Monday, July 29th, 2013 by hinrich

gillies jones

During our holidays in England we visited the glass makers gillies jones in Rosedale Abbey. They have specialised in creating glasswares that are blown by Stephen Gillies and engraved by Kate Jones. As Kate was away ;-) we got the chance to chat a bit with Stephen about his profession and how he has been able to combine his craftmanship with art.

This reminded me about the work of my sister and her husband who are both violin makers. However, for them it is very difficult to include art into their work. People expect a certain shape / design / sound from a violin and are very afraid to experiment.

This got us into discussing people's expectations. It is remarkable how much we would like to be perceived as being open-minded but when it comes to a certain context, we have very clear expectations (= boundaries in our mind).

A violin maker designing an instrument that sounds perfectly fine but has a Polka Dot design (like Emma Bridgewater's mugs) is just not right. A violinist playing rock musing after a classic piece of music results in people leaving the concert. A famous violinist playing in the New York underground is not looked at. And how about popular singers like Guus Meeuwis I mentioned last time? We all expect him to sing his well known songs over and over again...

Posted in Society

Playing at Guus Meeuwis concerts in Eindhoven

Friday, July 26th, 2013 by hinrich

Guus Meeuwis

Last month I have played together with our music group TOG Engelen and marching band Cornu Copiae from Waalwijk at the concerts of the well known Dutch singer Guus Meeuwis. As he is singing primarily in Dutch, he is very famous in The Netherlands but less popular in other countries. Still, he manages since a number of years to draw tens of thousands of people each year to his major concerts which he calls "Groots met een zachte G". The title of the concert makes a reference to the fact that - even though people frequently think about Dutch people pronouncing the "G" very strongly - the southern part of The Netherlands prounces the "G" more softly - similar to the way the Flemish (= Dutch-speaking) people of Belgium do.

During his last concerts (Fr, Sat, Sun of June 7-9), the one millionth visitor came - a very special achievement for Guus Meeuwis - for whom he wrote the song "Lach van een millioen" ("Smile of one million"). While our part was primarily to underline the show element of the song rather than to contribute to the musical quality, it was great fun - certainly something very different to my normal routine as a scientist in pharmaceutical research...

What remains for me beyond my pictures and memories of these concerts (3x about 35 000 visitors at the PSV stadium in Eindhoven) was the positive impression the people coming to these concerts made. I find it quite extraordinary how people of different ages came together and really had a good time. I am really impressed.

Posted in Misc