General

Pity the poor spammers...

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Them pills
Lately, this site has been a heavy target for comment spam. Since the site uses a challenge-response system, it is very likely that the comments are posted by humans rather than spam-bots. But the spam-filter here is quite effective, so almost all spam-comments are removed immediately. And the very few that do get through are quickly weeded out by hand. From the site's logs I deduced that there are only a few people posting these comments. And as these people are obviously "regular visitors" to this site, surely by now they must have seen that their comments are removed almost the instant they post them? So this got me thinking:

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So this is what J.S. Bach looked like...

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reconstructed bach...or so they say. Modern forensic techniques were used to reconstruct his face from a scan of his skull. I know a number of murders have been solved by these techniques, so it is conceivable that Johann Sebastian Bach really looked like this (after he took his wig off...). But it made me wonder: do I care? Does it change anything in my perception of, or appreciation for his music? Does knowing this add any value? No. At least not for me. But it does make me wonder about the visual connection to the great composers and musicians. Why do we want to know what they looked like in the first place...

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Predicting the future? No thanks! Or...

I was just browsing around the internet a bit today and came across this post about a 14 year old boy imagining in 1901 what America would look like in 2001. This made me think: in 1901 the changes were not as quick as they are today. Take computers for example: at 42 I'm a bit of a veteran, using computers since 1976 or so, but even in my wildest dreams I could not have imagined the way we use computers today, or the impact they're having on our daily lives and our communication. And even our social life: sadly, for some people computers have turned into their only social life... So how about making predictions for 2101...

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Do you take McCartney with your espresso?

Both Variety and Reuters reported on Starbucks signing a record deal with Sir Paul McCartney. A coffee shop publishing cds. In a time of declining cd sales. And it can be quite succesful. In the Netherlands, drugstore "Kruidvat" recorded all the works by J.S. Bach in 2000 (Yep, I bought all 184 of them...) and it was a big succes: over 10 million cd's sold worldwide. Deals like this, things like Napster, iTunes, etc. make it clear that the entire music industry is changing. Changing fast. The traditional outlets are losing market share very fast. As the succes of the Bach edition (and later Mozart edition) show, there is still a large market for traditional cd's. So why moan? Well, I think there's a darker side to it as well...

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Harry Potter goes green!

I stumbled upon this announcement by Reuters today that 65% of the first printing run of "Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows" will be printed on FSC certified paper. Boy, is the environment hot these days! While I agree that action should be taken to preserve our planet, I also noticed that it is used as a marketing instrument as well. And looking at the prospective buyers of the HP novel, I think this is a brilliant move! (Hey, they've got me blogging about the book...!) I'm no expert in the publishing industry, but a quick roundup on the 'net suggest that generally around 30% of books is printed on FSC paper, so this is quite a step ahead. On a different 'note'...

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A new Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical

I think it was 1982 when I saw "Evita" in London, my first 'big' musical and I remember being totally overwhelmed. Especially those by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. "Cats" is my favourite musical to this very day. I don't know how many times I've seen it, studied the score or listened to the cd. I wasn't as impressed with "Song and dance" and "Starlight Express" (even though both contain some good songs), but I still remember the excitement when "The phantom of the Opera" was announced... Along with "Evita", "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Cats", this musical has had a profound impact on my writing style. But after "Sunset Boulevard", I kind of lost touch with his work. So now I came across this announcement on BroadwayWorld.com:

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Howard Shore's significance

Did Howard Shore do more than write brilliant filmmusic? According to an article by Michael Beek in Music from the Movies, Shore's "Lord of the Rings Symphony" is "fast becoming something of a musical and cultural phenomenon". And I think he has a point: the music from Lord of the Rings has reached many, many more people than orchestral music usually does. People from all walks of life; young and old. How is it possible that this work (the Symphony is in it's fourth year 'on the road') still attracts packed houses all over the world? It's even more remarkable since "Lord of the Rings" is no simple music! So what is it that creates this effect?

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Conducting a choir again (after quite a while)

Today I've been 'co-leading' a day-long rehearsal of Vocalgroup Ringfield: their regular conductor (Harry Boom) took care of the soprano and alto voices, while I worked with the tenors and basses. Twice during the day we "re-assembled" the entire choir to bring everything together again. What made it great was that everyone was very motivated and focused, so it was an intense day during which we were able to cover a lot of ground. Time really does fly when you're having fun!

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Up for a challenge?

I've been making music since I was a child and working in music since 1996, but I originally studied public relations and (marketing-)communication and I still have an interest here, as well as in general business issues. So it was a nice discovery when I found Tom Peters' blog a short while ago. I didn't realise that it was already 25 years ago that "In search of Excellence" was published.

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On the brink of a new year

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On this final day of 2006, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you (our clients) for your trust in Creatid Music Services, and the musicians I worked with for some wonderful experiences. It has been a pleasure cooperating, and I'm looking forward to the new year and all the new projects it will bring!

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