In art, there can’t be contests, period.

Recently there was the “European Song Contest” again, according to the headlines – and I only read headlines about these, just as I don’t like America/Britain’s “got talent”, or Germany’s next top whatever.

There have been numerous articles, dissertations, and books about the topic, even those who *do* “judge” about such “contests” write that in the end, it’s all personal taste. See or search for instance the online photographer, and you’ll come up with articles/blog posts like the ones from Ctein, or from Michael Johnston. Still, and repeatedly, our (in this case German speaking) forae are full of this, like here, or here. Or in photography, this.

I agree in that there were numerous great, relevant, or even important pictures, and maybe the same can be said about music or any other art. But who could say which are the best? Or worst? Or most/least “important”? Art itself defies any such criteria in my opinion. In the end such contests are nothing but exploitation, like the second episode of the first season of “Black Mirror” with the title “Fifteen Million Merits” showed us.

Think about it. There can be winners in sports if you absolutely care for the fastest runner or such things (and even then, there might be one who runs the 100 meters in five seconds, but you’ll never know her/him). But winners in art? Come on… and forget about it, please. Or tell me why a Picasso would be better than a van Gogh. Or the Beatles vs. Mozart. See?


Congrats Chuck!

Needless to say that this is well deserved…

Berklee College of Music Commencement 2022 – Chuck Rainey receives honorary Doctorate in Music

About the statement of the most recorded bass player, I think that title could still be Ron Carter’s. Or with the electric bass, maybe James Jamerson’s. But still, Chuck is worth studying if you care for the low end. His work on Steely Dan’s “Aja” alone is worth it…

So again, a round of applause and congrats to you, Sir!

See also at No Treble, and at Bass Magazine. Or at the site of Berklee College of Music.

By the way: in an interview with Cory Wong and Victor Wooten which I saw yesterday, Victor told us that Chuck is in fact older than the (first commercially available) electric bass. Incredible, and worth listening to if you care for the bass.

Art buyers

Last time we were in Frankfurt, I discovered that little store where they sell limited photography prints of all kinds of things. Mitchie and Zuleikha loved it, once inside and browsing, and in the end they bought a smallish (and not so limited) print of the library of Trinity College in Dublin. You can see a bigger version left of them in the shop:

Art buyers, Frankfurt am Main 2022

They packed it nicely, and it’s not even unpacked yet:

Art buyers’ bag, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

More about the artist on his website. As always, thanks for viewing.

Got a bit nostalgic…

I recently saw ‘The in Between‘, which is a nice movie by the way. And Joey King, the main actress is using an Olympus OM-1N camera and develops her own black & white images in a darkroom which was nice to see as well (tho with a few quirks, the image “seen” though the camera’s viewfinder for instance was *not* the one from an OM-1). Anyway, since at the moment I don’t have film in my OM-2N camera I went and replaced the Micro Zuiko 17mm/1.8 lens:

Olympus 17mm 1.8 lens, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

with an old and manual Olympus Zuiko 50mm/1.8 one which I still have. Here’s how the camera looks with that, as “seen” from my phone (Google Pixel 4a):

My camera with an old OM Zuiko lens, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

And here’s an image taken with that combination, from about a two meter distance, and with the lens wide open at f=1/1.8:

Upright bass with pickup and a tuner, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

Very cool to have this 100mm equivalent look in a 3:2 format, and in black & white. And although this is still ‘instant’ imaging with using the digital sensor in my camera instead of film, the camera was set to ‘M’ (manual) mode, so you still have to work a bit for each image, and of course also set the focus yourself. Slow photography, so to say, and it can be as tasty as slow food 😉 I should probably try that combination for portraits instead of taking the very fast 45mm/1.8 or the very sharp 50mm/2 macro lenses. Working on and thinking about an image *before* you even take it can’t be bad… 😉

As always, thanks for reading, and for viewing.

Yoko Kanno and The Seatbelts

These are cool cats from Japan, playing the music from “Cowboy Bebop”:

TANK! Virtual Session 2020 by SEATBELTS Produced by Yoko Kanno

And here’s kind of an about from the late 2021 Netflix series:

Yoko Kanno + The Music of Cowboy Bebop | Netflix

A must see in my opinion. Pure beauty through and through. And nothing beats some cool, or rather hot hard bop. Enjoy.

More? Here you go… and here are some more… love the girl and the dog 😉 And these two were particularly amazing:

What a band. And what a composer. Chapeau!

For the original motion picture soundtrack, look and listen here.

A lesson in how to accompany a singer

Few people ever realised how great a singer Chet Baker was. And listen how perfectly bass player Jon Burr is on that record, as are Ben Riley on drums, and Harold Danko on piano. Plus of course, Chet on his trumpet.

One of those albums which is a must have in my opinion… enjoy, or listen to it on Youtube where you’ll also have a track list.