Interview with Violinist: Etienne Bizjak
1. When/how did you discover your ‘love’ of music?
When I (first) heard my father play the violin. I was about 5 years old. That made me feel a real ‘intense’ moment of happiness.
2. Where do you get your inspiration from?
From my emotions and feelings. Life hands me experiences, which I communicate through my music.
3. How long have you been playing the violin?
For 20 years…
4. How did you come by the name ‘Twistin’ the Swing’?
Twistin’ the Swing is the young brother of Fever Swing. A cover band that Mike and I created when we started to play Gyspy swing music. After two years playing together, we needed something fresh to bring our original music to the public. It’s really hard to think of a name! We are really bad at it. I remember that we wanted something ‘original’ which doesn’t sound like a cover band. Swing is the kind of music we (still) play. Twistin’ because we liked the word, and that brings the idea of something distorted.
5. Tell me more about your last gig with WHORE?
I went to see the play three times because my friend is one of the characters. I met all the actors, Melissa and the rest of the team and felt a really good connection with them. So at Lot23, we naturally played music and hope to collaborate again soon.
6. Who would you like in your next or future audience? Universal records?
I don’t expect anyone in particular. I’d like to see anyone (really) who I can entertain, and also make them happy while listening to us.
7. Any influences?
Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt, Alexandre Cavalière and many others!
8. What is the most interesting thing about you?
I am an aerospace engineer.
9. Do you eat breakfast?
Sometimes. I love having breakfast, however it depends of what I have to eat (in the house) and what time I get up!
10. What makes you smile?
A lot of differents things. I try to smile (all the time) because it makes life a little easier. I notice when I busk on the street, people smile which makes me feel really content. Hopefully I brightened their day – this makes my music meaningful.
The Beauty of Poetry
Last night I was fortunate enough to be a panel judge for unplugged, uncensored and (at times) awe-inspiring performance poetry by Page2Stage, produced by Printable Reality.
First up was Jess Holly Bates with ‘MULTI-TASK’ who delivered a thought-provoking platter of of multi-cultural reflections, of two white warrior women and the houses they come from. Spoken partly in Maori, a translation was provided, the audience was asked to count ‘Tahi’, ‘Rua’, ‘Toru’ etc…and there was a lot of clicking of fingers, which meant the poets liked it.
Nalini Singh executed the longest work called ‘Fucking With Sunshine’ that explored identity through the landscape, space, human beings and the new world, namely America. There was impressive multi-media of the cosmic world, choreographed dance with two others, ribbon activity and multiple voices from the romanticist and voyageur of life.
Angela King stood and recited her poetry ‘False Prophets’ about identity as an artist. Stories from the past and present inspired by Janet Frame, Katherine Mansfield and Robin Hyde. Angela discarded (numerous) paper into the audience, as she read from her book, interesting yet distracting.
Lastly, Kashka Tunstall presented ‘heart don’t fall’ which was definitely gut-wrenching, vulnerable, raw and in essence a journey of a woman experiencing rejection, from society.
My favourite line was ‘words have saved me like medicine couldn’t’ .
Kashka had an extraordinary singing voice and used minimal set, just a microphone. Brave and honest, captivating and spoken with truth.
Each artist was mentored for their work over the course of this year. The mentors were Raewyn Alexander, Grae Burton, Lynn Cardy and Rosanna Raymond. Only Raewyn was in attendance last night.
Lastly the winner received a trip to London, invited by ‘Apples and Snakes’ to perform their work in 2014.
Jess Holly Bates won. Congratulations to Jess and all of the finalists, for your truth.
Crowd funding plan means little for banks
Have you thought about crowd funding for a project? I have had the experience of crowd funding for performance, last year. It was both exhilarating and stressful. Walking with pledges, then running at speed, when the hours are ticking down, to the anxiety-stricken end. Some people make their target, others can be disillusioned. You need to be fully engaged with marketing your project, on every possible social networking platform available, to maximise your visibility and hopefully, your credibility too. PledgeMe (NZ based) are extremely supportive and insightful about crowdfunding, definitely what you need, when posting your project. How do you get funded, anyway? Lots of hard graft, ask everyone you know, always be subtle. These crowdfunding sites are globally positioned including Kickstarter (USA), Sponsume (UK), Pozible (AUS), gofundme (USA), Razoo (USA), Rock The Post (USA)…I could go on. Oh, we made our target by the way, happy.