Q&A with Vienna, December 2007

Chat and sip. Beret optional.

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Scot
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Postby Scot » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:35 pm

arcsol wrote:[
i just had to ask the question - because other than word-of-mouth through forums, blogs and others (not that efficient, depends on a lot of stuff going your way), giving original CDs or bootlegs of the stuff from archive.org as gifts (hella expensive if you think about it) and pointing people to archive.org, i can't think of any (LEGAL) means of pimping vienna and her music here in a land of covers and flash-in-the-pans and *gasp!* bands whose only assets (if you can call them that) are trying-hard-to-be-bishie band members among others.


Word of mouth tends to be very effective. Slow, but generally effective. I've
turned many people on to Vienna's music and it usually just takes one
good listen. I played City Hall recently from my brother and his "partner"
and my brother said "wow- she stirs the soul, doesn't she". That's the
one brother Vienna hasn't (yet) met, by the way. :>

Nice post, arc!

s
My little attempt at a Vienna Teng WWW page (Set lists, song info., and more...)

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Postby arcsol » Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:26 am

maybe it falls upon the pimp (pardon the term lol) to 'responsibly' choose a song that will touch the potential convert in some way. some people will not appreciate 1Br1Ba; one constant winner is 'lullabye for a stormy night' and 'eric's song' (what a lucky guy, this eric). so there

<-- goes back to the terminal to beat the deadline to death
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Do check out the 2014 Vienna Teng PHILIPPINES tour thread!

Drop a line and say hi! Post on the thread, leave a PM if you want, or send an email at marc dot a dot public at gmail dot com so we can make this happen!

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Postby WintermoonSnow » Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:58 am

Scot wrote:Word of mouth tends to be very effective. Slow, but generally effective. I've
turned many people on to Vienna's music and it usually just takes one
good listen. s


I agree! On New Year's eve, I was over at my friend's house and I brought my Vienna Teng Live DVD with me to show and it didn't take long for them to like her. My friend's Dad said "Harbor" was the best song (though we didn't get to watch for the last 3 songs because everyone decided to play a board game ^^; ). OKay, I guess that really wasn't word of mouth, that was me taking something over there and having them watch and listen...but still, I tell a lot of my friends about her and when I can I try to have them listen to the CD with me or I have them go to a concert with me, and they're usually blown away.

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Postby LiliMarlene » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:10 pm

Vienna,
first of all, I must thank you so much for great songs - your three albums are all on my "Top 10 albums-ever" list! I listen to them all the time and I'm always amazed all over again how great music and lyric are! I must say I'm quite sad because in my country people hasn't heard your music, so I can't hope to see you in live (I live in small, small, small and stupid country in Europe, on Balkan - Serbia).

My question to you (I hope this wasn't asked) is will there be new album in this New Year? :D

I hope you'll have great year!!!

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Postby Vienna » Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:56 pm

Hi. Had to duck out for a few days to wrestle with Finale™, but I'm back now.

TOURING

arcsol wrote:any chance of going by here in the Philippines?

jrianne wrote:I was at your concert in SLC [...] when are you coming back to this neck of the woods?

soone wrote:when would you come to China to hold a concert or have you ever thought about that?

echoingstreetsigns wrote:any chance you'll be playing in vermont and/or near austin soon?


I won't be touring much for at least the first half of this year, as I devote time to writing. There are a few more dates in Germany in the works, and the occasional gig when I happen to be in a town for another reason. There'll be a full-blown U.S. tour when the next album comes out—hopefully with a much improved Green Caravan v2.0!

Thanks to the folks in Asia for the persistent requests! I'm going to keep working on making a trip across the Pacific. Not so easy to orchestrate, but when there's a will...

dreaminghour wrote:you're now working out of the NYC area, so any shows/gigs you do, will probably stay pretty local. These shows you do, will there be notices on this website about them? And, will there be notice about whether the shows are in bars for anyone 21 years old and older? And will the notice be in enough advance that people could take off from work?


Most New York venues are 21+, since they rely on alcohol sales to make the music-hosting part worthwhile. We'll try to email the list (well, just the people with NYC area zipcodes) about any all-ages shows, and make a note of it when we post dates on the tour page of this site. Generally the information on a show goes up as soon as it's 100% confirmed. Hope that helps!

teahobbyist wrote:any chance you'll be coming back to SF to perform in a non-21+ club?
If you don't have an answer, could you possibly suggest several sure fire methods of inconspicuously strolling into the Independent?


Ha! If I knew any, unfortunately, I sure couldn't post them on a Google-archivable webpage. ;)

I'll be at The Bazaar Cafe this Saturday. Don't know if that's too short notice, but no age restrictions there. Last spring's show at Palace of Fine Arts was all-ages too. We do actively try to find venues that work for everybody who wants to come.

Kaoru wrote:What do you miss while being on tour? (beside family & friends)


I don't necessarily miss home when I'm on tour, but over time I do notice the trade-offs of a life without routine. (The grass is always greener on the other side, right?) It's hard to commit to anything that meets on a weekly basis, or to take up projects that need day-to-day attention. Can't have pets or plants. There are times I almost wish I commuted to work and had a favorite TV show, a book club, a poker game every Friday night.

Did your tour through Europe influence your music?


I never know what influences my music until I'm writing a particular song, sometimes not even then...but I'm sure Europe's gotten under my skin in ways I haven't fully realized yet.

What did you bring back home as your personal souvenir?


Postcards, photographs, and stroopwafels. :)

What is your favourite German word? ( I realized that your German had quite improved since your last trip

coffee!sugar wrote:-How’s the German coming along?


Still genau. Or maybe kartoffel. Had to put language lessons aside for now, but I'll be back to the phrasebook before the trip in May.

-How good is you Mandarin?


Good enough for parents of other American-born Chinese to say "hey, your accent's not bad!" My vocabulary gives out after a few sentences of adult-level conversation, though.

teahobbyist wrote:In Germany, did you go to Frankfurt? If so, where were you there? Did you perform in the Old Opera House there?


Just the airport thus far. Hope to see the city itself on a future trip!

mtns842 wrote:As a female musician, would you say that you feel a part of a community of women musicians? If Lillith Fair was still going on, would you go on tour as part of it? Do you ever anticipate that you and any like-minded female musicians might ever try to put together a tour of female artists that is a "daughter" of Lillith Fair?


The indie singer-songwriter world is more gender-balanced than most, I think, so I've never felt marginalized as a female musician; I do feel like I belong to a warm and supportive community, but there are as many men as women in it. I loved the idea of Lilith Fair when it came out, and even applied to play on the local artists stage (this was before I'd released anything other than a four-song demo, and never played a live show—not too big a surprise that they didn't select me!). My favorite aspect of Lilith Fair was its collaborative spirit, much like Bonnaroo, where artists would join one another on stage. If I ever put together a tour of several acts, that would be the main attraction: one big family of very talented folks.

spyfferoni wrote:If you could tour with any band/artist and open for them who would it be?


I'd always wanted to open for Nickel Creek, and came close a few times, but they've retired and moved on to solo projects, alas.

Who would be your ideal/dream opening act on a tour you were headlining?


I loved how The Animators stole the show at Freight & Salvage back in 2004, just Alex and Devon with their songcraft and witty banter. I like playing with artists whose music I endorse wholeheartedly, and who raise the bar for my own performance.

My_Name_Is_Daniel wrote:what is your ideal size of venue?


I don't have one ideal size right now. Playing at Mo Pitkins in New York (capacity ~75) reminded me how much I enjoy being able to sense each individual in the room. 200-500 feels like an event, pressure in a good way, an expectant tingling in the air that I try to live up to. When it gets up in the thousands, surreality kicks in; it's absurd that this many people would focus their attention on a handful of musicians, yet there it is, and there we are riding that wave of energy. So I get different things out of different shows, as one might expect.

do you mind if other musicians (ie, me) play covers of your songs in our own small shows?


Mind? I'd be honored! :)

Here's Johnny wrote:I have never heard a live performance of the song "Drought". Any reason for this?


Were you the one who asked for it at The Independent? :) No particular reason; some songs just go out of rotation. I don't think I've done "Anna Rose" for a while either. Also, sometimes two or three songs play similar roles in a set, and it only makes sense to include one of them. And of course there's the matter of what I've had the other musicians learn.

cmooreNC wrote:Have you ever been offered or considered an "opening act" slot on someone else's tour? (one that might at least be playing 2,000+ seat venues, if not arenas)


I'd take it if I were! I've gotten to do a handful of shows like that, and they're a lot of fun.

Digital wrote:Is there any one particular show that stands out from all the others you've performed? More importantly, why? The audience? Your mood? Something in your life? What you ate before you went on? First show?

Also, is there any ritual you go through before you go onstage?


There's isn't just one, no. At a handful of shows, all the stars have aligned: great sound, great room, great audience, the band is on, the piano's inspiring. Then there are two more factors: whether I lose myself in the music, and whether the between-song rambling works. Oddly, those two things seem to happen more often when something else goes wrong—some kind of subconscious determination to make the best of a situation, maybe. I don't think there's one show where absolutely everything fell into place. I almost like it that way, though. Keeps it interesting. Keeps me hoping that if I keep working at this, it'll happen someday.

My ritual when I'm solo is to have no ritual. I want walking onstage to feel as natural as walking into the kitchen to make lunch. With the band, we like to have a pre-show huddle right before we go on, just to remind ourselves to have fun and enjoy each other. Back in the dressing room, sometimes we do hilarious vocal warm-ups that Dina learned from her theater training.

Rotkehlchen wrote:Have you ever arrived at a venue without your keyboard and been offered a particularly recalcitrant piano for the evening?


I've danced with many less-than-sexy partners, yes. The most memorable one was in Charlotte, North Carolina, when it wasn't entirely clear if the pedals would stay attached to the piano through the set. At Joe's Pub in New York, the low G string snapped (and went flying over Dina and Alex's heads, apparently). Quite an adventure re-arranging my left hand parts for that one.

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Postby echoingstreetsigns » Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:39 am

Vienna wrote:I'd always wanted to open for Nickel Creek, and came close a few times, but they've retired and moved on to solo projects, alas.


i would have traveled pretty much anywhere in the world to see that combination! maybe they will get back together at some point...*is hopeful*

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Postby Dreaming Pepper » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:37 am

Vienna wrote:
Digital wrote:Is there any one particular show that stands out from all the others you've performed? More importantly, why? The audience? Your mood? Something in your life? What you ate before you went on? First show?

Also, is there any ritual you go through before you go onstage?


There's isn't just one, no. At a handful of shows, all the stars have aligned: great sound, great room, great audience, the band is on, the piano's inspiring. Then there are two more factors: whether I lose myself in the music, and whether the between-song rambling works. Oddly, those two things seem to happen more often when something else goes wrong—some kind of subconscious determination to make the best of a situation, maybe. I don't think there's one show where absolutely everything fell into place. I almost like it that way, though. Keeps it interesting. Keeps me hoping that if I keep working at this, it'll happen someday.

My ritual when I'm solo is to have no ritual. I want walking onstage to feel as natural as walking into the kitchen to make lunch. With the band, we like to have a pre-show huddle right before we go on, just to remind ourselves to have fun and enjoy each other. Back in the dressing room, sometimes we do hilarious vocal warm-ups that Dina learned from her theater training.

Rotkehlchen wrote:Have you ever arrived at a venue without your keyboard and been offered a particularly recalcitrant piano for the evening?


I've danced with many less-than-sexy partners, yes. The most memorable one was in Charlotte, North Carolina, when it wasn't entirely clear if the pedals would stay attached to the piano through the set. At Joe's Pub in New York, the low G string snapped (and went flying over Dina and Alex's heads, apparently). Quite an adventure re-arranging my left hand parts for that one.


I remember the g-string incident quite well! :D I thought it was really entertaining!!

You don't drink super weird herbal tea, do some yoga, chew some ginseng as a pre show warm up?
Whoa.. I remembered my sign-in information!

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Postby arcsol » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:45 am

oh! me me have a question too!

can you now play 'Free bird'? :D

(followers of the archive.org recordings most likely know the back story for this question)
A VT fan from the Philippines?

Do check out the 2014 Vienna Teng PHILIPPINES tour thread!

Drop a line and say hi! Post on the thread, leave a PM if you want, or send an email at marc dot a dot public at gmail dot com so we can make this happen!

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Postby tanthalas » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:50 am

arcsol wrote:oh! me me have a question too!

can you now play 'Free bird'? :D

(followers of the archive.org recordings most likely know the back story for this question)


not yet. i yelled out for it (since there was a bunch of yelled out requests, and since her friend eddie hadn't arrived yet :D) at the early indy show this year, but she said she still hasn't learned it yet.

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Postby Reileen » Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:12 am

Vienna wrote:Hi. Had to duck out for a few days to wrestle with Finale™, but I'm back now.


Do you have Finale Notepad or the version that you actually have to pay for? XD Whatever the version, what's your thoughts on it? I used Notepad for a little bit to transcribe/compose a rearrangement of a video game theme I was working on, but when I actually tried to transcribe something that I'd fully composed in my head, I sort of failed hardcore at it. :oops:
"You've made us swear our souls to you
And blamed us for your poisoned grace."


Reileen van Kaile
http://www.voxgraphicastudio.com

if(!u){i=null;}
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Postby if(!u){i=null;} » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:11 am

Whilst in Vienna, have you ever been in the Musikverein on Bösendorferstraße? I snuck a peek through the door once. Ever had the opportunity or desire to attend the famed New Year’s Day Concert there? It's something that's captivated me most of my life - need more luck in the January ticket lottery though. One day… The crypt tour at St. Stephens and a stroll through the gardens of Schloss Schönbrunn are a must. So much history and music in your namesake.

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Postby arcsol » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:18 am

Vienna wrote:At Joe's Pub in New York, the low G string snapped (and went flying over Dina and Alex's heads, apparently)


note to self. do not do stuff while half-awake and more or less not in control of your slush-disguised-as-a-brain. i read 'flying g-string' then mind goes to the gutter, thinking 'i should get to Joe's Pub'. jeez. '>>

another question for vienna (and anyone who happens to know). i wanna play 'Nothing without you' using the Clothespin Technique™. how do you do that? dbeattie told me to use a certain tuning then half-barres. what are the chord shapes used? if i'm not that busy, i'll see if i can figure out how to play the song sans the retuning.

thanks!
A VT fan from the Philippines?

Do check out the 2014 Vienna Teng PHILIPPINES tour thread!

Drop a line and say hi! Post on the thread, leave a PM if you want, or send an email at marc dot a dot public at gmail dot com so we can make this happen!

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Houston performance

Postby Here's Johnny » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:11 am

Vienna,

The next time you are in Houston playing at the Mucky Duck, what are the chances of you doing a separate show at Cy-Fair College. I teach English there, and there is an enrollment of about 14,000 students now. It's a relatively new school, so they have nice facilities. Would something like this be possible?

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Re: Vienna imitation

Postby Vienna » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:10 pm

Here's Johnny wrote:Daniel mentioned playing covers of Vienna's music, and it reminded me of something. There's a video on youtube of a guy playing the album version of Gravity (instrumental only).

Check it out, Vienna. It's a nice tribute, with a bit of improv interspersed.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=CeeFwCd3X0E


Oh, this makes me so happy. :)

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Postby Vienna » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:24 pm

sheeba wrote:NPR just aired an interesting story,Issa Reinvents More Than Music Sales, on Jane Siberry, digital distribution/self determined and creative pricing.


Great article—thanks, Sheeba!

I was particularly intrigued by this statement:

"We are returning to more of the original vibration of music and creativity through the removal of this distortion called the music industry," Issa says. "That's where we're heading, and it'll cut out a lot of music if people ever expected to make money, and people will even cut down on the songs they put out. Maybe put three songs out in your whole life — no rush to do it."

I'm sure it's maddening to their fans, but I'm fascinated with non-superstar artists who put music out once in a blue moon: Mark Hollis, Steve Tibbetts, maybe Issa someday. How do they sustain an audience? Are there conscious reasons for creating music at such a measured pace?


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