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Cindy Morawetz July 1 2021 front page photo

By German Designer Cindy Morawetz - website


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Woman On The Moon

Giulia Millanta Interview 2022 front page photoGiulia Millanta who makes her home in Austin, Texas and is originally from Italy is a perpetual songwriting machine. Shortly after releasing her album Tomorrow Is A Bird two years ago, she began writing more songs, the best of which now appear on her album Woman On The Moon, to be released on April 8 (2022).

She explains, “It is part of my natural cycle. I release a record and then I take a little bit of time to promote and play shows and regroup. I then start writing again. I never write for a record, I just write.

Once I have thirty or forty songs, I start looking at them and choose what to record. I had a few songs that I wrote early in 2021 or maybe the end of 2020. I write often, but not every day, there are people who are way better than me at that. I write fairly consistently, probably every week. If you think about the fact there are fifty-two weeks in a year and I write every week, by the end of the year I have forty to fifty songs. Probably half of them nobody should ever hear and half of them are decent.

This one was different than my previous records, because I didn’t record it all at once and normally, I do. I (usually) sit down with all of my songs and decide which ones I want to record. I then go ahead and book my session and record everything in three days. This time I did it differently. In June of last year, I approached Gabe and I said, hey I have a few songs. Can we record them, because I think I want to release some singles? I wasn’t planning on a record. (She starts to laugh) We started recording and then one thing led to another. I ended up with twelve songs in the summer. Then in the fall I got back from Italy and I was making plans to release a record, but I wasn’t sure about some of the songs and I went back to Gabe and I said I have two other songs I want to record to replace the other two that I wasn’t sure about.

It wasn’t like a process that I was going to the studio to make a record. It was (more like) let’s record a few songs. Read More

Carla Olson - Triple Threat

Carla Olson Interview Photo front page by Markus CuffIt is rare for an artist / musician / producer to have three almost simultaneous releases and even more rare to have those three be simply outstanding, while being considerably different and yet that is exactly what Carla Olson has accomplished this spring with first her album Americana Railroad, secondly with her cover of The Who’s song “I Can See For Miles,” with proceeds going to Teen Cancer America. The find project is a beautiful collection of Gordon Lightfoot songs, on an album titled Ladies Sing Lightfoot, featuring artists such as The Kennedys, Natalie Noone, The Textones, Susan Cowsill, IIsey Juber, and Carla Olson sings the closing song, “Ringneck Loon.”

The seeds for Americana Railroad, the album, began to take root in the early 1990s with Carla Olson, Gene Clark and Saul Davis, Carla’s manager and husband.

Carla Olson says, “It was a nice idea to be a vehicle for a couple of Gene’s songs, one of which is “I Remember the Railroad,” and not many people know about it unless you are a big Gene Clark fan. Also, his songs, “Train Leaves Here This Morning,” and “Kansas City Southern.” Gene was a railroad guy. I remember buying a package of shirt patches that they used to sell in train stations and train shops and I bought four or five of the Rock Island Line. I gave a couple of them to Gene when we were first hanging around together in the eighties. He said this is so cool I am going to sew them on my jean jacket as soon as I can. He was a huge reason why we tried to cobble this together. The other song was The Long Ryders’ song that Stephen McCarthy wrote called “Here Comes That Train Again.”   Those were the songs that started the ball rolling.”

We wondered what attracted Carla Olson to create a concept album around the theme trains.

She explains, “I am a child of the fifties who walked home with her buddies, while listening to The Beatles, the Stones Read More

   French Designer Alice Berry Atelier

Alice Berry May 2021

                                                      Alice Berry Atelier website

Madeleine Davis - One of a Kind!

Madeleine Davis Front Page PhotoIf we told you that Madeleine Davis has lived a life full of adventure some might easily argue that is an understatement. She grew up the daughter of a Gospel singing mother, and a pharmacist father in Columbus, Georgia, near the Chattahoochee River, with one sibling, a brother at home and a sister eighteen years older, who had pretty much left home by the time Madeleine appeared on the scene.

Madeleine Davis had a lengthy career with Boney M (By the Rivers of Babylon, Rasputin) and a small sample of her work in the studio and / or live performances includes artists such as Precious Wilson, Hoyt Axton, Peggy March, Terence Trent D'Arby, Rick Astley, Klaus Doldinger, La Bionda and Amanda Lear. She was in demand by producers such as, Ralph Siegel, Tony Monn, Michael Kunze, Sylvester Levay, Giorgio Moroder and Frank Farian.

She sang in church as a young child, acted on stage as a teenager (there is a motorcycle story we will get to in a minute) and she was a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, while still in university.

“My father was a lot older than my mother. He was fifty-nine when I was born and he was seventy-five when I was eighteen.

I grew up with a father who was in World War I. He had so much information for me when I went to school. When he was a paperboy the Titanic sank, so he knew the information from the newspapers of that time. He told  Read More

Sylvia's New Album

Sylvia Interview Photo Front PageNature Child - A Dreamer’s Journey released recently by Sylvia Hutton, better known to music fans all over the world as the American Country Music Award, Billboard’s # 1 Country Music Female Artist and Grammy nominated singer Sylvia, is one of the most beautiful collections of story songs you will hear this year. With numerous # 1 and top ten hits to her credit, the former RCA artist, who has for many years recorded as an independent artist, once again collaborated with longtime friend John Mock (Dolly Parton, The Chicks, James Taylor, Kathy Mattea). Other co-writers includes Verlon Thompson, Craig Brickhardt and Thom Schuyler.  

The opening song for the album “Avalon,” transports the listener to Camelot and the days of King Arthur. Sylvia and Verlon Thompson wrote “Avalon,” a beautifully orchestrated song with lush vocals by Sylvia. For any child, any teenager, any adult whoever wished you could close your eyes and open them to find yourself in a magical place, Sylvia invites you to take her hand to travel to a place where the walls are made of freedom and every tear becomes a shining star.  

Normally, we would not credit so many musicians, but they earned their due on “Avalon,” guitars, both electric and acoustic by John Mock, as well as mandolin and percussion. Matt McGee played bass, Skip Cleavinger played the Uilleann pipes, oboe by Somerlie Pasquale, Emily Bowland on clarinet, trumpet (Jeff Bailey), French horn (Jennifer Kummer), violins by Conni Ellisor and Mary Kathryn Van Osdale, viola (Betsy Lamb) and cellist Nicholas Gold. Read More

Kincső Nóra Pethő - Actress

Kincső Nóra Pethő Photo Front PageFresh from performing as a futuristic computer from the year 2100 who is named after the Greek goddess of earth Gaia IA 01, and who sends a message back to today to warn others about a pending environmental apocalypse unless we change our ways, Hungarian actress, choreographer and dancer Kincső Nóra Pethő sat down for a conversation with Riveting Riffs Magazine, over Skype.

Obviously, only the Gaia part is taken from the Greek goddess, as Kincső Nóra Pethő explains, “I am like a computer program from the future who becomes a real person by the end of this 70-minute show. It was called Heroes of the Future and it was part of Planet Budapest 2021. There were about fifty actors and actresses working on this project, which was intended to raise the interest of kids for protecting the environment. For one week (in early December) the program ran from morning until evening. It was a wonderful experience to see how enthusiastic the kids were! I felt great about contributing to such a good goal!”

Continuing she says, “We talk to the children about how in the year 2100 there is not enough air, and the environment has been destroyed. (The message is) they have to be conscious of what they are doing in the present in 2021.

When we had some rehearsal groups and I could see a small guy, who was ten years old and he wore glasses. I was sitting in a box and at first, they could only hear my voice. They could not see me. I could see the boy talking to the other kids. We wanted it to be Read More

Beatrix Löw-Beer - German Violinist

Beatrix Low Beer Interview Photo Front PageWhile on her way from Munich, Germany to play a gig in Frankfurt, uber-talented saxophonist Beatrix Löw-Beer, whose performances have taken her to England, the United States, the Netherlands, Spain, Ibiza, Mallorca, Italy, Luxemburg, France, Austria, Switzerland, numerous other European countries, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Dubai and some parts of Asia, took time to talk to Riveting Riffs Magazine about her career and her life. The very congenial Beatrix Löw-Beer, while setting a high standard for herself, is as nice a musician as you will meet. She has been compared to her contemporaries, celebrity violinists such as Vanessa-Mae from England via Singapore and American violinist Lindsey Stirling. Beatrix Löw-Beer has performed with such stars as Rod Stewart, Dutch singer Caro Emerald, award winning Pop singer Sarah Connor, the first German performer to ever have four consecutive #1 hits on the German charts. Beatrix Löw-Beer’s music ranges from Classical to Rock to House, Pop, Jazz and everything in between.

Artists such as Beatrix Löw-Beer are the reason why people are discovering the saxophone for the first time. When you watch her concert performances or videos to promotional videos everything from her movement to her attitude and her costumes exhibits an exuberance for performing music. One is never left with the impression that you are watching someone playing an instrument, because her saxophone becomes an extension of her persona.

Take us back to where this all began.

“I grew up in Augsburg, which is one hour from Munich, which is the capital of Bavaria. It is in the south of Germany, very close to Austria. Augsburg is the third largest Read More

Rain Perry - A White Album

Rain Perry Interview Front Page PhotoA White Album, by American singer and songwriter Rain Perry, which will be released on April 15 (2022) is a lot of things, a collection of songs with an activist theme, some original and some covers from music icons, it is heartfelt, and it is sincere, but what is most of all is very, very good. It was our pleasure to sit down with Rain Perry recently to discuss her new record and why these songs are so special to her.

She says, “It is definitely a concept album. It is somewhat of a sequel to my album Cinderblock Bookshelves, and it was a memoir in music about me growing up as a hippie kid raised by my dad. This record, A White Album, is me looking back at my same life and my same family, but through the lens of race. It is called A White Album, because it is me telling my story. I think most larger topics are best addressed through people and it is my way of wading into a fraught conversation and to talk about some issues that we seem to be having a hard time talking about right now.”

Although the common thread is raising awareness of societal issues, the songs on the album do not come across as preachy or even protestation, but instead seem to be asking the question, why are we still here after all these years, far removed from the civil rights movement of the 1960s and yet in many ways the needle seems to have barely moved.

“Thank you, that is what I was shooting for. I think the best way to empathize is getting to know somebody and to see the way they are trying to solve the problems we are all trying to solve, how to be happy, to be fulfilled, and to be successful in life. I don’t think anybody really changes by being lectured. Read More

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

Julia Helbich - Actress / Host

Julia Helbich Interview Photo Front Page“With acting you put yourself into a role to tell a story. I like to work on that and to touch the people out there,” says our guest at Riveting Riffs Magazine, Julia Helbich, from Germany.

Acting represents just one of the many facets of Julia Helbich’s career and education, including, her television hosting in which she has established a noteworthy career, as an interviewer of top athletes, both American and European, she also has an MBA Global Management, an MBA in Business Administration, two bachelor’s degrees, one in political science and the other in the arts.

For now, her primary focus is on acting and continuing to interview others.

“It is a tough decision to go to a new road in your career, but that is what you have to do. You have to go a few more steps, to see where it (takes you) because if you don’t you will stay in the same place,” she says

Finding herself attracted to the arts is not an accident with Julia Helbich.

“It is definitely in the family. Let’s start with my parents. My dad, Wolfgang Helbich was a very famous conductor and my mom Ortrun Helbich sang in my father’s choir. That is how they met! Later on, my mom managed my dad, because he traveled all over the world conducting. He was an amazing conductor and musician. He was a typical musician and conductor who worked late at night. He also composed his own Read More

Laura Blossom - Madrid's Finest

Laura Blossom Photo Front PageActress and singer Laura Blossom, may be someone you have not heard of yet, but you soon will, because she is superbly talented in both of her career choices and although we have not yet had a chance to watch her dance, we understand that she is also an accomplished dancer. If we were casting a musical, whether on stage or in film, we would have her in our cell phone as someone to present to the producers and directors.

Laura Blossom is what many would consider to be a late bloomer when it comes to acting.

“I started acting when I was twenty years old. My uncle, Balbino Lacosta is an actor in Madrid and I often went to the theater to see him. He was the only (person in the arts) in my family. My grandmother and my mother played piano, but as a hobby,” says Laura Blossom.  

She explains another factor that led to her pursuing a career in the arts, “There was an acting course at the university where I was studying art history and I thought why not and I loved the course.”

Laura Blossom grew up in Zaragoza, the capital of the autonomous region of Aragon located in northeast Spain. The city is located between Madrid and Barcelona.

“It is a big city, but not as big as Madrid. There are theaters there, but I had to move to Madrid, because in Zaragoza you can’t live from art and from acting, because 

“It is a big city,  Read More

 

                         Misley - Fashion for Women

Misley June Test One

                      Misley - Designed and Made in Spain

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

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 the theater companies did not go there. His brothers were the actors, and he was the promoter. This was the connection my family has with art and fashion,” Ana Muñozo explains.

She continues, recalling, “I spent most of my time drawing. I was drawing all day and then I decided to draw clothes for my dolls. My mother made dresses for my dolls, but she wanted to know what I had drawn. My mother made the dresses that she wanted, but I said mom! (you can hear the childlike inflection in her voice as she recalls)! She sewed what she wanted. They were beautiful but different than my (drawings).”

During her teenage years, “If I said to my mother for example, I want a jacket for this weekend, my mother would make it for me in a day. It was incredible.

I was influenced by the fashion of the moment, but I never wanted to have to wear my designs. This is weird. I think this is weird. I think in that moment I didn’t know what I 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, as well as the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London). My character Lee was a Chinese immigrant that meets this local British woman and her mother who is an alien seeker. It explored the similarities between aliens from another world and people from other countries. A lot of the themes are still relevant today,” he explains.

Speaking of aliens, Derek Siow is passionate about the science fiction genre, but he assures us he has both feet firmly planted on this planet.  

Elaborating on that he says, “I love everything about science fiction, and I have ever since I was a kid. In science fiction, you can just let your imagination run wild, there’s no limits. Growing up in the 80s, I was a huge Star Wars Read More

                                                 Cozy Rebel

Cozy Rebel June 24 2021

                           A Collection from drezz2imprezz and Beatrix Reuschel

                            

                

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. Read More

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