Amsterdam ancestors ?

Heading north on the Nieuwezidjs Voorburgwal it turns into Martelaarsgracht, approaching Centraal Station and the Prins Hendrikkade. On the left is a house with a family name on it- D’stam Jesse (The Jesse Tribe). A family history we know little of ? Amsterdam Jessee’s on the Martyr’s Canal ? (Martelaarsgracht)

A painting of the Martelaarsgracht, circa 1670, painted by the famous Dutch painter, Jan van der Heyden (b. 1637, Gorinchem, d. 1712, Amsterdam) can be viewed by clicking here. A bit of history on the Martelaarsgracht is here, with more in-depth research here.

Miranda on a bike

Today Caren and I took Miranda for a brief ride around town. Miranda’s thin Chapel Hill blood was not used to the hearty Dutch practice of riding a bike in frigid, often breezy conditions, of course with no hat or gloves. (this truly Dutch approach to cycling takes many weeks to fully derive an appreciation for the feeling of masochistic elation). Nevertheless, she was radiant-

Our first destination was a photo exhibition on the Keizersgracht at the Foam_Fotografimuseum in Amsterdam of the works by the famous photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Info on the exhibition is here.

Then, a meander over the Amstel near Waterlooplein for a view of some canal jachts, back toward our area in “The Nines” for a small shop koffie break and finally, the warmth of our home. Several photos I captured “live” on my bike of her are here.

Graces (new at Studiogracht)

There’s a new piece that is a bit orchestral, “Graces,” at the Studiogracht page.  It was inspired by biking around the city the last two sunny days, the architecture, the people… This old city with its medieval roots has a way of invoking archetypes that bubble ideas to the surface- things you knew, you just didn’t realize you knew. Many things forgotten are often not- they are still “in” there somewhere.  This led me to the Graces, inspired by the muses.
Botticelli’s Primavera

Singel “Studiogracht”

One of the plans for sabbatical was to get deeper into creating and developing music and video. It’s been a painstaking process as I attempt to set up a credible digital studio. It’s now “up” and if not entirely functional, at least useable. I’ve added a category to the blog called “Music & Video,” which is located here.

Thus far I’ve worked on five compositions, 4 original and 1 an interpretation of Jeff Beck’s “Come Dancing” from his album, Wired. (this was the first thing I did) All the music is on the Studiogracht site in MP3 format, whereas video is posted in Quicktime (.mov/MP4), and MPEG.

There are 3 more, in order:
- “Canal Snowflakes”- written one snowy night after Caren and I walked home in the snow after a great dinner on the canalboat of our friends, Sam and Roberta. This uses some of the orchestral instruments available via my “digital instrument,” Reason 3.0, along with my Gibson SG through the Line 6 POD XT Live.

- “Texel Winter”- written as a sound score to a short film put together from the photos we took during our short vacation out to Texel, an island north of Amsterdam in the North Sea. The instrumentation is also orchestral, similar to Canal Snowflakes. The .mov file is approx. 135MB, while the .mpg file is 65MB- better to download to disk before viewing….

- “I’m So Happy”- written the night before Miranda’s arrival. The energy from everyone was so UP that she was coming. I sat and reflected on her persona, and “I’m So Happy” emerged. Quite different from the other 2 pieces- I play bass and multi-tracked SG/POD, using R3.0 for drums.