Greetings and Salutations

From Altringen to Lhasa

In Concerts, news on September 28, 2012 at 5:56 am

Dear friends, here we go again. It’s been a long wait, but I’m happy that my Earshot initiative hasn’t run out of fuel and perspectives. This time, our love for music took us outside the city, in the tiny village of Altringen. It’s the smallest village in Banat region, but covered by a great vast sky. Although located some 50km away from Timisoara, on the 22nd of September it received its visitors. This charming landscape of gentle hills and rich forests was chosen as epicenter for our 3rd event.

The event gathered around 70 beautiful people on a magic starry night, with a purpose exceeding fun and curiosity.  Written on the back of a woodblock-printed Tibetan prayer, the evening’s program read From Altringen to Lhasa. Musicians for Freedom: Mike Altrin & The Slidekicks, Arc Gotic , The :Egocentrics. 22 of September, 2012. Not one, but three live concerts heartily supported a worthy cause:  the respect for human dignity and the freedom of worship for all inhabitants of Tibet.

Why? Well, there are a few things to say about this. First of all, Romania had its share of oppression and sacrifice. 50 years of imposed communism followed by less obvious but still dehumanizing regimes account for the country’s present situation, of a robbed entity trying to walk on jelly legs. Secondly, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting HH the Dalai Lama in India this February. The details of my journey there have no importance in this context. But the impression I got from this encounter, words cannot describe. The Tibetan’s rightful leader is a simple man, yet joy, love and serene power are passing through him like electricity through wire. Paradoxically, the tragedy of his people, which also led to his exile, benefited the westerners, who found inspiration and meaning in his Buddhist teachings. At their core, basic kindness is the most important. I wanted to be able to share even a tiny part of the happiness I felt while meeting this man, and spread the word about the hardships and injustice to which his people are subjected.

The Tibetan flag was set above the stage. As a host, I took on the responsibility to open the event with an announcement that all guests seemed pleased to back up. We were not there only for fun, but to generate good wishes and heartfelt compassion; for those who had to leave their beloved country and homes behind, for those who still burn on Earth for freedom and belief. We invited the bell to sound, and let our feelings be carried by the wind.

Shortly after 6pm, The Slidekicks, a band formed only one month ago, had its first show on the improvised stage behind Casa Altringen.  Offering his superbly reliable drum kicks, Hera proved to have a soul big enough for an entire band. He went through the whole set with ease and hearty style. At his side, Andrei aka The Super Rodriguez slid his hand effortlessly on the base, relaxed, often smiling and spicing the groove where needed. Vlad Sturdza, white shirt and strat, worked its magic with solid feeling and more than once looked like the band’s secret weapon.

The Slidekicks’ two guitars went through old tube radios, which brought a little something to their tone and the whole experience. I felt great hearing them play, even though I’m not sure I was in the sweet-point of their sound, and then got a little too busy turning knobs on highly complicated devices on the floor 🙂

Now, I’ve seen a few Arc Gotic concerts and I thought I knew what they were about: goth-romantic tales of castle ruins and specters, like old dusty sepia pictures. But I have to say I was surprised. Of course everyone experienced their performance in their own way, but to me, it was about the shadows of night that covered the garden as they played.

I very much enjoyed their sound, the dark-dreamy guitar, the haunting violin, the very inspired base sound. Cip, Relu, Borneo and Ciprian were smooth and their somehow reserved attitude on stage went gracefully with the setting and made the stars shine brighter.

The fire was lit in the garden – huge logs, to raise the flames for what was to come. As the evening was turning chilly, people were preparing for the last concert, my personal headliners. The :Egocentrics took the stage like a hurricane, with powerful riffs and merciless beats. Jess, Tavi and Brenn brought everyone close to the stage and fed them rock’n roll. The stone desert kind. And they liked it.

As Brenn’s guitar soared higher and higher, I just had to dance. Vlad joined the power trio on stage for the last piece. Going on and on without losing feeling and authenticity, it was a real treat.

As the concert ended, we knew to have witnessed a graceful evening. The Big Dipper bowed low. Wolves were howling in the distance, but the fire burned ‘til dawn. As morning light washed the garden, I was rambling around. A young couple in smoked crumpled clothes passed me by.  It was just a glimpse, but their eyes were like those of angels.


(Mike’s Earshot wishes to acknowledge DeBoot’s generosity in technically supporting the event.

Big wide smile to all the invitees, whose involvement and spirit of adventure significantly contributed to raising awareness on the Tibetan cause and having a wonderful time.

More photos and recordings are soon to come 🙂

  1. Wonderful happening! I was honored to be invited and participate at this special statement beside true musicians and great friends! Thank you, people, thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: