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Music Docs at IDFA 2014

In the many genres that documentary can have, music documentary or ‘rockumentary’ is for many spectators among their favorites. As the IDFA festival chooses to host directors of films around subjects of which  (recent) political issues, the ecology, freedom of speech, free media and gender or human rights issues are most frequent, the music documentary [...]

Reincarnated Masters? Part 2


In the first presentation of Reincarnated Masters we looked at the line of Bach-Mozart-Schubert and Brahms.  Beethoven was absent from this lineage because I believe he was part of another one –  that is: Beethoven to Vincent van Gogh to John Coltrane. These three artists in quite different fields, the first a composer, the second [...]

Reincarnated Masters?

j.s. bach

Reincarnated Masters?   It is a strange fact that for 200 years a regular succession of Western  master composers followed each other. J.S. Bach, a dour north German, was born in 1685 and died in 1750 at age 65. Six years later a young blinding Austrian composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, came into the world and [...]

Paris still capital of Jazz & love?

Robert Doisneau : The Kiss

What does Paris mean to me? Since I was a teenager I was fortunate enough to save money and make up and down trips by train to Paris, the first metropolis I knew. For me at the age of 13 or 14 it was filled with things I would later learn belong to our most [...]

Paul Williams still alive

Paul Williams

Many of you may not have heard of the influential songwriter and singer Paul Williams. Director Stephen Kessler grew up in the seventies and was familiar with many of his songs when Paul Williams was almost everywhere on TV. Many of his fans have known him from TV shows in America and Paul received several highly [...]

Carlos Santana


Carlos Santana Born July 20 (The Day of Ups and Downs) Carlos Santana is typical of those born on the Cusp of Oscillation (July 19-25) and on the Day of Ups and Downs. As one of the best known and most talented rock-jazz fusion guitarists he has had his share of fame but also has [...]

M. Flatley, R. Blades & C.Tjader


Michael Flatley, Ruben Blades, Cal Tjader Born July 16 (The Day of The Rising Tide) World music and dance embody the fusion of many styles and ethnic traditions. Such approaches have often sprung from strong national  roots while crossing over performing traditions such as jazz and other improvised music, pop, classical, Latin and folk music. [...]

G. Mahler & M. Chagall

Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler and Marc Chagall Born July 7 (The Day of Imaginative Revelations) In my book The Secret Language of Birthdays, people born on July 7 are described as follows: “Revelation is a recurrent theme in the lives of July 7 people. The urge to uncover or hold up to scrutiny the inner visions, feelings [...]

Wanda Landowska


Wanda Landowska Born July 5 (The Day of the Showman) The harpsichordist Wanda Landowska was one of those very special soloists and musical specialists who devoted her life to her keyboard art with absolute dedication, not really aiming or caring for fame, beyond what was needed to insure her a full concert and teaching schedule, [...]

Carlos Kleiber

carlos kleiber

Born July 3 (The Day of the Commemorator) Carlos Kleiber was born on the first day of the Week of the Unconventional (July 3-10), a word that certainly describes his approach to orchestral conducting. A highly expressive, joyful and flamboyant musician, off the stage he was inaccessible to interviewers, unreliable in committing to a performance [...]

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