een kerkdienst voor de filmkunst*


Orwa Nyrabia, artistic director of IDFA, explains the how and why

Dziga Vertov’s Anniversary of the Revolution (1918) was long lost, but thanks to Nikolai Izvolov, IDFA could screen a glorious full version of this epic film – perhaps the first documentary film in world history. Bass Sambeek (Cinesonic) made it happen with a live soundtrack, provided by Kate NV – electronics, Anna Azernikova – soprano, Victoria Dmitrieva – piano, Anastasia Kozlova – violin, Varvara Tishina – soprano, Rodolfo Ravissant – accordeon and the Russian Chamber Choir, conducted by Anna Azernikova.

*”Een kerkdienst voor de filmkunst”(“A church service for the art of cinema”), my colleague SK dubbed this wonderful, wonderful night.



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

Brötzmann/Leigh + Bazooka (tip)



Just came across a very promising double bill @ OCCII, september 5. Bazooka (Andy Moor – guitar | Jasper Stadhouders – guitar | Marta Warelis – percussion | Miguel Petruccelli – bass | Onno Govaert – drums) + Peter Brötzmann & Heather Leigh.

het credo van kronos

Screenshot-2018-5-24 Trio Da Kali - vrije geluiden
Voor de Holland Festival-bijlage in de VPRO Gids van volgende week (#21) sprak ik met David Harrington van Kronos Quartet. Zondag 17 juni speelt Kronos Quartet met verschillende gasten in Muziekgebouw aan het IJ en Bimhuis. Deze Kronos Sessions culmineren om 21u in een concert van Kronos Quartet samen met het Malinese Trio Da Kali. Zonder Kronos Quartet was Trio Da Kali onlangs te gast bij VPRO’s Vrije Geluiden, die aflevering kun je hier terugzien. De Indiase violiste N. Rajam waarover Harrington spreekt is o.a. hier te zien.

Music Meeting: improvisatie wereldwijd

at least

At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me, detail hoes. © Glitterbeat Records

Van zaterdag 19 mei tot en met maandag 21 mei is er in Nijmegen de 34e Music Meeting te genieten, dit jaar herdoopt in International Music Meeting Festival. Een autonoom geprogrammeerd festival rondom improvisatie als wereldwijd muzikaal principe, met een zeer rijke geschiedenis. Ook dit jaar weer veel Nederlandse premières, zoals Saz’iso, een octet uit Zuid-Albanië. Onder auspiciën van Joe Boyd kwam vorig jaar het album At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me – The Joys and Sorrows of Southern Albanian Song uit bij Glitterbeat Records. De Volkskrant schreef bij die gelegenheid: “Bloedstollend zijn de kenmerkende, steeds naar beneden afbuigende melodieën van klarinet en viool die deze onwaarschijnlijk mooie zangkunst laten schitteren. Context of vertalingen heb je bij deze muziek nauwelijks nodig: het gecultiveerde verdriet voelt authentiek en universeel.”

Het festivalterrein in Park Brakkenstein is dit jaar anders ingedeeld. Mixed World Music.Com zal wel weer gedurende het hele festival korte interviews met de musici doen, ditmaal op een nieuwe plek (Oyo, voorheen de backstage area).

Voor Jazzism (2014) sprak ik met Wim Westerveld, sinds de eerste editie in 1985 de programmeur van dit festival. Het interview kun je hier teruglezen.

When the world falls apart some things stay in place

With the money from her accident
She bought herself a mobile home
So at least she could get some enjoyment
Out of being alone
No one could say that she was left up on the shelf
‘It’s you and me against the World kid’ she mumbled to herself

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs’ tears run down his face
She ran away from home in her mother’s best coat
She was married before she was even entitled to vote
And her husband was one of those blokes
The sort that only laughs at his own jokes
The sort a war takes away
And when there wasn’t a war he left anyway

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs’ tears run down his face

Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong
Are here to make right everything that’s wrong
Holland and Holland and Lamont Dozier too
Are here to make it all okay with you
One dark night he came home from the sea
And put a hole in her body where no hole should be

It hurt her more to see him walking out the door
And though they stitched her back together they left her heart in pieces on the floor
When the world falls apart some things stay in place
She takes off the Four Tops tape and puts it back in its case
When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs’ tears