Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cute Monsters

My virtual friend from The Groovy Age of Horror post mostly interesting articles about film, comics, tv and books. Sometimes it's a little boring, sometimes more like this, or really cool like this, but today they have a discussion about cute monsters like this lovely Lovecraftian Cthulhu guy right here.
I don't want to go into details about this topic, if interested you can dive into matters with the other Groovy Agers, but this explanation is, as a birdlover, too good not to share. I love it!

'A young raven, confronted with a new object, which may be a camera, an old bottle, a stuffed polecat, or anything else first reacts with escape responses. He will fly up to an elevated perch and, from this point of vantage, stare at the object literally for hours. After this, he will begin to approach the object very gradually, maintaining all the while a maximum of caution and the expressive attitude of intense fear. He will cover the last distance from the object hopping sideways with half-raised wings, in the utmost readiness to flee. At last, he will deliver a single fearful blow with his powerful beak at the object and forthwith fly back to his safe perch. . . .' In the end 'he will grab [the object] with one foot, peck at it, try to tear off pieces, insert his bill into any existing cleft and then pry apart his mandibles with considerable force. Finally, if the object is not too big the raven will carry it away, push it into a convenient hole and cover it with some inconspicuous material.' [quoted in Arthur Koestler's Act of Creation]

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beautiful Copperplate Logos

Late 19th century copperplate prints have always been a fascination for me, the extreme attention to detail is just incomprehensible to me and creates a very distinctive and powerful aesthetic.

This link will take you to a BibliOdyssey page filled to the brim with high resolution scans of finely crafted logotype prints from this era. Revel!

(Detail from just below the capital A in the above picture:)

Pink Armadillo?

It's been a while since my last post. I haven't come across any mind boggling inspiration triggers lately. But this... is just too funny not to share. Behold the Pink Armadillo!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Odboy & Erordog, episode 2

There's finally a good recording of the chamber quartet for my "Odboy & Erordog, episode 2" piece, and I'm proud to present the whole work for all to enjoy online. The possibility of a commission for episode 3 is around the corner, so cross your fingers and maybe we'll soon get to see what fate has in store for the poor boy and his dog.

(Thanks to The Peärls Before Swïne Experience, Studio Element and the Society of Swedish Composers for making the recording possible.)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Guy in Berlin

For those who couldn't attend yesterday, here's a very low quality cell phone video of Guy Maddin greeting the people at the opening of his film installation at the Berlinale. It was great to see him in person, having been a huge fan for the last ten years. Will have to go back some other day and check out the installation when it's not so crowded!

PS. The 'presidente' he's referring to is Isabella Rossellini, this year's jury president, who was also present yesterday. Starstruck!

Friday, February 11, 2011

monster mash

Check out this cool song by Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & The Cryptkickers from 1962. It was a reaction on the dance crazes that were around those days like the Twist and the Mashed Potato. He had a hard time selling it at first, but once it was out it became a million seller in the USA and UK. I love the parade of monster in this clip:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guy Maddin's in town! Again!

Three years ago, I neglected to thoroughly read the Berlinale programme and later found out -- a day too late -- that Guy Maddin, one of my favourite directors, had presented his latest film at the festival. Crap! Well, I've also neglected to read the Berlinale programme this year, but by accident -- while standing in line to return a defective computer keyboard at Conrad -- I spotted Maddin's face on a TV screen in the background, being interviewed with the Berlinale logo behind him. Maddin. Berlinale. He's here again.

I'll be damned if I miss him this year too. It seems he's presenting a new work (or collection of shorts or whatever it is, I'm not sure) called Hauntings I (fragments). And it's starring Udo Kier. And it's free. I pity the Berlin based fool who won't show up tomorrow (Friday), 19:00 at the Marshall McLuhan Salon @ Potsdamer Platz to see what Maddin's been up to lately.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Conlon Nancarrow and the Pianola

As a big fan of mechanical devices I got fascinated by the pianola and the studies written for it by Conlon Nancarrow. Impossible to play by any human (possibly by 2) this 2 part canon slowly accelerates the voice of left hand and while doing the opposite on the ultra fast right hand they meet halfway through the piece. It's interesting to hear the rhythms that generates through the temporal dissonance.

A standard roll for the pianola, but can you guess which music piece this is?

The concept of temporal dissonance makes me think of another modern classic - György Ligeti´s "Poeme Symphonique" (for 100 metronomes).

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Some friends here in Stockholm just started a new blog - POKK, with a similar concept as Tangential Vignettes. And since they had the courtesy to promote our blog, I felt compelled to mention theirs. It is already filled with interesting stuff of different matters. Their blog also has some kind of connection to Berlin and the rest of the members of Tangential Vignettes in a far fetched way...