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A long and winding road to fair music rights

Paul McCartney - according to Philip Norman's biography (2016) - had discovered a nice extra source of income as an enterprising musician: the music rights of colleagues. He bought up the rights of others and the money flowed in. Friendly and naive, he tipped Michael Jackson to do the same and yes, to his shock, a few years later, music rights of The Beatles were... 

Moniek Merkx bids farewell to Maas Theatre & Dance: 'I would grant it to any creator to have this audience in front of you once.'

Moniek Merkx will step down as director of Maas Theatre&Dans on 3 February this year. She co-founded this Rotterdam-based company that makes theatre for people from small to large in 2013. A forced merger with two other youth theatre houses from the Maas city, it developed under her leadership into one of the most successful and interesting theatre groups in our country. In our podcast, I talk to her for an hour about how that came to be.

The Rolling Stones-Unzipped at the Groninger Museum: dynamic, yet somewhat well-behaved tribute

Fortunately, the Groninger Museum also puts enough focus on the aural aspect; not only are visitors treated to the various Stones songs, culminating in the concert in Cuba in 2016, but they also pass by fragments of der band members themselves and (popular) cultural figureheads such as director Martin Scorsese.

Three CDs you wouldn't have wanted to miss in 2018

The end of the year is approaching. So the lists fly around our ears again with 'most beautiful', 'best', 'most unforgettable', 'most moving'... fill in the blanks. I think compiling top-soaps is actually a typically male thing, but I'm not that bad. Here are three CDs you wouldn't have wanted to miss this year - in no particular order. Louise Farrenc: Variations for Piano Biliana Tzinlikova,... 

The songs that slap you in the face rock hard in an unguarded moment

In 2016, I was unexpectedly struck by a Beatles classic. So what are the ingredients of perfect pop music? It is August 2016. I am standing with my friend at a ticket office in Liverpool, the British port city that is just as much an open-air museum. It is rather rubbed in on us that this city gave birth to The Beatles. In the harbour, tourists spend the night in a yellow submarine, equally... 

Mirjam Koen, Adorno, why on earth theatre about Adorno!

Beethoven and Bach brought the true music. Karl-Heinz Stockhausen the future. The rest, from Beatles to hoempa, was 'jazz', commercially capitalist and therefore pernicious. Very briefly, this is what we should know Theodor Adorno from. Paul R. Kooij now plays this art-philosophical sharper in a performance by Mirjam Koen. Just when the division based partly on Adorno's thinking between... 

Photo 1. Betty-Woodman-LIVERPOOL-FOUNTAIN-artwork-in-public-space-2016

Liverpool Biennial: a grab bag that occasionally leads to wonderment

"Things happen, and then they happen again, but not the same way, not quite; such is the logic of the biennial. And then there are things which have never happened before, and which happen now and in a time that seems somehow out of time, or takes our 'now' out with it." [hints]"Things happen, and then they happen again, but not.... 

Mayke Nas wins composition prize: 'I don't want fear, I want adventure'

Grandfather Louis Toebosch was a famous organist and composer. His daughter - her aunt - Moniek an equally famous artist and performer; mother recorder teacher, father Mozart-crazy: 'When I left home I couldn't hear a recorder or Mozart anymore!' Mayke Nas (Voorschoten, 1972) is no stranger to making music and composing. In doing so, she likes to avoid the beaten track and... 

Star Wars, cute kittens and the new Wilco for free: try to beat that

Brilliant marketing strategy: call your new record Star Wars at the time that trailer is the most viewed ever, put a cute cat on the cover, temporarily give the album away for free and then let social media do the work. 'If you can't beat them, join them' squared away. And meanwhile merrily mixing old Bowie with Captain Beefheart with a... 

Zeros, ones and the public; what is digital art?

The new format of the Holland festival puts the spectator first. Plenty of visible events, free performances and being in the middle of the city. It's director Ruth McKenzie's trademark. It is therefore not surprising that she does not shy away from the digital universe. After all, what better way to share than digital art? But what then is digital art... 

4 Reasons why folk is back from never being gone (and one why nobody knows)

Some people default to shooting banjos, others want to attack the music with booms and pitchforks. The fact remains that hipsters are running away with it. What is it about 'folk' and why does it keep coming back? 1-Folk is the basis of all Folk, Irish and Scottish but also American, was from the 1960s to sometime in the mid-80s.... 

Voice artist Cathy Berberian was NOT 'the wife of...'

American-Italian voice artist Cathy Berberian (1925-1983) has gone down in history as 'the wife of Luciano Berio', the Italian composer with whom she realised such high-profile pieces as Circles, Sequenza III, Recital I for Cathy and Thema, Omaggio a Joyce. Yet they were married for only 14 years, from 1950 to 1964. Moreover, it is widely known that she had a large compositional share 

Cocker's secret: booze and total absence of irony

'With a little help form my friends' may be his biggest hit. My eternal favourite Joe Cocker song is and remains The Letter. Not Cocker's vocal acrobatics here, turning the rather side-splitting Beatles song into a screaming victim's plea. In The Letter, the man who did mostly brilliant covers actually changes bitterly little to... 

Music echoes in the heads of Emanuel Gat Dance's dancers and hangs over the stage like a secret

When music sounds, almost everyone tends to move with it. Music leads to dance. That link is crystal clear. But in modern dance, that obviousness is broken. Watching 'Silent Ballet' by Emanuel Gat Dance, this becomes poignantly clear. Without a single sound being sent into the auditorium, the eight dancers swarm across the stage.... 

Anne Sofie von Otter in De Doelen: 'classical' Bach comes off worst, triumph for 'populist' Handel

Among lovers of the music of contemporaries Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and George Frederic Handel (1685-1759), the bickering is well comparable to that between supporters of Beatles and Rolling Stones. Bach is classical, Handel populist, Bach wrote lofty music, Handel flat-out , Bach was (barring his St Matthew Passion) succinct in his musical statements, Handel rambled on endlessly. And so... 

De Keersemaeker's 'Song' is philosophy for the senses, straight from the heart #hf10

 By Maarten Baanders (photo by Herman Sorgeloos) Where were we? In the previous performance, Keeping Still, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker gave us an empty space as the final image. Now we walk into the hall of the Muziektheater for part 2 of the triptych, The Song and once again an explicitly bare stage stretches before us. The hall light is still on... 

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