Monday, August 31, 2015

The British Library free images

Now here is a real treasure trove if you are looking for old images that are free of copyright: The British Library has started a Flickr site on which they have already uploaded over a million of such images. I link to the album page which gives a more ordered overview.

web site

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 17. A whiter shade of pale (Procol Harum)

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 #17, we find Procol Harum's A whiter shade of pale. One of those songs everyone knows. Also one of those songs where the most outrageous wrong claims circulate on the internet. I wish I would get a euro for every time I have seen someone claim that this is a cover of Bach's Air. It is not, as a simple side-by-side comparison will show to anyone who has ears. The melody and the harmonies are akin to Bach though, and actually his Sleepers awake would be a stronger case to claim as an inspiration source. A world wide number one, and deservedly so. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Splash

Another examples from my photography that shows that abstract images are almost everywhere. This one is just a splatter of paint on a white wall of a building under reconstruction. Perhaps not a personal favourite, but it got a good response on Flickr.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.0 mm
ISO Speed: 125
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Flickr

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dream

One of the latest creations of my wife: mainly oil painting and a bit of mixed media on a round canvas. Once more an intriguing mixture of Western and Eastern influences.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

From Abe to Avshalomoff

In June 2015 I embarked on an ambitious project that will take me many years to complete: listen to each single classical music CD in my collection once again. I decided to take it a letter at a time, and I just finished the CD's of composers whose family name start with an A (image source). At the same time I made an overview of the CD's played, in a separate site (for the A, see here) - of course, compositions on CD's filed under composers with names not starting with A are not included yet. Neither are operas, that will be a separate undertaking.

This finished first part took the playing of 254 CD's, spread out over 63 composers. The 10 most represented composers starting with A in my collection turn out to be: Aho (Kalevi) 23; Alwyn (William) 22; Arnold (Malcolm) 22; Adams (John) 17; Atterberg (Kurt) 11; Arnell (Richard) 9; Arensky (Anton) 8; Alfven (Hugo) 7; Antheil (George) 7; Andriessen (Louis) 7. My favourite single composition in this batch would have to be Alwyn's harp concerto Lyra Angelica, my favourite CD is probably Malcolm Arnold's set of dances on Chandos. The most pleasant surprise was Arutiunian's violin concerto, the biggest disappointment (relatively) the seven CD's of Louis Andriessen's music. He is seen as a major figure, but his music does not appeal to me that much. I prefer his father Hendrik by far.

link

Monday, August 24, 2015

OrchestralPiece

My presence on Flickr has decreased dramatically in recent weeks, but this shot deserves more exposure. It was taken by my Flickr friend David Gumbrell (Auribins). Theme and variations would have been a good title as well. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 18. In the air tonight (Phil Collins)

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 #18, we find Phil Collins with In the air tonight (#1 in 1981). In hindsight it seems unbelievable how much progressive Genesis fans like me looked forward to the first solo album of Phil Collins. In the end, Face Value was disappointing, consisting mostly of straightforward pop songs, but the macabre hit single In the air tonight was of a much higher calibre. The song is rumored to be about a man who is drowning whilst another man watches without offering any aid, all of this being witnessed by Collins at a helpless distance. Actually, the song was symbolic for Collins' failing marriage. The instrumentation really makes it work, especially the drums that explode near its finale. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, August 21, 2015

Games without frontiers

Not one of Peter Gabriel's best singles to my taste, but a successful one, and the cover is excellent. It echoes the corresponding album cover (Peter Gabriel 3, "Melt"), and was undoubtedly also designed by Hipgnosis. More about Peter Gabriel on the linked Wikipedia page.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Shanghailus

An alternative site that should be interesting for those who would like to explore my wife's art beyond what I post in this blog. She recently started the site Shanghailus on Weebly, presenting her own views on her art. Clearly recommended.

web site

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rolling Stone's 100 greatest songwriters of all time

Lists like "the 100 greatest songwriters of all time", recently published in an article by the Rolling Stone, will always be controversial. Overall they did a decent job though, although personally I still don't get the Dylan worshiping. Among the missing names, the ones that stick out most prominently for me are Tori Amos, Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel. Still, fun to browse through.

web site

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Dancing with Costică by Jane Long

This is such an amazing and fascinating art project, which I first came across on the MyModernMet site. Australian artist Jane Long takes old black and white shots by Costică Acsinte, a Romanian war photographer who documented WWI and passed away in 1984, and turns them into beautiful digital art pieces. I love what she did with these two children's photographs, especially the grown-up reflection in the mirror. Highly recommended to check out more of her work on the linked web site, or Flickr, or FaceBook. As usual, all rights retained by the artist.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 19. Radar love (Golden Earring)

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 #19, we find the Dutch band Golden Earring with Radar love (#1 in 1973). Their signature tune, one of the ultimate driving songs, and a huge hit all over the world. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, August 14, 2015

Earth View

Looking for a new wallpaper for your computer? Or do you just enjoy high quality aerial photography? Then have a look at Earth View, a web site with a stunning collection of 1500 images from Google Earth. The above example is Sanlúcar la Mayor in Spain.

web site

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The castle

Another example of my digital art, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my laptop. The painting-like treatment was applied to my photograph of the Dutch castle De Haar in Haarzuilen near Utrecht. The link leads to the original photograph.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Where angels fear to tread

The fifth album of Mink DeVille, one of the first New Wave bands, was released in 1983, The atmospheric cover is excellent, integrating the band's logo into the design seamlessly. The photography is credited to Jay Berman.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 20. The promise you made (Cock Robin)

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 #20, we find the American band Cock Robin with The promise you made (#1 in 1986). They may be classified as New Wave by AMG, but to my ears they were a straightforward middle-of-the-road pop group. There is nothing wrong with that of course, and I still very much enjoy listening to this love song, which failed to make any impact in the USA, was only a small hit in the UK, but was a huge success in continental Europe. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube

Friday, August 07, 2015

Walking on sunshine

I love this photograph by my Flickr friend and fellow Kampen citizen Gert van der Meulen. It was shot near our new studio in one of the most beautiful spots of Kampen - and the reflection after a serious rainfall really makes the picture special. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Nine years of Art for Art's Sake

I started this blog on August 4th, 2006 - making today its ninth birthday (image sourced from here). The currently archived posts do not go back further than October 2008, because at that time I made a fresh start, deleting everything that I had posted before.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

The best Dutch #1 hits: 21. The wallstreet shuffle (10CC)

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 #21, we find 10CC with The Wallstreet shuffle (#1 in 1974). This single was their first serious rock song after successful bubble gum hits like Donna and Rubber bullets. Excellent lyrics that foreshadows later songs like An Englishman in New York by 10CC members Godley and Creme. Art Rock score: 9/10 (awesome song, one of the 1000 best of all time).

YouTube