With the approach of the last Transit of Venus in our lifetime, we’re looking forward to releasing a commemorative album. It’s not far off finished, but these things take time, (especially when done on a $0 budget – we’re having to do everything ourselves). Join up to the mailing list in the side-bar and be among the first to know when the album is available for free download.
We released this track in January, you can have a listen (and download for free if you like). [Pardon the temporary my-little-pony artwork.]
The song has been used on this educational video, check it out to learn more about the Transit of Venus.
It’s two days since the Auckland show, and a week out from the first Wellington show.
I watched the video of the show, I was really pleased with how it went. A very different show from the last one (2009), and everyone who’d seen both preferred this one so I think that’s a good forward step.
We started sometime between 8am and 9am, going to pick up all our gear from the studio. Then we were at the venue at 9, a group of us moving all the seating and rostra around for just over an hour. We were really grateful to our team of volunteers who came to help with the heavy lifting, it would have been a much longer job without them. Next thing to do was to set up the sound system, the projector screen, and the projector. I think this took us through lunch, I remember there was sushi brought by our fantastic photographer, which we ate as we worked. There was a last minute file delivery from our video-wrangler, saving the day and enabling us to show a good quality projection of the movie. Then we had lights, instruments, microphones, set pieces to sort out. Our soundie arrived mid afternoon and we ran through the show to make sure everything technical was going to go smoothly. Everything did, and by then it was time to brief the ushers, down a kebab, have a cold shower and wash my face with shampoo (because I forgot to bring soap or face-wash) and then get into costume.
In costume, back stage, peeking as the audience comes in… we are waiting for our cue to come out, suddenly a cast members nose starts bleeding. ’Stall the show’. We stall. We wait. The audience is looking at their phones, fidgeting in their seats, we are panicking, tissues and toilet paper, worried there might be fainting on stage if we go on… Wondering if we should call a doctor… we wait and wait… the bleeding doesn’t stop, the brave cast member says he is ok to go on, and so we do. Toilet paper up the nose, swallowing blood, he still does an amazing job!
After the show we chat with friends, have a drink, relax finally. The feedback is fantastic, the compliments make me blush and feel a little uncomfortable but I try to accept them. We’ve worked hard and we deserve them.
10:30 is our scheduled pack-down time. We change out of costume, close the doors to the theatre and start packing everything up and loading the cars. Luckily we don’t have to move all of the seats and rostra around again. As it is, I think it’s midnight before we leave. And then home, and then the unloading of the cars, the avocado on toast, and the picking apart of the show and watching the video to spot any mistakes.
Next morning we make pancakes and waffles for cast and crew. Half of the cast can’t make it, but some of our helpers are there, and it’s nice to relax, drink tea, eat brunch. And then later it’s back to real life, work, all of that.
Now preparing for the Wellington show. It’s going to be fun!
Once again, all to soon, it’s that time where I look back through my blogs to see what my goals for the year were, then make up some different ones in hindsight, based on what I actually achieved.
According to my Jan 2011 blog my plans were…
1. Finish building the GUITAR OF DOOM
2. Play some mean shows
3. Finish an acoustic album/EP.
4. Overcome my dentistry phobia and get my damn wisdom teeth out.
5. Try to be less awful with money.
I’d give myself a 1.5/5 for achievement here. I did play some mean shows, and I was slightly less awful with money than usual. I got some work done on the Guitar of Doom, but not nearly as much as I’d have liked to. I recorded acoustic demos, but never took it further than that.
What my goals for 2011 should have been is…
1. Play piano/guitar/ukulele for a theatre company
2. Play some mean shows with ToV, especially fun out of town shows
3. Do something fun like the 48 hour film festival
4. Be in Moe and Sashis music video in Malaysia
5. Get swept off my feet by unexpected Handsome Disney Prince
6. Record a bunch of acoustic demos, and track some songs with the band that I haven’t yet had mixed because I’m useless
7. Record, mix and release this song in a day, in the gap between Christmas and New Years http://transitofvenusproject.bandcamp.com/track/morning-star
8. Go to the gym semi-regularly when I can be bothered and haven’t had a late night
9. Play ‘keyboard’ in a band (as a ‘piano’ player, I’ve never really done this before!)
10. Be Happy
There, 10/10 ;D I win at awesome!
I daren’t write down any goals for 2012. I know what I’m working towards, but I never know what will get thrown my way.
Here is some stuffs from 2011 for you to watch/listen…
Happy New Year!
<3 Kristie xxx
It’s August again, this happens every year apparently. I’ve been back in New Zealand for almost a year… Except when I popped over to Malaysia for a couple of weeks in May. While I was there my friends Moe and Sashi had the idea of recording a music video for a song I played session guitar on last year, Bintang. This weekend the video was released online, so here it is…
I also have some pictures to share with you from last months trip to Napier where we played at The Cabana. Pictures are by Melissa Thorburn
We have a gig coming up in Auckland, on August 19th we’re playing for Miss Plum Green to celebrate a digital download release. This is happening at Whammy Bar on K’rd (downstairs in St Kevins Arcade). Keep an eye on our gigs page for details of upcoming shows http://transitofvenusproject.com/gigs/
In other news, slowly chipping away at recordings. I have a habit of trying to complete numerous projects at once, which sometimes makes things take forever. But I’d like to think I never really abandon ideas, I just stretch them out over the years. Speaking of which, I’ve been doing more work on my Guitar of Doom… Have a look here http://transitofvenusproject.com/building-a-guitar-of-doom/
I’m sure I have more to report… I mean, I know I do. But some of it I can’t blog about yet… So I hope that’s enough news for you at the moment. Those of you who read this, thanks a ton for your support. It means a lot to me
<3 K xxx
Maybe my height without heels is a little hobbitish, but I don’t have giant hairy feet. Nevertheless I recently embarked on a grand adventure like the ones famously traveled by Bilbo and more recently Frodo.
At the end of last year, as many of you know, I went to Malaysia. Malaysia is very different from New Zealand. You can buy Milo in a can and it’s bloody good! It’s very very hot all the time, there are mosquitos that can allegedly kill you. It rains every afternoon at 4:30pm. Anyway I had a series of fabulous adventures and am now back safe and sound in New Zealand, sitting about the fire telling tales of The Land where Winter Never Comes.
On my journey to there and back again, I met lovely people and made friends I will never forget. I played a gig or two or three. I read a lot of books, spent a lot of time on the train, ate a lot of new foods, wrote a lot of new songs. I threw a magic ring into a volcano and defeated a dark lord.
THE VELVET ACES
I met Moe through Twitter when I’d been in Malaysia a little while.
He was looking for a guitarist and I was looking for a band, so after texts and tweets we organised an In Real Life meeting at Starbucks. Soon there were jams and auditions and hanging-outs and shisha and The Velvet Aces began to take shape.
And like all bands, the band involved not just the people who happened to play the musical instruments in it but a group of friends and supporters and hangers on who all made up the musical family that had formed around Moe the nucleolus.
TRANSIT OF VENUS
And through playing in the Velvet Aces I became friends with Riz the other guitarist…
And he and I ended up jamming on some of the Transit of Venus music together with other friends Henry and Ash.
Unfortunately I had to leave before we got to play any gigs together, apart from that one time Riz and I hit an open mic night, which doesn’t really count does it? haha
But I just remembered ‘that one time’ I played some Transit of Venus songs with Ziam and crew at No Black Tie That was when I first got to Malaysia.
And then there was the time Moe and Sashi got me to play session guitar on their song Bintang, which was then nominated for an AVIMA award for the acoustic version. That was pretty cool I thought!
I arrived back home on Tuesday, started looking for jobs and flats and all those things one needs to survive. I’m really glad to be back, though I’m going to miss a lot of things about Malaysia. Even though I spent half my time in Malaysia missing so many things about New Zealand! Mostly people are the things I miss, and I’m just so thankful that the internet exists and makes it easy to keep in touch with everyone!
(For those of you who want to know the gossip first-hand, long story short I moved to Malaysia for my boyfriends job and now I am back in New Zealand because our relationship hit some difficulties. But I’m ok, he’s ok, we’re still friends and all that so no need at all to look all worried and pat me on the head when you see me!)
Looking forward to getting back into the music thing here in New Zealand, got a couple of projects I’m working on, and a concept album I’m planning for release in conjunction with the june 2012 astronomical event – the transit of the planet Venus across the face of the sun.
Well, that’s about all I can be bothered writing right now. If I don’t update regularly enough feel free to nag me about it
Hope this finds you well,
<3 K xxx
p.s. check out The Velvet Aces http://www.myspace.com/thevelvetacesonline
As you may or may not know, a Transit of Venus is one of the rarest predictable astronomical phenomena. It is when the planet Venus passes directly inline between the earth and the sun, and can be seen silhouetted against the sun as it passes in front of it. This doesn’t happen often, it happened in 2004 and will again in 2012 for the last time during our foreseeable lifetimes. Transits of Venus previous to these were in 1882 and 1874, 1769 and 1761 etc.
The transits that occurred in the 1700′s were of great scientific interest at the time, as it had been proposed that by measuring these transits from different points on the earth and throwing a bunch of trigonometry at the parallax, the distance from the earth to the sun could be calculated accurately.
Guillaume Le Gentil was a french astronomer, one of many adventurers who set off around the world to observe the transit of Venus and take the necessary measurements. He began his journey heading towards a french colony in India, but on his way war broke out between England and France, eventuating in the English occupation of the colony he was headed for and the boat he was on doing a u-turn. He was at sea when the transit occurred and the rocking of the boat made it impossible for him to take the measurements with any degree of accuracy.
So Le Gentil decided since he had already come so far (I think he was somewhere in the southwest indian ocean) he may as well stay and observe the next Transit eight years later. He kept himself busy mapping the coast of Madagascar and decided he would go to the Philippines to for the next transit. However when he got to the Philippines he had trouble with the Spanish, so decided to return to the colony he had originally planned on watching the first transit from in India, Pondicherry. Which by this time was again occupied by the french. Arriving more than a year in advance he built himself an observatory in preparation for the big day.
On the eagerly anticipated day of the second transit, the day he’d been waiting for eight years for… the sky was overcast. Le Gentil couldn’t see a thing. He had failed.
But his bad luck didn’t end there, between dysentery and his ship being driven off course in a massive storm it took him two years to get home to paris. And when he did get home after an absence of eleven years in total, it was only to discover he’d been declared LEGALLY DEAD, his estate divided between his relatives, his wife married to someone else.
It’s a sad story, a play has been written about it, and an opera. And the other day I wrote lyrics about it from the perspective of his poor wife. Can you imagine what it must have been like for her? Husband decides not to stay out a few hours after work for drinks without saying anything, but to stay out 8 or so years after work without a word! Maybe he’d tried to write, I can’t imagine it being easy to get letters across the world in those days. But a letter than doesn’t reach you is as good as no letter at all.
I will give you some news about the band soon! I do actually have news, I’m just… waiting.
Talk soon <3 K xxx
It has come to my attention, (when I received the automated mailing list message compiled from my RSS feeds (which I thought I had correctly cancelled but I had in fact failed to do so)) that I only blogged ONCE last month. Which was May NZ Music Month and I didn’t even mention any New Zealand Music in that blog. Shame on me!
I am currently sitting outside starbucks at Sentral Stesen (which I think is Malaysian for Central Station ). Starbucks isn’t open yet, but their wi-fi is on so yay! I’m waiting for my sister to arrive from the airport, she is visiting Kuala Lumpur from Melbourne and doing some traveling round Asia. Lucky her!
Had a bit of a quiet month with music. Pretty much now have a band to play some Transit of Venus music. Riz on guitar, Henry on bass and Ash on drums. Had a couple of practices, looking forward to hopefully playing some gigs soon! Starting to get frustrated with not having played live in so long.
Alright, starbucks is now open, time to go get me an ORANGE-MOCHA-FRAPPECINO!
p.s. Here are some pictures that I like, totally stole off Julians facebook because I forgot my camera and my phone was practically dead.
Left to Right: Julian Lee, Me, Moe Nasrul and Iz.
I was rambling on something last night about Rock being dead (you should have heard the array of mindnumbing soulless nothings being played on every radio station during the drive home). And so Rock being dead, us Rockers must be some kind of zombies or reanimated corpses. The undead. And then today I remembered this picture EJ Tapnio had drawn last year. Now I get it! Hehehe