“All things flow, nothing abides. You cannot step into the same river twice, for the waters are continually flowing on. Nothing is permanent except change.”

photo by Roman Zotter | de Roode Bioscoop | 2023

The RIVER brings songs of wonderings and human rights, poems of wanderings and love, and adventurous music, flowing and creating in the moment we are together.

The RIVER is a band i put together because i wished to share my songs in a particular musical and poetic context, played by musicians and a poet i have listened to and admired for many years. It combines three of my great loves: folk songs, improvised music and poetry.

In 2006 we started with a concert in the Amsterdam Literary Festival. Since then The RIVER has been playing as a full band and at times in smaller formations or with guest musicians. The RIVER plays THE SWIM SESSIONS was a mini series in three Amsterdam venues, De Roode Bioscoop, Plantage Dok and Bimhuis. These concerts were supported by the AFK. In December 2015 the first album The SWIM SESSIONS was released on Sibyl Sings. It was recorded live during a concert at the Bimhuis.

The RIVER is:

  • Lily Kiara (guitar, vocals)
  • Joost Buis (trombone, lap steel guitar)
  • Michael Moore (alto and bass clarinets)
  • Felicity Provan (trumpet, vocals)
  • Michael Vatcher (drums, percussion)
  • Julyen Hamilton (poetry)
  • Paul Pallesen (electric guitar)

you do not have to be a fire
every mountain blocking you
you could be a water
soft river your way to freedom
– options      

nayyirah waheed, in salt

“The RIVER is exceptional. Because of the combination of music genres that mingle and at the same time also don’t mingle, but mostly very harmoniously live besides each other so it feels as if they mingle.” (translation from Dutch)Peter Bruyn in frnkfrt.net

“Folk and contemporary improvisation are … drawn together in an unconventional way that always breaks expectations. Songs bubble up from the improvisation or vice versa; each time the river meanders in new directions making ‘The Swim Sessions’ as a whole as elusive as it is enchanting”. (translation from Dutch)Erno Elsinga, jazzenzo.nl

photo by Francesca Patella