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Cindy Morawetz July 1 2021 front page photo

By German Designer Cindy Morawetz - website


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Ana Muñozo - Costume Designer

Ana Munozo Photo Front PageCostume designer Ana Muñozo has designed for productions in theater and film, in both Barcelona, Spain and in New York City. She has lectured at Fordham University in the United States and UNED University in Spain. Although, she is a designer, you discover while in conversation with her that she is part costume designer, with a bit of director, a dash of screenwriter and with an affinity for actors and actresses.

Ana Muñozo studied fashion design and in fact spent four years at the beginning of her career in the industry and established a fashion brand with some colleagues.  

“On white fabric we hand painted the prints ourselves and we made a color chart for every season.

We designed accessories such as ties, fans, umbrellas, scarves and dresses. Actually, the original idea were nightshirts, I remember when I showed them to a client, she told me that she saw them as dresses and I said, "as long as you sell it, I don't care if they wear it to dinner or to dream." We did everything ourselves, the boxes, the labels, they were exclusive and on the label the client could see the number of the series. (There might be) a series of fifteen and you bought number four, therefore you knew that there were only fifteen of that model. We did fashion shows in different places like the international "fashion cafe" and we also participated in some collective exhibitions. I also worked at different times as a stylist for several publications,” she says.

Ana Muñozo grew up with her parents and one older sister in a rural area outside of Barcelona, before they moved into the city.

Her ties to both the fashion world and theater run several generations deep, “My mom was an excellent tailor. I grew up surrounded by buttons, fabrics and sewing.

My great-great grandfather and his siblings acted in his village since Read More

Love On the Rebound

Melanie Stace Love On the Rebound Photo Front PageWhat happens when a producer with Puerto Rican heritage and a British lady who is a talented singer and songwriter meet on social media? The answer is I.Q. The Professor and Melanie Stace created a beautiful album Love On the Rebound. Both individuals called New York City home and their talents complement each other well. Melanie Stace who has been a welcome guest at Riveting Riffs Magazine for a decade and one-half sat down with us recently to discuss the album and the creative process.

The album opens with the beautiful “Getting Started,” a good place to begin with a collection of songs that envelope the various stages and aspects of love.

“There is some of that west coast groove, which I love so much, in “Getting Started,” and there is a bit of Wayne (Brown) in there, because he taught me so much (Editor’s note: the late Wayne Brown for many years was Melanie Stace’s co-writer and pianist).

The mood is I have no expectations and you have no expectations, but I am getting started with you. Then that butterfly feeling comes in when you see that person or you are with that person again. It is about going into something new with your feet on the ground and having no expectations. That is exactly how I feel about this album and Edwin (I.Q. The Professor) does too,” says Melanie Stace.

So how did this collaboration start, we wondered.

Melanie Stace who is also an actress, was doing voiceover work in her studio during the pandemic, “and then I wanted to start writing again, because now I could be reflective about this time. Sure, enough I got (to know) this very nice music producer that I am working with now. There are terrible things happening, but there are good things happening and I am very grateful for that.

With Love on the Rebound, we did some really incredible things. I think it is something that everybody has experienced. We wrote a track called “Your Love Takes Me Somewhere,” which is the first (song) that I wrote with  Read More

   French Designer Alice Berry Atelier

Alice Berry May 2021

                                                      Alice Berry Atelier website

Sayonara Sorrow - Ben Brown

Ben Brown Photo Front PageSinger, songwriter and musician Ben Brown from Austin, Texas sat down with Riveting Riffs Magazine recently to talk about his new album Sayonara Sorrow a collection of songs whose music is as beautiful as the lyrics are poignant. A common thread throughout these songs is social commentary, which should not be mistaken for being political, because that it is not. Commenting on social issues through music is a familiar theme For Ben Brown as the Pennsylvania born songwriter and his brother Jeff, who tragically passed away a few days after this interview, recorded the song “That’s How the West was Lost,” with their band The Savage Poor.

He says, “The song, “What Will Happen to All that Beauty,” was inspired by novelist and activist James Baldwin. James Baldwin was a writer and activist in the sixties and seventies. I was reading some of his writings a few years ago and the line “What Will Happen to All that Beauty?” is a direct quote from one of his essays called The Fire Next Time. At the end of his essay, he talks about what will happen to the beauty that is blackness. He equates beauty with blackness. He says what will happen to the beauty of blackness, in the United States if we don’t reconcile the racial injustices. He said this in 1968. When I read that line it sounded profound and like a great title. Shortly thereafter I heard music in my head that seemed to fit the mood and the tone, so it went from there. I made a YouTube video with a quote from James Baldwin and some stock footage of 1960s civil rights activism.”

Ben Brown takes the lead vocals on the song, “What Will Happen to All that Beauty,” while producer Mick Flowers lays down the drumbeats, Jeff Brown plays bass  Read More

Derek Siow -  Actor Interview

Derek Siow Front Page PhotoDerek Siow is one of those people you could sit and talk to for hours on end, both because he is so affable and he is an immensely talented actor, screenwriter and voice actor, who has worked in film, theater and the burgeoning video game market. The Australian thespian who now makes his home in London, England, he is part of the cast for the audio book The Sandman: Act II, which featured a stunning cast that included, James McAvoy, Emma Corrin, Brian Cox, Kat Dennings, John Lithgow and Bill Nighy. He also has two films in postproduction that he is not yet at liberty to talk about.

Before we get into Derek Siow’s acting let’s spend a moment or two talking about his other passion, screenwriting.

“I write sci-fi, drama and comedy and I write mainly because I just crave that creative outlet. In my younger days I wrote a lot of songs (oh right we forgot to mention his music, but we will!) but my writing is more focused on screenplays now. I was really fortunate last year when one of my comedy scripts placed as a semi-finalist one of the screenwriting competitions so I’m always looking at the various options on where to take my projects,” he says.

Derek Siow’s acting career got a big push in 2013 when he played the character Lee in the feature film Piercing Brightness.

 “This was a very thought-provoking film. It was more a piece of art than anything else and it was screened at various film festivals, Read More

A Boy Called Christmas

A Boy Called Christmas Photo Front PageIn what may very well be the most well written, best acted and wonderfully directed family Christmas film in ages, A Boy Called Christmas, now streaming on Netflix has at its center actor Henry Lawfull, as Nikolas or as his mother called him Christmas. This is an enchanting story of the origins of Christmas, born from the imaginations of author Matt Haig, whose book the screenplay by Ol Parker and Gil Kenan is based on. Gil Kenan also directed the film.

Dame Maggie Smith appears as Aunt Ruth, and she certainly needs no introduction and her performance is just as stellar as the rest of her career has been. Dutch actor Michiel Huisman, whom among his many film and television credits counts, Angela Black (TV), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (film-2018), Game of Thrones as Daario Naharis and the character Liam McGuinnis in Nashville portrays Nikolas’ father Joel, in an understated way. Stephen Merchant is fabulous as the voice of the mouse Miika. Zoe Margaret Colletti is simply brilliant as the Truth Pixie.

Oh yes we forgot to mention this story has a pixie, a troll, and many, many elves who live in an…hmm….well a magical place, called Elfhelm, where of course elves live and for this story at least it is found in the north of Finland. This is the right Christmas film for December 2021, because it reminds us of hope and goodness, even if it is a screenplay born from imagination. COVID-19 and all the ramifications that have come with that have done a number on our psyches that we may not yet understand for many years. There is enough light humor and there are enough magical moments to balance the sadness Read More

Norwegian Actress / Director

Camilla Brown Photo FiveIn September Norwegian director, screenwriter and actress Camilla Roman’s short film Waves premiered at the tenth Global Nonviolent Film Festival in Hollywood, California. Riveting Riffs Magazine had the opportunity to watch Waves. Like other films that Camilla Roman has written and directed Waves packs a powerful message that is very relevant to this moment in time.

Without giving away too much of the storyline, asylum seeker Leyla played by Tonje Thwin and Stig portrayed by Eric Vorenholt meet during a COVID-19 lockdown, while Stig is making a delivery to her home. All is not what it seems however and as the story unfolds the characters have to make a decision to trust one another and to tell their own stories.

Norwegian readers will recognize Tonje Thwin from television series such as Sol, Snart Seks (2016) when she was cast in the role of Linnea’s mother and her regular role as Fiona in Hotel Caesar between 2014 – 17. Eric Vorenholt is best known for his role as Arne Hammer in The King’s Choice (2016), which was in consideration for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. He also appeared in six episodes of the 2020 television series Vikingane.

Camilla talks about casting both actors, “I thought Tonje Thwin and Eric Vorenholt would be excellent choices for this film. When I wrote the script they appeared in my mind, because I knew them a little bit. It was the natural choice to ask them. They said yes and I was very happy that I cast them. I think both of them are excellent actors.

I can tell you why I was  Read More

Gretchen Parlato & Flor

Gretchen Parlato Photo Front PageTen years had gone by since Jazz singer, composer and lyricist Gretchen Parlato and I last sat down to have a chat. A lot had changed both in the world and in Gretchen Parlato’s life during that time. She moved from New York City back to Los Angeles to be closer to her family, she got married and she now has a seven-year-old son. She received a Grammy Award nomination, Best Jazz Vocal Album, in 2015 for her album, Live in New York City. Her sense of humor, which was so evident a decade ago is still evident and as we talked over the phone she was just as insightful, introspective and still comfortable in her own skin.

Ten years ago, she told this writer, “The goal of art is to reflect who you are and to reflect your life. It has been a process for me to get to that place and to realize that it is okay to not try to sound like anyone else or to try to be like anyone else. It is just being completely honest and open and vulnerable. I want to be versatile, but I also want to sound like me.” 

Did she still feel the same and does her new album Flor (her quartet has the same name), reflect that same sentiment?

She enlightened us, “I am pleased with my thirty-five year old self for saying that (she laughs lightly). I would agree, that was my path then and it was my self-realization then. It is definitely a continued path now. Our art is a reflection of our life, so my life now and for the past seven years of motherhood is very different than when I was thirty-five, single, independent, and doing whatever I wanted to do, when I was touring the world. It did take me a little bit of time even  Read More

Grace Pettis of Nobody's Girl

Nobody's GirlIf you have never before heard the music of the Austin, Texas, all-women band Nobody’s Girl, you are going to fall in love with their signature harmonies. Comprised of Betty Soo, Grace Pettis, and Rebecca Loebe, the trio released their self-titled album on July 30 th and they are backed by some fabulous musicians. Grammy Award winning producer was at the helm and he also doubled on percussion and keyboards, as Nobody’s Girl was also accompanied by Glenn Fukunaga played bass, guitarists were Charlie Sexton, David Grissom and David Pulkingham, while drummers J.J. Johnson and Conrad Choucroun kept time on drums. The album was released on the Lucky Hound Music label. Grace Pettis sat down with us recently to talk about the new album.

The second song “Rescued,” is one of those ones that is perfect for summer, with the top down on your convertible, the radio blasting and you and your friends singing along.

Grace Pettis agrees, “Absolutely, yeah, yeah, we wanted it to be that kind of a song when we were writing it. I am really glad that we have a song like that on the record. We are all serious songwriters. We enjoy the craft of songwriting. We take it seriously and in a lot of our songs we touch on things that are a little deeper and meaningful to the cultural things. We also have fun and I think that is a big part of why we want to keep playing music together. We really enjoy each other’s company, and we have a lot of fun. We are like a mobile slumber party when we go on tour. It is work, but at the end of the night when we are back in the hotel room it is a fun thing  Read More

Doug "Cosmos" Clifford - New Album

Doug Clifford 2021 album photo front pageThe album Clifford / Wright: For All the Money in the World opens with the title song and it sets the table for a fabulous collection of never before released songs from the 1980s recorded by Doug “Cosmos” Clifford and featuring guitarist Steve Wright who like many of the fabulous musicians who appear on this album, was once a member of the Greg Kihn Band. Keith England’s vocals lead the way and are well-suited to straddle the genres of Rock and Pop.

Doug Clifford is always a welcome guest at Riveting Riffs Magazine and he sat down with us from his home in Nevada to talk about this new / old album or if we may a record that should quickly become a hot collector’s item, not just because of the people playing on it or the fact Doug Clifford produced it, but the songs are also very good! Keep reading and we will soon reveal why this album took so long to see the light of day.

He says, “There are some really talented guys on this album and needless to say I’ve got some pedigreed guitar players. Clifford / Wright started with Steve Wright and I writing songs together and then all of a sudden, we were pretty prolific together. I said we better record these things or we are going to forget them. When I do that, I do what I call a finished master that would be put out in the marketplace. I was making records that sound professional and sound like what this record sounds like with the intention that someone is going to hear it (editor’s note: instead of an unfinished demo, that is usually very bare bones). I never wanted to put it out with just an acoustic guitar, dry vocal and say use your imagination. I don’t want people using their imagination, I want them to say wow that sounds good. Well yeah, we are making records here, we are not putting Read More

Evie Sands - New Album

Evie Sands Photo Front PageEvie Sands started her music career (writer puts hand over mouth and mumbles, as it is never polite to discuss a woman’s age) that many years ago, but you would never know it from her new album, her vocals are crisp, the music more imaginative than many of today’s artists, and that is not a slam on today’s musicians and songwriters, but rather a nod to Sands. If you were not aware of all that Evie Sands has already accomplished during her career, you might think she was just starting out, because of her unbridled enthusiasm.  We wondered how she has managed to stay on top of her game and with such a contagious, positive and fun attitude.

“I trust in the music and then I let it go. I think it is probably a combination of things. It is my ongoing and will be forever, my insane passion for music, about making it, listening to it and breaking it down. I enjoy it, but I like to figure out what is that stuff sonically, what is going on and it is the enjoyment part of it. It is just ongoing. It is just like I was born, and I started listening. I just get excited. Then there is the striving to continually get better and all the skills that are involved, whether it is continuing to be a better singer, a better songwriter, better composer, a better musician, a better producer and engineer. It drives who I am.

I never look to chase the trends. I have learned that is a losing game. By the time we see and hear things, it already took a while for those things to be created and released, so by the time we say that must be the kind of stuff people want to hear and by the time I could get it out there it would be a day late and a dollar short. It would be old news. Also, it wouldn’t be honest, because for me making music is all about being connected  Read More

 

                         Misley - Fashion for Women

Misley June Test One

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Executive Producer Jeanette B. Milio

Jeanette B Milio Photo front pageRecently, Riveting Riffs Magazine sat down with Jeanette B. Milio who depending on the project she is working on sometimes wears the hat of producer and sometimes she dons the executive producer’s hat. During the course of her career Ms. Milio has garnered significant respect from her peers, networks, film studios and distributors for her keen business acumen and her knowledge of how to finance and produce a feature film or television and streaming series that will put people in the seats in cinemas or have their eyes glued to their television sets at home. We asked Jeanette B. Milio if she would be gracious enough to take us behind the scenes and explain the business side to us.

Jeanette B. Milio’s story begins in a small town outside of Cologne, Germany, where she was raised by a single mother, who was a hairdresser. At first glance this would appear to be an inauspicious start and far removed from the life she built as a movie mogul, but she credits in part, her success to lessons learned from her mother (more about that in a minute).

“I didn’t have any idea of what this industry would be like.

The one thing I remember that drew me to storytelling even as a child, is that I would come up with little stories and I would engage all the children on our street to perform the stories in Saturday morning theater pieces on the stairs in front of our house. I invited all of the other neighborhood kids to come and watch the plays and to pay ten pennies. I think I was ten or eleven when I started doing that.

I liked to tell a story and I liked to play with kids on the street, so I thought maybe we can do something here that everyone benefits from. At the end of the play that we performed we shared the money and we bought candy with it.

The storytelling was always in my brain, because I was a bookworm and I liked to write. I have always done that even as a child.

I studied business and I never really went into the entertainment industry. My first exposure was when I worked for a temp agency, while I was studying. The temp agency placed me as a secretary to replace a secretary who was going on vacation at RTL television, which is a larger German network that is located in Cologne. While I was there it gave me the first sense of what it was like to work in this type of environment. Lucky for me I worked in the entertainment department where we produced all of the shows that we had bought as formats from the U.S., like Price is Right, Family Feud and so forth. We produced those formats for the German network, as German game shows. As the secretary I was the hub for all of the producers. At any given time, we had between thirty-five and forty producers working on these different shows.

I was there for five years and then I was offered the (opportunity) to run a show for another network station that was a German sports channel. That was a daily health magazine show that ran every day at noon. It was the first time that I produced a show on my own, with a team of segment producers who were working for me.

I started working in Germany, first with network stations and then I was hired by a production company in Munich to be a film producer. I started working on a television series for ARD, which  Read More

Maia Sharp - New Album

Maia Sharp Photo front PageMaia Sharp’s new album Mercy Rising takes the listener from the highs, of the beautiful, seductive and romantic “You’ll Know Who Knows You,” which may be the ultimate love song of this century, to the reflective and picturesque “Things to Fix,” about a relationship that has ended. The former, burns with passion, mixed with ‘I want you and nobody else,’ and the latter uses the metaphor of fixing broken and worn things in a house for what the individual failed to address in the relationship, that perhaps would have made a difference. The words, “What I should have said / And what I should have done / Ya’ I keep skipping over number one / On my list of things to fix,” will take anybody who has been in that moment back there again.

The person in “Things to Fix,” stands in contrast to “John Q Lonely,” from Maia Sharp’s 2008 album Echo, and he was also dealing with a relationship that had come to an end.

She explains, “It shows that I have been doing it long enough that we can compare the end of a relationship thirteen years ago compared to the end of a relationship now.

“John Q Lonely,” is just a crab and his reaction to being hurt is just takes his football and he is going home. He is not going to play this game anymore. He closes himself off. His reaction is to pout. If love didn’t like me then I’m not going to like love.

“Things to Fix,” is a pretty different mindset. It is open and she is aware enough to see that there is something at the very top of my list that I’m avoiding, but the crux of the song is procrastination. It is when you have something in front of you that you should really be prioritizing. All of a sudden, the screw in the doorknob is the most important thing, because you will do anything to distract yourself from the most important thing you should be working on.

The biggest difference between the songs is “John Q Lonely,” was a title that I had, and I brought it to my co-writer Mark Addison who I had been writing with on and off since my first album. It was from a phrase that we liked, and we created a character. “Things to Fix,” is real. I moved to Nashville at the end of 2019, and I found my place a couple of months later. Anytime you move into a new house there is always something. There are little things that…as cool as the previous owners were, there are always little things.

My marriage of twenty-one years ended in 2018, so I came here as a single person. There were things I said to her that I wish I hadn’t and things that I didn’t say that I wish I had. Since then, I have had the opportunity to write those things. We are really, really close and there is a ton of love there and there always will be. At the time I came here, and I thought well I don’t know how to fix that yet, so I am going to paint this room and I am going to clean the baseboard. I occupied hours of my time on the house things. The song is more literal than you might suspect.

I had the first verse and the concept of the title. A wonderful songwriter, Read More

Camila Rodriguez Bohorguez

Camila Rodgriquez photo front page AIt was a journey that began as a child in Bogotá, Colombia, with dreams of utilizing a career path first as a biologist and now as a filmmaker to see the world. In between those two careers, she served as the Head of Production in a company that specialized in new and virtual media marketing for major brands. She is now immersed in several other film projects in both Madrid, Spain, where she now lives and in Colombia, but for the moment she is not at liberty to discuss them.

Each fifty-two minute segment of Atlántico directed by Daniel Landa, who was also the series creator, is filled with culture, adventure, and beauty, as the four person crew filmed in Spain, Portugal and twelve west African countries, which border on the Atlantic Ocean. Other members of the four person team were Tato de la Rosa and Vinsen Modino, the cinematographers.  

“Daniel has devoted his life to being a journalist, director and a writer. He specializes in long expedition series and documentary series.

When Daniel (Landa) came to me he was looking for a way to make his product a little more modern within an internet and digital context. We tried to expand the narrative and we decided on a lot of things for social media. We found our principal sponsor Volvo who gave us two cars for the expedition.

It was very interesting to work with Volvo, because the first thing they told us was we are not a 4 x 4 adventure brand. We are not one of those brands that people use to cross Africa, but we do share the spirit, values, and the principles of the series. That is a whole other conversation.

The film crew began its eight month expedition in northwest Spain in the autonomous region of Galicia and wound its way to the El Rocío pilgrimage in Andalusia, before heading to Portugal.

“For the second chapter we traveled, and we traveled all of Portugal, including the Azores Islands, and the third chapter was the Canary Islands (part of Spain) and then in the fourth chapter we entered Africa and it was the first part of Morocco and we continued Morocco in the next chapter.

The director had the route planned, but we also added content that we found along the way. There were things that we could only do when we were there. We had worked for a very long time on the pre-production of the stories, but also our strategy was to get into the territories and very quickly find the best stories in each of the places that we visited. We had a very specific route, but when we got to those places, we also wanted to film things that were unique, for example a wedding or the ceremony celebrating a newborn child or rituals that were specific to that culture,” says Camila Rodriguez Bohorquez.

She explains, “The director (Daniel) spent a lot of years working on Read More

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Cozy Rebel June 24 2021

                           A Collection from drezz2imprezz and Beatrix Reuschel

                            

                

Yassmine Othman - Actress

Yassmine Othman front page photoRecently Yassmine Othman completed the short film, The Future Awaits, in which she is one of only two protagonists, acting opposite Kike Torres, a wonderful actor. In five minutes and twenty-one seconds under the direction of Roberto Pérez Toledo, both actors turn in a heartfelt performance and Yassmine Othman’s character mirrors the woman she is in real life, caring, insightful, a polyglot, and someone who both pursues her own dreams and inspires dreams in others.

For those of you who have not yet discovered the world of short films, you would do well to set aside some time to do so. Recently we have interviewed, directors, actors, actresses, screenwriters and directors of some incredible short films and The Future Awaits is one of them.

Yassmine Othman brings up to date concerning her other film ventures, “Also, another feature film which I worked in Tomorrow We’ll Be Dead directed by Michael Steiner premiered at the Zurich International Film Festival and the short film in which I was lead The Cake, directed by Andrés Eguiguren will premiere at the end of October on The Mill’s website and YouTube.”

Where Yassmine Othman finds the time to balance all the various aspects of her creative career, as an actress, a language and dialect coach and the host of her own podcast, Cuentamelo con un Café (Tell Me Over Coffee), in which she interviews people from all aspects of television and film, would at first glance leave one wondering how? Yassmine Othman however although beginning her acting career as a teenager pursued a very successful career in international business.

“I was working as a sales manager in Spain for an American company via a company from Gibraltar. It is a window company called Marvin. I was responsible for sales in Spain, because I lived down south near Gibraltar and my boss, Ray Llufrio was from Gibraltar. A friend of mine said this weekend I am going to be shooting as a stand in for a short film, would you like to join. I said I have never done this before and she said it is not that difficult, just follow his lead.

It was really cold, because it was February, and it was 6:30 in the morning. All we had to do was to walk side by side. The next day we had to continue shooting and I will be really honest, we shot from seven in the morning until seven in the afternoon. On my way home I stopped at a (sports store), and I bought thermal jumpsuits and I bought myself a thermos for tea. I got myself good and warm boots. The next day I was there, and I wasn’t cold. Despite the weather I had such a blast. I loved it and from that day I told my friend, listen I want to be a professional actress, I don’t want to be just a stand in.

Because my father was Read More

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