For three years, Palm Strings has been asked to play for a certain family in Cape Town on Christmas Day as part of their Christmas celebrations. This is what the hostess had to say, “Just wanted to thank you both so very, very much for playing for us once again and for being so flexible with the playing arrangements. It was just magnificent, we all loved it and thank you so much for remembering that I love “She!” [song by Charles Aznavour] Wishing you both a wonderful, healthy & happy New Year.”
Palm Strings have had some super gigs playing for Soirées at various shopping centres for LE Creuset . How wonderful to be associated with such a stunning brand! Music was traded for pots!
What a lovely wedding! The 12 Apostles provided a gorgeous venue and Palm Strings provided equally wonderful music.
Even rain can’t stop Palm Strings from playing wedding music!
The umbrella in the tree helped to hold off the drizzle. Luckily it cleared so they could stay outside! It was an intimate wedding – and so lovely, as always, at the 12 Apostles!
October was a month for weddings at the 12 Apostles. Michael and Sunny were married and attended by the most adorable page boy.
The wedding was a small one but music was important to them and hence they hired the Palm Strings Trio.
The first wedding of the season was in the pouring rain at the Clubhouse at Erinvale Golf Estate – the wedding of Shelley Russell and Adam.
Despite the rain the guests had a wonderful and so did Palm Strings! It was a reminder of how lucky they are to be playing music for a living.
Palm Strings played at the welcoming of guests to the launch of a new Gaggenau fridge in Bree Street at the very beautiful Gaggenau/Siemens/Bosch showroom. Titia rather likes being associated with ‘top of the range’ products!
Palm Strings played at Rovos Rail once again. They first played here on platform 21 at Cape Town station approximately 25 years ago! It all started when Titia received a call from Joy Strydom who has been working for Rohan Vos ever since he began this incredible family business.
A few years of playing on the platform in wind, rain or shine, Rohan managed to acquire a lounge in the Paul Sauer Building opposite the station which is a far cry from where Palm Strings first played! They now play every single Monday without fail, when there is a departure to Pretoria, and then often on a Saturday as well. Now that Rohan has acquired the Shongololo Express, there are departures occasionally on a Tuesday or a Wednesday morning as well.
From time to time something dreadful happens! Like an injury! Titia went running in Silvermine (even musicians need to keep fit) and fell on a rock and dislocated the middle two fingers of her left hand. Her first thought was to get to Constantiaberg Hospital ASAP to get them put back in so she could play her upcoming gig. The doctor, however, made it quite clear that she was out of commission for a while at least. Now, it is not that easy to find a replacement. When Mike and Titia play together they are very much in sync with each other. It is not always a simple matter to play with someone you are not used to. To add to the problems, there was an opera being rehearsed at the Baxter at the time so the two ladies with whom Mike has worked before were not available. Luckily there was a flautist who could jump in. The gig went well but Titia was sad to have missed it!
Below is a snippet of the interview held with Palm Strings at Hudson’s Restaurant. Find the full interview on their website.
“Nothing creates an electric atmosphere at a wedding like excellent live music!
We got in touch with violinist and founder of Palm Strings, Titia Blake, and asked her to tell us all about their magic.
Tell us a little more about your company and the service that you offer…
Palm Strings is about live acoustic music. A violin / guitar duo is the most popular of our ensembles. Adding a bass (or cello) to the mix we become a trio, or even a quartet by adding a second violin. Occasionally we still play as a classic string quartet (two violins, a viola and a cello) but we are finding more and more that people want the classic instruments playing pop music. This genre definitely calls for a guitar. We are as comfortable playing a concert on stage at the Baxter theatre as we are playing jazz at a wine farm or on the beach at a seaside resort. Our repertoire is vast – ranging from popular classics to the latest pop tunes. We’ve even learned punk (think Blink 182) and Bollywood hits for clients.
How long have you been working in the industry?
What price range is your service?
Usually between R6000 and R12000 depending on the number of musicians involved.
How many weddings do you estimate you have been involved in?
Oh my goodness! 1000 AT LEAST!
What is one of the challenges you face in your industry?
People totally underestimate the value of the energy of live music and often don’t understand that we are not a jukebox on which you can press a ‘play’ button! It takes hours to arrange the latest pop song or Bollywood tune when the sheet music is not available.
What makes your service unique?
We are completely mobile. We often “move” guests from one venue to the next. For example at Hudson’s we have played a service in the garden then moved the guests to the patio for pre-drinks and finally inside for the reception. Our duo has memorized so much music we can play for hours without reading a note – in the wind, in a cramped space, anywhere! As a result we’ve played on trains, boats, on Table mountain and even in the first waterfall at Watervalletjie in Piketberg!