IDFA 2018

IDFA’s artistic director Orwa Nyrabia discusses International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and his love and life for documentary film culture. This gorgeous item was made by NOS radio 1 journalist Joris van de Kerkhof. IDFA edition #31 can be enjoyed 14 – 25 november, in the whole city of Amsterdam. “How many probably more important stories are disappearing from our view?”


Piazzolla: the Years of the Shark

Screenshot_2018-11-03 Piazzolla, the Years of the Shark IDFA.png
Ingezonden mededeling aan al mijn salsavrienden die de laatste jaren tango zijn gaan doen: op zondag 18 november om 21u in Carré vertoont IDFA een documentaire van Daniel Rosenfeld over Astor Piazzolla: Piazzolla: the Years of the Shark. Voorafgegaan door een ode aan deze Argentijnse tangovernieuwer door Carel Kraayenhof. Voor meer info en tickets, zie link:
De IDFA voorverkoop is op 1 november begonnen en gaat snel. Deze film is verder nog te zien in Munt, EYE en Podium Mozaïek (zie IDFA online, de IDFA app voor Android en iPhone en de programmakrant voor data, tijden en prijzen).

keeping the sadness at bay

Joni Mitchell, People’s Parties, from: Court and Spark, 1974.

All the people at this party
They’ve got a lot of style
They’ve got stamps of many countries
They’ve got passport smiles
Some are friendly
Some are cutting
Some are watching it from the wings
Some are standing in the centre
Giving to get something

Photo beauty gets attention
Then her eye paint’s running down
She’s got a rose in her teeth
And a lampshade crown
One minute she’s so happy
Then she’s crying on someone’s knee
Saying laughing and crying
You know it’s the same release

I told you when I met you
I was crazy
Cry for us all beauty
Cry for Eddie in the corner
Thinking he’s nobody
And Jack behind his joker
And stone-cold Grace behind her fan
And me in my frightened silence
Thinking I don’t understand

I feel like I’m sleeping
Can you wake me
You seem to have a broader sensibility
I’m just living on nerves and feelings
With a weak and a lazy mind
And coming to peoples parties
Fumbling deaf dumb and blind

I wish I had more sense of humor
Keeping the sadness at bay
Throwing the lightness on these things
Laughing it all away
Laughing it alI away
Laughing it all away

© 1974 Joni Mitchell, Crazy Crow Music.

The Ex

the ex tumult 1983

The Ex, Tumult, 1983

Some bands are beyond the usual spectrum. The Ex I consider to be one of these unique bands, the expression ‘hors categorie’ was made up for them. They defy any categorisation (that lazy habit of the music industry) and keep on moving towards unknown territory. And it isn’t nostalgia working here, please no. Without a doubt, there is no band which I saw so many times, under such totally different circumstances like The Ex. The first LP I bought was Hands Up! You’re Free! from 1988, which still sounds very good. UK radio legend John Peel knew where to look for genuine sounds.

Later on, I fell in love with the double lp Joggers and Smoggers (1989), which is a podcast avant la lettre, an audio summer walk through Amsterdam, at the end of the eighties. With amazing sound attacks, ranging from inspired poet Dorpsoudste de Jong, via impro legends Ab Baars and Wolter Wierbos, to Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore, all adding to the unique atmosphere of that album.

In 1991 they released the gorgeous album Scrabbling at the lock, with the late NYC celloplayer Tom Cora in an outstanding performance. Hidegen fujnak a szelek from that album even became somewhat of a dancefloor hit – well, at least in the seedy alternative places I used to dance my gothic dance back in the day.

The very same year (to be precise: june 29th, 1991) The Ex lured me into the old Bimhuis (at Oude Schans), for the very first time actually. That night I was all nerves, travelling all the way from Nuenen, Brabant to attend the first collaboration The Ex did with improv jazz musicians like Han Bennink, Ab Baars and Wolter Wierbos. The VHS of this wonderful night captures the spirit of that night quite nice. It is no exaggeration to put it like this: thanks to The Ex I discovered both The Bimhuis and the splendor of improv music.

There are many more vivid memories: The Ex performing with contemporary dance maestro Wim Vandekeybus’ dance troupe in Nijmegen’s classy De Vereeniging. The Ex curating a spectacular night in the old WORM (in Delfshaven, before they moved to innacity Rotterdam), with Ethiopian giants like saxophoneplayer Getatchew Mekurya and singer Mohammed ‘Jimmy’ Mohammed. The Ex performing with Alex D’Electrique in a gigantic former wharf. The Ex with Mekurya & Guests in The Melkweg. Last year they again surprised me in OCCII with all new material, abstract and glorious, enriched with Congolese sounds.

Again, The Ex cherrypicked an excellent line up of kindred musical spirits for this sunday in Amsterdam. From 19:00 hrs on, a festival in the Paradiso. With a.o. King Ayisoba from Ghana, Han Bennink, Oscar Jan Hoogland, Gummbah, Brader Musiki & Kaja Draksler Octet. Around 70 artists in one night..

Main Hall: MC Tijdelijke Toon / DJ Meda
19:30 – Drumband Hallelujah Makkum feat. ZEA & Kosten Koper
20:00 – Vincenzo Castellana
20:30 – Kaja Draksler Octet
21:15 – Zewditu Yohannes, Endris Hassen & Misale Legesse
22:00 – Brader Musiki
22:45 – The Ex

Upstairs: MC / DJ Richard James Foster
20:00 – Anne-James Chaton & Andy Moor
20:40 – Katherina Bornefeld & George Hadow
20:55 – Lena Hessels
21:15 – Terrie Hessels & Ken Vandermark
21:45 – Gummbah & Leonard Bedaux Cinema
22:25 – Kristoffer Alberts & Han Bennink
23:40 – Massicot

21:00 – Oscar Jan Hoogland / Practical Music
21:45 – Diego Armando DJ
22:15 – H 0 W R A H
23:00 – Diego Armando DJ
00:15 – Bazooka
01:00 – DJ Meda

hidden agreements


Ensemble Modelo62 @ Korzo The Hague, May 3, 2018, photo © Rosa Boomsma

Yesterday I saw Hidden Agreements, an interdisciplinary concert by Ensemble Modelo62 from The Hague, with 3 compositions by Sedje Hémon and 1 by Andrius Arutiunian, and 1 by Marianna Maruyama. Hidden Agreements can be seen next during Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Utrecht, september 6-10) on sunday september 9 in Centraal Museum. Other dates and cities to be confirmed, follow this blog for updates.

Sedje Hémon in Stroom Den Haag

Maandag 30 april is er om 11.00u in de bibliotheek van STROOM (Hogewal 1, 2514 HA Den Haag) een gesprek over Sedje Hémon (1923-2011). Over het leven en de filosofie van deze joodse kunstenares, componiste en bewegingspedagoge hebben Marianna Maruyama, Andrius Arutiunian en Ensemble Modelo62 de voorstelling Hidden Agreements gemaakt.

Maruyama en Arutiunian vertellen over hun research en het maken van de voorstelling, waarna Mariëtte Groot, Fani Konstantinidou en Anne Wellmer van de New Emergences Group aanschuiven om over de actuele betekenis van Hémon te praten. Donderdag 3 mei gaat Hidden Agreements in première in Korzo Den Haag, info en tickets.

Sedje Hémon: Hidden Agreements

Music critic and journalist Thea Derks recently wrote an article on Sedje Hémon.

“The name of Sedje Hémon (1923-2011) will not immediately ring a bell with most people. She was one of the first artists to work in a interdisciplinary way, basing her compositions on her own paintings. Her painting-scores were recently shown during Documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens, but her music has not been performed for almost 4 decades. [Marianna Maruyama, Andrius Arutiunian and] The Hague Ensemble Modelo62 put Hémon back on the map with the production Hidden Agreements.” Thursday May 3 in Korzo Theatre The Hague, tickets.

Read the full story here.