Sunday, March 12, 2017

Asian tour report

I feel like a have to write at least a bit about this trip, although it's not easy, because still my head is a bit of a mess, still I'm trying to understand what happened ; )
There were so many difficult situations, so many unexpected and uncomfortable things that made really strong influence. After all I'm glad I came back home, even not in the best health, but with (i hope) wider perception of the world and bigger understanding of myself.
So now I would like to write mostly about the music related things I experienced in Southeast Asia. 

Philippines

The first show took part in Quezon city, which is a part of Manila metro. The place called Green Papaya is a nice art space, which reminded me of many European venues and I really enjoyed playing a show there. The next show was the next day organized by Jon from Ruthless collective in a bar kind of space called Today X Future, which I didn't like that much, because it was quite dark, spread and playing near the entrance/exit is always not good. Although I made quite a punky show, did something totally different, because I can't play the same stuff in the same city even the crowd was a bit different. In this gig I heard quite a few good local acts that I recommend to check, it's Caliph8, Ram Milisec 8, there's also American guy Alex Puzzle, playing on his diy modular synths. But firstly check this compilation video of the show. I'm here from '00:56


Both shows were free entrance, so there was quite a bit of a crowd, maybe around 30-40 people, which was ok for the size of places. There were also a few old timers of noise scene in the crowd and it seems that Manila has a nice little community of experimental music lovers. Must say thank you to Tengal who helped me with finding shows and other things. By the way he runs a festival WSK that you might check. 

Malaysia

Visited twice this country on this tour. Firstly right after Philippines. I chose not the best time to come to do shows because it was Chinese new year, so venues and promoters were not enthusiastic to do events on that period because people where out of the city. Anyway I got a gig at the space called Minut Init which is situated quite far from central Kuala Lumpur and among shopping malls, big houses, so a bit weird place. It was Monday evening, so just a few people showed up. On the bill there was me and a dancer Jessie Jing based in Hong Kong / KL I'm glad that she found out about this event and decided to join. So we made the improvisation, at one moment we were dancing together and I think it worked well, so I would be into repeating it again if there will be opportunity in the future. 

The second show in Malaysia was on the second visit, at a small town called Seri Iskandar. So, finally the small town! ; ) The art space Kapallorek was situated in the industrial and shopping area, the environment somehow reminded me Lithuania or Siberia and it was really good feeling. Overall it's good to see that in such a small town there can be art space open for new forms of sound and visual art. Together with a local artist Kamal Sabran we made solo sets and a duo. The documentation of duo is below. Again it was not the best time for the event because all students were out of town, so it was intimate thing with a discussion after the show. Big thanks goes to Fadly, one of the founders of Kapallorek who helped to make it. Also Cloud Nimbus made a really beautiful poster for this show, so maybe someone of you wanna hire him? ; )



Indonesia

Before the tour few people were telling that Indonesia is mind blowing.... And it was ; ) The most blowing thing was to play a show in the early morning in the field in Cirebon. This decision of the organizer Rangga was because the field was near the road where people are jogging in Sunday morning so, as he said it was the potential audience for the show. And it was ; ) There were also kids dancing on pop music right between the noise artists. Need to say it was so hot even in the early morning (8am - 10am) and you couldn't escape it, cause the trees were a bit far. Crazy ; ) There was also Belgian artist Tzii playing with his girlfriend and because of quite a bright sky they couldn't see if the buttons of the sampler were on or off, so the playing was very intuitive. Here's the video:



The other show (the first one actually in Indonesia) was held near Yogyakarta, in the village called Bantul there's a house own by Ruang Gulma collective. The show started around 4pm with my show and with 9 acts in total varying from sludge metal to guitar solo improv (yep this act called Iqbal Lubys made an impression to me). I didn't hear all the acts and I don't know if all of them played that night, because the electricity was off a few times.
The last, 3rd show in Indonesia was held in the capital city Jakarta. It was a show held in a bar, organized by Adythia, the guy who has made a movie about the Indonesian noise / experimental music. On the bill there was a few harsh noise acts and also a few more quite, more kind of electroacoustic and Max/msp based. The project called Radioage made impression, also was interesting to meet and hear Patrick Hortono, who has been studying in Den Haag, and knows a few Lithuanian artists that are studying there.
All in all Indonesia is vibrant in case of experimental / noise music, there are a lot of places to play but ready for surprises ; )

Singapore

In early 2000's I was in contact with crust punk band from Singapore, forgot the name, but now when I finally came to this country / city I thought that probably all the punks are out of here because everything is so clean and looks posh and expensive. After talking with the sound artist Dennis Tan, who helped me with this show, it seems that it's really hard to be artist in Singapore, but luckily still there are someone who organize and play. Thanks to Mark from Ujikaji records that organized this show. I liked the description of the event:
"Mark Fisher's "capitalist realism" describes the situation in contemporary neoliberal societies where capitalism seems the only viable political and economic system, and we have lost the ability to imagine an alternative to it. Future Detour is a new series of performances presented by Ujikaji, where we'd like to suggest otherwise, and offer you sounds from a reclaimed future."
The show place is called Artistry  and it's where usually most of experimental artists play. It's a cafe. On the bill there's a quartet of local artists together with Dennis called Balbalab, also artist from Norway Christian Meaas Svendsen, who just came from Australian tour. His unique way of playing double bass impressed me and we are already discussing about bringing him to Baltic countries. Balbalab guys though made electroacoustic improv set with various objects with contact mic attached, also tapes and electronics. As later Dennis told that it was the first time they used this technique, usually they are more electronic, but as for the first time it was ok.
So, it was very short but pleasant stay in Singapore, but I hope I will come back there one day.

India

Till the last days in India I thought that maybe I will get a show in New Delhi, but in the end it seemed that hardly something like this can happen, so maybe next time... not soon ; )

In conclusion: if you're an artist -  do it, go there and do the tour, but know, you will loose money, most of the times you won't get paid although it's cheap there, you will sweat a lot, you'll probably get a diarrhea, but you will get the experience, if you still need it ; ) 


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sonic Pilgrimage | Asia


Going to the first Asian tour! Shows in Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are planned. Of course things there are happening pretty last minute, so still a few "tba" as you may see below. Anyway I'm quite excited to finally explore Eastern world! I believe this will give me better understanding of the whole world. This is nothing else, but sonic pilgrimage. 2nd one. First one was in 2013, when I went to Siberia. 
I believe this is gonna be adventurous journey. Follow me on facebook, as probably here I will rarely post something.

25.01 Quezon city, Philippines. KPR
26.01 Quezon city, Philippines. Today x Future
30.01 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Minut Init
03.03 Bantul, Indonesia, Terik Berisik #3
05.02 Cirebon, Indonesia. Suniyragi #4
07.02 Jakarta, Indonesia. Mondo by the Rooftop
09.02 Singapore, Singapore. Artistry
14.02 Seri Iskandar, Malaysia, Kapallorek

set-up for this tour





Sunday, January 8, 2017

BLUE ARM tape

artwork by Blu Simon Wasem

If you read this post, you probably got a tape with nothing more but a link written on the cover. 
That's right! The idea was to make this tape almost anonymous with a minimal design and to combine it with the information about it on the internet. Don't know about you, but I like this idea and probably will keep it with further releases. I didn't wanna start a new label, I like self releases and I believe many artists can do it themselves instead of looking for a label. So here are details about this tape.
The material was recorded by me, Arma Agharta, and Blu Simon Wasem on a beautiful October '16 day at Francis Pedemonte studio in Florianopolis, Brazil. We used electronics, synths, drums, vocals, percussion, and bass guitar. The first edition of this tape is 26 copies, later maybe will do the second edition. All tapes come with hand made covers. The gold paper I used for covers I bought in NYC Chinatown, tapes bought in St. Petersburg, material recorded and artwork (by Blu) made in Florianopolis and final product made in Panevėžys. ;) The name idea came just by adding one letter to "Blu" and deleting one letter from "Arma". This was our first collab and who knows maybe one day we will do it again.
Thank you for purchasing or trading this tape! You can also listen excerpt online, later will add full on bandcamp.

artwork by Blu Simon Wasem

the first made tape





Monday, January 2, 2017

new tapes



1) the tape called "Insects" was recently released in Warsaw, Poland, on Pointless Geometry label. Limited edition of 60 copies. Half of them I had are already gone, but you might still ask a label. Also below you can listen the whole tape.



2) currently i'm preparing a tape release of collaborative material we did together with Blue Simon Wasem in Florianopolis, Brazil in October 2016. The tape will be called BLUE ARM. Tape will contain 28 minutes of improvised electronics, drums, bass guitar and vocal. First edition of 28 copies will be ready next week, more copies should be ready in March. Listen excerpt below:




Sunday, January 1, 2017

videos from 2016

selected videos from personal performances, music clips, solo or as a part in bands and other projects. in chronological way.

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005


November 24th | Supersonicum | Viljandi | Estonia

November 19th | Gifgrond | Tilburg | Netherlands

November 11th | Zaratan | Lisbon | Portugal


September 10th | Gogbot festival | Enschede | Netherlands


May 7th | Garso Architektūra | Anykščiai | Lithuania


April 7th | trio at Underground Jazz Club | Vilnius | Lithuania

Kauno regiono improvizacines muzikos grupes koncertas Fototeatro koncertines platformos avangarde - 2016.04.07
Posted by Underground Jazz Club on 2016 m. balandžio 7 d.


March 2nd. | Second act | San Francisco | USA


February 27th | 24 kvm | Gothenburg | Sweden


Arma playing at Morricone 27/2 2016
http://www.arma.lt/
Posted by 24kvm on 2016 m. kovo 3 d.


January 31st | duo with Tasos Stamou | Boiler | Athens | Greece


January 31st | Boiler | Athens | Greece


January 20th | Donau 115 | Berlin | Germany


January 9th | Raudonas Namas | Kaunas | Lithuania




Friday, December 16, 2016

2016 / 2017

Construction festival, Dnipro, Ukraine, 2016

What I did in 2016.
This was super active year. 2 tape releases (at least!) and 98 performances in 24 countries (North and South America and all around Europe). Not so much time at home in Lithuania, although 26 shows were done here. The plan was ambitious for this year, I was willing to visit South Africa and Asia too, but it was complicated, so I couldn't manage it. Anyway 98 shows were enough for this year ; ) and i'm really thankful to Lithuanian council for culture, Lithuanian culture institute, Lithuanian culture attache in Ukraine and Poland as well as contributors of my crowdfunding campaign. Without this I could hardly do what I did. And what I did is not just a number. I was giving maximum of my energy for each show.  Everyone who has toured knows how hard it is: sitting hours in the transport, eating fast food, sleeping not in the best conditions, loosing money, playing with the shitty sound system, meeting unfriendly people ... and the list goes on... of course there a lot's of advantages too: seeing the world, meeting nice people, seeing and sharing the art, gaining experience, making friendship, discovering new cultures, earning money and so on.
So, I will keep on concentrating on touring for the year 2017, but more about plans below.
Also I organized tours for other artists and bands, it's Holzkopf tour in Ukraine and Lithuania, Ni tour in Poland, Czech and Ukraine, Andrea Pensado tour around Baltic sea. However I stopped this activity too, cause it's just to much stress, especially when booking shows for others outside of Lithuania.

What I have learned this year:
Firstly I've become less categorical, less judging about the art done by others. On the tour I saw lot's of artists, a few hundred. Some were really amazing, some were not, some were so bad that it was so good ; ) The same with my performances, some where wow for myself, some where bad (maybe also to much self-criticism sometimes). I have seen people who hated my show, I seen who loved and were totally crazy about it. By playing in different contexts you will get different reactions. And the contexts were really different: among punk bands, in art spaces, in improvised music community, in usual underground venues or in electronic music festivals. The most comfortable context should be free improvised music community, although quite often there are conservative people and cliches and this makes this music / events not so free. Personally I love playing for people who are open minded, willing to see something new and to react to it. This I experienced in quite many places and this keeps enthusiasm of continuing.
While touring I had enough time with myself, so I was thinking why am I doing this, whats the aim. Without doing this, what you get is just a constant change of the forms, people, cultures and so on. So, now I can say that the main things for me are knowing myself and friendship with the others (which is basically friendship with yourself, cause there are no others!). Also more and more I understand that there's more of illusion than we think.
I've also learned (well, actually still learning) how to cope with the negative aspects of my life. This is very important, cause we live in dual world and so we have to cope with this always.

New passion
Playing with other people has become a new passion to me. Doing recordings, making dialogue through sounds, forming new collaborative projects. So this year I did recordings with artists from Brazil, Austria, Spain, Greece (releases are coming up!), also had a trio band in Lithuania. All that was really great experience and I plan to continue this way. I'm quite individualistic person, so for me this is quite a move.

Event plans for 2017
Besides of tour plans, which are always in work, I also plan to come back into event organizing at home, in Lithuania. After wondering all over the world I always come back with the wish and enthusiasm to do something locally. I see how people do things in other countries, what is positive and negative. So this was good monitoring.
I was organizing events since 2006. in the summer of 2016 I stopped doing it and since then was following what is happening in Lithuania. The picture didn't satisfy me, so that's why I wanna act again.
Of course through those years many things changed both in my mind and in the "scene". Some things didn't change. Even though I was always open to different genres of DIY, underground music, but today, better then ever, I know what ideas through music I want to promote and what not. Also I understand that to have community is very important as well as a more proper collaboration with local venues and promoters. Currently I'm thinking about the model of collaboration.

Tour plans for 2017
The next tour starts in a month. Before that there's a plan to do the performance at the exhibition opening in Panevėžys, the town I live in now. After that - Krakow, Bucharest and Asia! All the new places I never been. Excited!
Then, later in spring shows in the UK, Portugal, Spain, France, Czech republic, Poland, Lithuania.
In June maybe will go to Siberia, also there's idea to go to Mexico and of course all around Europe.

So for now the plan is like this:
13.01.2017   Panevėžys, Lithuania, XX gallery
16.01.2016   Krakow, Poland, Osoblivy Poniedzialek
18.01.2017   Bucharest, Romania. A1
25.01.2017   Manila, Philippines. KPR
26.01.2017   Manila, Philippines. Today x Future

2?.01.2017   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
0?.02.2017   Yogyakarta, Indonesia. 
0?.02.2017   Cirebon, Indonesia. 
0?.02.2017   Jakarta, Indonesia.
09.02.2017   Singapore, Singapore. Artistry
1?.02.2017   ?????, Malaysia
??.02.2017   ?????, Thailand.

16.03.2017   Manchester, UK. 
18.03.2017   Leeds, UK. 
19.03.2017   Bradford, UK. Fuse
31.03.2017   Rennes, France. 
01.04.2017   Nantes, France, 
04.04.2017   Prague, Czech rep.
05.04.2017   Brno, Czech rep. 
18.04.2017   Vilnius, Lithuania. Jauna Muzika festival
13.08.2017   Potsdam, Germany. Camp festival


Thursday, December 15, 2016

photos from 2016


in chronological way: 


October 1st | Kabinet Adapter | Essen | Germany

October 1st | Kabinet Adapter | Essen | Germany

August 9th | Sodų 4 | Vilnius | Lithuania

June 15th | R/RT pub | Khmelnyckyi | Ukraine
May 19th | LARGO | Kaunas | Lithuania

May 13th | KKKC | Klaipėda | Lithuania

May 6th | Garso Architektūra | Anykščiai | Lithuania

May 4th | Garso Architektūra | Šiauliai | Lithuania

April 19th | Jauna Muzika festival | Vilnius | Lithuania

March 12th | Destroy Vancouver | Vancouver | Canada

January 27th | Fluc | Vienna | Austria

January 26th | AVA loft | Brno | Czech rep.


January 25th | photo session | Praha | Czech rep.


January 25th | photo session | Praha | Czech rep.

January 20th | Vorota | Kaliningrad | Russia

January 17th | at home | Panevėžys | Lithuania