"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list." Susan Sontag
Pandorasdiary is a bohofolk collective swirling around Pandora (aka Sarah "Harahap" Michel).
Each performance is as unique as the people who join our concerts and venues they visit - and the audience is part of the performance as backing vocalists, dancers, percussion. Venues range from art galleries, living rooms, gardens, festivals to occupied properties, and other alternative places.
Pandora has toured with various incarnations of the collective to Canada, California, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the UK.
"The material... is an interesting mix - dreamy sounds and waking romance in the dreamy "Wake Up". Minutes later, singer Sarah takes the audience by the hand and leads them through the feisty lively surroundings of the street musicians of Indonesia, which she herself was a part of with "Ei lei lei"... It invites you to join in... to sing... dance and clap... [Badische Zeitung]
Before she opened the box, and founder Pandorasdiary, singer-songwriter Pandora was in a progressive stoner rock band in the early noughties ("we never performed but rehearsed every week religiously"), was in a 90s cover band in her own music cafe in the jungle of Sumatra, played with street musicians in Yogyakarta, but mainly as a vocalist.
After moving to London in 2010, Pandora realised just being a vocalist wasn't enough and started writing and playing guitar at various open mics in London, and founded "Fearless Females" - a female open stage in London with a number of fearless femmes who she met at a meetup run by producer, mentor and bassist, Felix Macintosh.
Her first solo tour was in 2013 - the living room tour - which was also made into an indie documentary from London to Munich via Amsterdam, Nancy, and Basel. She returned to Switzerland the following year. From the very start, Pandora did not like standing in the spotlight alone, so she always roped in the audience and collaborated with musicians wherever she went, and performed in unique settings, a washing machine repair workshop in Munich, an independent art gallery in Basel, a squat in an ex-brothel and ex-Nazi headquarters in Nieuwegein, Holland.
Now she wanted to have a band, but soon saw a collective was better. She'd been married before and knew marriage didn't suit her, even in music. She met flutist Maya Curry through couchsurfing, which has been an important part of her musical and personal life. She also met Anyalita Sobernova, an independent filmmaker with whom she filmed the "Smell the Roses" flashmob.
Next, Turkish guitarist Kenan Gocebe and percussionist David Naylor joined for a spell, before Kenan returned to Istanbul and David turned to his solo career.
In 2016, kit-drummer, Aletta Verwoerd joined for a spell on washboard which led to the "Magic Bus Tour" together with Maya and singer-songwriter Denise from Switzerland.
That year was also the return to her past in Indonesia, with filming and crowdfunding for Game for Two - a collaboration across three continents together with Anyalita. This video is coming out soon - but you can already view the behind the scenes footage.
In 2017, before Maya returned to California, the core collective swelled to 5 - with Derrick Turner on bass and mandolin and Lena Margareta on trumpet. The quintet played at the Tankstelle in Bregenz and Lost Weekend in Munich and also at "Fire in the Mountain" festival in Wales.
Collaboration has always been a theme in her work and in 2018, Pandora released "Game for Two", an epic project collaborating with musicians, film-makers, sound engineers and actors in 3 continents.
Since 2018, Pandora has returned to her roots as a solo artist, and can commonly be seen busking on the streets of London. In 2019, she returned to Switzerland and Germany on tour, and co-curated Cosy Concerts on the Molly Anna, a widebeam boat in London.
2020 has meant finding new ways to connect and also perform and collaborate. This has led to a number of new projects:
- The Chronicles of Little Fuck - political bohopolk workshops and gigs
- A solo EP before the end of the year
- A one shot music video collaborating with choreographers for Indonesian fusion track "Suara Merdu".
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a living room or interesting venue that needs some bohofolking love... or just want to say hi :)