“People have come up to me after gigs and said that they got goosebumps when I was playing the violin, or that my voice really moved them.”
Name: Wiebke Pahrmann
Place of birth: Rotenburg (Wümme), Germany
Do: Musician, Arranger, Composer (see more at wiebkepahrmann.com)
Do you think music is a healing force for humans?
That used to be a vague concept for me, but in the last couple of years my mind has changed. When I first came to the island in 2015, I was very drawn to sound healing. I invested in books, healing forks and sound tubes of specific frequencies so I could get started and learn more about it. I wanted to know more about which frequencies could restore specific imbalances in the body. If one of your organs is not working properly, it is said to have a different frequency than in it’s healthy state. By sending the proper frequency, it adjusts and heals.
Over the past few years, I haven’t spent as much time on the subject as I would have liked to, because making a living here on the island as a musician turned out to be more of a challenge than I anticipated. I wanted to build up my freelance network first to provide for my life here, until I would be confident and experienced enough to switch to sound healing. However, my outlook on playing music has changed during that time. I appreciate that music–not just specific frequencies–has potential for healing a lot more now. When you listen to a song, it gives you a certain feeling. That feeling is changing your vibration and that has an effect on your physical body. I realised that I send out a certain frequency when I play that the listeners are receiving. People have come up to me after gigs and said that they got goosebumps when I was playing the violin, or that my voice really moved them. I found that a bit odd at first, because I was only singing backing vocals, but yes, they really meant me.
By performing, I am not addressing anybody’s specific problems, but I get to share my energy with people of all kinds. Sound healing would have attracted people who were looking for healing and interested in alternative methods. Playing music also reaches people who might not be that open, and it still moves something in them. Playing songs is also a way of sound healing.
Have you ever worn a tutu on stage?
I actually have. And not whilst I was performing ballet as you would imagine! I bought this super cool dark blue tutu here on the island a few years ago that I absolutely love. I guess it’s somewhere between a tutu and a petticoat, so it has plenty of volume. It takes up a lot of space in my wardrobe! Before I bought it I thought “How often will I really wear something like that?” But now I know the answer: 4-5 times a year! It was worth it. It makes me feel like a princess. I occasionally wear it for performances and sometimes I’ll just wear it to go into town if the mood takes me.
You play trumpet, flugelhorn and violin. What’s your favourite and why?
It used to be trumpet, but during the past couple of years there have been some changes and now I like playing them all. I went to the conservatory to obtain a degree in music, so my formal background is jazz trumpet-playing. I love the clean and clear sound of brass instruments. I feel like their vibrations go straight to my core. Trumpet is a bit more of a challenge than flugelhorn as it’s more difficult to make it sound good, but it also gives me so much more freedom to express myself. The flugelhorn has a naturally warmer sound and is an easy crowd-pleaser, but on trumpet I find it more of an art to express my own sound. I spent many years at the conservatory perfecting it.
I started playing violin when I was five years old, but switched to trumpet when I was eleven. I was a talented violinist, but because of the pressure my teacher was putting on me, I started to hate it. When I switched to trumpet, music started being fun again. And I had a way better time in the brass ensemble of our music school with all the cool guys than in the string orchestra with the girls! We went on awesome tours that really broadened my horizon and let me see the world. When I was 24 I picked up the violin and slowly started to find my love of it again. Here on Ibiza I started playing it even more. First, just a few Irish songs in a band, then adding atmospheres in acoustic duos, some solo gigs and one of the latest challenges is to play jazz and to start swinging. The more I develop my skills, the more fun I am having with my violin.
How many bands are you part of?
I love variety and I juggle a few different projects. There is a broad variety in size, instrumentation and music styles that I enjoy. I’m part of The White Island Orchestra, a fourteen piece band with string and horn sections playing house classics. I also write and arrange their music for the horns and strings. Musical Mermaids is an acoustic female trio dressed in beautiful mermaid costumes. I love getting into the costume. Super fun! I spent twelve years touring The Netherlands in the dutch comedy shows of Tineke Schouten. As one of the musicians on stage with her, we not only played, but danced, sang and acted. I still get to dance in two other projects: ProVocc is a seven-piece band and we play a mix of jazz and groovy pop against very artistic stage settings. In 3 To Moove I get to dance with challenging choreography. I’m part of the duo “Breeze”, playing chill out music with me on muted trumpet and a friend on saxophone. The Topaz Movement, a fusion of classic house and jazz that is very creative and groovy. Island Vibes which can be either an acoustic duo with guitar, trio or even full band playing pop covers in our own versions. Romantic Strings, a string duo or trio for weddings with classical and pop repertoire. Wild Child, a DJ spinning from a stylish VW party bus, a singer and me. And of course I play solo gigs with backing tracks or solo with DJ’s. Anything from pop, deep- or chill-house, to bossa nova covers or jazz. A new venture of mine is playing fiddle as part of a country band, the Hellbellys. In our first get-together, we played a country version of ACDC’s “You shook me all night long”, and I was sold.
Tell us about the first time you saw Es Vedra.
The first time I saw Es Vedra, I didn’t even know what it was. But I was fascinated instantly. In 2014, I packed up my life in Amsterdam, moved everything to my Mom’s attic in Germany, and started travelling with the intention to grow spiritually. In January 2015 that path led me to Ibiza for a Quantum Energy Coaching seminar. I had never been to the island before. The taxi from the airport took me straight to Cala Carbo where I was going to spend two weeks at the seminar. On that winding road from Sant Josep, there is a special turn from which you see Es Vedra for the first time, and it captured me right away. That night I went to the cliffs, did my chakra balancing exercise and performed a little ceremony under the stars. It felt like a magical night. Later I learned that Es Vedra has the same magnetic imprint as a meteor. I was wearing a piece of a meteor around my neck, which was stimulating my third eye, helping me develop my intuition and transformation. I could feel Es Vedra’s energy so intensely that I knew this was a place where I wanted to spend more time. During the seminar, I made friends on the island and decided to stay another month. Pretty soon, I met some fellow musicians who were excited about playing with me during the summer, and I decided to move here and give it a chance. My friend and I only looked at one apartment, and it was clear right away that that was going to be it. Big living room windows looking out over Es Vedra, a really nice stylish interior, and an affordable rent. A jackpot. For the first year or so, I felt like I didn’t want to leave the area. I could feel Es Vedra’s energy working on me. At some point in my second year, the process was done. I stayed in the apartment for another year, but then life took me to different parts on the island. I still love going back and being in Es Vedra’s presence, but I know that whatever transformation was taking place in me is now complete. That energy has done its work and it’s time for the next step on my path.
You have a thing for sewing
Crafting in general, but also sewing, yes. My sewing machine just came back from an overhaul and I am very excited about starting some creative projects. First I’m going to make a bag out of my Mom’s old T-shirt. She was just visiting last week and had an old T-shirt from a New Zealand tour that we did in the 90’s. It was so old that she was only sleeping in it. When I washed it, I unfortunately dyed the white T-shirt grey, and she was ready to throw it away. I thought it was a shame, because I have a thing for New Zealand, and I have great memories of my tours there. So I just ordered a nice wooden handle and some stylish fabric to make a bag from it.
Tell us about your experiences on the Camino de Santiago.
I’ve walked the camino from St. Jean-Pied de Port to Santiago twice. My Mom told me that it was a dream of hers to walk it, but she was afraid of doing it on her own. Walking 750km seemed just crazy enough for me to accept the challenge. In 2011 we walked it for the first time. I had always been fascinated by stories about energy healing and miraculous recoveries, but until that moment, I had never been in touch with it and didn’t know anybody who was doing it. On the camino, we met a Mexican woman walking with her daughter and son, and we became friends. She lived in California and had inherited certain gifts from her grandmother. She had been sick for quite a few years and was forced to quit her job. But when she started using her gifts, her health improved. So she decided to dedicate her life to energy healing. I spent the two following summers with her in California and I learned so much. I joined in on the chakra balancing exercises and watched her conduct energy healing sessions. Those summers completely changed me. I feel like there was my life before these experiences and my life as it is now. Because of the energy shifts during the past 7 or 8 years, there has been so much transformation and evolution that I feel like a different person. It’s the same world around me, but I have a completely different outlook on it and experience it in a different way.
The second time I walked the camino, I wanted to go by myself. But on the first day, I met a Danish man and we stuck together the whole way. In retrospect, I think meeting him was the whole purpose of walking the camino again. He told me about an energy healer in Aarhus who was conducting initiations for Living on Light. As soon as I heard about it, I knew I wanted to do it. A month after finishing the pilgrimage, I went to Aarhus to get my Living on Light initiation, and undertake a water diet until the final transformation. That was another life-changing moment. I wonder what would happen if I walked the camino a third time!
Do you believe in soul mates?
I don’t know. I feel that it would’t make any difference on my life if I had an opinion on that. So I like to leave it open. I would have to get more information on what that really means. I sometimes get the feeling that some people use that term too easily without giving it much thought or knowing what they are really talking about. Until I feel drawn to investigating the topic further and have more to say about it, I am just going to let it be and not have an opinion. I just had a talk to my boyfriend about it, and funny enough we feel exactly the same.
What does perfection mean to you?
I was born in September. As a child I functioned as a textbook Virgo. My Mom was a handicrafter and always had several projects I was keen to help her with. I was a perfectionist. I needed to prove to myself that I could make my craft projects perfect. And I did. When I look at them now, it astonishes me, they really are very neat! As I grew older I became a bit more impatient. I think I’d struggle with that level of perfection now.
In music, you find different approaches. Some musicians practice a piece over and over until it is absolutely perfect in every way. Others leave more room for creativity, go with the flow and improvise on the spot. I find that it’s important to gain a certain level of skill and technique, and this is found by reaching for perfection. But when you perform, you let that go, stay open for what’s needed in the moment, and follow that flow. This creates room for what some people might call mistakes or imperfections, but I believe that the music comes out exactly the way it needs to for that specific moment.
If Ibiza was a feeling, what feeling would it be?
Freedom. I moved to Amsterdam in 2000 for my studies. It’s a very colourful, International, open-minded place. When I left in 2014, I wondered where my travels might take me and which place would become my next home. I found the same kind of freedom here on Ibiza as I did in Amsterdam. I can be myself completely, and people here are encouraged to live their individuality. Maybe it depends on the people you surround yourself with on the island, but in my case that is definitely true.