Tel Aviv, The White City

Recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, the so-called ‘white city’ of Tel Aviv boasts an impressive collection of modern buildings in the International Style, designed by (mainly) Jewish architects who were influenced by Le Corbusier and the Bauhaus school.

This exhibition by CIVA/La Cambre in Brussels shows various aspects of the architecture and urban planning that went into the creation of Tel Aviv as a modern city.

It has also been the subject of an anti-Israeli cultural boycott, but I saw it innocently…

2 Contemporary Operas

‘Le Pulle: Opérette amorale’ by Emma Pulle (Théâtre du Ront Point, 11 April 2009)
‘House of the Sleeping Beauties’ by Kris Defoort and Guy Cassiers (De Munt/La Monnaie, 15 May 2009)

At first glance, these works have a lot in common. Both treat supposedly risqué subject matter, in one case male prostitution, in the other a brothel where old men can spend the night beside beautiful young women who have been put to sleep artificially.

Both operas incorporate dance and physical theatre alongside traditional theatrical and operatic conventions.

And both have an episodic structure exploiting memory to present intimate details from the lives of their protagonists. These are the characteristics that make them ‘contemporary’.

However, the texture of these operas could not be more different. ‘House of the Sleeping Beauties’ is gentle and cinematic (especially in its score), a meditation on old age and death. ‘Le Pulle’ is energetic and raw – even angry – and sets out to shock. In my opinion it fails to shock, but it succeeds in grabbing the attention of the audience. And the stories that it tells, while somewhat predictible, are touching and give one plenty of food for thought!

Track 30: Spring into Summer

The last track! I’ve finally made it to the end of the month. I might take a little break from recording now this is done. Katie will be glad not to be tripping over mic leads and being submerged in piles of musical instruments. This last track is dedicated to my dad who observed that some of the tracks don’t have much of a tune. I take that as a complement, but here to rebalance things a bit is a track that is pretty much only tune.

Track 29: I told you

Only one day left now…

I thought I’d liberate my drum kit now that the Black Tonic set is not occupying the front room, so here we’ve got a full three piece band. I was trying to go for a kind of Stax feel, but it didn’t really work out, however it has given me a renewed appreciation for what amazing musicians those guys were.