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 ! 🙂


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…


Bulgarian band Artery: article radio-portrait in 2001 + clip from that period

In 2001 I made a radio-portrait of Artery, a Bulgarian band -led by bouzouki player and singer Yanko Brekov- that plays what one could call ethno-metal, a refreshing mix of hardcore metal (what made them famous in Bulgaria in the nineties), Greek rebetica and several styles from the Balkan region.
I wrote this short introduction to my documentary ‘Balkan Underground in Amsterdam’, it’s in dutch. Below this short article you’ll find a YouTube-clip of Artery from the period around 2000 when I made the radio-documentary on the band. I wonder how these guys are doing these days 🙂


A song from the Artery-album ‘Balkan Underground’, released in 2000.


Listen to the Radio Netherlands Historical Audio Archive on the web!

In my work as an archivist at Radio Netherlands I deal with all kinds of audio-material. Apart from a huge record and cd collection, other treasures of the archives are the many thousands of music recordings done by Radio Netherlands (mostly western classical music, but also other genres like jazz and world music) and many thousands of music programmes and all kinds of spoken word programmes. Some of the oldest material is on 78rpm-records, but the vast majority is on tape. All this material is being digitized, and now selections of it are published and can be listened to on the web.

 one of the Radio Netherlands Worldwide logo’s

Besides regular news the spoken word programmes are concerned with big national events, dutch society, literature, art, royalty, economy, religion etc., all produced and broadcasted since the birth of Radio Netherlands in 1947. Altogether the Audio Archives of Radio Netherlands provide a unique perspective on the world at large and on the social, cultural and economic dimensions of dutch society since 1947. Since we’re talking about World Radio here, not only in dutch, but also in english, spanish, portuguese, french, surinamese, bahasa indonesia, afrikaans and arabic. 


For Holland the Radio Netherlands Archives have always been a sort of ‘hidden treasure’, but recently things have changed. All material is being digitized now and selections are now retrievable/available via internet, thanks to my colleague Martien Sleutjes who’s keeping a weblog and adding material on a daily basis. Though it may concern only selections, among them are real treasures. So, if you’d like to find out how Radio Netherlands reported about the world and dutch society in the past 60 years in different languages, take a dive in the Radio Netherlands Archives and start listening. You’ll be surprised by what you’ll find there, and there’s coming up more all the time!