Tag Archives: Café de Abejas

YLE performance

It’s here! The Finnish National Broadcasting company’s Omatuntoklubi documentary features a live take on La Beauté, along with some extremely beautiful material shot in the studio. The song starts at 1:05, and there’s some merry babbling at the end by a songbird who’s just come off the stage. Easy, the spoken word is not.

– Laura

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September Cocktail: Cynara!

As the days grow short and the nights grow cold, thoughts turn inwards and backwards. This is the time for silent contemplation rather than rowdy merrymaking – and an excellent time for reading poetry. Our cocktail of the month is a warm, spicy blend of Mediterranean delicacies, perfect for those quiet evenings and secret tête-à-têtes. It is inspired by our song Cynara! which is inspired by Ernest Dowson’s poem “Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae”, which in turn borrows its title from Horace’s Odes.

In other words, here’s a healthy dose of intertextual merriment in a glass! If you’re looking for something to impress the ladies with, look no further. If you’re a real Casanova, you memorise the final stanza of Dowson’s poem and deliver it with suitable panache. We guarantee that the night is thine.

cynara

Cynara! ♦

4  parts Samos Nectar*
1  part Brandy
5 parts Hot water
4 Cloves
Orange peel, freshly grated/cut
Grated nutmeg  

Heat the wine and the brandy with the water, but do not bring to a boil. Add the cloves and the orange peel to a wine glass. Pour on the heated wine mixture and the and grate a little nutmeg on top. Summon all the memories of your lost loves. Read the letter you never sent. Cry for madder music, for you have stronger wine.

*(You can use any white dessert wine, such as Sauternes or Tokaji. We tend to stick to Samos Nectar for the sheer joy of quoting Lord Byron as we toast: “Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!” is a line that simply cannot be yelled too often.)

I stumbled upon an excellent introduction to Dowson’s original poem in the Guardian, explaining the connection between Horace’s line and Dowson’s ode to lovesickness. Do read it, and the poem below it, as you’re waiting for your ingredients to heat. Then listen to our song here:

There are many similarities and direct Dowson quotes in Cynara!, but the woman answering the “faithful” lover is not the pale, lost lily the poet remembers. Dowson seems to suggest that Cynara has died an early death, but I pictured a Cynara more advanced in years, contemplating the wound that has bound the poet and the muse together in spite of time and distance.

Cynara!

Do not resort to stronger wine, my love
Under my reign superbly you shall bloom
You may well refuse,
But should you refuse
Then what is it you’re proving, and to whom?

The orbits do their dance, and here we are
The music stops, the dawn is gray again
Insufferably close
Insufferably far
I never was so hungry for the pain.

How could you say that you loved me
When you were my fate
And how could I say that you’ve hurt me
When I was your fatal flaw?

Are you and I as worthless as before,
All charm, and talk, and pride, and sleight of hand?
Our new loves are faint
All sweet, mild restraint
But ours has fetters neither can withstand.

So marry and make merry as you please
Be faithful in your fashion, your design
But when lamps expire,
Oh, when lamps expire,
This prickly thistle sings, the night is mine!

How could you say that you loved me
When you were my fate
And how could I say that you’ve hurt me
When I was your fatal flaw?

– Laura

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“We still have Berlin”

Thank you Berlin! What a great trip full of great people, wonderful audiences and uplifting experiences! We had luck on our side, too, for in spite of the weather forecast predicting a huge thunderstorm for the night of our Amphitheater concert, there was just a light spray of rain. For the first time, we presented the original Dowson poem as an intro for Cynara!, and it felt just great onstage. Now we are burning to make our show even more lush with poems, stories and theatrical elements as well as some new songs. It will be a productive winter.

Time for some Berlin travel tips! For truly great American cocktail classics in suitably austere surroundings, we recommend the Redwood bar. Also, we adored the quirky museum Designpanoptikum – surreales Museum für industrielle Objekte, it’s definitely worth a visit!

We have no words to describe what a pleasure this trip was, but fortunately we have plenty of pictures. Here are some of them, see more on our Facebook! It might be that we’re returning to Berlin sooner than expected, but shhh – it’s still in the making. In the meantime, we’re working hard on the visuals of a music video of a very special song – we try to make it as vivid and rich as possible, so stay tuned!

– Laura & Jere

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(I’d teach you how to) Fly

Hello sweethearts,

here’s a new video for (I’d teach you how to) Fly, shot on the way from the island of Thasos to the Greek mainland a few weeks ago as we were going to visit the Roman site of Philippi on the Via Egnatia. A flock of seagulls followed our ferry, circling around it to a hypnotic, inaudible rhythm. It was beautiful, I was fascinated and captured the gliding birds. Beauty is often so very simple.

This is not really a music video, more like a postcard: It’s a moving photograph, a mindscape, a meditative moment I want to share with you. If you like it, feel free to spread it.

– Laura

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Cynara! live at 12 Grad, Berlin

Here is a video posted on Youtube by the lovely Sylvia Kasprzak from our April pop-up show at 12 Grad, Berlin’s prettiest Steampunk bar! We had such a lovely time there, and it shows.

Berlin was so good to us we cannot wait to return to play at Aphitheater im Monbijoupark, a lovely wooden venue in the heart of the city, on 19th August! Our upcoming concert there has rekindled my dangerous obsession with amphitheatres (I used to study classical Greek,you know), and it may not be long before you start seeing the results here and on our Facebook. Not telling yet!

Here’s our new concert poster though, which combines Juha’s Bonnie & Clyde portrait with Jere’s Art Nouveau design:

2013amphitheater

Enjoy the sun, sweethearts, we intend to! Plenty of time for brooding in the winter, now’s the time for sea, sun and shandy.

– Laura

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July 12, 2013 · 3:12 pm

July Cocktail Recipe: Les passions de l’Âme

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Here is our cock-tale for July. Follow the links to the story, or if you’re impatient,  just skip to the recipe and pictures below.


Passions of the Soul

Most of our readers probably know the late bloomer of a renaissance man, René Descartes. The 17th century philosopher, mathematician and natural scientist is credited for opening the door for both modern mathematics and modern philosophy, and is known to have dabbled enough in optics to come up with the law of reflection. Our cocktail for July is curiously enough named after one of his treatises, and carries some Cartesian qualities.
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Descartes was a rationalist, thinking that nothing could be known from senses alone, without the use of reason. He carried this thought over to his moral philosophy, arguing that virtue consists of the correct reasoning over our actions.
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A teaspoon of juniper berries
Half a measure of gin

The correct reasoning depends on knowledge, and judgement of knowledge on mental condition. The mind controls the body, but the body could affect the mind – thus the correct reasoning depends not only on the condition of the mind, but of the body as well. Mind you, this was a novel idea in Descartes’ time.

One fourth of a measure of green Chartreuse

Descartes was not without doubt, however. He is known to have professed so-called methodological skepticism, that is doubting everything until arriving at something undeniably certain. This is how he arrives to the conclusion “cogito, ergo sum – I think, therefore I am”. Arriving at this conclusion was not a painless process, and led Descartes to self-doubt and outright fits of solipsism.

Half a measure of vermouth

Neither was Descartes without passions, a man that he was. Hearing that Galileo‘s work had been burnt and Galileo sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life, he decided to abandon his own work on De Homine, in which he presented an idea of a body functioning independently of the soul; His rational mind would not let him publish the work in a mutilated form, nor would his body let him come to quarrel with the church.

Fresh passion fruit

We are, all of us, rational at times, and less so most of the time. Curiously Descartes, although vehemently pursuing means to arrive at true knowledge through rationalising, also, through his ideas concerning the mind and the body made way to anthropocentric and individualistic philosophy, which in it’s turn turned in to romanticism and utter abandon of all reason whatsoever.

Our Summer Cocktail is a homage to Descartes, and man’s ability to rationalise at will, and abandon reason at whim.

Passions de l´Âme, s’il vous plaît.

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♦Passions de l’Âme♦

A teaspoonful of dried juniper berries
The pulp from one whole passion fruit
2 parts Bombay Sapphire
2 parts Noilly Prat
1 part green Chartreuse

Crush the juniper berries in a cocktail shaker. Add the pulp from the passion fruit. Pour in the gin, vermouth and Chartreuse. Shake well, and double strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh passion fruit slice.

The juniper berries will enhance the gin flavor, and the passion fruit adds sweetness, which the vermouth intensifies. The Chartreuse adds body to the cocktail. A cool drink for summer days, pas de pastis.

EDIT: It only occured to me about three years after this post, that the passion fruit and green chartreuse blend in to a color very close to Chartreuse yellow. Go figure.

– Jere

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One Man’s Sweetheart music video

We set up a light and made something decadent for you in good old black and white. Enjoy!

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March Cocktail Recipe: Stepping on Roses

steppingonroses

Well, technically it’s not March anymore, we know. The reason for our tardiness is that originally we wanted to do something quite different for March, but couldn’t find a single bottle of Kirchwasser in all of Helsinki. Perhaps we’ll get some on our tour, and can supply you with some unaccurate historical reproductions in May!

Stepping on Roses is a variation of both the Mimosa and the Bellini. Drinks like these are often served at weddings, or as hair-of-the-dog drinks at other daytime parties. For us, it’s a staple welcome cocktail and a salvage for less agreeable sparkling wines. The rose fragrance is luxurious, and if you can find jam with petals, it gets even better.

♦ Stepping on Roses ♦

2 parts Rose petal jam
1 part Fresh orange juice
6 parts Dry sparkling wine

Place the rose jam and orange juice in a tall champagne flute. Stir well to mix the two. Pour in the sparkling wine, and stir very gently, not to lose the effervesence of the sparkling wine. Take your shoes off. Have a ball.

The name comes from our song The Mascot Moth, of course:

Why don’t you

Stop dangling from the chandelier, don’t go

Stepping on roses if your feet are bare, silly bear

Make no mistake, I am the hunter and you are the deer

Here’s the deal: If you sink to despair, search for me.

Listen to the song here:

 

Mimosas and Bellinis are usually served without garnishes but they are a festive detail. The function of the garnish in a coctail is not purely visual – with Stepping on Roses you might try decorating the drink with either rose petals or strips of orange peel, and see how the different garnishes affect the senses.

Ah, and we have just the cocktail in mind for April: The beautiful  Maja with all the grace of a Polish belle! Be back soon!

– Laura & Jere

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Omatunto documentary

omatuntoyle01

On Tuesday, we woke up extremely early – for Jere at least – to get to the studio for a 3-hour video session for YLE (the Finnish Broadcasting Company). We were recreating a time, a place, and a performance – which means concentrating, giggling and having a great time.  Keep your eyes peeled for the Omatuntoklubi documentary that comes out in the autumn, it seems we are featured in one of the episodes!

omatuntoyle02

Posing with the fun, talented and handsome YLE gents Joonas Josefsson and Jarmo “Japi” Loikkanen. We can hardly wait to see their handiwork!

Oh, and do check the concert calendar, it’s updated with some marvellous news! Also, we have a wonderful idea for our next music video, and we hope to share it with you before the aeroplane takes off for Kraków. It might be only minutes before, though…

What Bohemian rogues be these?

What Bohemian rogues be these?
Pictures by Juha Reunanen.

– Laura & Jere

 

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Liquid Bridge time-lapse

Spring has finally come to Helsinki! Here’s a charming time-lapse video shot at the Liquid Bridge Live | Three Voices concert with Julia Marcell and Catself. It was a wonderful afternoon show in Arkadia International Bookshop, and we’re looking forward to working some more with Liquid Bridge later on!

Oh, and cocktail time tomorrow! Promise.

Liquid Bridge Live | Three Voices from Liquid Bridge on Vimeo.

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