Wednesday, 31 May 2017

JPC Van Heijst: Pilot- Photographer

Odilon Redon Noirs (1840-1916)

Water Rocks and Trees by James Scott Smith

Sky Pilot

I am descending now.
My bliss: being one creature,
a single occupant of time and place.

I have prayers, most unspoken,
a swirling drift of wind and stream of mind.
When I bend into spirit fears,
I learn my way to beauty,
loving the science of mystery.

I am of the perennial
though I know not how.
Observing creation as of it,
not above it,
I am an embodied genome
unraveling into the imagined mass of yonder.
Death is birth awaiting.
Wildflowers have taught me such things.

James Scott Smith

Jacques Biederer (1887-1942)

At first Czech S&M photographer Jacques Biederer signed his erotic photographs. When he began specializing in more risque subjects, he marked some with his initials J.B. or just "B" beneath an accent mark, and then stopped signing them altogether. Scores of unmarked images have been identified by the repeated use of the same models, costumes, props, furnishings and set decorations.During World War II, the harsh conditions under German occupation put an end to the erotica industry in France from 1940 to 1944. As the Biederer brothers were of Jewish descent, they were seized by the Nazis and deported to the concentration camp at Auschwitz where they perished.

Charulata: Satyajit Ray (1964)

The film contains a famous scene in which Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee) sings Rabindranath Tagore's song "Phule Phule Dhole Dhole" on a swing, while looking at Amal (Soumitra Chatterjee). The scene is referenced in the Bollywood film Parineeta during the song sequence, Soona Man Ka Aangan. Indeed, Parineeta 's Lalita (Vidya Balan) is dressed to resemble Nastanirh/Charulata 's Charu. Furthermore, Parineeta is based upon the novel Parineeta by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay who was a noted contemporary of Tagore (and who also wrote novels concerned with social reform).

Tagore's 'Phule Phule Dhole Dhole' is taken from the 'geetinatyo' (song-based play) 'Kaalmrigoya'. This is set in the second scene of the play, where the place of action is a forest. In the forest, a number of 'forest-goddesses' have gathered and this song is part of a chorus by the former. It was first acted out on December 23, 1882. 'Ye Banks and Braes' was composed by Burns in 1791, and is a very popular Scots song.

Santidev Ghosh gives a beautiful account of how Rabindranath was well-accustomed to European musical tradition even before his first visit to England when he was 17, in the 3rd chapter of Rabindrasangeet Vichitra. It is also here that the author clearly mentions that Tagore's first real brush with musical experimentation was with the play 'Valmiki Pratibha', first publicly performed in February 1881. This play had three songs set in European style, two of them being used in the voices of dacoits ('Kali Kali bolo re aaj' and 'Tobe aaye shobe aaye') and one Irish tune being used as a lonesome wail by the goddess of the forest ('Mori o kahaaro bachha'). The massive success of this prompted Tagore to remark that 'Valmiki Pratibha' was 'a garland of drama in a thread of songs'. Due to the immense success of 'Valmiki Pratibha', 'Kaalmrigoya''s songs had this structure too. Since Tagore was no stranger to European music, it is entirely possible that he had heard Burns' song and had composed 'Phule Phule Dhole Dhole' in a similar tune. In fact 2 other songs of Tagore, 'Kotobaaro Bhebechhinu' and 'Puraano Shei Diner Kotha' are heavily inspired from 'Drink to me only with thine eyes' and 'Auld Lang Syne' respectively.

Felt - World (1971)

Felt was formed in Alabama in the late '60s around the talents of Myke Jackson (guitars), Mike Neel (drums), Tommy Gilstrap (bass), Stan Lee (guitars), and Allan Dalrymple (keyboards). The band's self-titled album, released on the small Nasco label in 1971, contains half-a-dozen original songs written for the most part by Jackson.

The mostly blues-styled songs on this album are full of great guitar work and contain fine Beatles-esque harmony vocals. While most of this album has a blues feeling to it, some of the songs hint of progressive rock with swirling keyboards, intense drumming, and blistering guitar solos. The album has recently been discovered for its musical excellence and has become a very rare collectors' item.

Guitarist Lee would later go on to become a member of punk band the Dickies in the late '70s. This welcome re-release by Akarma Records features a reproduction of the original foldout album graphics in the mini-LP-styled Akarmapack.

by Keith Pettipas from Rockasteria

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Spencer Davis Group: Waltz For Lumumba (1966)

This wonderfully hedonistic instrumental track which first appeared on the 1966 album Autumn '66 and then the 1967 album I'm A Man by The Spencer Davis Group. Its arguably one of their best songs but often unheard of.

It was recycled as Waltz For Caroline for the 1968 film Here We Go Round The Muberry Bush; a 1967 British teensploitation film based on the novel of the same name by Hunter Davies. It was listed to compete at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival, but the festival was cancelled due to the events of May 1968 in France. Viva la revoluciĆ³n!

Plot summary: Frustrated that he still hasn't lost his virginity, teenage grocery store delivery boy Jamie McGregor (Barry Evans) appeals to Spike (Christopher Timothy, of James Herriot fame), an older ladies' man, for advice. After failing to seal the deal with several local girls because of his working class mannerisms and a paralyzing case of teenage self-doubt, Jamie struggles to get the attention of Mary Gloucester (Judy Geeson), a beautiful classmate who doesn't seem to know he even exists.

How very 60's. 

Roddlesworth Roller Walk

Spent a magnificent sunny day in March tracking the route of the Roddlesworth Roller, a 10k Sunday run in Tockholes, Lancashire. It takes in the woods and reservoir at Roddlesworth too. As you can probably tell from the photos, leaf burst had not quite happened, so the woods let in floods of crisp and colourful light. Conveniently, the route goes past a traditional rural boozer called The Royal Arms, complete with beer garden, hearth and fire (which is apparently on all year round), and a decent selection of red wines and real ales. There are other walks you could use to take in this pub too, such as a visit to Darwen Tower (not that I'm advocating walking routes which are defined by their pubs oh no. But if you were feeling a bot boozy, you could also drop into the Hare & Hounds in Abbey Village which is at the start/ finish of this walk). The Roddlesworth Roller route has a lollypop shape, and presents little challenge in terms of navigation, so amounts to a quite enjoyable stroll.