November 30, 2016

Life-size piano made of Lego to go on tour

Filed under: Art,Dutch first,Music by Orangemaster @ 5:20 pm

Composer and pianist Jeroen van Veen of Culemborg, Gelderland built a life-size working piano using almost 30,000 pieces of Lego. As a huge Lego fan and composer, he wrote the ‘Minimal Prelude 18’ with the nickname ‘Lego music’, which features minimalistic sounds with many repetitions.

Building the instrument started as a bit of fun, something Van Veen did with his two adult sons. The piano is easy to put together and take apart, although they are careful when transporting it. Not only is it mechanically functional, but it is also a hybrid piano, with digital and analogue elements, possibly a world first.

People in the United States and in other countries want to have the piano over their way, so the Lego piano will probably be going on tour. The ‘brand name’ is Van Veen & Sons, a nod not only to how it was built, but also to the grand piano brand Steinway & Sons.

(Link: waarmaarraar, Photo by Sunny Ripert, some rights reserved)

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October 29, 2016

Kyteman jamming at home on his Eurorack modular synthesizer

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 8:10 am

kyteman-eurorackWhen Colin Benders aka Kyteman gets home, he kicks off his shoes (or so I imagine) and turns on his impressive looking Eurorack modular synthesizer for some jams, which he films and the best of which he puts on YouTube. As Metafilter says, just let it run.

Kyteman wrote: “Ever since I came back home I’ve been pushing out tracks non-stop. Finally got something of a workflow going it seems. Not looking forward to editing it all later but that’s another story.”

And tonight on his webcast on Twitch.tv he added: “Next stream is probably going to be on Monday, … Monday and Tuesday. […] After that I am going to get back into recording mode. I really have to start pushing out a couple of tracks, because I want to work to an EP release or something like that.”

So if you want to see him play live, tune in to Colin Benders’ Twitch.tv channel this Monday.

Previously:

(Illustration: crop from the video; video: YouTube / Colin Benders)

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September 28, 2016

‘Booze and Drugs’ is ‘Stoff und Schnaps’ in German

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 10:19 am

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At the start of the summer, we told you about Americans trying to sing Dutch summer hit ‘Drank & Drugs’ (‘Booze and Drugs’) by Lil Kleine & Ronnie Flex. Now it’s time for the next level, the German version ‘Stoff und Schnaps’ (‘Drugs and Schnaps’), complete with lyrics and bouncing ball.

Ronnie Flex says he’d love to more songs in German because there’s “a market of 70 million people!” Actually, 80 million, but we get it, it’s not the Netherlands with its puny 16.8 million and a language dwarfed by German on the world scale as well.

The big question is, how’s their German accent?

(Link: nieuws.nl)

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August 23, 2016

Dutch experimental music to be sent into space

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 11:40 pm

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On 8 September the experimental sounds of Dutch composer Roland Kuit will be heard in space as part of the OSIRIS-REx NASA mission, which will travel to a near-Earth asteroid called ‘Bennu’ and bring a small sample back to Earth for study. The mission’s goal is to get more insight into the origin of life.

Kuit’s sounds will be placed on a chip that will be left on the asteroid, which will send his music into space, powered by solar energy. “I think it’s great that NASA uses science as a vehicle for art, as art is something that differentiates humans from the rest”, explains Kuit.

Listen to the space sounds of Ronald Kuit:

(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl)

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August 22, 2016

Jazz legend Toots Thielemans dies, the Dutch angle

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 9:01 pm

Jazz legend Toots Thielemans dies, the Dutch angle

Here’s a screenshot of the character ‘Baantjer’ from the show of the same name for which Toots Thielemans performed the theme on the mouth harmonica. Thielemans has died today, aged 94. He was very talented and played several instruments, and was well known for playing the mouth harmonica, among others, for Dutch films and series.

Here’s the theme to the Dutch detective series ‘Baantjer’ Circle of smiles (yeah, screenshot typo) composed by Jurre Haanstra, a show that ran for eleven years. And then there’s the catchy intro music to Paul Verhoeven’s classic Dutch film ‘Turks Fruit’ (‘Turkish Delight’), composed by Rogier van Otterloo and performed by Toots Thielemans, a tune many people can whistle to, no problem.

Find out more about Toots Thielemans yourself, as the international name dropping could go on for days.

And then there’s his most popular tune ever, which most of our readers surely know. Can you guess what it could be before you press play? Hint: it’s 47 years old.

(Link: www.theguardian.com)

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July 14, 2016

Police copy uniform design, then pressure choir in giving theirs up

Filed under: Fashion,Music by Branko Collin @ 11:57 pm

politie-uniform-2016At first it seemed a joke to Bravour, a shanty choir from Woerden. When the Dutch police introduced a new uniform in 2014, it turned out to be the spitting image of the choir’s uniform, dark blue with broad yellow bands across the chest.

“We’ve suddenly gained tens of thousands of new members”, the choir’s chair person Ad de Goey quipped in Algemeen Dagblad that year. “The local police also thinks it’s funny. Well, they’re all welcome to join as far as I am concerned.”

But in November that year the joke turned sour when the police let on that somebody was going to have to change their uniforms—and the somebody wasn’t going to be the police. Although the article doesn’t mention it, the police actually had the law on their side—impersonating a police officer, even if it is only by dressing like one, carries a maximum prison sentence of three months.

The shanty choir were all good sports about it. Not only did they come up with a new uniform, but on 26 February 2016 they invited the police choir from Gelderland to the Cross Church in Woerden for a joint performance. As Joe Cocker’s You Can Leave Your Hat On was played over the tannoy, Bravour members performed a striptease in which they tore off their old uniforms, revealing the new uniforms underneath. From now on the shanty choir will perform in dark blue with a broad, light blue wave.

See also: The Netherlands has finally become a police state

(Illustration: these people may dress like a bunch of entertainers, but they are actually Dutch police officers; source: politie.nl)

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July 9, 2016

Christmas music terrorises Arnhem shopping mall

Filed under: Music,Weird by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

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There’s this weird tradition at camp sites where I’m from in Québec called ‘Le Noël des campeurs’ (‘Campers’ Christmas’), which is basically celebrating Christmas in July at the camp site, where some of us spent our entire summers because that was the family vacation. I especially remember Santa Claus on the back of a pick-up driving slowly through the camp site throwing candies at us kids, not unlike the Pieten do at Sinterklaas.

The Netherlands doesn’t do Christmas at the camping, but shopping mall Rijkerswoerd in Arnhem has been forced to listen to Christmas music for three weeks now, which is horribly annoying to customers and shopkeepers alike. Thanks to the incompetence of a manager in solving the problem and a florist seeking media attention to get it fixed, the entire system was replaced and there’s normal hits coming out of the music system as of today.

After three weeks of chanting ‘we’re looking into it’, the manager in question had announced that the problem had been solved on Thursday, but on Friday, Jingle Bells and Last Christmas were back in full swing. On Friday afternoon, cables were yanked out of the system to be repaired to make sure Driving Home for Christmas hit a brick wall of silence before the florist got too creative.

Mood Media, the company who supplies the tunes, has apologised for the music terror and placated the shopkeepers with actual Christmas-themed gifts, which went over well.

(Link: www.gelderlander.nl)

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July 6, 2016

Opening the racist door: Monsieur Cannibale part deux

Filed under: General,History,Music by Orangemaster @ 9:02 am

The ball of this story got rolling back in 2014 when an American journalist was ‘shocked’ at an amusement park ride from De Efteling called ‘Monsieur Cannibale’ (French – new and improved explanation coming up) that features a black cannibal-like character with a bone through his nose cooking up unsuspecting children.

The racist door has now opened up as the Stop Oppressive Stereotypes (SOS) group published an open letter to the amusement park accusing it of featuring racist rides, one of which is Monsieur Cannibale and the other Carnaval Festival that features Asian stereotypes. However, Efteling asked SOS for a sit down and SOS haven’t responded yet – to be continued.

One side is telling the other to get a life and ideally a job and the other is having a ‘hey’ we never really saw things that way and it makes us feel uncomfortable moment, akin to the debate about Zwarte Piet. The Efteling says it mostly gets complaints about serving unhealthy food, but not about racist stereotypes.

I love Sacha Distel, the French singer and guitarist who sang this 1966 racist and sexist song that the Efteling chose to subject to children: it matches the ride perfectly in its bad taste. Distel’s song is about a white man captured in Africa by black cannibals who thought he was a spy, trying to politely plead the head cannibal (hence addressing him as Monsieur) not to eat him, but negotiates his way out of it by offering him porno magazines. The head cannibal laughs, brings the guy back to his harem for a week after which the guy lose 20 kilos and refuses to leave. The man basically shagged all the presumably black ladies who were all “hungry for it”.

Here’s a version of the song with a decent Dutch translation:

And since the French playback performance I posted in the original post was removed, here’s the same offensive performance sung in Spanish. He still pulls his eyes sideways to indicate the Chinese language at the beginning, so the Asian stereotypes are conveniently addressed by Distel as well.

(Photo: Photo of an Efteling dragon by Jeroen Kransen, some rights reserved)

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July 1, 2016

Rotterdam gets piano stairs in metro station

Filed under: Architecture,Music by Orangemaster @ 6:57 am

Piano stairs

First Rotterdam Central Station had the giant staircase built by architectural firm MVRDV that goes from the station’s plaza all the way to the top of Rotterdam’s ‘Wholesale trade building’ (‘Groothandelsgebouw’), and now the entrance to Rotterdam’s Central Station’s metro has piano stairs as well.

The whole piano stairs affair started in Stockholm, and now there are quite a few of them around the world. Apparently, more people will take the stairs instead of the escalator or lift if they can make music, 66% more as was the case in Stockholm.

Rotterdam’s piano stairs, which will remain for one year, are pre-programmed with Ludwig van Beethoven’s ‘Für Elise’, although you can compose your own number. Rotterdam alderman Hugo de Jonge would have rather had ‘You’ll never walk alone’, but then said the programming sounded a lot more difficult that you’d think. “The idea is to get people to smile when they use the stairs”.

(Link and photo: www.rijnmond.nl)

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June 9, 2016

Playing the drums on the motorway

Filed under: Music,Weird by Orangemaster @ 6:32 am

traffic_jam

Nobody likes a long and hot traffic jam due to an accident, and neither did Adriaan Stoop, drummer of the band The Moods from Eindhoven, who pulled out his kit from the back of his truck and jammed it out on a Dutch motorway last Sunday.

“At first, I didn’t want to do it, but people were saying ‘go for i!’,” he told the AD newspaper. “I saw the queue of cars and figured it was going to last quite a while, so I started drumming on the motorway.”

(Link: www.francetvinfo.fr)

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