Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ten 20th century prog classics beyond UK and US

It is widely believed that 20th century progressive rock (or prog) was mainly a British affair, with some contributions from the USA and the English speaking part of Canada. In this post I'd like to draw attention to ten very worthwhile prog albums from other parts of the world, released from the mid seventies to the early nineties, triggered by finding all of these albums completely present at YouTube (links provided). I opted for maximum one per country. Enjoy!

Netherlands: Hamburger concerto by Focus (YouTube)
Germany: Battlement by Neuschwanstein (YouTube)
France: Au-Delà Du Délire by Ange (YouTube)
Italy: Per Un Amico by Premiata Forneria Marconi (YouTube)
Sweden: Hybris by Änglagård (YouTube)
Poland: Memento z Banalnym Tryptykiem by SBB (YouTube)
Canada (French): Si on avait besoin d'une cinquième saison by Harmonium (YouTube)
Brazil: Depois do fim by Bacamarte (YouTube)
Chile: Alturas de Machu Pichu by Los Jaivas (YouTube)
Japan: Shingetsu by Shingetsu (YouTube)

Copyright statement: mosaic image created by myself. All covers are thumbnail size and considered fair use.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Quiet life

My wife and I are currently going through stacks of my old LP records, in search of covers we can use to decorate one wall in our home. She picked out this gem (Japan's Quiet life from 1979), a great record as well. The album photography, presumably including the dreamy cover image of lead singer David Sylvian, is credited to Fin Costello.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of album covers considered fair use.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Chinese landscape photography by Wang Wusheng

Some photography goes beyond the art of taking images, especially when the photographer shoots a series with an overriding theme. Chinese photographer Wang Wusheng (1945) specializes in photographing the mountain scenery of the Yellow Mountains in Anhui province (northern China), producing dream-like images akin to traditional Chinese ink paintings.

Copyright statement: image created from linked site, all images are thumbnail size, considered fair use.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Flowered terrace

An artist I did not know, but I came across his name thanks to the Google Art Project. Henri-Edmond Cross, born Henri-Edmond-Joseph Delacroix, (1856 - 1910) was a French neo-impressionist, who influenced Matisse and the Fauves movement. This garden image from 1905 appealed to me immediately. More about Cross in the linked Wikipedia article.

Copyright statement: image in pubic domain.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Are synesthetes more creative?

Synesthesia, the coupling of two or more senses, is a fascinating phenomenon. A small minority of people have it, and as a consequence, they have an automatic association of senses. Examples are colours associated with music, or smells associated with images. The linked art-icle gives a condensed overview, and raises/answers the question whether synesthetes are more creative. I found it an interesting read.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


One of the best minimal abstracts I have seen for while - and no surprise that it was shot by my Flickr friend Lorraine Kerr. It is the portico of the Greek national archaeological museum in shadow, reduced to its essence. There's also a bit of optical illusion going on - I could have sworn that it was a bit higher than wide, but it is actually her trademark square format.

Copyright statement: posted with explicit permission of the creator who retains all rights.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

When you're gone

To commemorate last week's shocking passing of Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries, one of their best single covers. And the title is appropriate as well. More about the Cranberries in the linked Wikipedia page.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of single covers considered fair use.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Here be dragons

A year ago, I already blogged about the graphic artwork of a local Kampen artist, who goes by the name of Ebrain Art (here). This fairly recent effort is my favourite in his repertoire so far, so I decided to feature it under Anything goes. The title is by myself, inspired by seeing dragon tails in the structures.

Copyright statement: posted with permission of the creator who retains all rights..

Monday, January 22, 2018

Life June 1922

A beautiful vintage Life cover, with an outstanding colour combination and a fun peacock feathers hat. It was created by W.T. Benda.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The hand cannot erase....

Another example of digital art made possible with the on-line program at the DeepArt site (blogged here). In this case, I took a photograph of a detail of a sculpture by Herman Brood spotted in a Zwolle art gallery, and the Lichtenstein painting Hopeless (link). The result is a piece of pop-art in line with what I was aiming for - with a title inspired by Steven Wilson. The link leads to the original photograph.

Copyright statement: image created via the DeepArt site from one of my original images. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dunlop tyres

Another poster that I would have expected to be from a decade later than it actually is. It was made in the 1910's by Franz Hinklein.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


This my own favourite of the four evening shots I took during the yearly local festivity Kerst in Oud Kampen (Christmas in Old Kampen). It is the same light installation as the previous post on this subject, but at a different location in the street. Decent responses on Flickr as well.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.025 sec (1/40)
Aperture: f/5.0
Focal Length: 22.7 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Copyright statement: image created by myself. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Promises (RIP Dolores O'Riordan)

This one hit me as hard as David Bowie two years ago. Yesterday Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries, passed away aged only 46. In her memory, the beautiful Promises. Art Rock score: 10/10, one of  200 best songs of all time.

Copyright statement: image screenshot from the video, considered fair use.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Classical music of the past 100 years [1] 1918-1927

Too many listeners of classical music think that over the past 100 years or so, nothing worthwhile has been composed. In this recurring series, I will be posting one composition per year from 1918 until 2017, with every selected composer featuring only once (and not necessarily with their imo best work). I'm aiming for composers who represent the more modern age, skipping many famous names from before 1918 who also composed in this time slot (such as Sibelius and Richard Strauss). Overall I wanted to get a reasonable mix of symphonies, concertos, other orchestral works, chamber music, solo instrumental compositions, and vocal creations, but excluding opera altogether. I have grouped the works per period of ten years, with one post per month for each subsequent decade. Youtube links are not included as they tend to disappear with time - they are easily googled anyway. If you like classical music, but are reluctant to explore the 20th and 21st century works, this series of posts might give you a bit of a nudge to start listening.

1918 Langgaard - Music of the Spheres
1919 Milhaud - Le boeuf sur le toit
1920 Hába - String quartet 2
1921 Varese - Americas
1922 Warlock - The curlew
1923 Honegger - Pacific 231
1924 Respighi - Pines of Rome
1925 Roussel - Serenade for flute, string trio, and harp
1926 Jongen - Symphonie concertante
1927 Mosolov - Iron foundry

A nice mixture to start, with some works you probably know or at least have heard of (the symphonic poems by Honegger and Respighi, the modernist ballet by Milhaud). The others are well worth exploring too. Langgaard's innovative masterpiece is a tour de force, requiring an orchestra, choir, organ, a "distant" orchestra, and a soprano soloist. Hába's string quartet is an early example of his modern microtonal music. Varèse's work adds 11 percussionists and sirens to a typical large romantic orchestra. Warlock's enchanting song cycle with chamber music accompaniment is a personal favourite of mine. The Roussel chamber music piece is typical French elegance. In contrast, the two final pieces will blow you away. Jongen's work for organ and orchestra rivals Saint-Saens' third symphony for the most impressive composition which combines these two elements, and Mosolov's piece is the prime example of Soviet futurist music.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Katharine Hepburn by Cecil Beaton

Please click the picture to open the photograph in a new tab (I had to go this roundabout way to avoid copyright issues). It's not often that a photograph makes such an impression on me as this 1934 shot of a 27 years old Katharine Hepburn by Cecil Beaton did: a fabulous piece of photography and a gorgeous actress. I first saw this in the Flapper girl blog (linked).

Copyright statement: image created via the Photofunia site, who explicitly state that their images have no copyright issues. The original photograph included in the image is thumbnail size and therefore considered fair use.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Anagram generator

I've always loved word plays, and anagrams are among the most fun of them. The linked anagram generation site is a great help if you want to see how words or names can have fascinating anagrams. To keep this post at least a little on-topic for this blog (which for this thread has warped into Stars for Karate!), I made an example of 10 classical music composers, whose names anagram into rather unexpected results:

Free Bulgaria! (Gabriel Faure)
Cruelest prophet (Peter Sculthorpe)
Bulldogs urinal (Douglas Lilburn)
Returnable flaws (Walter Braunfels)
Sour Polish (Louis Spohr)
Trouser labels (Albert Roussel)
Recalls nine (Carl Nielsen)
Kraut timeouts (Toru Takemitsu)
Marble abuser (Samuel Barber)
Personal twit (Walter Piston)

Try it yourself - but be warned, it is addictive.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Transformation by Edgar Artis

Edgar Artis from Armenia is an illustrator who likes to turn his sketches into 3D art pieces by adding food or office stationary as dresses. Do click the link to see his creations larger.

Copyright statement: mosaic created from 9 thumbnail sized pictures, regarded as fair use.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The optimist

Anathema is a British rock band from Liverpool, who combine good music with great album covers. Here is their latest effort, from 2017. The photography for the album, presumably including the cover, is credited to Heather Elizabeth and Travis Smith.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of album covers considered fair use.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Pont Neuf (New Bridge) at night

Albert Marquet (1875-1947) was a French painter, originally associated with the Fauvist movement. This is one of his later creations from 1935, where the Fauvist influences make a return to his work. He came to my attention by an informative post in the excellent Art Now and Then blog. More about Marquet in the linked Wikipedia entry.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018


Dronestagram, a funny pun on the famous Instagram photographs site, is a relatively new web site where some of the best drone shots are collected. An appetizer is displayed above, but do click the link and look at these shots (and more) in detail.

Copyright statement: image constructed from linked site. Al images are thumbnails and considered fair use.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

The time machine

My Flickr friend Ethan (known previously as Cormend) is currently posting a remarkable series of shots taken during his visit of the Angkor temple complex in Cambodia. This is just one of the masterpieces (I faved a handful already). It's really worthwhile to check out the complete series here.

Copyright statement: posted with explicit permission of the creator who retains all rights.