Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

This is the gorgeous Mette Lindberg, singer for Danish band The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Their first single “The Sun Ain’t Shining No More” was released some time in 2008. Most of you may know them from Apple’s I-pod Touch commercial for which their song “Around the Bend” was used. Go check them out. They are great live!

www.theasteroidsgalaxytour.com

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Confessions of a day dream believer

I’m feeling rather jealous:) I’m jealous of Dutch photographer Kadir van Lohuizen who’ll be trawling along the Pan-American Highway while doing a photography project, for the next 40 weeks. 40 weeks! Nice:) I’m jealous of the friend who’s sailing the oceans. Jealous of the one who just grabs his things and goes. On the other hand, I am also jealous of the friends who are simply happy at home.
The idea was to start in Alaska somewhere and make my way down to Terra del Fuego. The idea was to take pictures along the way while stopping in the smallest of places as well as the exciting big cities. The idea was to go by car. The idea was to go with a boy. A beautiful, exciting boy who would make me laugh. And to just travel travel travel. To disappear a little, only to emerge with an amazing amount of visuals and stories.

Kadir van Lohuizen is an amazing photographer and one of my favorite contemporary photographers. A sailor before he became a photographer, Kadir has covered wars across Africa and South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy from 1990-1994, published a very cool book about the diamond industry way before Blood Diamond came out and established the Noor agency with several other photographers in 2007.


(copyright by Kadir van Lohuizen)
‘Diamond Matters’ won the Kees Scherer Prize for best photo book in 2006. The book basically follows a diamond’s life. Starting in the mines of Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it shows hard work and poverty. From then on it moves to Antwerp to the rough diamond exchange market and to Surat in India through which  70-80% of the world’s diamond production passes through to be polished. A 13-year-old boy works 12 hours a day in one of those polishing centres. He gets to see his parents once a year. The book ends with a jewellery store on 5th Avenue in New York as well as a jet-setting party in London.It’s an amazing book, not just because of the photography but the designers also did a fabulous job. One cover is made out of faux velvet, the other is a rough cardboard-like paper. The paper also changes as the story develops; starting with a rough grey-ish paper it ends on a highly glossy one. Quite cool and poignant.
Projects like this make my heart beat faster. They make my eyes bigger and my feet itch. They make me feel jealous in a good way. Ever since I was a little girl and saw photos of wars, artists, musicians, exotic places and vast open plains, I wanted to be there too.
I can understand people who are slightly monomaniacal about certain things. Who basically really just want one thing: to read all the books in the world, or to see all the art that was created, to climb all mountains or to sail all oceans just because they are there, just because you can. And just because it would make you sad if you didn’t.

In an interview with NRC Handelsblad this Saturday Kadir chatted about his project on migration in the Americas (for more information: www.viapanam.org) as well as being a modern-day photographer. He explained that he’ll be adding videos as well as blog posts to his website. The reason for doing so is that he feels that in about 5 years time photographers won’t be able to make a living from photography alone. I think he’s right. Somehow you need to be a better photographer than you already are, and you also have to diversify and be able to make videos and preferably be a good writer (blogger) at the same time.

It’s quite something you have to do.  A little frightening even but also very exciting. It’s exciting as all those elements, video making, interviews, writing and exhibitions are part of my project.
So while I sit here watching the rain and type this, I am re-editing the sponsorship application in my head. The idea is still the same. The idea is still to see to travel, to take photographs, to laugh and see new things while driving through those vast open plains or highly populated cities. The only difference is that now I have a cool and realistic plan to make it happen. And it has to happen. Not just because it’s cool or it seems like fun. No just because I would be sad if I didn’t, but because it would make me feel alive when I do:)

Fox Hill Lane

Seeing how CultureBox blogged about me, I figured I’d blog about someone else in return. And blogging about one of the most talented and quite possibly one of the nicest people in the South African music industry seems like a good idea.

 I first ‘met’ Guy Buttery when the Greenhairmermaid took me to one of Guy’s shows at Monkey Valley in Noordhoek, some time in 2010. I had heard of Guy Buttery but had never heard any of his music. Needless to say, I am glad I went. Guy creates a musical landscape, occasionally looping his music as he plays, with just one guitar to mesmerizing effects. His version of Joanna Newsome’s ‘The Book of Right On’ is seriously awesome. Anyway, I’m crap at describing music so I’ll take a quote from the Mail & Guardian instead:

“… his music has a subtle grace and power all of its own. Though his technical prowess is also bewildering, Buttery immerses himself entirely into the soul of his guitar, coaxing sonic shapes and forms of such startling originality from it that his instrument acts as a kind of lightning conductor for the sound of another realm.”

Impressed with his music, I wrote him pretty soon after the gig asking if he’d be willing to take part in my project ‘Swimming Upstream’. He said yes:)

Originally from the Durban area, Guy made his way to Cape Town in 2009. Having studied jazz and classical guitar at the University of Kwazulu Natal as well as under Nibs van der Spuy, Guy soon found himself opening for Nibs in front of crowds up to 2,000 people. And at only 18 year of age, he was the youngest ever SAMA nominee for his debut album “When I grow Up”.

 We met up a while later at his house. I had asked him about places in or around Cape Town that he finds beautiful and inspiring, and he chose Klein Plaas Dam as the backdrop for our shoot. We made our way up Red Hill in his car; packed with a guitar, camera, some clothes and snacks. In case you’ve never been to Klein Plaas Dam, it’s a very quiet and peaceful reservoir surrounded by these bleached white alien-shaped rocks. The sun was out and I struggled quite a bit with the harsh light reflecting off the rocks but managed by moving into the shade for a while.

When asked what the biggest challenge has been so far, Guy replied:

“The music industry itself. South Africa doesn’t have a very big infrastructure; there are not a lot of venues, promoters or publicists. The shortage of all this has been a challenge. You have to get your name out there. And my music is quite “niche” so that has made it even more difficult.”

Releasing his second album ‘Songs from the Cane Field’  in 2005, it was his album ‘Fox Hill Lane’ that eventually won him A SAMA award last year for best instrumental album. Quite recently his Joanna Newsome cover was included on a covers album called ‘Versions of Joanna’ which was released on Drag City. Guy will be touring with Dan Patlansky later this year (June).It seems to me that guy has made “niche” work for his quite successfully.


It’s time to head home and we make our way down hill in the late afternoon sun. The light has gone from harsh to a soft warm glow. While we stop to take some last photos and Guy plays the guitar, I can’t help thinking I’ve got the best job in the world. Seriously, eh.. to be in splendid company, be outdoors and listen to beautiful music all day long while doing exactly what you love. How cool is that? All I’m thinking is why stop at “all day long”… I think I’ll continue for a while to come yet, at least until I grow up:)

If you like Guy Buttery you may want to check out Cabins in the Forest (even if they don’t exist anymore their album is still ou there), Gary Thomas or Andrew James.

You can find more on Guy Buttery right here: www.guybuttery.co.za