Friday, November 29, 2013

New music- November 2013

I thought I'd share some new vinyl releases Some of these tracks may have a swear word in them, so be warned.:

Arctic Monkeys- 'AM'.
What a fun and rocking album this one is!

Arctic Monkeys- 'R U Mine?'

Chvrches- 'The bones of what you believe':

I love this album, so much so that when it is over, I smile and find myself asking myself, 'Hmm that was good, should I play it again?'.  They are from Glasglow and make brilliant mature synth pop.. oh, and you need to hear them!

Chvrches-'The mother we share'

Melody's Echo Chamber- 'Melody's Echo Chamber':

This Lp was produced by Kevin Parker from Tame Impala... and you can tell, in a good way.
I do especially love the track 'Quand Vas Tu Rentrer' and am reminded if it being on my i-pod as i traveled by buss across the Netherlands!  I seem to think I may have posted this previously, but it is well worth another post anyway!

Melody's Echo Chamber-'Quand Vas Tu Rentrer'

Goldfrapp- 'Tales of us'. I know this due are know for their uptempo numbers, but this Lp is more low-key loveliness similar to their LP 'Seventh tree'.
I am posting a live version of the track. If you don't know already, then prepare to hear a beautiful and amazing voice!

Goldfrapp- 'Annabel (live on Jools holland)':

The Smith St Band- 'no one gets lost anymore'.
A local band that is noisy and catchy and I wish them well! There are often great lines in their tracks, like these ones from 'The best friend I ever had' - 'I was dying for a cigarette like I didn't know they would kill me..'.. &  '...and your mum's boyfriend called me trash, but that's ok cause you don't call him dad, you just call him when you want some cash, or to make somebody feel bad...'   .

The Smith St Band-'The best friend I ever had': 

I do also love this 'sold out' cheeky T-Shirt of theirs-'Mock meat isn't murder':

Lubomyr Melnyk - 'Corollaries'.
I was listening to 'the quiet space' on radio national late on night and heard a piece from  Lubomyr Melnyk's new LP 'Corollaries' and thought, I have to buy this, it is beautiful. I had never heard of him before.

Taken straight from Wikipedia 'Lubomyr Melnyk (born December 22, 1948) is a composer and pianist who pioneered "continuous music" which requires a totally new technique of piano playing, based on extremely rapid notes and note-series that create a "tapestry of sound" usually with the sustain pedal held down to generate overtones and sympathetic resonances. These overtones blend or clash according to the harmonic changes. The technique of mastering his complex note patterns and speeds makes his music difficult for the normal pianist. Melnyk's personal sense of harmony and melodic flow often create a sombre, stately effect. He writes mostly for the piano although several chamber and orchestral works exist.'

Lubomyr Melnyk- 'A warmer place'

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holidays 2013, Netherlands and Belgium pt 6 : Amsterdam - Reflections and abstractions.

During several of my trips through beautiful Vondelpark I was often captivated by the reflections in the waters. I love that some of these are clearly reflections of trees etc, but others have this strange abstract quality that disorientates you.  Are you looking up at the sky or down into a reflection? Does it matter?:

Black and white:

While we are on the subject of  reflections, here are a couple more images taken in Amsterdam:

Not quite the image I was hoping for, but still, here is a bicyclist in the city center riding after heavy downpours.

The shaky night view from my apartment, looking across into the lives of others:

These final two images are of a building opposite the main library in Amsterdam that I found interesting. There was something about the images I saw that captivated me and made me want to keep looking. Where did the reflection begin or end? What was part of the building? What wasn't and in the end, does it really matter? and it is about just enjoying what I see?:

All photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Holidays 2013, Netherlands and Belgium pt 5 : Amsterdam Library

Petra, the landlord of my apartment in Oud West, suggested I go to the public library in Amsterdam. 'Take the elevator up to the top and admire the views over the city', she said. She was not wrong, the views are great, unfortunately I had a lot of dust on my lens so the photographs I took are unusable unless I  spend a considerable amount of time cleaning up each image... and too be honest the photos don't warrant that time spent. Petra did mention in passing that he library was lovely as well.....Jeepers, is it ever! It is such a cool space I walked around taking many a photo!

The library was opened in 2007 and is spread out over seven floors. Walking about I noticed lots of space to study and lots of natural lighting. The website for the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (Amsterdam public library) can be found here. The website itself is standard boring stuff, but if you are planning a trip to Amsterdam do check it out for the address details and visit the library, if only for the great view over the city. I thought I would share some images of the Library:

Did you want to sit and chill, or even read a book (you know those things that are kind of like kindles, except they are thick and made of paper... and you can only fit one book into a book, unlike a kindle.. as weird as that sounds....), anyway, if you want to read a book, then take a seat!:

Did you want to study? We have the run of the mill boring desks and tables, or you can use one of these study pods!

Did you want to borrow a cd? Feel free to browse our shelves:

Dvd's? We got them too and for some reason have coloured the spines of them. As you can tell by this photograph, I was obviously in the English dvd section,  they also and obviously had many Dutch dvd's... err.. somewhere else!:

Take a seat in these concrete looking, but actually light and soft seats, while you listen to music online, on our Apple computers:

I think someone must have suggested when they were building the library to put a cool looking light installation in the middle of a walkway.... 'Great Idea!' everyone said. I have to say it does look very cool and caught my eye from across the other side of the building. I was transfixed wondering 'what is that??? I need to get closer!'. I zoomed straight over, not even looking where I was going, just focusing on the lights and needing to get closer to them..... I must have been a moth in a past life!

Behind the above curved wall, infact on the inside of it, was a subtle and shifting light installation that spanned the whole inside length of the curved wall. There was a gap in the curve in which you could enter. It was really lovely to just stand there and watch it. I did wonder how many people had actually noticed it. Here is a photo of one moment of one small section:

looking down into the children's section:

The Library also had a couple of different exhibitions on when I was there. I saw an interesting photographic exhibition and some sculptures:

Lastly, looking through from where I was exploring the sculpture exhibition, I just couldn't resist taking another photograph of those lights!:

All photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Holidays 2013, Netherlands and Belgium pt 4 : Amsterdam's canal houses, Windmills and Vondelpark.

I asked someone why there weren't any tall buildings in Amsterdam, you know Skyscrapers and stuff.. they replied something about the land barely being able to bear the weight of the existing buildings. The collapsing canal houses apparently show us the difficulty of ensuring that reclaimed land is stable enough to sustain weight over time:


Surely I wouldn't be fulfilling my tourist duties if I didn't visit at least a windmill or two during my stay in the Netherlands!  These two windmills are not that far out of Amsterdam.



On my first day in Amsterdam, I made my way across to Vondelpark. It was lovely and such a joy to see so many people using it on a Sunday evening, including families with children. The park had a really nice feel to it with various types of spaces to enjoy. Suffice to say I walked through it a few times during my stay in Amsterdam.

As I was walking through the park one overcast afternoon, I was listening to Grimes and it just made so much sense!

Grimes: Genesis:

Speaking of Grimes, way back in 2012, geez, do you remember the good old, 2012 days?  My mate Dean wrote a great review of Grimes for my blog post on recent musical purchases, which you can reminisce over, over here.

all photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2013