Blog

  • Serre
  • Marisa

NJØRD"SewForLife"EMPOWERMENT is a pioneering project for the social and economic inclusion of undocumented women in Brussels. The concept is simple, sustainable and practical: the creation of a school and circular economy-based sewing atelier where undocumented women get specialized training in professional sewing and business skills, and where Brussels fashion students can buy their services locally.

Because inclusion is a relationship where everyone wins!

ALL INFO HERE

  • njord

This is the first episode of a new podcast series that we will run throughout the year. Here's a modern take on the sounds and music of historical Romania, through an intimate journey into the music universe of Anton Pann, a distinguished personality that shaped the Romanian culture of the past two centuries.  

Anton Pann was a man of many talents. A composer, writer, musicologist, poet, folklorist, translator and schoolteacher, he was born at the end of the 18th century in today’s Bulgaria. Born Antonie Pantoleon-Petroveanu, he was among the first major collectors of Romanian folklore in 19th-century literature. His creations have been celebrated for their familiar tone, during a period when literary language was beginning to rely on formalism and a large number of neologisms. The writer himself made frequent excuses to the more educated of his readers for any flaws they were to find in his texts. 

Anton Pann showed interest in other musical traditions too; in his churchly practice, he endorsed the tradition of Byzantine chants and removed intonations of Levantine inspiration, while being among the first of his generation to use modern notation and Italian markings for tempo. He was a passionate collector of classical-Ottoman music, as well as religious Byzantine music. He used the diverse sources of his work to complement his own view of the world. Reflecting on the perspective of simple folk, Anton Pann’s poems often show sarcastic remarks on social contrasts, Westernisation, superstitions, as well as tensions between estate lessors and workers, in a unique style borrowed from traditional storytelling.

In modern times, most of Pann’s music repertoire is collected, documented and performed by the Anton Pann Ensemble, a music group founded in 2004 and comprising of Constantin Răileanu (conductor, composer, vocalist, percussionist, and kanun player), whom I've had the pleasure to talk to, Sabin Penea (violin), Alexandru Stoica (lute), Andrei Nițescu (cello), Issam Garfi (flute / bansouri / ney) and Oana Benko (video-projection).

Their performances shine new light on these classical sounds and bring the Byzantine repertoire into contemporary consciousness. They include music once played at the courts of Romanian princes and boyars, but also songs that sprung from slums and villages. The Ensemble’s youthful interpretations regenerate Anton Pann’s legacy and offer an accessible approach to traditional music.

In this episode, my guest Constantin Răileanu talks about his research and study of Anton Pann's work, how he founded the Anton Pann Ensemble and his endeavour to decontextualise the music of Dimitrie Cantemir. The show presents a wide selection of music* from different interpreters, musicians, groups and ensembles who approached the music of Anton Pann throughout history. 

*special thanks to Victor Plastic for the contributions

Tune in! We're also on Soundcloud.

Irmin Schmidt is a German composer and musician whose life is long and storied: he grew up during WWII, he soundtracked numerous films and theater pieces, he studied under Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage, he was a founding member of Can, and he continues to make solo music today. His newest album is titled Nocturne, and features live recordings of performances at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Joshua Minsoo Kim talked with Schmidt on the phone on May 2nd to discuss his childhood, Can, his solo career, and more.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Hello, this is Joshua!

Irmin Schmidt: Ah, excuse me! I forgot that I had an interview.

Do you need some time? It’s okay if you do.

No, no, it’s totally okay. It’s absolutely okay. Just give me a second. (gets ready for the interview). Okay, so here I am for you. I’m all yours.

How are you doing today?

Fine, fine. Very well. It’s a nice day. It’s less frightening here in the countryside, having space around to walk and everything. It’s bearable.

Are you taking walks regularly?

Yes, I am. There’s nothing around here, it’s trees, forests, and fields so I can walk around.

I wanted to start off by asking about your childhood. If you were to describe your early life, like when you were a child up until you were a teenager, what are the immediate memories that come to mind?

Hmm… what comes to mind… well the very, very, very, very early years… there was a huge room because it’s these old Berlin apartments. They have in between the living room and the kitchen and the bedrooms and bathrooms this one huge room—this is famous in Berlin architecture—and it has only one window out to the court but it’s a huge room. This, I remember I could drive around with my little car—you know, where I could sit in and move it with my legs. And it was very dark playing in there. It was strange and interesting in this room because it was so far from everything. This apartment is where I lived until I was four-and-a-half or four.

I’ve described this already in the book a couple times but there was a balcony and opposite to the balcony there was a doctor who had a very elegant car. There was this gravel opposite to where the car was always parking, and I loved that sound when the car came in and parked. I tried to find gravel where I could drive my car but it never had that same feeling, the same sound. So that was a very important thing.

Of course, there’s the beginning of the bombing. We were in circus one day in a very famous, huge hall which was all made from wood. It was the biggest wooden construction at the time and it was able to hold, I don’t know, a couple thousand people. I didn’t like the circus, I hated the whole thing! I didn’t like the animals which had to do things, jump through rings or whatever. I hated this. And above everything, I hated the clown. I hated him, I was frightened by him.

So a couple of days later, after a bombing attack, we came out of the cellar we had in our house and came out into the garden and the sky was red. My father came from the house and heard on the radio that this hall was burning, and I was happy. They would never have a circus in the hall! So that’s one thing.

 

READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW

Floris Vanhoof, lauréat du Young Belgian Art Prize en 2015 est connu pour ses performances ou installations qui mêlent son, image et lumière. Venez découvrir plusieurs installations en écho avec nos collections muséales dont un zootrope bricolé par l’artiste : “À une époque où les informations se succèdent à un rythme effréné, s’immobiliser devant l’archéologie des médias est une affaire pertinente. Je suis impatient d’ajouter aux vitrines de la collection permanente des éléments de ma propre collection de fossiles pour essayer ainsi d’approcher la préhistoire du cinéma dans la perspective de notre propre préhistoire…”

Entrée libre pendant les heures d’ouverture du musée.

More info about the expo HERE

Ben Bertrand recording new material with Otto Lindholm for Café OTO at Les Ateliers Claus

 

  • BB

Previously unreleased, mesmerising document of Mika Vainio, Charlemagne Palestine and Eric Thielemans’ studio sessions at Les Ateliers Claus, Belgium in 2013.

In a suite of haunting scenes that call to mind Akira Rabelais and Elodie as much as Ghédalia Tazartès, revered avant gardist Charlemagne Palestine supplies possessed vocals, piano and organ to Vainio’s electronics for the first time since their 1997 meeting alongside Pita.

This time they’re joined by the live drums of Belgium’s Eric Thielemans, who makes a vital variable in the mix with a deft range of tonalities and percussion that punctuate and frame the album’s looming electro-acoustic dimensions, as they shapeshift and shadow strafe from scenes that recall amore genteel adjunct to Pan Sonic and Keiji Hainio’s outings, and thru to more avant, ritualistic themes giving space for some of Palestine’s strangest vocals and covering tracts of scorched earth doom.

ORDER IT HERE

  • PALESTINE VAINIO THIELEMANS
  • kiosk

By 1990, Sonic Youth no longer belonged to the cool kids. Before Goo was released that June, they were a band you had to read about in music magazines, as none of the record shops in our area carried the SST catalog. Now signed to the newly established Geffen subsidiary DGC, they were no longer confined to the arty New York scene. Finding the beautiful sadness of Karen Carpenter’s story and inner peace in a whirlwind of guitar feedback, these nine tracks hit their uninitiated new fanbase with the force of a pipe bomb.

Sonic Youth’s sixth proper full-length remains arguably their most culturally (rather than critically) beloved album — whose iconic Raymond Pettibon cover may be surpassing Sgt. Pepper’s as the most parodied ever. As the Black Lives Matter movement fights for justice, it’s equally remarkable and revolting how relevant Goo’s subtext remains: outsiders, particularly women and people of color, uniting against “male, white corporate oppression.” It was an interview that concerned just that, between Kim Gordon and LL Cool J, in this publication back in 1989, that inspired Goo’s signature hit “Kool Thing,” which featured Public Enemy’s Chuck D.

For the first time since the band hung it up in 2011, SPIN spoke to all four members of Sonic Youth, as well as Pettibon himself, about how one of the koolest albums ever made was conceived, unforgettably packaged, and taken out on the road with Neil Young, who became consequently noisier himself as a result.

THE MAJOR LABEL

Steve Shelley: We met with a lot of labels after Daydream Nation; we were having a problem with the labels that we’d been on keeping up with us. It was hard to get paid for the records that you sold. Geffen was still small compared to the other majors. It was still technically an independent label run by David Geffen. That soon changed after we signed with them, the mergers with MCA and other labels, which was a little bit of a letdown. We met more people than just our A&R guy, Gary Gersh. But a big factor to us signing was this guy Mark Kates, who was in charge of college radio at the time. Mark was more familiar with Sonic Youth and our world than maybe even Gary was, and we related to Mark and we are still friends with him today. We all liked the buzz that they had with this rock band Guns N’ Roses at the time, and they seemed to be doing well.

Lee Ranaldo: It was the first record for the major label and we wanted it to be really good. We were getting five or 10 times the amount of money to make a record than we’ve ever spent before. How good can we make a record sound compared to Aerosmith, who spends that much money on every record? We did tons and tons of overdubs. And I remember thinking at one point ,if we had just taken the basic tracks we did as a group and added the vocals that we would have this record that would be even more powerful than what we ended up with. Maybe that’s a dream for someday to try a remix like that.

Shelley: To a degree, it felt like they were putting us in the college rock ghetto. But it turned out to be a good thing, because before you knew it there was Teenage Fanclub and Nirvana and Beck. So we had a little family on DGC.

Thurston Moore: I think we validated the DGC Geffen label for a lot of bands, certainly for Beck and Nirvana. If we weren’t on it, it would have been a different scene. The only reason we worked with Geffen was because of the fact that Mark Kates was working there and he came out of college radio. It was all about following the people who supported you. Nobody else would play our records, but they did. And a lot of them got work at major labels doing their radio divisions. Mark was a classic example of somebody coming out of college radio, who always heralded bands like us, all of a sudden he’s working at a major label and he wants bands that he likes to be represented on the label. And that’s the only reason we would sign to a label like that. If the A&R guy from Guns & Roses came to see us, we probably wouldn’t have been signed.

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE

British brothers Clive and Mark Ives, have been recording together since the seventies. Over that time they have developed a sound wholly their own, combining acoustic instrumentation (primarily guitar and clarinet) and electronics in a way that reflects the past, present and future. Touching upon jazz, psychedelic, ambient and folk/pop idioms.

“Our approach has always been quite random”


To begin with, when and where were you born and was music a big part of life in Ives household?
Clive Ives: Mark and I were born in South London. Mark was born in 1953 and I in 1956.
In 1963 the Beatles released their first album ‘Please Please Me’. So when I was 7 and Mark was 10 years old, we were both completely overcome with Beatle Mania! Inspired by their awesomeness, we created our first band called ‘The Tescades’. We got two of our mates involved, so we could each be one of the Fab Four. I had my grandad’s drum kit, so I guess that made me Ringo, and Mark and the other guys all had guitars. We would put on gigs for the neighbourhood kids in our street in our garage and sing ‘She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah’ into tin cans with strings, which we were convinced made the vocals louder. None of us could play our instruments…it must have been bad!


I have a vivid memory of my dad trying to get Mark and me into classical music, playing Schubert’s ‘Trout Quintet’ on our record player at 45rpm, and us discovering half way through that it should have been at 33rpm.


My mum and dad only had three records – 1912 Overture, The Trout and the musical Gigi. On rainy days when we were stuck indoors, we would play the 1912 Overture loud at 78rpm and run really fast around the dinning room table until the rain stopped.
Our main influence from our family was our uncle who played tenor sax in jazz bands. We grew up with many visits to lunchtime gigs in South London pubs with him playing in various jazz combos. In his teens Mark would sometimes play the clarinet at these gigs. Our uncle opened our eyes and ears to some of the great jazz players and even took us to see Count Basie and his orchestra. Watching the Count play his minimal piano phrases over this amazing cool orchestra was an incredible inspiration.


At what age did you begin playing music and what were the first instruments that you played?
Mark started to write songs on his guitar when he was 13. I was his biggest fan! I spent several years getting all the pots and pans out of the kitchen and bashing them to accompany his songs.

How did you decide that you want to create something together, something your very own? What were your intentions when you started playing together?
Well, as I have explained, playing music had been a part of our lives from our childhood, but recording music became something particularly special. It had the feeling of Alice going through the mirror. Once you put your headphones on and start making noises with a synth or through a mike, add a little echo and begin to layer track upon track, there is no knowing where it’s going and what mysterious moods might emerge. Our approach has always been quite random, but the process has a purity that can bring unexpected results. At their best, once a track is finished and a title is required, the words appear and there is a satisfying feeling that this title belongs. More often than not, no words appear and you end up calling it something like ‘Tea Cup’ or ‘Blocked Nose’!
 

READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW HERE

Ignatz & de stervende honden - live concert with humans & animals - 2nd July at Recyclart Holidays @Manchester Plage

 

The Dead C are longtime musical heroes of mine. The trio formed in Dunedin, New Zealand way back in 1986. Next to Harry Pussy, no band was as important to me when I was developing a taste for noise. Not just the Dead C as an entity, but the other bands/solo projects Michael Morley, Bruce Russell, and Robbie Yeats spawned — Gate, Wreck Small Speakers On Expensive Stereos, A Handful of Dust, etc. As I rambled about around the time of the release of Vain, Erudite, and Stupid: Selected Works 1987-2005, the band’s ramshackle, half-speed, and scary racket externalized what was teeming inside my teenage head, that since then “I’ve probably mentioned the band in more reviews than any other band, excepting the Sun City Girls.” 

So all said, it’s good to have Michael Morley and Bruce Russell over for Quit Your Day Job this week: Russell works as a usability consultant and information architect and is Programme Leader in Information Design Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of technology. Morley, who works steadily as a practicing painter, is an Academic Leader in drawing at Otago Polytech. It’s also good to have a new Dead C album, Secret Earth. Additionally, Ba Da Bing teamed with Jagjaguwar to reissue two essential (and I mean that) ’80s Flying Nun albums Eusa Kills and DR503, both with additional material. For now, take a listen to Secret Earth’s “Mansions” after our discussion.

Michael Morley: vocals, guitar, laptop, etc.

STEREOGUM: How long have you been employed at Otago Polytech? And how long at your current position as Senior Lecturer/Academic Head of Drawing Dept.?

MICHAEL MORLEY: I have been here since 2000. I’ve been in my current position for one year.

STEREOGUM: Your research expertise is listed as “Contemporary Art. Drawing, painting, video, sound.” Do your students know about Dead C? The band’s included on your staff page under “performance,” so maybe?

MICHAEL MORLEY: Most of the students here have no idea what I do. They don’t read staff profiles, generally, and I am sure they are not impressed by any of it if they hear about it. There would be a small number of students who do know what I do — they understand the culture that we work and exist within and they want to contribute to that.

STEREOGUM: Curious: Do you view the band as an art project or a rock ‘n’ roll/noise band?

MICHAEL MORLEY: I’m not sure if we are a rock ‘n’ roll/noise band. I think we might be an art project that refers to rock ‘n’ roll and noise and sound. I think it is difficult for us to position ourselves within this whole genre game, though. It seems we are forever doomed to be in some intermediary space: We are not Americans, we aren’t part of that continuum. We are not Europeans, we are not part of that continuum. We are situated at the furthest point from anywhere else if you look at us from there. Excluded from both discussions by distance and time.

STEREOGUM: What’s your current course load? Or, what are some of the courses you teach? How many students on average?

MICHAEL MORLEY: The course load fluctuates over the year — 2-3 days of teaching, a day of research and a day of administration! I mostly teach drawing, helping senior students initiate drawing projects that might/hopefully may support and inform their studio papers. I also teach in Painting (I have been exhibiting drawing, prints, paintings for more than 20 years) and Electronic Arts (video, gaming, sound, and culture) from 60-10 people in the classes

READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW HERE

the very 5 last copies of the Ben Bertrand - Manes - LP

https://lesalbumsclaus.bandcamp.com/album/ben-bertrand-manes