together and performing together. It was a great bounding experience and a beautiful way of understanding each other in a more personal and deeper level. So here it goes...

@C*SPACE BERLIN © Martin Keil (from left to right: Marco, Luca, me, Gabri, Christian)

1. Vekks, Vienna

Our first concert was in Vienna on 8. November , while Satoyama had a concert in Undine the pervious night, I made it easy to Vienna to explore the city, as well as to mentally prepare myself and get ready for our concert since 5 years. On the day of 8. November, I had some time before meeting Satoyama in the late afternoon. Without certain directions in mind, I took the subway to Volkstheatre, figured I could walk around a bit and go to Hofburg. I was walking around the square close to the Museum quarter, two people in costumes stopped me and wanted to give me flyer for performances, asking me where I am from and if I have any plans for the evening. “Shanghai, China, I live in Berlin. Unfortunately, I don’t have time tonight. I’m also performing…I’m an artist’.’ It felt a bit surreal the moment I said it out loud, that I’m also performing in Vienna. We wished each other good luck and I left. The rest of day I just walked around, stopped for coffee, read some books and soon it was time to head to Vekks, our performance venue.

Vekks is located in the Kost-Nix Laden, the concept of it is basically that everything in the shop are free to be used, there are also furnitures, books and clothes that you can take for free, for people in need. Same for the people who have things to give away. When I arrived, there were a few things laying around, but after some time of moving things around, with some care from Georg, the owner of Vekks, the place turned into a rustic cozy performance venue.

Satoyama arrived later with the big van, and it was like a big reunion, even though we have seen each other last year in Italy, performing together again first time after 5 years was exciting, nerve-wrecking but also a wonderful feeling. Because in the 5 years we have all matured in our music and art, meanwhile, I’m working officially as an artist, I have also gained experience in live painting performance, working with other musician friends, experimenting with painting methods.

There was a concert before us, a local bass duo ''Tilos'', with Kornel Biro & Martin Dvoran, hypnotic psychedelic dialogue with improvisation, noise and melody. While listening to their concert, my mind was flying, the nervousness of performing vanished. When it was our turn to perform, as soon as the music started, I was filled with warmth and familiarity, knowing that it was the first time, the level of trust and understanding was very present, same as the mindset of not painting a perfect painting but to listen to the music, let colours, lines form naturally with the flow of music. The result were two colourful paintings full of melodic lines, and movements.

The first painting was consisted of two canvas boards, due to the busy travelling schedule and uncertainty of the setup and size of the venues, I decided to bring canvas boards in various sizes that I can easily paint more than one in one concert.

-->>>>Slide to see the paintings

After the concert, we had some time to catch up and talked to the audiences. It was a great start of our journey, as we packed our things and headed to our resting place, we celebrated the good spirit because we knew that there was a lot to look forward, more art and music dialogues to be made!

Next stop- Prague.

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