Monday, March 02, 2015

Notre Dame in the late afternoon

Another beautiful but less famous painting by French grand-master Henri Matisse, hovering between impressionism and expressionism. I prefer this 1902 cityscape over many of his later works. More on Matisse in the linked Wikipedia article.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Vogue March 1932

One could argue that the best vintage Vogue covers were in the twenties, but this one from 1932 is right up there with my other favorites. No wonder, as it was designed by the famous Georges Lepape.

link

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 43. The day that Curly Billy shot down crazy Sam McGee (Hollies)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #43, we find the British band The Hollies with their rocking The day that Curly Billy shot down crazy Sam McGee  (#1 in 1973). Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).

YouTube

Friday, February 27, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Abstracted rain pipe

One of my favourite shots of recent months, even though it got less response on Flickr than I had expected. A typical example of a found abstract, in this case zooming in on a rusty (and broken) rain pipe.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.016 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 160
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Sounds of Silence (John Cage and 4'33")

It is probably the most discussed and most controversial piece of classical music (if it is indeed music): John Cage's 4'33" from 1952, which requires the performer(s) not to play their instrument(s) at all, for a period of 4 minutes and 33 seconds (image credit). Discussions about the piece are usually very heated, with loads of misinformation flying around. I am glad that I came across the linked article by Larry J Solomon, which gives a clear and concise overview of its history and purpose. So... is it music? I think I'd better keep silent about that.

web site

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nailed it! by John Bisbee

These amazing geometrical structures are created by John Bisbee from 12-inch nails and nothing else (I improvised the title). In the linked interview, the artist writes that he is guided by the mantra "only nails, always different." As usual, all rights retained by the artist.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Unusual concertos [86]: Xylophone

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - realizing 80+ this time.

The eighty sixth concerto deals with the xylophone, another pitched member of the percussion group (image credit). Although it has been used on and off in symphony orchestra compositions (Saint-Saens, Schoenberg, Shostakovich), concertos for the instrument are rare (much rarer than for marimba). I have selected the concertino by Mayuzumi, in the version by Joanne May and the Foundation Philharmonic Orchestra under David Snell. It is available on an ASV CD.

Go here

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mount Baker

The photostream of my Flickr friend peggyhr contains many beautiful sunrise and sunset shots, but this one is truly amazing. The cone-shaped shadow of Mount Baker, as seen from their Vancouver condo, makes for a fabulous combination of colours and shapes. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 44. De bom (Doe Maar)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #44, we find the Dutch band Doe Maar with their nuclear doom anthem De bom  (#1 in 1982). Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).

YouTube

Friday, February 20, 2015

The sheep

For the second day of Chinese New Year (Year of the goat or sheep), I have selected this expressionist sheep painting by the brilliant Franz Marc (1880-1916), completed two years before he fell in the Great War. More on Marc in the linked Wikipedia article.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year!

To all our family and friends who celebrate the lunar new year: may you have a great time and a good year ahead of you! The year of the goat (or sheep) starts today, and I created this image from one of my own photographs (original here).

Amazon

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Here comes the flood

Romanian artist and photographer Adrian Borda creates stunning images by combining elements from separate pictures into one. I love the one I selected for today's post, but do check out the link to sample more of his art. All rights retained by the artist, as usual.

link

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Picture-Play October 1926

Picture-Play was an early movies magazine that has not appeared in the blog yet. This cover is idyllic and beautiful, depicting actress Mary Brian in a sketch by an artist named David Panga (if I decipher the signature correctly).

link

Monday, February 16, 2015

Camel

The British prog band Camel is one of my favourites in the genre, and many of their album covers were excellent as well. This is their 1973 eponymous debut, which came with an awesome Art Deco inspired cover design, credited to Brian Kirk.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Carnival in Arcueil

Today marks the start of the yearly carnival festivities in the Netherlands. I have no affinity with this particular happening, but it is a good excuse to post this great painting from 1911 by German-American Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956). More on Feininger in the linked Wikipedia article.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 45. Theme from The deer hunter (Shadows)

As posted here, the Dutch top40 chart celebrated its 50th birthday in January this year. When I posted about that event, I included my top50 songs that made the top40 chart in the past. I was intrigued how few of my favourite songs actually made the #1 position, so the rest of the year I will be posting at a rate of one a week (on Saturday, the day the top40 was broadcast) my countdown of fifty favourite #1 hits. At #45, we find the Shadows with their Theme from The deer hunter, the legendary Michael Cimino movie about the Vietnam war (#1 in 1979). The song is a cover of Cavatina, a 1970 classical guitar piece by Stanley Myers. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).

YouTube

Friday, February 13, 2015

From Greece with love

Taken from a series of patriotic postcards by Nanni, created a century ago, depicting various allies (in this case, Greece). Little more than a sketch, but quite effective. And beautiful.

web site

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hibernal selfie

Once more one of my attempts at digital art based on my own photographs, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my laptop. A selfie I shot two winters ago on the Kampen bridge. The link leads to the original photograph.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ho Fan

Shanghai born photographer Ho Fan (1937) became famous with his photographs of Hong Kong, capturing urban life in Bauhaus-style atmospheric shots that often had an abstract quality to them. More about Ho in the Wikipedia entry linked to below.