Some of the music I listened to while painting this year
Fish on ice
"Fish on ice" was painted in the al-Am'ari refugee camp in al-Bireh, Palestine. The local artist Alaa Albaba likes to paint fish, symbolizing the wish of the palestinian people to return to the seaside. So here’s my take on it!
Ladybug on a tear gas grenade
"Ladybug on a tear gas grenade" was painted in a room of the Hostel in Ramallah, in Ramallah. It was a quick job, but I think the end result is ok. The poem on the lower left is from the sufi mystic Rumi. It reads:
Behold the light that falls on rubbish heaps
Illuminating filth, and yet it keeps
Its purity. So heaven's radiance shines
On humanity, which below it creeps.
The mural "Pale Nites" is situated 100 metres from Arafat square in downtown Ramallah, Palestine. The wall belongs to the Hostel in Ramallah, the first hostel of its kind in the city. Thanks to Bubu and Chris for the opportunity, be sure to stay at their place next time you're in town. (Also the surface was non-flat and a pain in the ass to work with. So horrible!)
Cows of Samar
I finished a series of murals this summer in Israel, featuring portraits of cows from Kibbutz Samar. The paintings were created during a period of approximately three months, starting in the blazing desert heat of july to the mild blazing heat of september. The wall is situated across the area for the pregnant cows, so I witnessed a couple of births, and even helped pull out a little one once. It was quite an experience! Thanks to everyone that made this project possible, Eran, Harel, and all the lovely people of Samar.
Free online education
Earlier this year, I started looking for free online courses on history and philosophy, and discovered that there's a plethora to choose from via iTunes U and Open Courseware. Open Courseware is "just" a link index, but IMHO superior to iTunes when it comes to browsing the content on offer from Yale, Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, and many others. If you'd like to get a grade or chat with fellow students as well, take a look at massive open online courses (MOOCs) like Coursera and edX. Again, all the materials are free, except for some special grade programs, but I haven't looked at those yet.
Here's a bunch I recently finished, and can recommend:
Western Culture: Political, Economic & Social Thought by Charles (Anderson)
History 5: European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present (Hesse)
HIST 210: The Early Middle Ages, 284 - 1000 (Freedman)
A Brief History of Humankind (Harari)
So basically if you're interested in a new study field, or need to brush up your knowledge, check it out. From mathematics to biochemistry, there's really lots of good and free stuff on offer.
Podcasts on contemporary music
I've recently started looking for international podcasts on contemporary music, eager to explore everything from french spectralism of the 1970s, to modernist jazz of the now. Here's a list of my findings so far:
Big Bang + Archipel (archive)
Weekly show of the belgian national broadcasting station RTBF, featuring interviews and concerts of upcoming and prominent artists. "Archipel" is a special segment tied to the belgian music libraries called Mediatheques, and showcases new releases off the beaten track. If you're not inclined to listen to the whole show, at least give Archipel a try. I think it's available as a separate download as well.
Le concert contemporain (archive)
Open jazz (archive)
Both belonging to France musique, the two-hour long les lundis usually contains a full-length concert and a selection of new releases. Open Jazz is a good allround look at jazz, from modern to progressive.
New Music up Late (archive)
Jazz up Late (archive)
Both available on the australian ABC radio channel, they're international in scope but feature young australian artists every now and then. Jazz up late is one of the few shows that specialize in progressive jazz.
Back to Europe, this time bella Italia. Battiti (RAI) is a mix of everything from black music to japanese noise art. And it works. The programming is smart, intelligent and funny. I love this show. It's also a good complement to the more classical spectrum of the other entries on this list.
Hear and Now
BBC weekly, international in scope as well as young artists from the UK.
Zeit + Ton
This is a good show from Austria, understanding german could be helpful. Unlike the other shows on contemporary music, Zeit + Ton is more likely to feature regular pop artists as well. I find that refreshing. A little bit of Battiti in there.
All shows contain interviews, but there's always the possibility to skip forward. Also, don't forget that most archives are temporary due to copyright issues. So listen sooner rather than later, or the show might already be gone. At least the music listings stay online indefinitely.
Sunday Afternoon Matinee pt. 341
internet k-hole provides little explanation for its galleries of random photo streams, but that makes scrolling down the giant pages just more poetic. User Babs really created some nice juxtapositions using (what appears to be) mainly private amateur footage from the 70s and 80s. Holiday snaps, prom nights, exhibitions, cats, porn, street life. Babies getting born, dicks getting sucked, music.
Woody Guthrie's New Years Rulin's
Whew, another year gone by. So much stuff has happened. So much! Like, crazy.
Ok, seriously, I've finished writing a play two months back, and am now looking for a way to bring it to the stage. It's called "The Rat king", and it's about a group of temp workers who have to fight a monster in the Vienna sewers. It's supposed to be funny AND political. At least I hope it is. I'm currently working on a sequel, but it's entirely possible it'll turn out to be something completely different. If you're curious about the play, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm looking to translate it as soon as possible.
In the meantime, have a very 80's christmas with BeTaMaXMaS - a giant sampler consisting of Drakkar Noir commercials, fast food ads, Mask episodes and other goodies from a decade of shame/greed/revolution.