Cultural Musicology – Its Possibilities, Limits and Challenges

In this documentary – produced and directed by me – I explore the dimensions of a cultural musicology, through covering debates of musicologists on a wide range of topics at a symposium (Göttingen, September 2012), a workshop (Amsterdam, November 2012) and a panel session (Leiden, March 2013) and through interviews with five renowned musicologists (Birgit Abels, Tomie Hahn, Lawrence Kramer, Wim van der Meer, John Richardson).
The film has the following outline/chapters: Introduction | Musicology and its subdivisions | What’s in a name? (or, what’s wrong with ‘ethnomusicology’?) | Music as cultural practice | Sensational knowledge | Music(ology) in post colonial discourse and cultural theory | The transformation of the idea of culture in (new) musicology | Framing | World Order | Planetary | Power, Institutions, Orthodoxies | Musicologica | Sharing knowledge… how and with whom? | Music and its representations | Shruti | Embracing restlessness | Final notes | End credits (+ some funny stuff) ||
Filmed in 2012 and 2013 in Göttingen, Amsterdam and Leiden.
Duration: 80’27”

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Concerten fenomenaal slidegitarist Debashish Bhattacharya in Amsterdam (08/12/2012), Utrecht (09/12/2012) en Brussel (10/12/2012)

Begin december 2012 is India’s slidegitaar-fenomeen Debashish Bhattacharya op tournee in Nederland en België: op zaterdagavond 8 december in het Tropentheater in Amsterdam, op zondagmiddag 9 december bij RASA in Utrecht en op maandagavond 10 december bij BOZAR in Brussel. Al eerder besteedde ik op m’n blog aandacht aan deze fantastische ragamuzikant uit Calcutta en ook in enkele van mijn programma’s op de Concertzender en bij de Wereldomroep gaf ik ruim baan aan zijn zingende snarenspel.


Ragaslider Debashish (rechts) en z’n broer Subashish (links) op tabla

Bij zijn optredens wordt Debashish ritmisch ondersteund door z’n broer Subashish, een van India’s beste tablaspelers. De optredens in het Tropentheater, bij RASA en in BOZAR zijn een must voor de liefhebber van de Noord-Indiase raga, maar ook voor muziekliefhebbers die minder vertrouwd zijn met ragamuziek is een optreden van Debashish Bhattacharya absoluut een geweldige muzikale belevenis.

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Bharata Natyam dancer Meenakshi Srinivasan on tour in The Netherlands and Belgium

Beginning of February 2012 multi-talented dancer Meenakshi Srinivasan tours in Holland and Belgium. She’s one of the most prominent performers of the classical temple dance bharata natyam, a dance style originating from South India with its earliest roots dating back to 1000 B.C. The repertoire of this traditional dance style is based on old choreographies depicting the classical myths and legends of Hindu deities.

Meenakshi doesn’t confine herself to tradition only. Based on modern themes and ideas she also creates new choreographies by combining the language of the bharata natyam with modern dance techniques. Meenakshi’s dancing is highly stylised and energetic, but looks playful and effortless at the same time.

Her performances in The Netherlands and Belgium are accompanied by voice, violin, nattuvangam (little cymbals) and mridangam (a two-sided drum). Meenakshi Srinivasan is a must for people interested in traditional and modern dance and in Indian classical music.

Tour Schedule (date – location / time):
Friday 3 February 2012 – Antwerp, Zuiderpershuis / 20:30
Saturday 4 February 2012 – Utrecht, RASA / 20:30
Sunday 5 February 2012 – Amsterdam, Tropentheater / 15:00
Thursday 9 February 2012 – The Hague, De Regentes / 20:15

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In the footsteps of Kumar Gandharva – ragasinger Pushkar Lele tours Holland & Belgium

A not to be missed concert tour of young ragasinger Pushkar Lele in The Netherlands and Belgium from 30 November to 6 December 2011. Pushkar Lele sings in the North Indian hindusthani tradition. Natural curiosity led him to follow in the footsteps of that great innovator of Indian vocal music, Kumar Gandharva. No imitator, however, he performs his own interpretations of ragas and bhajan poetry. Pushkar Lele’s vocal art will be accompanied by Sanjay Deshpande on tabla and Suyog Kundalkar on harmonium.

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Tour schedule:
Antwerpen – Zuiderpershuis 30 nov. 20:30
Utrecht – Rasa 1 dec. 20:30
Amsterdam – Tropentheater 2 dec. 20:00
Den Haag – Regentes – 4 dec. 03:00 PM
Maasmechelen – Schouwburg Cultureel Centrum – 6 dec. 20:15

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Light of Asia – rarely seen Indian epic, screens October 7th 2011 in Amsterdam with a new live score

Light of Asia

Prem Sanyas/Light of Asia (1925, dir. by Franz Osten & Himansu Rai), a spectacular and rarely shown epic silent film, will be presented by the Amsterdam Tropentheater on Friday 7 October 2011. The film will be screened in the Mauritszaal of the Institute of The Tropics at the Mauritskade and starts at 20:30. Not to be missed!

“Two and a half thousand years ago there lived in North India a prince, Siddharta, who renounced his worldly wealth and a position and wandered the land in search of understanding and the secret of sorrow. After many experiences, as he sat one day in meditation, illumination came to him and he became The Buddha, the Enlightened One. Thereafter, through out his life, he taught the law of righteousness, the Middle Way.” (from the book ‘The Light of Asia’ [1879] by Sir Edward Arnold)

The celebrated Rajasthani gypsy ensemble Divana provides live musical accompaniment. The silent film tells the story of Prince Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), who achieved spiritual enlightenment by rejecting all material wealth.

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Kala Ramnath: excerpts from ‘All in one bow’ (2006)

Excerpts from my short film ‘All in one bow – de streken van Kala Ramnath’ (17min.), about Mewati-gharana violinist Kala Ramnath, filmed in september 2005 at my place in Amsterdam. I hope to rework this material (playing and interview) and combine it with other material of Kala’s playing that I shot in 2006, a full concert in Utrecht and a workshop in Rotterdam.

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My favourite concert of 2010: Egyptian singer Amal Maher in Amsterdam

Amal Maher, the young diva from Cairo in Amsterdam on the 1st of June 2010. For me it was the concert of the year in The Netherlands. What a priceless present she gave to Holland with her marvellous singing ! I’m glad I filmed this in the Oosterpark ! 🙂

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Valentina Lisitsa 14 Nov. 2010 in Vrije Geluiden on dutch national television

On November 14th, 2010, VPRO television’s sunday morning music programme Vrije Geluiden features classical pianist Valentina Lisitsa. I was at the set in the BIMhuis in Amsterdam and before and after the shooting of her playing and interview I took a few pictures that I present in my YouTubevideo above, a video on my YouTubechannel. In my video I combined my photos of Valentina with her playing of the Rachmaninoff/Warenberg Concerto’s second movement theme, a recording that was also made in Amsterdam, in May 2010. In Vrije Geluiden Valentina plays other not to be missed music by Rachmaninoff: Prelude Op.32,no.5, Etude Tableau Op.39, No.6 and Prelude Op.32, no.12. So don’t miss VPRO’s Vrije Geluiden on 14 November 2010, featuring Valentina Lisitsa, Nederland 1, 10.30 AM (dutch time). Extra information for non-dutch people: Vrije Geluiden is Holland’s weekly tv show for ‘serious music’, featuring the best artists and all kinds of great music in the realms of jazz, classical and world music. The recordings – so, also Valentina’s performance and interview – will be published not long after the broadcast on the website of Vrije Geluiden and on Vrije Geluiden’s YouTubechannel.

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IGFA 2010 was een muzikaal feest voor oog en oor!

De afgelopen week verkeerde ik in gamelansferen. Dat kwam door de 2e editie van het International Gamelan Festival Amsterdam – het IGFA 2010 – dat plaatsvond van 2 tot en met 11 september in het KIT Tropentheater. Ik heb alle avondvoorstellingen bezocht.

Was de eerste editie van het IGFA in 2007 al een groot succes, het IGFA trok in 2010 nog meer nationale en internationale belangstelling en alle avondvoorstellingen in de schitterende Lichthal van het Tropenmuseum (met 550 zitplaatsen) waren nagenoeg uitverkocht. Balinese en Javaanse topensembles verzorgden oorstrelende en oogverblindende concerten die je op Nederlandse podia hoogst zelden en eigenlijk alleen maar op dit unieke festival zult aantreffen. Amsterdam mag zeer trots zijn op dit wondermooie festival van wereldformaat. Ik zie al weer uit naar de 3e editie van het IGFA! 🙂

Als bonus hier nog even de Balinese groep Semara Ratih, hier in een laatste repetitie op Bali van het schitterende stuk Lapanbelas, dat zij op 9 september op het IGFA in premiere brachten. Dit is het eerste deel…

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Valentina Lisitsa: Rachmaninoff/Warenberg Piano Concerto #5 2nd Movement

Now Listen to this!

Valentina Lisitsa plays the theme of the Rachmaninoff/Warenberg ‘5th’ Piano Concerto’s 2nd movement, recorded in Amsterdam. A very beautiful interpretation, that imho combines and fuses a poetic delicacy with soulful temperament and powerful passion that only Valentina can bring out to the listener. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her playing here as much as I do.
This piano concerto is an arrangement by Alexander Warenberg of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Symphony. The recording presented here is used with permission and part of video-material shot by Alexei Kuznetsoff (Valentina’s husband) in Amsterdam, May 2010, that features Valentina playing piano solo parts of the Rachmaninoff/Warenberg Piano Concerto #5.
Valentina was performing in The Netherlands in May 2010. On 29 May 2010 I did a video-interview with Valentina in Rotterdam on the Rachmaninoff/Warenberg 5th Piano Concerto after she played the concerto with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra on 28 May 2010.

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Me and Valentina after the interview in Rotterdam

I will present this interview in a video-report later on this year combined with the video-material, shot in Amsterdam, of Valentina playing piano solo parts of the ‘5th’ concerto.

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