Tag Archives: Triskel Tavern

Artist Feature: Amber Stiles

Musician and songwriter Amber Stiles is at the center of a talented and inspiring group of artists centered in Madrid, Spain. I met Amber at the well-known Triskel Tavern where musicians from all over the world seemed to find a home on its stage during Thursday open mics. Since playing there, Amber has been performing all over Madrid focusing both on her own material and collaborating with others while beginning recording at Spaceland Records. Peep the dialogue below for Amber’s words on her folk/country music, her artistic growth in the city and other ideas from this expanding and creative artist.

Amber Stiles

One of the reasons I love folk music and country is that it’s generally very simple in form and it allows you to explore subtle variations with your voice, tempo, lyrics, etc. I enjoy singing a song the way that I’m feeling it at that particular moment.

– Amber Stiles

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at? 

AS: I’m from a small town in New York State, about half an hour from the Canadian border. It’s about 6 hours from the City and 4 hours from Buffalo. No one can really figure out where it is. We have a Dairy Princess Parade and obviously lots of cows. I’ve moved around quite a bit since I left home but I’ve spent the last 4 years in Madrid, Spain.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AS: I’ve never really thought about it before but I suppose the word reflection conjures up a few thoughts and images. I associate it with a mental process, a forming of thoughts and beliefs. On the one hand I think it’s important for us to process what we see and what we experience. I interpret and share my experiences to connect with other human beings. But at the same time I think too much introspection can make us overly cerebral and rigid. If we assign an idea a name and call it a belief we’re really limiting ourselves in a lot of ways.

I suppose I relate more to response. I approach music in that way, at least. I don’t try to overanalyze a song or break it down into a set formula. I prefer to intuitively explore things. If I think about what I’m doing too much I get overwhelmed and blocked. Yeah, Response is definitely more interesting for me. I figure my intuition is utilizing more resources within me than my conscious, rationalizing brain can muster.

How does folk music fit in with that definition?

AS: One of the reasons I love folk music and country is that it’s generally very simple in form and it allows you to explore subtle variations with your voice, tempo, lyrics, etc. I enjoy singing a song the way that I’m feeling it at that particular moment. One of my first idols was Billie Holiday and I always admired how much feeling she put into her vocals. Sometimes her songs were sad and slow, other times lively and upbeat. I always try to stay tuned into the meaning of a song and how I’m interpreting it in that moment.

Amber Stiles

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

AS: Recently I’ve been collaborating mostly with Miguel Gonzalez who is a very talented vocalist and gifted songwriter out of Texas. We play acoustic sets at intimate cafés around Madrid which is the atmosphere I feel most comfortable in, really. I’ve also been providing vocals for Padraig O’Connor and Richard Harris, both musicians that I have deep respect for.

My next goals are to write some inspiring songs and get into the studio. Richard Harris is running Spaceland Studio at the moment and it’s a great opportunity to capture a moment in my life with the incredible musicians I’m surrounded by. I’m decidedly lo-fi so taking the plunge into the studio is big for me.

Who or what inspires you? Continue reading

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Feature: Richard Harris

Richard Harris takes the Reflection and Response interview to heart. In this piece, Rich informs about his perspective becoming an integral part of the Madrid music scene coming from England,  highlights the role that Reflection and Response has played in some recent events in his life, and stresses the importance of creativity and expression. The interview touches on the talent found throughout the Spanish capital city and how this Collective inspires artistic creation. Three of Richard’s tracks accompany the interview to provide an audio reference to the interesting and enlightening words below. Without further adieu, we’re proud to present Richard Harris.

The Red Telephones

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

RH:  I’m from Basildon, Essex. Close to London & famous for being home to Depeche Mode & very little else! Where am I at? Good question. Here in Madrid & immersing myself further & further into what is, at the moment, a vibrant music scene. I’m currently running the open mic at Triskel Tavern, recording an album with my band The Red Telephones & playing live whenever I can. There are so many people making good music in the city at the moment & I take the opportunity to see just about all of them when they play live.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

RH: Reflection & Response. Still a difficult one this is. I lost one of my oldest friends to cancer just over a year ago & my response was to write a song about him because I miss him. Recently, my mum had cancer & it was a difficult time for my family. Fortunately she is ok now. The response was at once to write a song about it. I also split with my girlfriend around the same time, so no prizes for guessing what the response was! Let’s just say it’s not going to be the happiest of albums when it’s done. On reflection, I have to move on for my sake but I’m still finding it hard regarding Lee. I miss him, simple as that.

How does your work fit in with that definition?

RH: Read the above. Lee’s Tune, The Ties That Bind & Love Is Blind. It’s difficult to remove yourself from your own writing but I reckon The Ties That Bind is possibly the best thing I’ve ever written.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

RH: I’m incredibly insecure about my voice, probably because I know so many great vocalists here in Madrid so I went into the studio during Semana Santa & recorded a cover version for the first time. The song is an old traditional called I Know My Rider & I know the song because The Byrds did a version of it. I wanted to see if I could sing in a different style than the Joe Strummer/Punk Rock thing that I normally do. I think it worked & I’m happy with the results. It has given me some ideas regarding what to do with some of the remaining vocals on the album.

Who or what inspires you?

 RH: Inspirations? Musical ones first. My biggest one is The Clash; inspiring, life changing & as a 14 year old in Essex with some of my peers drifting towards right-wing politics, The Clash coming out in favour of The Anti-Nazi League & Rock Against Racism had a powerful & lasting effect. I despise racism & racists to this day. My favourite album is Forever Changes by Love, it’s a masterpiece, simple as that & if you haven’t heard it make sure you do a.s.a.p. I’m a massive fan of The Stone Roses, La’s, Byrds, Velvet Underground, Stooges, Stones, MC5, Bo Diddley, Dylan, 13th Floor Elevators, New York Dolls, Pistols, Smiths & countless others. I’m into most types of music, very big on reggae & currently really digging country for the first time in my life, in fact I don’t know how I lived without it for so long. As I type this I’m listening to the Black Angels, proof that there are still good bands out there.

Life Inspirations? Anyone who has stood up against oppression—Gandhi, Mandela, Rosa Parks, Victor Jara, Jan Palach etc; all of these are bigger heroes than any musician.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

RH: What else? Well, not that it really matters but I’m not exactly young. When I came here 4.5 years ago I’d pretty much given up music & I’m still in a state of shock that this is actually happening! I didn’t expect to finally be recording, gigging & organizing open mic nights in my 40s. I’m happy that I am though-it feels great. I really get a buzz out of watching other musicians, particularly the ones who are nervous to begin with, just like I was. Watching their confidence grow & their stage presence improve is really satisfying.

Shout out to…?

RH: Too many people to mention because there are so many wonderful musicians & friends so I’m going to keep it in house. Woody, former open mic host, Red Telephones drummer & Pop Robinson Guitarist/Singer gets the biggest shout of all. If he hadn’t encouraged me to come back after a rabbit in the headlights first night at Triskel I wouldn’t be doing this interview now. Not only is he a fantastic musician he’s a top bloke, even if he prefers Guns & Roses to the Stone Roses!

 Padraig O’Connor. A fantastic composer & singer songwriter in his own right, Padraig plays piano & sings backing vocals for the Red Telephones. His own stuff is great & ‘Cream Seems Fine’ is one of the best songs I’ve heard by anybody in recent years & I wish I had written it myself!

 Amber Stiles. Best voice in Madrid as far as I’m concerned. She has contributed backing vocals to some tracks on the current album. Her sweet vocals are a wonderful antidote to my less than dulcet Essex tones.

 Joe Wellwood. Not an open mic regular but the new Red Telephones bassist. Great musician & top bloke as well.

 Rob Green. Former resident of Madrid & owner of Spaceland studios. Rob has produced all of the Red Telephones recordings & played bass on the second album. He has also played live with us, on one occasion learning an entire set in a matter of days when another bass player had to cancel a gig.

 Mark Doran, now in Korea but bass player on the first album. Also a shout to Rhys Berry, former Triskel regular & now Barcelona resident who played harmonica on Chime & Melanie Lawrence who played viola & violin on The Ties That Bind & a number of other tracks.

 Last but not least, Jim Montague. My best friend & a fantastic percussionist. He’s on the current album playing a variety of instruments & singing poignant backing vocals on Lee’s Tune. He misses him too.

The Red Telephones mobile upload

-Reflection and Response

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Events from the Collective

December 2012

  • Thursday, December 20 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, December 27 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE

Reflection and Response.

Events from the Collective is a calendar of upcoming events from the LIFESTYLE collective’s international community. Events can be submitted at anytime to the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com or @LIFESTYLE_RR and will be added to the calendar as they roll in.

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Events from the Collective

December 2012

  • Thursday, December 13 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Friday, December 14 @ 10pm: CD Launch Party for Vivian García’s Cold Bed (Live Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Sunday, December 16, time TBA: ElectroBrunch: Peter Muller Live (Live Music)
    • Location: The Toast Cafe, Calle Fernando el Catolico 50, 28015 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, December 20 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, December 27 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE

Reflection and Response.

Events from the Collective is a calendar of upcoming events from the LIFESTYLE collective’s international community. Events can be submitted at anytime to the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com or @LIFESTYLE_RR and will be added to the calendar as they roll in.

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Events from the Collective

December 2012

  • Thursday, December 6 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, December 13 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Friday, December 14 @ 10pm: CD Launch Party for Vivian García’s Cold Bed (Live Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, December 20 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, December 27 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE

Reflection and Response.

Events from the Collective is a calendar of upcoming events from the LIFESTYLE collective’s international community. Events can be submitted at anytime to the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com or @LIFESTYLE_RR and will be added to the calendar as they roll in.

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Events from the Collective

November 2012

  • Thursday, November 29 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE

December 2012

  • Thursday, December 6 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, December 13 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, December 20 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, December 27 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE

Reflection and Response.

Events from the Collective is a calendar of upcoming events from the LIFESTYLE collective’s international community. Events can be submitted at anytime to the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com or @LIFESTYLE_RR and will be added to the calendar as they roll in.

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Events from the Collective

November 2012

  • Wednesday, November 21 @ 9:30pm: Vivian Garcia and Peter Muller, with Mary Elaine (Live Music)
    • Location: Andys Bar Lavapies, Lavapies 32, 28012 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, November 22 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, November 29 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE

Reflection and Response.

Events from the Collective is a calendar of upcoming events from the LIFESTYLE collective’s international community. Events can be submitted at anytime to the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com or @LIFESTYLE_RR and will be added to the calendar as they roll in.

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Events from the Collective

November 2012

  • Thursday, November 15 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Friday, November 16 @ 11:30pm: Vivian Garcia (Live Music)
    • Location: The Toast, Calle Fernando El Catolico 50, 28015 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Wednesday, November 21 @ 9:30pm: Vivian Garcia and Peter Muller, with Mary Elaine (Live Music)
    • Location: Andys Bar Lavapies, Lavapies 32, 28012 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, November 22 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, November 29 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE

Reflection and Response.

Events from the Collective is a calendar of upcoming events from the LIFESTYLE collective’s international community. Events can be submitted at anytime to the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com or @LIFESTYLE_RR and will be added to the calendar as they roll in.

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Events from the Collective

November 2012

  • Thursday, November 8 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, November 15 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Wednesday, November 21 @ 9:30pm: Vivian Garcia and Peter Muller, with Mary Elaine (Live Music)
    • Location: Andys Bar Lavapies, Lavapies 32, 28012 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, November 22 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, November 29 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE

Reflection and Response.

Events from the Collective is a calendar of upcoming events from the LIFESTYLE collective’s international community. Events can be submitted at anytime to the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com or @LIFESTYLE_RR and will be added to the calendar as they roll in.

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Events from the Collective

October 2012

  • Wednesday, October 31 @ 3pm-6pm: Diana Cervera (Live Music)
    • Event: Dia de Los Muertos Celebration
    • Location: Youth UpRising, 8711 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA 94605

November 2012

  • Thursday, November 1 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, November 8 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, November 15 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, November 22 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE
  • Thursday, November 29 @ Midnight: Peter Muller, Vivian Garcia (Open Mic Music)
    • Location: Triskel Tavern, Calle de San Vicente Ferrer 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain
    • FREE

Reflection and Response.

Events from the Collective is a calendar of upcoming events from the LIFESTYLE collective’s international community. Events can be submitted at anytime to the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com or @LIFESTYLE_RR and will be added to the calendar as they roll in.

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