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englabörn

Iceland's Jóhann Jóhannsson performed with the Englabörn Ensemble in the Laurenskerk last night, as part of the Reykjavik to Rotterdam festival and the larger Scandinavia Festival going on this month.

Interesting combination of ambient electronica and a live string quartet, a sort of Biosphere plus Bernard Herrmann. Very filmic, not to say mysterious, haunting, fragile, or any of the other standard labels for Icelandic music.

hi-res feed

Hi-Res!, the company that brought you trendsetting sites like Donny Darko, Requiem for a Dream and Massive Attack, has a blog called Feed with assorted weirdness and cool links...

cinematic orchestra

Not sure if i can recommend a soundtrack without having heard it with the film. But this one holds up well enough on its own: The Cinematic Orchestra's new soundtrack to Dziga Vertov's 1929 avant-garde classic 'Man with a Movie Camera'.

The Cinematic Orchestra - 'Man with a Movie Camera'

finding lost time

Finally saw the last episode of the awesome four part theatre adaptation of Marcel Proust's 'À la Recherche du Temps Perdu' by the Ro Theater. All directed by Guy Cassiers, probably the only theatre director in Holland who knows how to create meaningful 'multimedia theatre' (as opposed to just using it as a catch phrase in subsidy applications).

Proust 4 - Marcel's Way

In 'Proust 4: Marcel's Way', as before, there are two versions of Proust: a younger one (Marcel) frequenting the Parisian salons, and an older one (Proust) remembering it all, surrounded by a stream of poetic images. (Among them: Vermeer's 'View of Delft'.)

Proust has once and for all decided that the world of memories is more real to him than the outer world, and locks himself into his cork-insulated room to write. The only one he allows around him is his maid, Céleste. Of her too, there are two versions: the young one living with Proust, and the older one looking back on her years secluded with him.

Proust 4 - Marcel's Way

Thus the two characters both live and narrate their stories. And the words, again, are mesmerizing, inspiring one to perhaps really start reading Proust's seven volumes of memorial madness.

For now, here's a sample (in Dutch, it wouldn't do to translate):

Veel van de gasten in de salon kon ik vrijwel direct identificeren, maar dan als tamelijk slechte portretten die bijeen waren gebracht op een tentoonstelling van een onzorgvuldige en kwaadwillende schilder die de trekken van de een verhardde, de frisheid van de teint of de gratie van het postuur van een ander verdonkeremaande of haar blik versomberde. Als ik deze beelden vergeleek met de beelden die ik in mijn herinnering voor ogen had, dan hield ik toch meer van die laatste. Poppen waren het, poppen die je op verschillende niveaus tegelijk moest ontcijferen om diegenen in hen te herkennen die je ooit gekend had, niveaus die achter hen lagen en die hun diepte gaven en die dwongen tot een zware geestelijke inspanning met zo'n stel oude marionetten tegenover je, want je werd gedwongen om tezelfdertijd naar ze te kijken met je ogen en met je herinnering. Poppen waren het, die baadden in de immateriële kleuren van vergane jaren, poppen die de Tijd verbeeldden, de Tijd die gewoonlijk niet zichtbaar is en die lichamen tegenkomt, ze overmeestert om zijn toverlantaarn op hen te projecteren.

(...)

In de loop van mijn leven had de werkelijkheid mij vaak teleurgesteld, want op het moment dat ik de werkelijkheid waarnam, werd mijn verbeelding - het enige orgaan waarmee ik van schoonheid kon genieten - uitgeschakeld, als gevolg van de onvermijdelijke wet die wil dat wij ons alleen datgene kunnen verbeelden wat afwezig is. En nu werd deze harde wet hier ineens geneutraliseerd, opgeschort, door een wonderlijke list van de natuur die maakte dat een bepaalde sensatie - het balanceren op twee ongelijke tegels, de stijfheid van een servet, de smaak van een madeleine - zowel in het verleden als in het heden werd weerspiegeld.

Het werd de hoogste tijd om te gaan schrijven. Maar was er nog tijd? Die vraag rechtvaardigde de onrust die mij in zijn greep had gekregen toen ik de salon was binnengegaan waar de gegrimeerde gezichten mij op het idee van de verloren tijd hadden gebracht. En was ik er nog toe in staat? De geest heeft zijn vergezichten die zich slechts gedurende een kort ogenblik laten aanschouwen.

need an expo pavilion?

Remember the Dutch pavilion for the World Expo 2000 in Hannover? A "stacked landscape" designed by MVRDV, it was the Expo's tallest structure, and a big hit at the time.

MVRDV's Expo 2000 pavilion

It is now a) falling into ruin, and b) up for sale on eBay!

[Via Archinect]

twelve and a half minutes

'Zwölf 1/2 Minuten', a German "short experimental documentary", strikes a nice balance between humor and food for thought. Even if the message is not very new, its strength is in the way form and content work together. Whether it's really a documentary is debatable, but let's leave that to the purists.

Zwölf 1/2 Minuten
The average member of our society is male, German, 38 years of age and gets up at 8.15 am. During this quite normal day he will do quite normal things like brushing his teeth, going to work, shopping, mowing the lawn, watching television and finally going to bed again. And though his world may be perfectly regulated in terms of time and space, he might feel somewhat lost in life. This overflow of images, impressions, opinions, ideas which overwhelm him daily, will lead him to ask himself a lot of questions. And several times he will come to the point where he will wonder just for which purpose he is part of the world. To do this, he generally has twelve minutes and a half between his going to bed and falling asleep...

Seen in a onedotzero programme preview at Submarine's birthday party.

kipple

'Cause i can never find the original definition for this great concept, here's the complete quote:

Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you to go bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up there is twice as much of it. It always gets more and more.

(...)

There's the First Law of Kipple. 'Kipple drives out nonkipple.' Like Gresham's law about bad money.

(...)

No one can win against kipple, except temporarily and maybe in one spot, like in my appartment I've sort of created a stasis between the pressure of kipple and nonkipple, for the time being. But eventually I'll die or go away, and then the kipple will again take over. It's a universal principle operating throughout the universe; the entire universe is moving toward a final state of total, absolute kippleization.

-- J.R. Isadore (in 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' by Philip K. Dick; adapted into 'Blade Runner')