Mary Bee Cuddy in a video combining auditive and visual Americana

I uploaded a video on my YouTubechannel dedicated to Mary Bee Cuddy, the leading female character in The Homesman (USA, 2014), a film directed by Tommy Lee Jones.

Wikipedia tells us: “The film shows the unsparingly harsh and difficult life of early settlers of the American Midwest in the 1850s. The Homesman has been called a ‘feminist western’. Critics have noted that the lives of women during this time are rarely explored, as opposed to men, (…).”

I am impressed by the story of Mary Bee Cuddy (played by Hillary Swank), the courageous and compassionate leading female character in The Homesman.

Except for one, all photos in the video are stills from the film (btw: notice my choice for presenting them in ‘sepia big grain’), and most of them focus on Mary Bee Cuddy. I combine these shots with music by John Adams: Christian Zeal and Activity, as I tend to associate this piece of music with Cuddy’s character and outlook on life. IMHO John Adams‘ music and the stills from The Homesman offer a good combination of auditive and visual Americana. I hope you’ll grasp that unmistakeable Americana-feel as you watch the video.


For those funky lines and great soulgrooves… MonoNeon! (my favourite bass player on YT)

Gosh, I really love this guy’s playing. I embedded only two examples here, but he has tons of stuff on his YouTubechannel. It’s Dywane Thomas Jr., as an artist going by the name of ‘MonoNeon’. He’s a young bass player from the United States. I found his videos a year ago on YouTube.
Yes, once I stumbled upon his channel I couldn’t of course miss his funny colourful presentation and his peculiar way of playing (and dressing up) his instrument – while being right handed, Dywane plays a right-handed bass guitar upside down with the left hand! – but right from the start I was infatuated by his bass playing alone. Awesome funky lines and soulgrooves all over the place.
It’s also obvious from MonoNeon’s videos that he’s an adventurous musician, looking for ways to try out new things and further develop his playing. Outside of his blues- soul- and funky homebase his playing of other genres is also pretty amazing. He knows his Zappa and his Coltrane and he even does a few videos where microtonal playing is involved, ranging from Indian raga-related to modern Western stuff.
I made a YouTube-playlist with a great selection of his videos, you can play my playlist from here. Otherwise, you can of course also visit his channel. This dude’s playing is a real delight, so check out what he’s got in store for you. Enjoy!


On Sunday 28 October 2012: free LIVE-stream Valentina Lisitsa concert Rachmaninoff PC#3

Here’s a reminder of a free live-webstream that’s not to be missed, as it involves a perfect musical combination: composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and pianist Valentina Lisitsa.

On Sunday 28 October 2012, at 2:15pm CET, Valentina Lisitsa performs the Rachmaninoff No.3 Piano Concerto with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in De Doelen in Rotterdam. I’ll be in the Rotterdam audience, but for evryone who can’t be there in Rotterdam, the live-stream – via this link – offers a unique opportunity to witness and enjoy exceptional Rachmaninoff performer Valentina Lisitsa live in concert. Not-to-be-missed!

To give a taste of her exquisite Rachmaninoff #3-playing, the two videos below show some of Valentina’s ‘minus orchestra’-rehearsing, filmed by me in December 2009 in London’s Abbey Road Studios.


Violin icons of East & West meet up: Kala Ramnath and Hilary Hahn

A meeting up of world famous violin players from different classical traditions is not an evryday phenomenon. Recently it happened to Hindustani classical (raga) performer Kala Ramnath and Western classical player Hilary Hahn. Kala wrote a piece for Hilary and in this video she explains a few basics of raga music and about the piece she’s done for Hilary.


Watch my spectacular edit now in 1 go: perfect fit of Murnau’s ‘domestic’ Faust & Brock’s ‘export version’-score

My experiment concerned with adjusting the ‘domestic version’ of F.W. Murnau’s cinematic masterpiece Faust to Timothy Brock’s Faust-score – composed for the ‘export version – has reached its completion. The result of my effort can now be watched in one go on my YouTubechannel or here embedded below. Watch the spectacular result of an incredible amount of editing from my part and see how I’ve found a way to combine the ‘domestic cut’ of Murnau’s Faust with Timothy Brock’s brilliant score for another cut of Murnau’s Faust, the so-called ‘export version’, which is almost 10 MINUTES LONGER(!) than the original domestic cut. Do you recognise the challenge here? I succeeded in fitting Brock’s 115min export version score to the 106min domestic cut, by endlessly manipulating the duration of sequences in the domestic cut to get it sync with Brock’s score. As a consequence the adapted domestic cut became of course also 115 minutes! Imagine the job I had to do here, I had to edit in such a manner that the film should keep its natural pace and feel, while all the time I had to manipulate its speed. Sometimes sound and image were half a minute out of sync! Also, beyond the manipulation of speed/duration of sequences, the film is presented entirely in its original order. If one keeps that in mind I think the result of my effort is quite spectacular.

An adjusted domestic Faust with Timothy Brock’s score, my edit.

The Faust-cut for which Timothy Brock wrote his score, the ‘export version’.


On my YT-channel: Valentina Lisitsa talks about Rachmaninoff in video with all new material

Yesterday I published a new video of pianist Valentina Lisitsa, containing footage of not formerly published segments of an interview with her about – primarily – Rachmaninoff. I revisited and reconsidered some of my unpublished footage and photos, resulting in this new video, I thought it would be worthwhile to share it with the YouTube audience.

Still from my video (at 12’54”) and from another era it seems… Valentina as a youngster playing chess.

Earlier on I already produced and published on YouTube a documentary on Valentina’s Rachmaninoff Project with the London Symphony Orchestra. The fabulous recordings done in the Abbey Road Studios in 2009 and 2010 will be released later on in 2012 by Decca.