• contest - songwriting - video


    Irene writes:

    Last Tuesday Margriet and I recorded our Art Rocks video, with our friend, Theo Huijgens behind the camera. It all got a bit late, and I forgot my capo, so I had to play a whole other set of chords. Also, my guitar strings need replacing and our voices were a bit shaky. But we did it. And then came the challenge of taking the best bits and tweaking the audio and turning it into a video. Amazing how much I’ve learned in the process.

    Here’s the result:

    If you like the song, please vote for us on the Art Rocks website.

    Note: The artwork on the easel Irene had made years ago.

  • contest - songwriting

    Art Rocks 2018 song is called “Ramses”

    Irene writes,

    My Art Rocks 2018 song is finally coming together. I’m calling it “Ramses”.

    I was inspired by the life of Ram(e)ses II and his legacy (as Basquiat obviously was), in particular the striking evidence of his love for Nefertari, his first wife. The tomb he built for her in the Valley of the Queens is stunning – a real labour of love. She’s depicted larger than life on some temples too. He called her “the one for whom the sun shines”. Some praise indeed!

    Writing the song has taken a bit longer than usual, as I struggled to find a direct link with the painting and the artist. After the Art Rocks workshop day I participated in a few weeks back, I saw a way to pull it all together and I think it works. Here’s hoping the museum judges think so too.

    Now onto the final stages of arranging the song, making the video and getting my entry in in time for the closing date, 22 October 2018.

    Check it out:
    Now you can take a virtual tour inside Nefertari’s tomb (2018)

  • contest - songwriting

    Working on a song for Art Rocks 2018

    Art Rocks is a bi-annual competition linking fine art and music.

    Irene took part in 2012, and has decided to try again. Last Saturday she attended one of the workshops, to gain inspiration and meet some of the other songwriters. She was the oldest of the bunch by far. The youngest was 15, not much older than when she first learned to play the guitar and started writing songs all those years ago.

    Irene has selected this painting by Basquiat as her inspiration:
    'Koningen van Egipte 2' by Basquiat

    The song is evolving slowly, but she’s making headway. The challenge is to write a song that can stand on its own, but that is clearly inspired by and a response to the artwork. Good luck to all the others taking part.

    The organisers hope for 250+ entries this year. Wouldn’t it be great if Irene made the museum round and then got selected for the finals in Paradiso? One can dream, can’t one?

    In case you’re interested, here’s the link to Irene’s 2012 entry, “Mirror mirror”.

  • contest

    Audition results

    Jury report: “You sang well. And your voices blend well together. You do need to work on your stage craft, though. The act needs more performance; where singing is concerned it is good. A pity, but keep on going.”
    Result: Not through to the next round

    A pity, but they know best.

    After um-ing and ah-ing, I decided I would send a reply: Thanks for the feedback. It was good to take part, but 2 minutes is very short. Besides two-part harmony, we regularly switch instruments. (Margriet plays record, melodica, glockenspiel, percussion). This is not possible in 2 minutes.

    I don’t expect the organisers will change their minds. But it might make them think.

  • contest

    Audition for a local talent contest

    A few weeks back a friend suggested we sign up for a local talent contest, Het Rotterdams Open Podium, organised by Theater Zuidplein. The grand prize is to appear on the stage of the “Kleine Zaal”.

    After um-ing and ah-ing for a while, we decided, “Why not”? In due course I received the email telling us when our audition would take place: 15.44 on Saturday, 27 October. We had two minutes to do our stuff and wow the judges. Two minutes. That’s two-thirds of a three minute song. We had opted to sing, Life’s like that. It had to be the short version, obviously (with one verse instead of two).

    Waiting our turn in the foyer of Theater Zuidplein we were struck by the way the other contestants geared up for their shot at fame – subdued, or filling the space with their sound (we were not intimidated!), or pacing about.

    Our friend, Alan, arrived out of the blue to encourage us. Of course he was disappointed he wasn’t permitted to join us in the audition room. He took comfort, though, from the fact that he’d heard us perform the song the night before during our set at Room Rotterdam.

    In due course we were asked to go in, to discover that that jury was made up of 3 men, all around the same age. Producer-types. They asked us to introduce ourselves, but did not reciprocate. (They did have place names, but that wasn’t much help).

    Two minutes later there was a warm applause, followed by some technical “criticisms” and some candid remarks. Our age-bracket offers them scope to encourage more people over forty to apply for the contest. Further, they asked if the song is original (it is) and if we had more material (we do).

    We should hear later this week if we’re through to one of the “semi-finals”, when we get six minutes to entertain and win over the judges and/or the public for a place in the final. We’ll keep you informed of developments.