The past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy in many ways! Last week saw me playing at events in 7 different countries over the course of 10 days. It's fair to say I'm happy not to step foot in an airport again for a while... oh, except I'm flying away on holiday to Canada tomorrow... that doesn't count!
In fact, as holidays go, I was able to make the first of these abroad gigs into a mini holiday itself. Flying out a few days early to Mykonos before an Entourage wedding booking, I got to enjoy some downtime whilst staying at the stunning Royal Myconian Resort on Elia Beach. As Mykonos was somewhere I'd never been to before (I was once on a cruise that couldn't dock there because of the wind!), I thought it would be a great idea to fly out a couple of days early to spend a bit of time with my lovely partner Chris. Chris also handily doubles as a personal cameraman / video editor / roadie / stylist / brand ambassador. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to film a new music video.
After hiring a car and settling into our hotel, we set out early the next morning in search of filming locations. I had envisaged being able to shoot the video by the iconic windmills (Kato Milli) in Mykonos Town. However, we discovered that, surprisingly, windmills tend to be placed in areas affected by wind. I'm talking full on gales. Gales are not apparently not conducive to playing the violin with long hair... After driving around the island in search of places to film (and exploring Mykonos' interesting roads which ascend at 90 degree angles), we decided to head back to our hotel. We realised that ideal location was right in front of us, and in the end decided to shoot on Elia Beach itself. We also returned here for some more shots the next day. Despite a rogue dog insisting on being involved for many of the outtakes and several bizarre looks from men on the beach renting out kayaks, we managed to get enough footage. Wahey!
Here is the result of our efforts! I hope you enjoy my violin cover of 'Lean On' by Major Lazer & DJ Snake:
A huge thank you goes to Chris Reid for filming and editing, and Bobby Stix who did a sterling job on the recording and mixing of my violin.
After the hard work was done (it's honestly really tiring playing violin on a beautiful beach with the wind in your hair...), we chilled by the pool and ate lots of Greek food. The rest of the Entourage team landed in Mykonos the next day to perform for the wedding of Holly and Ricci. This was an awesome 9-piece line-up of some of my favourite people and André (jokesss). We performed at the beautiful Hippie Fish which had the most gorgeous backdrop against the sea. It was such a great crowd and the party didn't stop! Here are some photos from the event itself:
On returning from Mykonos, André Saxman Brown headed into London to perform for The Sheriff’s Ball at the Guildhall in aid of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. This was a real highlight for me as on this rare occasion I found myself improvising over Shania Twain and ABBA. Sometimes you've got to give in to the cheesy music (always).
Another event with Entourage followed the next day as André and I flew out to meet DJ Asad in Mallorca, playing for a gorgeous wedding in Deia. This. Was. Stunning. I have performed at many weddings over the years, but I have to say, this was one of the most breathtaking settings I've ever seen. You'll see what I mean:
The sunset was even more incredible, and it was a beautiful wedding to be a part of. I played before the ceremony, for the bridal entrance and exit, and then for the evening party with DJ Asad and André on sax. Congratulations to Nicola and Harry and thank you for having us!
The next day I was booked to play for a corporate event in Vienna with the wonderful House of Angels. This was very fun. So fun that I made it into a GIF:
The next day I was off again on an early flight back to London to perform for a very important product launch at The Ritz. This was for the Nyetimber prestige cuvee '1086' - the brand's most luxurious sparkling wine to date. I am extremely honoured to be the face (and audio!) of Nyetimber’s ad campaign for this product, ‘The Performance’. We shot this back at the beginning of September and it was a privilege to spend the day filming for (and sampling!) their new luxury sparkling wines. Delicious. We filmed at two iconic London venues - The Lanesborough and The Royal Court Theatre. You can see the advert here:
For more information on 1086, you can check out the Nyetimber website here.
Here are the stills from the campaign:
The launch itself was an amazing lavish affair, with tastings, canapés, and a live show performance of the advert track from myself. I also discovered that, during that evening, they had projected the images and footage from the advert on to iconic London landmarks every hour! These included Marble Arch and the Tate amongst others! You can check out the video of the building projections here and the video of the launch here.
There's no rest for the wicked and, with a couple more flights with Entourage to Glasgow and Florence for weddings, last week ended in a celebratory style - a fitting end to a busy week flying around Europe! This week gave me a couple of days to recuperate before heading to Edinburgh (by train this time!) to perform a corporate event for Air France & KLM at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. I performed 3 sets of chilled lounge music on electric violin over the course of the evening.
With one last performance at Searcys Knightsbridge last night for a 70th birthday cocktail reception, it has been a fun few weeks of events and performances. I'm certainly looking forward to a holiday, but equally looking forward to getting back to some more "work" on my return!