I’m floating on a post-gig dream cloud! I saw Future Islands again last night, and I’m still dreaming about it today. Listening to their songs, and playing the scenes from last night over and over in my head, smiling. The first time I saw them was in Le Guess Who May Day in Utrecht earlier this year, it was fantastic. But this time around was even better! (Didn’t know it was possible!)
1. Their opening act, Celebration also from dream-music city Baltimore (where Beach House is also from), was amazing!
2. Everyone was singing and shouting the lyrics to Future Islands’ songs. Everyone there was just so passionate about them, and that makes the experience even more intense! I was dancing like crazy, smiling and bumping around strangers, looking at each other and exclaiming, “This is so amazing!”
3. They played Tin Man, Balance, Spirit, Back in the Tall Grace, Seasons and all my favourite songs.
4. The best part: Climbing the stage (well, the front row practically threw me up the stage) to dance with Samuel Herring during the finale! EXHILARATING! Have you seen the Melkweg Max packed to the max (hehe) from the stage?! With everyone around you dancing and jumping like whackos? I did!
5. IT’S FUTURE ISLANDS! <3
Like I told M, they're just so positive and full of good energy, the crowd can just feel it. Their songs are so powerful and empowering, with the most beautiful, poetic lyrics. Like a post-it that you want to keep in your mind forever. I once saw an article about their song-writing, the writer said he would like to make kitchen tiles out of Future Islands lyrics. I can totally relate. 🙂
See you again soon, Future Islands. We love you!
Ask Me Anything is a series of questions given by my friends and answered by me, Angel! If you have any questions that you would like me to answer, or if you’re just plain curious about me (because I am such a superstar), feel free to send me a message!
1. What’s the strongest image you have from your childhood?
I have a way of remembering memories that my closest friends would know – it’s like remembering a capsule of time complete with the colour of light, the feel of the air, the smell (and when I “see” that stamp of memory again in some future time, I will remember the old memory so crisply and almost painfully, because I can almost touch it but it’s not there..)
One of the strongest pockets of memory I have in my childhood is the rain in Manila, particularly the strong stormy ones, the kind that make the schools call off classes and send everyone home. Of course being children, this is one of the best things that can happen to us! I distinctly remember that feeling of anticipation – waiting in our classrooms looking outside, desperately wishing that they call off classes already.
In high school, we sometimes hang out for a little bit in the school canteen when classes are called off. I remember the chocolate granita I used to buy there all the time! Now when it rains heavily, I wish for that chocolate granita..
What’s even better is when I wake up to a grey, dark morning with the heavy raindrops crashing on the roof and secretly smiling to myself because more often than not, it means there are no classes for that day! I love snuggling back in the covers and enjoying the cool air from the rain. Later in the day, I’ll watch cartoons on TV – Cedie, or Heidi or The Little Princess. My grandparents still had their small carinderia downstairs then, so I’ll just go down and get a bowl of warm goto (rice porridge with meat) or sopas (creamy chicken noodle soup). It was so cozy.
2. With which famous personality would you most identify with?
I never really thought about it! Maybe a mixture of Kirsten Dunst, Julian Casablancas and Victoria LeGrand? And the talent of Vincent Van Gogh (but not his anxieties and luck haha). And of course, the woman who I share my birthday with: Amelia Earhart.
In addition to being an aviation pioneer and the first aviatrix to fly across the Atlantic, she is a true women’s rights advocate. She worked with coaching women in their careers, and inspired them with her passion. She said:
Life really begins when you have discovered that you can do anything you want.
– Amelia Earhart
3. What’s the nicest poem in Filipino and how would you translate it?
I don’t really have a favourite one, so I did some research. I came across a really nice poem from Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. It’s called Awit ng Manlalakbay (The Song of the Traveler). You can hear me reciting it here, and you can read the text of the English translation further down. 🙂
Awit Ng Manlalakbay
Kagaya ng dahong nalanta, nalagas,
Sinisiklut-siklot ng hanging marahas;
Abang manlalakbay ay wala nang liyag,
Layuin, kalulwa’t bayang matatawag.
Hinahabul-habol yaong kapalarang
Mailap at hindi masunggab-sunggaban;
Magandang pag-asa’y kung nanlalabo man,
Siya’y patuloy ring patungo kung saan!
Sa udyok ng hindi nakikitang lakas,
Silanga’t Kanlura’y kanyang nililipad,
Mga minamahal ay napapangarap,
Gayon din ang araw ng pamamanatag.
Sa pusod ng isang disyertong mapanglaw,
Siya’y maaaring doon na mamatay,
Limot ng daigdig at sariling bayan,
Kamtan nawa niya ang kapayapaan!
Dami ng sa kanya ay nangaiinggit,
Ibong naglalakaby sa buong daigdig,
Hindi nila tanto ang laki ng hapis
Na sa kanyang puso ay lumiligalig.
Kung sa mga tanging minahal sa buhay
Siya’y magbalik pa pagdating ng araw,
Makikita niya’y mga guho lamang
At puntod ng kanyang mga kaibigan.
Abang manlalakbay! Huwag nang magbalik,
Sa sariling baya’y wala kang katalik;
Bayaang ang puso ng iba’y umawit,
Lumaboy kang muli sa buong daigdig.
Abang manlalakbay! Bakit babalik pa?
Ang luhang inyukol sa iyo’y tuyo na;
Abang manlalakbay! Limutin ang dusa,
Sa hapis ng tao, mundo’y nagtatawa.
Here’s the English translation:
The Song Of The Traveler
A withered leaf which flies uncertainly
And hurled about by furious hurricanes,
So goes the traveler about the world,
No guide, no hope, no fatherland, no love.
Anxiously he seeks a better fortune
And fickle fortune always takes to flight;
A shadow vain that mocks at his desire!
For her the wanderer has plowed the seas.
Driven on by hands invisible,
Wandering from land to weary land,
Only memories to keep him company,
Of loved ones and of bygone happier days.
A tomb perhaps upon the desert
Calls him–refuge sweet of peace,–
Where, by his country and the world forgotten,
Tranquil he may sleep who knew such pain.
And if they envy this sad traveler
When he speeds so swiftly round the world,
Ah, little do they know that in his soul
Exist an aching void for want of love.
Should the wanderer turn back to his country,
And to his home, it may be, make his way,
He would find but snow and ruins everywhere,
All love destroyed, and sepulchres,–no more.
On, then, traveler, pursue your journey,
Stranger to the land where you were born.
Letting others sing their songs of love
And feel their joys, you fare on again.
And traveler, as you go, do not turn back,
For none will shed a tear to say farewell,
Go, pilgrim, try to drown your sorrow,
Because the world but scoffs when strangers grieve.
If this won’t make you smile just a little bit, I don’t know what will! 🙂
5. If you were a painter, what would end up on your canvas?
I wish I could paint! Right now, I’m very attracted to Dutch Golden Age paintings, especially still life with vibrant flowers against a dark background.
Master of the Veneration of Maria, Lilies and Thornless Roses in a Glass Vase
Abraham Mignon, Still Life with Squirrel and Goldfinch
Abraham Mignon, The Nature as a Symbol of Vanitas
Jacob van Walscapelle, Flowers in a Glass Vase
Jacob van Walscapelle, A Swag of Flowers
Abraham Mignon, Bouquet with Cat and Mouse Trap
In contrast to still life’s solid and vivid compositions, I would also paint a dreamy, almost-fading-away piece like those of contemporary Dutch painter (my favourite!) Chris Berens‘ works. I’ve never seen anything like his work before.
I interviewed him for Arts Holland a couple of years back. These photos are from his Amsterdam series. You can read the interview here and see more of his amazing paintings here.
Chris Berens, December 5th
Chris Berens, (Rendesvous At) Brug 36
Chris Berens, Aemstelredamme
Chris Berens, Polder
Chris Berens, The Spinsters of Oudeschans
___ This set of questions is brought to you by my good friend Mario de Vries. Mario is a talented interior and design artist who works at Moooi Amsterdam. He loves bonfires, dreams of living in Norway someday and believes he was a sailor in his past life.
1. Watching The Fault in Our Stars (with my boyfriend) in Holland is magic. A cosmic bonus: one of my favourite songs (Strange Things Will Happen) from my favourite band in the whole world (The Radio Dept.) played in one of the scenes, without me knowing that they are part of the soundtrack! The best surprise ever. I just love moments like that.
Me and M recorded this specific song during the time we just met. I took out my phone, he learned the chords quickly, and then we recorded it on that one snowy night. Later on, I made it into a movie which was an entry for Stockholm Shorts 2011. It was all DIY – I recorded a spontaneous Skype conversation (he was in Holland, I was in Singapore) and put the music over it. It brings back all the warm and fuzzy feelings. Aww. You can see it here:
“Work and leisure are complementary parts of the same living process and cannot be separated without destroying the joy of work and the bliss of leisure.” – E.F. Schumacher
3. I spent a lot of time in the sun this weekend. I saw Marloes again, after a long time! We walked around town, ate ice cream with loads of sprinkles, walked into shops to smell shampoo, and hung out at Roof Garden. We played N64 there and I beat her thrice at Super Smash Bros. Hehe!
4. I saw Case Mayfield play live at Roof Garden today – it was super dreamy. Then I ran into Marloes again at the Albert Heijn. We had drinks and sat in the sun with Pim at TAPE.
5. A big birthday box arrived last Friday from home! It was filled with presents from my parents, one of my favourites is an old Mary lamp from my childhood. It’s absolutely beautiful- it reminds me of my mother, prayer and solemn, quiet memories.
6. Things I am loving lately: sweet popcorn, vanilla and tonka bean oil diffusers, my succulent plant in a pink pot, dogs, a crazy little goat called Jerry, cheering for my team when it wins, chocolate chip poptarts, being on Softly Sometimes and wearing my Swedish clogs. I also loved talking with my best friends on the other side of the world again, helping a friend who’s getting married with social media stuff, and Facetiming with parents. 🙂
Perfect title, perfect song. This album by Snowbird is exquisite, beautiful and all the grand adjectives my heart cannot put into words. Stream “Moon” a few days in advance before its official release here.
Oh how music can change everything, in a heartbeat, in a moment.
Arcade Fire’s latest music video/ short concert film is directed by legendary Roman Coppola, splattered with fantastic visuals, neon lights, dancing and humour. Highlights include cameos by James Franco, Ben Stiller, Bono, and Michael Cera (adorably complaining in Spanish and dropping jokes about Mumford and Sons, hehe).
Coppola directed all of The Strokes’ videos from Is This It, and the song 12:51, which is my favourite Strokes song. He also directed Phoenix’s Funky Squaredance, which is now part of New York’s Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.
Everything Coppola is just so dreamy and magical, don’t you think?