Q&A with Vienna, December 2007

Chat and sip. Beret optional.

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Vienna
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Postby Vienna » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:04 am

'Evening DP:

Dreaming Pepper wrote:
1.] Soooooooooo, Vienna, did you like our socks? Or did you find it strange to get a horde of socks given to you? You can be honest! Maybe next time should be hats...


By now I know well enough that y'all are weird, weird people, so the socks didn't surprise me. ;) I have been wearing some of them (the thick, one-color ones) more than the novelty pairs, I'll admit. Can't find the outfit that goes with the Boston Red Sox yet.

Dreaming Pepper wrote:
2.] Amongst the cries of us Forumers, what did YOU think of the DVD release of the WCL show?


I think with anything live, there are always a dozen things I'd like to do over again. As natural as it felt (and as impressive as it was to some folks, apparently) to play everything just once that night, it didn't give the production crew a whole lot of options when it came to editing. I was pretty relaxed for most part, but I did stumble a lot when talking, so we ended up cutting a lot of the introductions to songs, which we'd been hoping to include. Also, I'd like not to have lost the glockenspiel in New York the night before...

But overall it was an amazing weekend, and I'm glad that it's the first official document of a show. I'm sure we'll do another one sometime.

Dreaming Pepper wrote:3.] Have you rocked out lately? :wink: :)


I need a good pair of oversized sunglasses first. (No, on second thought—please don't buy me any.) I make a pretty decent groupie for other bands, actually. Always ready to scream and climb up on stage for some crappy tambourine playing.

Vienna
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Postby Vienna » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:41 am

Bowing to the Chairman...

Ang Mo wrote:Question #1, two parts
How are you? Did you enjoy Europe and its cuisine?


There are about seven answers to "How are you?" The aggregate goes something like "Feeling like the luckiest kid on earth, thanks for asking."

I had to go vegetarian for a while after all the gourmet sausage + bacon + cold cuts + roasts we had in Germany, three or four times a day. (Our tour manager Riks was vegetarian, interestingly, but he had more practice and self-restraint than I.) And if you go to the Netherlands, be forewarned that the stroopwafels are highly addictive. I sent a bag of the little caramel-and-cookie wonders home to the folks and got an Ode to Stroopwafel in my inbox from Dad, who does not write odes to anything so far as I know.

Ang Mo wrote:Question #2
What was your most memorable moment on tour this year?


The whole year? Oh boy. Well...hanging out with Glen Phillips and his band at a Belgian frites place, after the show in Seattle, was pretty fantastic. He's one of the kindest, most intelligent human beings I've met, and that's saying a lot.

Seeing Dina and Marika roll up their sleeves and pick up power tools at the Habitat DeConstruction site in Austin was awesome too. Who says you can't be a badass on both the cello AND the nail gun?

Ang Mo wrote:Question #3
Will you tour Asia next year?


I'm toying with the idea of buying one of those round-the-world tickets and trying to play concerts along the way. Taiwan and the Philippines would be stops for sure, and I think I've gotten a few emails from Brazil. I started to apply to perform with Armed Forces Entertainment too, though I imagine they'd have a hard time placing a quiet solo songwriter type. Anyway, I guess the answer is: probably not, but you never know!

Vienna
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Postby Vienna » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:47 am

Dreaming Pepper wrote:Q: Have you ever felt any form of onset of being bored, doing what you are doing?


Boredom, no. Plateaus, yes. Or maybe they're two ways of looking at the same thing. One is a state you fall victim to; the other is something you're responsible for changing.
Last edited by Vienna on Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

Vienna
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Postby Vienna » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:04 am

tanthalas wrote:How did those improv and dance-fighting classes go? Are you going to demo some moves for the SF shows? ;)


Hi Calvin!

Hey, thanks for helping EC out with the dim sum the other day. ;)

Studying improv comedy and capoeira is great training for songwriting and playing with a band; they require lightning-fast mental work, an openness to ideas, and knowing how to use your skills to serve your partner/group (and the audience, of course). I'm still abysmally bad at both, but they're great fun even at this level, so whenever I'm in town for longer than a week I make sure to get back to practice.

By the way, I highly recommend Impro by Keith Johnstone to anyone interested in the creative process, or tapping into other kinds of consciousness in general. Got a couple of song ideas just from doing exercises out of that book.

tomballjerry
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standards

Postby tomballjerry » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:20 am

Vienna,

I've often thought while listening to your gentle voice how well-suited it is to some of the standard songs of the 40's, 50's etc. Of course, the information we have about your personal musical influence doesn't include this genre. But, I know that you have the ability to put together a collection of these songs, perhaps with your own twist. Just something to think about for 20 years down the road. :idea: :D

On a different note, the other day my 4-year-old twin boys were trying to sing a tune while we were driving. We couldn't make it out at first, but then we realized they were singing Whatever You Want (just the chorus part over and over and over again). Thought I might video record it and send you a link for it in the near future.

disneyphish
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Welcome to Sunny Florida!

Postby disneyphish » Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:06 am

Hi, Vienna!

My question is: What would it take to get you to play in Orlando? Disney tickets? I can arrange that! Key lime pie? I'll bake you a couple.

I just love your voice. You played at a school over by Tampa, and I was saving the date, and then found out that it was closed to students at that school. So it'll mean that much more when I can finally hear you live. You are so amazing and inspirational, and I wish you the best always.

Merry Atheist Christmas,

Sarah

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Postby CandaceC » Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:12 am

So...uhm...

What is the ACTUAL name of the "new" version of Gravity? I mean, we have tons of names -- ripple, ocean, thingy, whatever...but hey, it's your song. Just ignore our creepy.

msgogether
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Postby msgogether » Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:36 am

Hello Ms. Teng,

May I add my two cents?

No questions - just a few comments:

I am SO glad I found your MySpace page. Or it found me, I think. Either way, my gratitude is endless. You are Amazing.

I actually go there (to your MySpace page) to get dressed sometimes: I step into your music like a favorite pair of jeans; slide into your melodies like a treasured t-shirt; wrap your voice around me like a shawl.

There are times, I promise, when all I have to do is "wear" you, your voice, your words, your music, your songs...and all is right in my world again.

Your songs are powerful. Amazing. Appreciated. Breathtaking. Beautiful.

Don't doubt for a second that you are, too.

With much thanks and admiration,

Reese
"I'm astoundingly fortunate to have this life; the trick is continuing to deserve it." ~Vienna Teng

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Postby Ang Mo » Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:33 am

Thank you Vienna for the kind and generous words and for taking the time at answering those three questions so completely.

It is interesting to note that someone of your young age has managed to bring so many different kinds of people, from all walks of life, from all age groups, from different religions, from different political groups, from different parts of the globe, and unite them in spite of these many differences to where they can all come and enjoy your music and share the common bond that you create and perform great music. Keep up the good work!

On a second note, I think you would make a great United Nations Ambassador.
--the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved once and for all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?

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Postby rtu » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:04 am

Stroopwafels are indeed addictive. a friend from the netherlands gave me some and i couldn't stop eating them. but where can you get them outside of the netherlands?

vienna, for your scrapbook postings, do you keep a journal and then just post certain entries from it or do you just write them when you have time?

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Postby spyfferoni » Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:28 pm

Hi Vienna! I hope you'll make it back to Utah again soon. I have two questions that are repeats from last year, because I asked them too late.

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

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

One more:

Ever thought of doing a covers album???

Tyffanie

Your music keeps me sane!!!

Vienna
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Postby Vienna » Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:53 pm

Reileen wrote:Do you like playing video games? :oops:


*waves to Reileen* Is Chicago as cold as New York right now?

I got into SSX (the snowboarding game) for a while, and computer puzzler games like Oxyd and Myst were childhood favorites; other than that, not really. Earlier this year I found myself in an arcade playing a Normandy-invasion-esque shooter game. The graphics were hyper-realistic, and all the bad guys were wearing white turbans that got spattered red when I hit them. That was nauseating enough to turn me off all things involving a "fire weapon" button.

generalemon
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Postby generalemon » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:09 pm

Greetings again, mates, and especially Vienna!

Vienna wrote:I got into SSX (the snowboarding game) for a while, and computer puzzler games like Oxyd and Myst were childhood favorites; other than that, not really. Earlier this year I found myself in an arcade playing a Normandy-invasion-esque shooter game. The graphics were hyper-realistic, and all the bad guys were wearing white turbans that got spattered red when I hit them. That was nauseating enough to turn me off all things involving a "fire weapon" button.


May I suggest "Rock Band" for the PS2, PS3, and XBox 360. If you feel like learning the drums anytime soon and having fun doing so, you gotta play this game! Try it with your band. However, if you need another band member, count me in!

Vienna wrote:What kind of pie DON'T I like? Actually, I know the answer to that: steak & kidney. Had that in a British pub after my first gig in London, and I think the aftertaste is still with me.


I'm currently in London right now. What is the name of the pub? I would like to try that steak and kidney pie for myself. :)

Also, will you be here anytime soon? I introduced your music to some of my British friends here. I'm sure they would love to listen to you live. Not to mention, London loves and misses you, too. Click here to see what I mean.

Finally, out of all the time spent on touring this year, did you get a chance to watch any films? If so, what are your recommendations?

See you at the Dec 22 Independent concert when I come back!

Cheers!
Last edited by generalemon on Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Vienna
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Postby Vienna » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:48 pm

Hi Clarinet! Always good to see you here...

Clarinet wrote:Are there any evident differences between the live audiences in America and Europe, or between East and West coast of the United States, or between NorCal and SoCal, in how they respond, listen, and interact with you and your songs during live shows?


I've been wondering recently where the delineations lie—they don't seem to be geographic necessarily. The shows in Germany have been consistently fantastic, but that may be to the credit of the venues (lovely jazz clubs and 200-seat performing arts centers, with great acoustics), the promoters and the record label (for advertising extensively to the right audience), state sponsorship of the arts, etc. as much as the quality of German concertgoers in general. It's probably a symbiotic relationship between all of the above.

Sometimes it's cultural, but even then generalizations break down. In 2003, when I played in San Francisco for a Chinese cultural event, I felt panicky and puzzled the whole time: why was it so quiet? Were they not enjoying it? Was this only something to endure, like an eight-year-old's piano recital? But many of them bought multiple CDs afterward; it just wasn't a particularly demonstrative group. On the other hand, when I performed for an MTV Chi broadcast—also a mostly-Chinese audience—the screaming started when I walked out and pretty much kept going for the whole fifteen minutes. (That was puzzling in a whole new way, let me tell you.) The Midwest can be effusive or very reserved, depending; Atlanta might be rowdy and talkative on one tour, mellow the next time through.

Alcohol, the architecture and vibe of the room, standing or seated, the time of year, the age spread, how full or empty the room is, the ticket price, the hour when we take the stage, who played before us...all these are factors I've noticed more than East vs. West Coast, North America vs. Europe. It's different from night to night, definitely. But like ethnic or gender differences, whenever you try pinning down exactly what those qualities are, you start getting into trouble...

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Postby Vienna » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:59 pm

Scot wrote:Oh yeah- and what happened with the Broadway audition?


Well, I auditioned. They haven't called since; probably needed somebody who could sing many decibels louder. And who could actually act. I felt like a mouse among bluejays up there in that casting studio, but it was fun to try.


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