Whatever happened to

The experimental music studio?

You may recall all the drama around Christmas with deliveries of yet more equipment with fantastic names (moowoosher, minisomething or other the force and a huge keyboard with stand in it’s own special metal case). Well it is now March and the studio is almost clear. It was an experiment and, mmmmh, it became a loadstone of wires. The Synth Lover was not inspired and the beautiful music he had intended to make never flowed. However as with all experiences in life, if it doesn’t work, let go and move on. Or in this case find all the boxes and packaging and get on ebay. Ebb and, flow, in letting go of the need for an entire room devoted to synths and their accessories a Sound Force station with beautiful live accessory (cat) has meant an outpouring of amazing tunes! So that’s all good then (ref. to 2012 UK comedy).

 

tiggi

 

On the island, the Season has begun.

It was with great amusement that I watched the arrivals streaming out of the wee airport and being met by a Saga (hols for oldies) Representative. Upon leaving school I did not want or qualify to go to University and so thrust myself into the ‘workforce’ with a series of part-time jobs whilst doing a Youth training Scheme in Travel and Tourism on the South Coast of England.

In those days airline and boat tickets were written BY HAND, you had to go through a travel agent in order to book anything. Package holidays by Intasun and Thompsons were offering affordable foreign holidays to the masses! We learned to issue train tickets (whose time tables were massive books reissued each year), work as a travel agent and over one week in Benidorm, how to be a ‘rep’. The only thing we did on a computer was to learn how to make a spreadsheet in the second half of the course for one day!

Being the gregarious big mouth that I am I was naturally drawn more to the meet and greet aspect rather than the 9-5 Travel Agency employee number. Handy really, as a few years later the internet blossomed. The middle man (travel agent) was cut from the equation and now most of it is done online – even checking in and printing boarding passes. My people skills honed from years of doing seasons of Sand followed by Ski as a rep gave me the public speaking skills that have provided for my creative expression and spondoolies too!

In fact one of my most lucrative season was for Saga’s American wing, Globus Gateway. We would collect the people from the airport, flog them excursions, take them to the theatre and get lots of tips. I was able to finance 6 months in Australia from 3 months work in London. Nice.

 

breakki

Anyway back to the Island, I was seeing off a friend and had prepared a little on board healthy breakfast tray. She was ever so pleased and snuffled the lot before we even got to the departures area! What a nice compliment for my ‘thrown together from whatever is to hand cake’.

This months recipe is from a real food blog, in case anyone is taking a plane journey and is looking for nibble inspiration….

from peacefuldumpling

Leave it to an English major to find recipe inspiration in the diary of a poet’s sister. Dorothy Wordsworth, sister of Tintern Abbey poet William Wordsworth, was an avid diarist–and a poet herself. She wrote of life in the Lake District of northern England where the natural landscape infused day-to-day life with quiet beauty.

Oat cakes are among the food items mentioned in Dorothy’s journals. Made with simple oat flour and goose fat, they could be easily packed along a trip outdoors. The recipe-adapting English major mentioned above was not me, but my mother. She experimented with blender-churned oat flour and different nut butters (not goose fat ;)) to create her own version of these delightful, healthy snacks.

Vegan Oatcakes

Ingredients:

(Makes between 10-12, depending on thickness of cakes.)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 cup oat flour (can be made by blending old fashioned oats until they are a coarse flour)

1 tbsp. almond butter or coconut oil

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin spice blend

1/3 cup non-dairy milk or water (I used a blend of almond and coconut milk.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp. coconut nectar

cinnamon and almond slices for garnish (optional)

oatcakes

Directions:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.

3. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients then add to dry ingredients and stir thoroughly.

4.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Flatten dough between 1/4-1/2″. Cut into circles using a biscuit or cookie cutter. Press almond slices onto oat cakes (optional). Garnish with cinnamon (optional).

5. Bake for 15 minutes or until oat cakes easily lift off the parchment.  Allow cakes to cool on a wire rack. Serve, and enjoy!

 

On the video front, this month I have chosen the Emoto water walk for your enjoyment!

 

Advertisements

Musical Dilettante

On being a musical dilettante

‘We are lovers, yet I’ve always had the feeling he thinks me a musical dilettante and that he likes it that way.’

When I was growing up music did not play that great a role in our house. My parents favoured Cohen, the Stones, the Carpenters and classical as background noise. We stopped watching Top of the Pops when my father requested I refrain from singing along! So, on my Ipod I have the Big Chill film soundtrack, the music from Weeds, The Who and The Clash, aerobics 4by4 dance tracks and one ton of relaxation music.

In the mid 80’s, when I first started going out in a small seaside town on the pebbly coast of England I was around fifteen years old. At my friend’s house, who had very liberal parents, we would don our Punk outfits and head off to Brighton or the Brixton Academy, to see the likes of the Virgin Prunes. I was not really into the music but I was very attracted to the ‘scene’, of being different and ‘out there’.

This was followed by a few years of Reggae. I was at Sixth Form and had just discovered the pleasures of Mother Natures Herbal Medicine. The music fitted perfectly and I loved the idea of Rastafarianism as it appealed to my veggi sensibilities. Oh, and then of course there were the Rastas themselves! I was even taught to cook by a five man Reggae band.

Then came the underground Rave Scene during the late 80’s to early 90’s and what a ride that was. From hearing Soul to Soul playing on the radio, to listening to A Guy Called Gerald in a South London railway arch. In those days we did everything ourselves. We sourced the location, painted the backdrops, hired the lights and sound stuff and had our DJ friends play for our posse. It was brilliant, magical, lovely and definitely not just because of the music! It could not last forever. Thatcher’s Criminal Justice Act prevented anyone playing a repetitive beat with more than four persons gathering from 1994 onwards.

Having changed musical genres for a few decades, I remained with ‘house music’ upon moving to Berlin in my 30’s. However it was never about the music itself for me, the Dilettante. I was there for the vibe, the atmosphere, the people and just ‘being there’. Berlin was amazing, we were in the East and the nightlife was fantastic. Yes, sure there were drugs flying around but some people did not even drink. This was a different attitude to the purely hedonistic angle I’d been used to. It was so very interesting to go out all night completely straight and still not come home until the sun had risen over the Fernsehturm. All of this to the boom boom boom of Techno music.

These days I prefer to listen to audiobooks and use music for exercising and meditating. The years have taken their toll, I am deaf in my left ear from too many nights on loudspeakers (I shadow danced for Kruder and Dorfmeister)! This means I can no longer tolerate loud ambient noise, so no more all nighters por moi.

On that note here is the worlds most relaxing piece of music. Sound therapists were able to rate ten of the most relaxing songs, with Marconi Union’s 8 minute trance-inducing tune, “Weightless”, coming out on top thanks to its continuous rhythm of 60 BPM, an ideal tempo for synchronization with the heart and brainwaves,

My Synth Lover first became turned on by electronic music when hearing Kraftwerk. As a schoolboy he saved up and saved up to get a ROWLAND SH09 in 1981 and he has not looked back since. He was able to turn his passion into a career in his mid twenties (full time only after royalties started to come in from library music – not to be sniffed at, as it allows for financial freedom and makes for excellent practise at learning the craft). Thanks to years of study (at home twiddling knobs), trial and error, constant updating, learning, taking constructive feedback, tons of hard work, budgeting, good money management and believing in himself. Having started in Drum and Bass he is now much more of an Eno (Brian) man in his musical tastes.

rowsh09

Here is someone else inspired by music. This is moving and touching, especially as he died shortly after giving the speech……….

For this months recipe I give you the easiest soup in the world!

zucsoup

Zucchini Soup

Take one medium zucchini,

Chop into smallish pieces,

Bake in a hot oven drizzled with oil, sea salt and pepper.

Make one cup of hot water with a stock cube.

Place zucchini and stock in a blender, blend. DRINK!

Wanna make it ‘cream of’, drizzle a bit of non dairy cream on top.

Bet it tastes yummy, if you like zucchini that is!

foodfight

We are loving our new improved healthy lifestyle and are feeling brilliant. The ‘regime’ or holistic approach, if you will, incorporates exercise (trampoline, walking), relaxation (meditation, chi machine), positive outlook (affirmations, creative visualisation) and, of course, the ‘green’ eating regime (Nutribullit juices, 70% raw).

Oh and of course doing something you are passionate about for a living and surrounding yourself with loving friends, family and positive peers. I also recommend some form of altruism. Just Perfect!

: )

 

 

 

Into the New Year,

and how are you finding January? Broken any New Years resolutions? Did you even make any? Have you followed through with the challenge and  are feeling great about yourself?

heart beats

We made two simple yet profound changes – we practice endless gratitude and have attempted to cut out all complaining.Wonderful stuff, try it for a week and see for yourselves!

My bundle of ‘love’, the kitten from the fields, is growing and playing……..Tiggy 12

Someone sent us this for Christmas, my father had recently sent me this link. Perfect. Especially for those who twiddle with synths!

minit

 

 

tweenie

A post in between Christmas and New Year

Hoping you are having a fine festive season, with plenty of cheer to get you headed into the new year.

Guess what Santa got the Synth Lover……..

Touch Baseline, Rhythm Performer and a couple of other unmentionables, heard it being called an experimental studio. Hah, more toys and knobs to twiddle with. I think his Santa Klaus was called Rowland something or other.

Mrs Klaus sent me a baby via the fields near us. Her name is Tiggi and she is one year old and very lively!IMG_6460

Rather than bore you with tales of the cats or more food recipes here something I came across a little while ago. Enjoy!

 

On electronic music temples,

out sourcing creativity and playing with food!

berghain

Berlin is known for being different,

not like the rest of Germany, the infamous ‘black sheep’ so to speak.  It is a creative haven for those who are looking for somewhere cheap to live and be arty, express themselves, be socially responsible or an anarchist, with all the connotations  and variations associated with all of these. From the pre war (second) satirical Cabaret performances , the yearly  first of May clashes in Kreuzberg, to the illegal clubs along the Spree in the late nineties, wall or no wall Berlin oozes individuality from every architectural pore and FKK park (FKK Freie Koerper Kulture/ Naturism – it was the one thing the Russians could not stop the East Germans from doing – getting their kit off down the local park!).

During my time there I met, partied and lived with some of the most amazing people from all over the world. Many of whom remain dear friends to this day. So, it was with delight I agreed to proofread some English translations for an Italian friend. The stuff turned out to be about an East German photographer, Sven, who is nearly as famous as the club, a temple to electronic music, upon whose door he ‘bounces’. Now, during my heady party days ‘mit meine Ozzies’ (teenagers raised in East Berlin) we made it a point to gain entry to parties, clubs or homes by means other than the front door. So try as I might, I could not recall ever standing ‘schlange’ to get in anywhere – no wait, there was the line at the Pfefferberg for a Kruder and Dorfmeister gig, it was minus 20 and we were being given shots of Jaegermeister by the bouncers. Anyway, even perusing google images of the BERGHAIN, I can’t recall seeing Sven, though I know I’ve been in the club many times (via rubble and a broken window). In order to remedy this and ask his favourite recipe (he is a vegan!) I shall be popping over to Torino to check out the exhibition. Here is an excerpt of the blurb….

sm

‘Sven Marquardt was born in 1962 in the district of Pankow, in the east side of the city. He grew up, so to speak, in the shadow of the wall that was built just one year before his birth, and that until 1989 tried to prevent the escape of  GDR citizens to the West, becoming one of the most hated symbols of the Cold War in the history of Europe. The presence of the wall and the artist’s private vicissitudes gradually transformed him into a rebel. His photographs, taken with an analog camera and strictly in black and white, develop over the span of three decades and deal with crucial issues, about which Western art has wondered for centuries, namely the contraposition of Eros and Thanatos (Todestrieb), the life drive and the death drive, opposing and complementing each other in human lives and in their eternal dualism between the principles of Love and Hate, Life and Death, Light and Darkness. This personal vision, in many respects melancholic, offers the viewers an opportunity to filter their look through the camera lens and see the world in a different light, by observing Darkness and investigating their emotions without being afraid. Darkness is not intended by Sven Marquardt as a denial of light, but as its absence, therefore not with a negative connotation, but as an unspoken potential, still not reached by the light.’

http://trova-eventi.it/turin-goetterdaemmerung-sven-marquardt-solo-show/

All this art has me thinking about the electronic music I danced to and how my synth lover first got interested in synthesisers having heard Kraftwerk. On this note a short video about progress in technology and future inventions. Makes for interesting discussion material, so consider ‘is it possible to out source creativity to a computer? Take 15 minutes to ponder…..

 

Instead of a recipe this month, I have decided to play the veg instead – enjoy!

 

Raw, Divas & DJs

Musings on a raw food fast, stropping and the 2014 Island DJ awards.

IMG_5277

This month my Synth Lover and I decided not to go to the Cotswolds. Last August we had two gorgeous weeks in England’s beautiful countryside, which was wonderful. Our stay at Barnsley House in the little cottage, the Potting Shed, included herds of cows passing by the gate in the morning and some of the best Spa treatments I have had (and I’ve had a few!). However, this year we chose our ‘home’ as the destination and are spending the budget on Gourmet Raw Food from down the road. With magnificent results. Weight loss and more energy for him and teenage acne and weight fluctuation for me! We both have the symptoms of ‘cleansing of mucus inducing cheese and energy robbing wheat’. The fresh, uncooked and yummy food we are eating is giving our bodies the energy (normally used in digestion) to do some serious ‘limpio profundo’, deep cleaning.

Average Days Food on an 80% raw ratio.

Breakfast         Lemon water, ginger tea (him), coffee (me), oat cakes

Snacks            Fresh fruit/nuts, smoothie/shake (him). Raw cheesecake/cookies (me!).

Dinner            Something from the Gourmet Menu.

Example         A starter and entrée ie. a warm soup followed by raw Quesedilla.

Plenty of fresh water and herbal teas.

Want to try making something really easy and totally delicious, then try this…….

creampie

Raw Vegan Walnut Cream Pie

By Kathy Patalsky of http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com

I love this blog, her recipes (vegan) and pictures are amazing (esp. the ones of the cat!)

       Ingredients

  • filling:
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup, grade B
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 11oz coconut cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts
  • crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup, grade B
  • chocolate:
  • 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (or use cacao powder for raw)

     Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the walnuts and oats until a fine crumbly mixture forms. Pour this mixture into a large mixing bowl.
  2. To the bowl, add the remaining crust ingredients: coconut oil, salt, cinnamon and maple syrup. Fold until the mixture becomes thick and pliable, like a dry cookie dough.
  3. Grease an 8″ pie dish with coconut oil. Then spread the crust along the bottom of the pie dish. Set aside.
  4. In a blender, add all the filling ingredients and blend until silky smooth. It is ok if the chilled coconut cream melts a bit, it will just re-firm up when chilled. Pour the mixture into the pie dish.
  5. For the chocolate, malt the chocolate chips and the coconut oil together and stir until silky smooth. Use a microwave for easiest melting. Stovetop is your next option.
  6. Swirl the chocolate over top the walnut cream filling in one big spiral. Then using a toothpick or a butter knife, glide from the center of the spiral outwards, continue all the way around. You can swirl a second time by going in the reverse direction with the toothpick or knife.
  7. Place the pie in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes. Or until the pie is soft and fluffy, yet chilled enough to slice. The key to the texture is to chill it to the perfect amount. If you over-chill and it is too hard, simply leave it out at room temperature until softened.

Yield: 1 pie   Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.

 

djaLast Monday was the DJ Awards ceremony, with all it’s usual tralala. Dressing up and drinking! I managed to wangle an invite via someone (who is a DJ) and was due to be presenting an award (to another DJ).

Like a teenager about to go to a dance, I fussed with choice of clothing. As so much of the Mega Club Scene seems to involve dressing like a hooker, I decided to go for understated elegance instead! But then, I got another damn outbreak of ‘detox’ – all over my chin! Now aware that the colour of my jewellery would be highlighting the imperfections on my chin, I was in a complete quandary. HILFE!

Whilst I was rooting around my make-up bag for some ‘schminke’ foundation, the phone rang. I heard a one sided conversation….

“Hi, shall we all meet for dinner before the Awards?”

“Really, with who? When?”

“Ok, well seeing as we were only going to see him, I guess we don’t need to go” (said with relief)

“Never mind, we’ll catch up soon, bye”

Then, to me (note, I was looking forward to it, my Synth Lover not),

“We don’t have to go to the ceremony, we can stay at home and chill out eating lovely food”

Me “what, but, why, but I want to go” (said in a petulant voice, whilst stomping foot)

This was followed by a bit of stropping from myself at the DJ divas and ensuing egos that led to my staying home with Kelp Noodles. A schism, harsh words and everyone believing that their version of life is the correct one, humbug. Well, I did get told by a manager, once that ‘you don’t usually get more than a couple of DJ’s at dinner table together because of the egos involved’. Ever read any of the hotel Babylon series? Well, I think DJ Babylon would be a best seller, of course there are the good, the bad and the really rotten, but I still think it would be a hoot!hugs

I put it to you, was it divine intervention so I could ‘detox’ in peace (spotty chin and all) or just a bit of bad behaviour from big boys? Or was it a bit of both? They should all hug more!

I’ll leave you with this from a very lovely young man (sans ego) whom I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of times. Enjoy……

Last night a DJ…

gave me his Superfood Salad Recipe!

IMG_6184

Having hosted a fair few dinners over the past several months (Ibiza in full swing), it was with great delight that I joined my Synth Lover (hubby) and a few of his DJ buddies (and Sarah) for dinner at the recently opened Wild Beet Restaurant in Santa Gertrudis before waving my hands in the air (literally) to their delightful sounds at Pike’s Hotel till the wee hours.

What do you call a ‘group’ of DJs, surely they should have a collective noun in honour of them – a gaggle, nope, a flock, mmh, a collective. Yep . The collective of DJs were amassed around the table ready to order. A collective of DJs were gathered together to sup before play(ing) was due to commence.

Anyway, I digress, it was a hot summer night on the white isle. The moon was nearly full and the stars were twinkling just for us. A real treat was in store for our little ‘collective’. We had decided to go for the degustation menu and were blown away by the delicious, varied and oh so tasty yet healthy vegan and raw food we ate. Well if you are going to try this kinda stuff it really should be in the right setting, no point in eating gaspachio on a wet winters day, eh!

From lime and lentil soup, to beetroot ravioli, raw sushi, through to raw baby sunburgers and finishing off with raw cheesecake and almond pralines, all washed down with organic cava. It was a filling yet energising meal.

IMG_6186

Over dinner one of the collective of DJs, leaned over and reminded me of the meal I’d made for him on his last visit (yep, it was vegan and pretty ‘raw’). He said he had felt inspired to search the web for more healthy recipes. His new favourite being Kale and Quinoa salad with maple syrup and cranberry dressing. It sounded great, but the best bit was his description of how much better he felt after eating all that yummy goodness and the delight and appreciation his ‘lady’ showed upon being served it. He promised to send me the recipe and here is the link:

http://www.thefirstmess.com/2013/09/12/the-everyday-superfood-salad/

All the men at the table would be taking it in turns to play my favourite music in one of the most atmospheric places on Ibiza – the Freddy Mercury Suite at Pikes Hotel! That is apart from Brett, wearing the drinks band for our rider. With humour and grace he acted as ‘compere’ and waiter!

On Pike’s Hotel a quote from The White Island Book by Stephen Armstrong (Bantam Press);

“In reception photos of the fabulous festooned the walls: Freddy Mercury, Kylie, Sade, Naomi Campbell, Jon Bon Jovi, Grace Jones, Van Damme – all in family album holiday snap poses, grinning by the pool, or in the bar. In one corner there was a young George Michael. Tanned and topless, sharing a joke with a man sporting a huge moustache (the hotels owner).

Tony Pike is probably the closest thing to royalty Ibiza has. It was his hotels ability to entertain that kept the rich and famous coming to the island after Sandy’s acting set had fled. Pike himself arrived on Ibiza in 1978 after a nineteen year adventure that involved shipwrecks, bobsleigh accidents, military service, hard dinking and three marriages.”

Having put down roots for the first time in his life. He proceeded to build a hotel out of a derelict old finca (farmhouse). He designed it himself, with the help of his wife and the locals.

“When Pike’s Hotel was just about ready to open, the goddess (Tanit ancient love goddess of Ibiza) must have smiled upon him. Pike’s first guest was an American by the name of Bo Palk – the managing director of MGM Studios. Palk was supposed to be with a house party near Santa Eulalia, but the house was full when he arrived and he needed somewhere to stay. And pronto. Pike’s wasn’t quite ready, but Palk showed up anyway. Tony was just finishing the bathroom when Palk checked in, so they asked him where he wanted his toilet.

Palk clearly knew a few people because the next thing Tony knew a guy called Andrew Napier Bell came out to his place scouting for a video shoot. Bell loved Tony’s hotel and decided to film the whole thing there. His band was an up and coming English duo called Wham! and the video was for their single ‘Club Tropicana’.”

pikes

The other most famous, of the many famous, regulars was of course Freddy Mercury, who first sang ‘Barcelona’ at Pike’s on his birthday, in his suite. Today Pike’s Hotel hosts a Freddy Mercury night on his birthday each year. Needless to say dressing up is obligatory!

Pike himself has retired now and the hotel is run by some of the old Manumission crew, who organise ‘Ibiza Rocks’.

We arrived just before midnight and were immediately enveloped in the atmosphere. The hot summer night and such a magical beautiful bohemian setting. After having snuck to the famous pool for look around and being shooed off as it was closed for a private party, I proceeded to dance like no-one was watching! The DJ ‘collective’ spun 6 hours of magnificent tunes, interspersed with a live set by up and coming artists from the UK (what a gig!), every moment and beat much appreciated by the eclectic audience.

In stark contrast to the huge mega clubs with the thousands of punters, we were treated to what felt like a private party with friends old and new. As if we had, indeed, stumbled across a happening whilst wandering around soaking up that very special magical feel of Ibiza (perhaps from Es Vedra 3rd most magnetic place on Earth just off the southerly coast).

A good night out has to have many factors contributing to the whole. This one had the right tunes, vibe, décor, ambience and people.I had a grand time and certainly waved my hands in the air, thank you all who made it possible.

SeJUICEd

2nd Article

13 August 2013

Se’juice’ing The Help

A few weeks ago our house nearly collapsed (figuratively speaking). It took two weeks and the mobilisation of technical help from Mac to Ableton, forums and some very angry calls to technical (un)help(ful) lines to rescue the situation.

IMG_6174

It all began when my beloveds MBP/laptop took ages to come on. A naturally cautious man (he always backs up!), he did not just ignore the situation and hope it was a momentary glip but went online to forums to see if there was a thread on the problem. During this time the Mac had started playing up all the time, HILFE. We use our computers for lots and lots of stuff (technical term) and simply put – need them, daily.

By now the 2011 MBP/laptop was taking over an hour to restart. Shoulders became hunched, faces strained due to the many hours on that one thread with thousands of comments. Do this, try that – all to no avail. Then a lead from Australia, people with the same problems were taking their computers to the Apple Store and getting them replaced. The UK stores would not do this, offering a new logic board, though it is the discreet graphics chip which has been attached to the logic board with unleaded solder (which degrades over time) that had been causing the problem, thus solving the situation for only a month or two. Apparently the new European regulations mean only the army can use thermal leaded solder. No good results, despite a magnificently eloquent call to a senior Apple executive, asking for the ‘free’ thinking of Mr Jobs original values, the computer ‘could’ not to be replaced.

Drastic action was called for, with the computer being used sparingly, a replacement was bought and shipped, its journey vigilantly tracked on every plane and through each country along the way. With the arrival of the new computer came the technical ‘call guys’. As I am not that challenging with the demands I place on my computer I have never had need of a technician. As eloquently shown when Mr Mac arrived and I asked him to figure out why I could not access facebook after 1st of July – he simply ‘updated’ me (which I have not done since getting the computer as a hand me down several years ago)!

push

Anyway, it was smooth data transferring from there on in. Three days later and several thousand pounds (sterling) lighter the new Mac was ready to receive its musical input. For this, the services of an Able-ton Man were required. Who duly arrived and was enthusiastically welcomed – to the studio! At this point the boys/men lost me. What they did in the many hours they were huddled over those computers I know not. Nor do I wish to know (bought another synthesizer for one, I later found out!!!!!!!). For the synth lovers reading this – there was a lot of turning of knobs and rearranging and showing one another pictures of studios and synths – the rest I leave to your imagination.

Whenever guests, workmen or friends are at our house I love to give them freshly prepared fruit and vegetable juices, usually containing superfoods of one form or another. It gives me immense pleasure to see someone drinking ‘Blood’ (carrot, apple, beetroot, tumeric and ginger), being ‘SeJUICEd’ (banana, honey, oat milk, cinnamon, walnut) or going ‘Green’ (spinach, almond milk, cacao, goji berries, banana, chilli).

IMG_4818

Just as the programmes one chooses to use and which synth sounds to inject into the music being made, what you put into your mouth is 100% your decision. That being said (please note I make NO judgement on any style of eating) it is a personal choice. So, personally, I eat ‘nothing that had a mother’. Having been shunned at school for eating rabbit food, it amuses me no end, to find that I am now in demand for my wide variety of tasty, beautiful and healthy vegetable dishes. It is currently fashionable and that suits me fine! Not only that but I enjoy excellent health and wish others to do so too. If I get the opportunity to feed someone a zuccini oat muffin and it broadens their taste horizons, then I’ll make raw Banoffi Pie for desert. The visitors seem to enjoy it and so it is a win-win experience all round.

Our guests, once they have felt the Zen tranquillity of our set up, been placed on the chi machine, fed correctly combined food and learned handy hints tips for saving health and money, have been known to write thank you emails containing praise such as “you could charge a fucking fortune for an all round health injection weekend like that” and my culinary skills have even been mentioned and complimented in the press by one guest who happened to be a journalist. Synth Lovers, their co-dependents, music industry persons or indeed plumber or gardener all getting ‘seJUICEd’ with a little bit of green (spirulina, chlorella, spinach or kale), lovely jubbly.

IMG_6206

As we are not in the actual business of running health retreats (it is all about the music!) here are three of the hints that constitute my favourites for you to add to your ‘studio’ life. All are natural, cheap (as they are giving you prevention from disease), easy and most of all, effective. Give them at least 21 days before you quit the new habit to see how much better they make you feel. Enjoy…….

Note 1 Drink Apple Cider Vinegar in water every day.

drink acv

Note 2 Walk barefoot on grass/sand or use a grounding mat every day.

earthing

Note 3 Drink plenty of pure water.

IMG_5348

Introducing Myself

Welcome Synth Lovers and SWAGZ!

(Synth Widows and Girlfriends)

My name is Virginia and after 16 years with my Synth Lover I have decided to share some memories, tips and tricks gleamed over time. I hope you enjoy my musings and find the handy hints helpful.

By way of introduction here is an article I wrote for a wine and music blog (subsequently never emailed to them!) that inspired me to begin this blog…………………………..

Lets begin with a wee pic of a part of the ‘studio’ 

IMG_6150

 

Synth Addict Codependency! ­

By  The Synth-Porn Widow

I once received a postcard from Berlin that said “Hilfe, Mein Man ist Kuenstler” (help, my husband is an artist). It made me smile. Mine is one and I often feel the need to scream ‘HILFE’. I dabbled with the idea of becoming an artist myself once, but gave that up upon discovering the only sort I was good at was being a piss artist’. At which I could have become expert. I sure tried hard enough for a while.

During the first flush of our courtship it was all tour bus foreplay, champagne and weed on the rider and post gig coitus in sensational locations such as Cheskny Prod, Brussels, Brandenburg and Ireland to name but a few. Then, for a while, long distance dating with the telephone as our aid. This was before the days of skype and iphones. When my husband (the Kuenstler), at that time new boyfriend, was persuaded to leave his home-town in the British Isles (somewhere ‘grim up North’) and join me in the ‘broke but sexy’, cheap, hip and musically inspiring Berlin (no brainer, duh!) I was busy, busy, busy, having lived there for a couple of years already. Too busy to notice the hours, calls and twiddling that are the tell tale signs of a Synth-Porn Addict (so obvious to me now, 15yrs on). Did you know there are Postcards with knobs on and I have seen pictures with – well – lets not get into that right now. Justification for all that fiddling about comes in the form of royalties. These dutifully arrive every quarter when the PRS statements brighten a morning (that is, in our household at least and I truly sympathise with those SP Widows whose other half just does it for fun). Luckily for my Kuenstler and his peccadillo (should that be plural as he is a collector?) the fiscal reward for his twiddling always manages to make me more amiable towards having to chase the UPS driver around the island the moment he has tracked another synthesizer purchase has having landed (Hilfe!).

platomusic

Yes, yes – if you twiddle my bits I’ll probably make some quiet, appreciative and throaty noises but no wav’s, pitch forms or indeed royalties forthcoming, just simple gratification (for both parties, hopefully at least). I grant you, a song can only be inspired by me not played or recorded upon me. Although he did once use my voice (through a vocoder as apparently I simply can’t sing) on a track that still plays on a Cuban drinks advert. However this should not rule out pressing my buttons, every now and then. In fact it is necessary to health and wellbeing – mine. These days I shoulder my synth-porn widowhood well. It is after all a creative outlet and synth-porn eats time, money and space in my exercise room but it ain’t ‘cheating’. Even though it sounds dirty and smutty sometimes! In my case it brings many rewards, financial only being one of them. So, when he’s talking ‘master and slave’ with an Ableton geek, I bake oatees  and sip on something biodynamic.

Having survived two decades of rave culture (we are talking underground parties in London Churches and Brixton railway arches before the Criminal Justice Bill came in, to the clubs on the Spree around Verein des Visionaires pre Panorama Bar in Berlin a decade later), when wine was just another part of the cornucopia of goodies in our arsenal of ‘recreational drugs’.

These days we favour minimalism to excess (pun intended). Ditching anything that has been unused for many months or years. For me this is many pairs of shoes from wedges (uncomfortable) to old sandals that are falling apart (average cost £20)! For my Synth Lover bye, bye to the two huge black boxes (Roland something or other) that arrived faulty and with American plugs, the mobile machine professor, the baby DT200, the MC-202 micro compressor and an Arturia Microbrute – I keep imagining this as a Roman action figure! All gone via e-bay. Yes sunth purchasers, I undertand ‘a synth is an investement’, so are my shoes – I get pleasure from them and then recycle them.

IMG_6155

Please note no synths were harmed during the taking of this picture!

Finding ourselves at a stage in life’s journey where contemplation and mindfulness are a joy to be practiced daily (I jest not, inner calm and peace are underrated). I don’t want to start a debate on ageing, getting on, growing up, moving on as we believe it is just one aspect of living life.    We eat clean and organic foods, not because we want to be trendy, but because it tastes good. We buy local because that is what is available here (we live on an island with an organic farm 2km away). Therefore, would you accompany all that goodness with a Rioja containing rennet? I think not!

wine

The other day, I was down the Rabbit Hole getting supplies to make a spectacular feast for some musicy people (no modesty required, I rustle up a great dinner!). The meal would not have been complete without wine, about which I know only that after a couple of glasses I get silly. Luckily for me, at that moment the wine merchant was dropping off some supplies of locally sourced, ethical, organic and biodynamic varieties. A most charming man, who was interested in the menu I was preparing and had some suggestions as to the accompanying vinos – a fine feat seeing as the meal contained no fish, meat or fowl.

The sale completed, I contentedly took the Hare and Badger home. Both were delightful, easy and un ostentatious. They will definitely be gracing our table again. Dinner was a great success. The guests thoroughly enjoyed the meal, the wines and the music on a beautiful Balearic night.

Menu
Starters oatee zucchini muffins with red wine chutney topped by cashew nut cheese on a bed of rocket with balsamic vinegar
Main kamut spaghetti with ‘feaux’ meatballs in tomato and mushroom sauce
Desert individual raw mango cheesecakes
Music Latest from Jose Padilla