Monday, 6 October 2014

Pandora's Diary takes jam sessions to a whole new level

Pandora's Diary recorded three acoustic performances in some of Asia's most exotic locations.

With Sarah's soft vocals and some talented guitarists this is one unforgettable jam session, Sarah really has a penchant for performing in some pretty unique locations.

Koh Tao is more laidback then Memories but it seems to go hand in hand with the amazing scenery.

In her own words Pandora's Diary is as a life artist and she adds magic to her life, surroundings and the people she encounters.

Musically she performs both as a solo folk musician and also as part of of the Whirling Dervish Project which also features Maya Curry on Flute and David Naylor on Tabla and she also collaborates with songwriter Leonheard and rapper I.T from time to time.

This talented individual was able to spare a few fleeting moments from her hectic schedule to answer a few questions for us.

How did you get into music in the first place?
Into music... hmmm. My first "band" was with my brothers on air guitar and steel pans from the kitchen and me on vocals in the basement singing "Smooth Criminal"... 

No, I guess that doesn't count... From 2000 - 2001 ran a music cafe in Bukit Lawang in front of the magical rainforest - used to sing covers - acoustic on Wednesdays, full band on Saturdays, waitressing and managing the cafe in between songs. 

Who were your musical influences?
Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, and Dangdut (Indonesian popular folk, a fusion of Arabic, Indian rhythm sections and Portuguese Fadu) 

What tunes are currently on repeat on your Mp3 Player?
Cat Empire: "The Darkness", Gnawa Diffusion "Je voudrais etre un fauteil", Etta James: "I'd Rather Go Blind", Music Cycles "Darling Corey"

Do you often go on musical road trips like you did in Asia?
I try to tour once a year (at least!) 

Last year, I went on a road trip tour of Europe's living rooms, playing 6 gigs in 5 cities across Europe - in 7 days - and made a documentary of the trip together with photographer Endi Suhendi (

At the end of October, I'm going back to Switzerland to play a few living rooms and to share the documentary which is only available live as yet. Our host in Basel is the celloist and one of the vocalists for Swiss classic-folk band, Serafyn  

What’s your life outside of music?
My kids, and working as a German and Indonesian interpreter. 

If you could collaborate with any singer who would it be?
Most of the singers I worship are dead :(

I would love to collaborate with Bipul Chettri, a fantastic Nepalese folk artist, who is currently gaining a lot of success. 

What’s your favourite genre of music?
Anything with a twist of world fusion (Balkan Ska, like Pannonia Ska Orchestra or London's Gypsy Hill, Electroswing, Asian Dub Foundation/Punjabi MC)  

What’s next for you musically and are there plans for a UK Tour?
Currently working on a cross continent collaboration for "Game for Two"

We will be recording Cuban beats in the UK, then guitars in Indonesia, an MC in New Orleans and then back to the UK for flute, bass and vocals, mixing and mastering. 

UK tour, not yet... Switzerland first :) then Germany in December

What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths - networking, organising events and tours, I don't get stressed out easily.
Weakness - a little eccentric and sometimes forget to plan resting time.

Where do you draw inspiration for your song lyrics?
All my song lyrics are extremely personal - that is where the name Pandorasdiary comes from like Smell the Roses comes from learning to let go and the very fact that we can change and live in the moment; or Game for Two about knowing it's the end of a relationship. 

What is your guilty pleasure?
No, I don't listen to deathcore... I love coffee and clove cigarettes. 

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Post By - Boulent Mustafa

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this interview. I met Sarah & Maya, both very charming. They are both interesting musicians, and going to their show inII'klectik in January 2016 was like as if I had been invited to their home.