26 Dec, 2011

Blog update 


Posted at 10:03 under MUSIC, PEACEBIRD, MUSICAL, JAPAN


The database for my blog is being updated, so all previous posts will be unavailable for some time from now. Please have patience! It's the holiday season =)

Let me take the opportunity to write a little about 2011, a year filled with hard work and wonderful audience reception for my music.

PEACEBIRD

The PEACEBIRD album had a wonderful reception, lots of radio play and I've been fortunate to meet many of my Japanese fans during this year. I'm now writing songs for a new Peacebird album, which is planned to be released in late spring (the recording is scheduled for February and will be done in Tokyo).


THE MUSICAL

I'm just finishing a website for my musical, and will post an update here when you can all enter and check it out. I know that some of you are very very curious, after all I've been talking about it for soon three years.

Those of you who have joined my Fan Club (the VIP CLUB) have already heard some of the songs, as I'm giving away one free unreleased song or recording every month, only to members. You can join here at www.jcschutz.com/register

The recordings for the Musical, have started, and will be finished during 2012. With a little help from Shigeru Umebayashi, the awarded Japanese film music composer, I'm hoping to be able to create the magic, movie-like atmosphere that I wish for, as I'm using Japanese instruments such as Shakuhachi, Koto, Taiko drums and the Chinese Erhu, all some of my favourite instruments in the world.

Japanese Nihonga artist Masako Kurokawa is sketching for the CD design/booklet and we've been discussing the emblem of the Musical, the image with the title (I guess you also might call it a 'logotype'), one single image expressing the essence of the story. As the recording will not be totally finished until next autumn, earliest, we are still on the brainstorming stage.

To be honest, I never thought I would finish the musical. But once I started, it was impossible to stop writing the songs, and here we are... It's my biggest project ever, and I'm so happy that I continued even "when the going got tough". Working with such a project is like entering a different world, and that's hopefully the same feeling it will give the audience.

I owe a million thanks to Japanstiftelsen (The Scholarship Foundation for Studies of Japanese Society) for their financial support. Without them, the music would never have been finished!


So, with a heart full of hope for what will come, I wish you all a Peaceful New Year!






26 Dec, 2011

Blog update 


Posted at 09:13 under MUSIC, PEACEBIRD, MUSICAL, JAPAN


The database for my blog is being updated, so all previous posts will be unavailable for some time from now. Let me take the opportunity to write a little about 2011, a year filled with hard work and wonderful audience reception for my music.

PEACEBIRD

The PEACEBIRD album had a wonderful reception, lots of radio play and I've been fortunate to meet many of my Japanese fans during this year. I'm now writing songs for a new Peacebird album, which is planned to be released in late spring (the recording is scheduled for February and will be done in Tokyo).


THE MUSICAL

I'm just finishing a website for my musical, and will post an update here when you can all enter and check it out. I know that some of you are very very curious, after all I've been talking about it for soon three years.

Those of you who have joined my Fan Club (the VIP CLUB) have already heard some of the songs, as I'm giving away one free unreleased song or recording every month, only to members. You can join here at www.jcschutz.com/register

The recordings for the Musical, have started, and will be finished during 2012. Will a little help from Shigeru Umebayashi, the awarded Japanese film music composer, I'm hoping to be able to create the magic, movie-like atmosphere that I wish for, as I'm using Japanese instruments such as Shakuhachi, Koto, Taiko drums and the Chinese Erhu, all some of my favourite instruments in the world.

Japanese Nihonga artist Masako Kurokawa are sketching for the CD design/booklet and we've been discussing the emblem of the Musical, the image with the title (I guess you also might call it a 'logotype'), one single image expressing the essence of the story. As the recording will not be totally finished until next autumn, earliest, we are still on the brainstorming stage. It's no hurry.

To be honest, I never thought I would finish the musical. But once I started, it was impossible to stop writing the songs, and here we are... It's my biggest project ever, and I'm so happy that I continued even "when the going got tough".

I owe a million thanks to Japanstiftelsen (The Scholarship Foundation for Studies of Japanese Society) for their financial support. Without them, the music would never have been finished!


So, with a heart full of hope for what will come, I wish you all a Peaceful New Year!






22 Dec, 2011

Johan Persson & Martin Schibbye 


Posted at 15:25 under OTHERS, THOUGHTS, DEMOCRACY


Swedish journalists Johan Persson & Martin Schibbye were found "guilty of supporting terrorism" by an Ethiopian court yesterday.

It's awful.

They entered the country illegally on an assignment for Filter Magazine, to dig for the truth about the Swedish oil company Lundin Oil (now Lundin Petroleum), which previously had Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt as a board member. Bildt has refused to talk about the issue all the time, obviously covering up his dark, oilstained secrets.

Lundin Oil has been accused for forcefully relocating thousands of people in Ethiopia to be able to get their hands on the oil. People may have been killed during these "relocations".

Finally, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said they were innocent and should be freed. Bildt just says his job is to support the decision of the prisoners and their families.

English (BBC):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16283332

Swedish (SVD):
http://www.svd.se/kultur/litteratur/rat ... 725447.svd


Johan Persson & Martin Schibbye may face between 11-18 years in Ethiopian prison.

I guess it's time for Bildt to tell the truth for once.

And after that, it's time for Sweden to get a government who cares about Free speech and not only about covering up their ministers dirty past.

Just stop letting greed show your way. How far does it have to go?


FACEBOOK PAGE - please show your support:
http://sv-se.facebook.com/freejohanandmartin






20 Dec, 2011

Gentleman stories 


Posted at 16:03 under OTHERS


My British friends Simon Stewart and James Raiher were published in the October/November edition of THE LONDON MAGAZINE!

http://thelondonmagazine.org/issues/oct-nov-2011/

THE LONDON MAGAZINE is a literature magazine, first published in 1732. Yes, the year 1732. Several of the most recognized and respected authors have been published there over the centuries, so Simon and James are in really good company.

They call their short-stories The Gentleman Stories and they occasionally post on their blog:
http://thegentlemanstories.wordpress.com

Also, check out their facebook page for news:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Gentleman-Stories/248509401865459


Simon is also a great songwriter, so check out his myspace page while you're surfing the pages above:
http://www.myspace.com/simonastewart


Congratulations, and here's hoping for more success coming your way!


Peace!





18 Dec, 2011

Cesaria Evora 


Posted at 04:06 under MUSIC, OTHERS


One of my favourite singers died yesterday.

CESARIA EVORA, from Cape Verde (a group of islands located outside Africa) was perhaps one of the most influential world music singers in the last 20 years. Her powerful voice was full of emotions but never dramatic.

I discovered the flow-like Cape Verdian "Morna" music through her about 10 years ago, and always loved the soft swing of the music, often performed with guitars, cavaquinho and shaker. In 2000, Evora said about the Morna:

"Our music is a lot of things. Some say it's like the blues, or jazz. Others says it's like Brazilian or African music, but no one really knows. Not even the old ones."

The language is a creole version of Portuguese, so I just understand bits of it.








Cesaria Evora was called "The Barefoot Diva" as she always performed without shoes.

She was 70 years old.

Official website (but not updated for a year):
http://www.cesaria-evora.com/?lang=en


Rest in Peace!





14 Dec, 2011

Tokyo and Miyagi 


Posted at 03:28 under MUSIC, PEACEBIRD, SETLISTS


Here's an update from last weekend's gigs in Cafe Apres-midi (Tokyo) and Sendai Koffee (Sendai).

Friday was the 12-year anniversary party for Toru Hashimoto's Cafe Apres-midi!
Happy Anniversary!!!

Unfortunately, I have lost the setlist, but it was something like this:
1. A Little Bit More Real
2. Be For Real
3. Slow Down
4. Jabuticaba
5. Skuggor
6. C'est La Vie *
7. I Love You *
8. Let The Sunlight In
9. Passion

* cavaquinho songs




Saturday I saw Mount Fuji from Tokyo, the weather was great, and I travelled to Sendai for Sunday's performance at Sendai Koffee. I met with Taisuke Tsugimatsu and we had a rehearsal and later went out to wine and dine.

The following photos are taken by Hiroko Ooyama:


Me and Croquet.



At Sendai Koffee, with Taisuke Tsugimatsu during rehearsal.



Having a coffee before my performance.


Taisuke started with his set, singing and playing the Kawai upright piano, and he seemed to be greatly inspired this night. Then I joined for a small session before performing my own solo set.


Setlist, session with Taisuke Tsugimatsu:
1. Natsu no Numa
2. Passion
3. Smile
4. Over the Rainbow


Setlist:
1. So Happy
2. Difficult
3. Balans
4. C'est La Vie *
5. Slow Down
6. Pickin' up the Pieces
7. Jabuticaba
8. Let The Sunlight In

Encore:
9. After The Rain *
10. I Love You *

* cavaquinho songs


The next day, before returning to Tokyo, I went shortly to Watari (south Miyagi), again being able to see the area hit by the tsunami. Some parts are ghostly empty. Where there used to be houses and tidy ricefields, there is now nothing - just flat, empty land, with houses only here and there, many still being fixed or rebuilt.


Sunset in eastern Japan. Fukushima or Ibaraki.



Back in Tokyo, looking down on a schoolyard (?) with people playing tennis in the darkness with skyscrapers in the background.


Oh, I can tell you that I recently tried Natto for the first time! Natto is fermented beans, a famous Japanese dish, which people say smell very bad. Actually I thought it didn't smell at all, but the sticky feeling was a bit ... interesting!



Yes, I only tried a little =)


Peace!





13 Dec, 2011

iTunes 


Posted at 10:56 under MUSIC, OTHERS


After a dispute with my previous distributor about royalty payments (which I have not received since 2009) I am taking down all my previous albums from iTunes. Hopefully all other download sites will follow soon.

This ONLY includes my albums released as J.C. Schutz.

It does NOT include my PEACEBIRD album.


Please note, I've had no problems with the distribution of my first album (Passion) through CD Baby, only my other distributor. But to keep things easy, I'll take 'Passion' down too, and make all albums available from the same distributor later.

If you want my old music right now, please buy the CDs instead.

And there's still "Peacebird":
http://itunes.apple.com/album/peacebird/id468937532


As for now...

Peace!





09 Dec, 2011

Weekend - Tokyo and Sendai 


Posted at 05:30 under MUSIC, PEACEBIRD, JAPAN


December 9

Cafe Apres-midi
TOKYO


Tonight is Cafe Apres-midi's 12-year-anniversary party 'side A', featuring me playing live from 22:00. (As on vinyl records, there's also a 'side B party', which is next sunday, the 18th).

Open 21:00 - 05:00
My performance starts 22:00

DJs:
Toru Hashimoto (橋本徹 /SUBURBIA)
"usen for Cafe Apres-midi" Crew(吉本宏/金子修一/高木慶太/中村智昭/添田和幸/本多義明)

Charge: 2,000 yen / 1drink
* 先着30名様に橋本徹・選曲のスペシャルCD-Rをプレゼント致します!

http://www.apres-midi.biz





December 11

Sendai Koffee
SENDAI


And on sunday, I'll be doing my first gig in Sendai!

The place is the lovely SENDAI KOFFEE, and I've invited Taisuke Tsugimatsu (previously singer in the ska band MICETEETH), as my guest. After Taisuke's performance we'll do a small session (as we usually do when we have the opportunity) and I'll end the evening with my own solo performance.

Open 18:00
Start 18:30

Charge: 2,000 yen (+1 drink order)

http://purple.ap.teacup.com/sendaikoffeeco


Tanoshimi ! ! !





06 Dec, 2011

Update from Kobe and Osaka 


Posted at 03:45 under MUSIC, PEACEBIRD, MUSICAL, SETLISTS, JAPAN


I haven't had time to post photos and setlists from my gigs in Kobe and Osaka, but here they are!

(As usual - ) I've had a great time in Kansai, and could do some more research and planning for my Musical. The story of the musical takes place in Kobe, and now I think that the location-hunting is finished. I can't wait to stage it, I can see it all in my mind; the stage, the atmosphere, the actors, the songs being performed. Still a long way to go though. I will start searching for singers now, to sing on the double-CD (as it's more than 30 songs).

Unfortunately I have no photos from November 25, where I played guitar with mamerico's Maya, at their gig at Rough Rare in Kobe, together with the band Akai Kutsu, but here's some photos from Midori Cafe in Kobe (November 26) where I both played with mamerico and did my own Peacebird gig.

mamerico (Maya, with me on guest guitar):




And me singing something with great concentration:



My setlist:

1. Difficult
2. Passion
3. After The Rain
4. Slow Down
5. C'est La Vie *
6. Balans
7. A Little Bit More Real
8. Let The Sunlight In

Encore:
A Border (with Maya from mamerico)
I Love You *


* songs I played on the cavaquinho.



The day after, November 27, my live performance at "digmeout Art&Diner" in Osaka for FM802's listeners went really well, and the audience seemed really happy! Miss Kazuyo Hayakawa from FM802's program BEAT EXPO was relaxed and kind as usual, and surprised me with some presents. We talked about music and my life and shared lots of laughter with the audience. I had some translation help by miss Ui, whose English is perfect and who's really a great live interpreter, behind such professionality must be years of experience!

I think all these photos were taken by miss Usami at Polystar.








After a 20-minute "talk-show", I performed 6 songs:

1. Passion
2. Difficult
3. Let The Sunlight In
4. Slow Down
5. Pickin' Up The Pieces
6. Balans




And then we talked for another 5 minutes, before I played an encore song using my cavaquinho:

Encore:
I Love You




After the encore, I gave away 2 small Dala Horses which I had brought from Sweden (wikipedia page). To decide the winners of the two souvenirs, we played the handgame "Rock-paper-scissors". which was the first time for me!

I made a mistake - instead of raising my index and middle fingers, I raised my thumb and index finger! Everyone were laughing loudly, and it made me happy. The atmosphere was great!







Finally, a Peace Sign group photo:




And people lined up to buy my CD and get my autograph. Many people asked me to come back to Osaka soon again, so I hope I can!






Here's the delicious cookies that everyone received, a "Peacebird" and a "Hallongrotta", made by Tae. Everyone really loved them. I saw comments on twitter saying "I want moooore!" which made me very happy!




Me and Kazuyo Hayakawa, after everyone had left. Otsukaresama deshita. Thank you for a wonderful time!




Finally, some photos from Kobe:


View from my hotel room. I like the mountains. But the unstructured way to build in Japan makes it feel like a favela in Rio de Janeiro...



The Flower Clock on Flower Road is one of the locations in my Musical.





Narrow streets, maybe like this one, are a important part of creating the atmosphere in the Musical.



And the red gate to the Ikuta Shrine, also one of the locations.



This building close to Sannomiya station reminded me of the buddhist thought that everything is one. You can see the whole sky reflected in a drop of water. You can also see the whole sky reflected in the mirror wall of a building!



This german (?) style house was just too funny not to photograph. With the mountains in the background, it made me feel like I was in the alps. However, my Musical will not include any parts of Kobe's Kitano. It's too european for me =)



Back in Tokyo, visiting Cafe Apres-midi in Shibuya for a coffee, I found this funny sign painted on the street. I think the cigarette is a bit big, almost like a Clarinet!



I like the fact that smoking on the streets is not allowed here, it's great being able to walk around without having someone's cigarette smoke being blown in your face, but unfortunately most cafes and bars allow smoking instead. I would prefer if everyone just stopped smoking that poison. It really has no purpose, does it?


Peace!





22 Nov, 2011

Kobe and Osaka!!! 


Posted at 15:56 under MUSIC, PEACEBIRD


I'm visiting Kansai again and will do three live performances this weekend:

25th (friday) in Kobe:
I'm support member for mamerico whose debut album I produced and which was released in September. I'll play 2 of my own songs as well. The rest of the performance I am playing guitars and cavaquinho, and Maya is singing!

Start 19:00
Rough Rare
Kobe

All details:
http://mamerico.net/?p=194

* * * * *

26th (saturday) in Kobe:
I'm support member for mamerico again, and the evening is continued with my own solo performance as Peacebird... Of course, I'll also play some of my old songs, as usual.

Start: 19:00
Midori Cafe
Kobe



All details:
http://mamerico.net

* * * * *

27th (sunday) in Osaka:
I'll do a solo performance at digmeout Art&Diner. This is a free event arranged by FM802, they have given out 60 tickets to 30 of their listeners, so it's not open for anyone - sorry!
If you missed the opportunity, please reserve a ticket for my Kobe gig on the 26th if you want to hear me live (^^), it's also limited number of tickets, so be quick.

Start 14:00 - invitation only
digmeout Art&Diner
Osaka

* * * * *

That's all for now. I'm having some time off internet, email and twitter, to focus on music, music and music, so stay tuned.

Join my newsletter so you don't miss anything:
http://signup.jcschutz.com

月刊メールマガジンを希望します:
http://signup.jcschutz.com


Peace!






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