january 05, 2010.
This sunday, january 3rd, with the ookoi we tuned for a new decade, as we went onderood to blitz-appear as the opening act of the third of Moritz Ebinger's sunday live broadcasts, with and within the Radio Rood (Radio Red) installation that he built in the entrance area of the Rotterdam Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum.
It was a great day to hit a pitch, set a pace and a tone: sunny, cold and with
but a mere whiff of snow covering the Amsterdam streets. On our way to
catch a train to Rotterdam we passed the RAI building, where 5
years ago we launched Raudio, but that on this early sunday looked lost
in a holiday vacuum.
[ The free Raudio IIIII iPhone app, celebrating 5 years of our 24/7 no-beginning-no-end pure sound streams, of course continues to be available in the iTunes app store! ]
It was the first in a series of 'ookoi onderood landmarks' that we twittered between 11h and 17h, as part of an ookoi tweetcast contextualizing our that afternoon appearance in the Radio Red broadcast.
Thus, at home or wherever, following ookoi, you would have been able to almost see how, at the Amsterdam RAI station, we jumped into a train about to leave for Schiphol Airport, and how at Schiphol Airport we struggled up and down steep stairs (the escalators were out of order) from one platform to the next, before boarding the IC train to Brussels. The trip, of somewhat less than an hour, from there on to (first stop) The Hague Holland Spoor and (next) our destination Rotterdam Centraal, gave us ample time to contemplate the Dutch landscape, brotherly nip from the same damping cup of warm freshly made Dutch coffee, converse, be hit by a brilliant digiweb idea, take pictures, ánd compile a brief scenario for our Boijmans/Red performance, in which we made 2 + 2 + 2 add up to 5 minutes and that we managed to tweetcast to our followers out there in that wild wide web world even before its ink had dried...
Here's how fPcM saw Rotterdam's skyline, while the train smoothly glided towards the station:
Watching fPcM and me, one hauling a shoulder bag and two bulky guitar bags,
the other carrying a bright red leather bag and a large though relatively
thin cotton sack, one friendly but curious train conductor had us tagged
as musicians tout de suite, and insisted guessing what
instruments we played.
Now fPcM was easy.
"You play the guitar," he smiled.
Next he looked at my sack again, inquisitively.
"Then you ... play the keyboard!," he tried.
Now, had the kind man said 'drums', I might just have nodded, and let him nurture the pleasure thinking he had us figured. But keyboards ... ? I decidedly shook my head, and told him no, that my role was a far more prominent one; that I was the band's dressmaker.
We proceeded through the heart of this intriguing major Dutch city. A heart that, as you may know, had to be rebuilt from scratch in the second half of last century, after having been bombed to smithereens - in the span of no more than about 15 minutes - by the German Luftwaffe on may 14th, 1940. We came along the WTC-Beurs building and the statue of the Count Van Hogendorp, who in 1814 headed the commission that composed the first Constitution of the Netherlands. From there we continued along the Coolsingel, where we passed along the town hall and (next) the former post office, where on a little stretch of artificial grass lay a heap of fresh flowers, in memory of the young man that got beaten in the face there and died, this New Year's Eve.
A light lunch at the Bazar in de Witte de Withstraat had us recover some breath before moving on to the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, where in the courtyard we were welcomed by Moritz.
Moritz of course was dressed in red.
"Jij kijkt en alles wat je ziet is rood. De mengpanelen zijn rood, de microfonen zijn rood, de asbakken zijn rood, de vulpennen zijn rood, de studiogasten zijn rood... Want, inderdaad, je bent namelijk in een studio. In een radiostudio. Je bent hier in het radiostudio van Radio Rood."
("You look and all you see is red. The mixing consoles are red, the microphones are red, the ash trays are red, the fountain pens are red, the studio guests are red... For, indeed, you are actually in a studio. In a radio studio. Here you are in the radio studio of Radio Red.")
This is how Moritz aptly puts it himself, at the very beginning of the one hour program that he edited as a limited collector's Radio Red vinyl. "It might just become the trend of the tens," Moritz commented, "that people who just got a brand new gramophone record will go visit friends that have a gramophone player. They will message their Facebook friends, saying: 'I just got this great new red vinyl gramophone record, so shall I bring a bottle of red wine and come over? Then we can play it on your record player and listen it together!' ..."
So here's to social media!
But the ookoi in all of this, of course, were sort of like ... green ... so we played as Randy Orton, refused Cody's help, and reversed three of Batista attacks, in what the connoiseur will recognize as a '2525 - unplugged' ...
We were raw and we rocked...!
Meanwhile - it goes without saying - tweets continued.
Seen in this light it is not insignificant that minutes before the ookoi opened Radio Red's live broadcast ("Het begint," begon Moritz, "met de popgroep ookoi die speciaal uit Parijs hier naartoe is gekomen om voor jullie rood te zingen en te spelen en te musiceren."), Francisco van Jole (arguably Holland's most prolific twitterer, under the moniker 2525) was seen eyeing Radio Red from just outside the museum shop, busy twittering away on his white iPhone ...
After our opening we drew up to the Radio Red table, where we sat next to photographer Annemieke Houben, and Dutch radio veteran Wim Noordhoek who with Boijmans old art conservator Friso Lammertse delved into the red of the mantle of Saint Jerome, that figures prominently on the two near identical paintings, on display right next to Radio Red. As sonorists we sonified the discussion by plopping the cork of a bottle of red wine, while Wim taught us that one may restrict the number of Dutch verbs to but two ('duwen' - to push - en 'trekken' - to pull). When we 'plopped', that was 'trekken'. And pouring the wine? That was 'duwen', of course. We also were told by Moritz that the Roman Catholic Church in the late 1960s desanctified a whole range of saints. Though apparently Saint Jerome was not among these, I was shocked to learn that even this most elevated post-human status once granted, does not necessarily mean you'll be covered for the rest of your post-days. No! Even a one day saint may, at the whim of a Vatican bureaucrat, be sent tumbling down the stairs where once (s)he stood near our Lord's throne...
Thus was red, radio at its finest. It went on, also after we laid off our coats, kissed Moritz goodbye, and
strolled through a sunny Rotterdam back to Centraal Station where we caught the train to Amsterdam. There the afternoon clock tolled five.
We signed off with a final tweet...
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@ookoi! It's easy, it's fun, it's free, it's fast and it's bulbous!
"Radio Rood" continues at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam until february 7th. Live broadcasts every sunday from 14h. The "Radio Rood" limited edition gramophone record is red, classic and eclectic radio, and a lot of fun, really. Includes ookoi's onderood. Available from Museum Boijmans or contact the artist (€ 88,-- with original artist drawing). ]
tags: ookoi, radio, Amsterdam, Rotterdam
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