Saturday, 16 March 2013

A Denver & Rio Grande Railroad train in the Royal Gorge in the early 1920s

A nice early 1920s photograph of a Denver and Rio Grande Railroad train steaming through the the Royal Gorge (also called Grand Canyon of the Arkansas):

At the time the U.S. railway network was already very dense, at least in the eastern half of the country:

The U.S. railroad network in 1922.

Horses braving the cold weather at Kulla Gunnarstorp

Today I walked to the neighboring Kulla Gunnarstorp castle gardens in order to watch the riding horses. The horses did not seem to mind the icy wind too much, but still they looked quite happy when it was time to return to the stable for the night.

"5 métres 80" - a great animated short film by Nicolas Deveaux

Last night, the French-German television channel ARTE showed the short film "5 métres 80" by the young French writer and director of animation films Nicolas Deveaux. The film, showing a group of giraffes performing trapeze jumps at a large swimming pool, was at least for me one of the highlights of this television season. Deveax, who in this film combines his love for animals and animation in a seemingly absurd way, creates a world which is both hilarious, affectionate and moving. 

Below are a few images from the "5 métres 80", in order to give you an idea of what the film is all about:

You can watch "5 métres 80" here.

I found this brief introduction on the Premiere Heure website:
As a writer and director of animation films (3D and relief), Nicolas Deveaux has a very personal world around two passions : image and the animal world.
In 2003, fresh out of his degree in computer graphics, he directed 7Tonnes2, a short-film showing a realistic elephant trampoline champion. Its critical acclaim (Annecy Festival) gave him the opportunity to work on mny projects from documentaries (« Sea Rex » : Imax relief, « Le Paresseux Géant » : TV doc) to commercials (Kinder, Okay Lotus, Lipton, SuperCroix...) and even amusement park films (« Cité de la Mer » in Biarritz, « EANA » in Normandy).
Already confirmed in a strong realistic style, he develops a graphic  and poetic writing inspired by lithographic engravings and prints.

Here you can watch Deveaux's 2003 production "7Tonnes2", which has been quite a success also on the web:

Friday, 15 March 2013

A glorious winter morning (in the middle of March)

We had a glorious winter morning today - not the kind of early spring morning that we should have in the middle of March.

I went out for a walk in the neighboring Kulla Gunnarstorp nature reserve just after 7 A.M. The winter scenery was beautiful, but still I wish the spring will be back soon!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The St. Mary's in Helsingborg - the church where Buxtehude began his career as organist

Composer and organist Dieterich Buxtehude (1637 - 107), who (most likely) was born in Helsingborg (then still Danish) where his father was organist at the St. Mary's church. At the age of 20, Buxtehude also got his first full time job (1657 - 1660) as organist in the same church.

Unfortunately, the organ Buxtehude played on is not anymore in the church - it was sold in 1849 to the small Torrlösa countryside church, where it still can be found. The Maria parish has wanted to buy the organ back, without success.

The renaissance style pulpit from the early 17th century is made by the Lüneburg master Statius Otto.

But the pulpit, from which the local clergymen preached to Buxtehude as well as other locals, is still there. (It is not possible to tell anything about the quality of the preaching, but most likely it was not quite on the same level as the music performed by the church's (later) famous organist.

The main organ in the St. Mary's church is a Marcussen grand organ, 1959, with 63 registers.

Pictures of North American Indians

A Canadian Cree Indian 

When I was a young boy, long ago, I had a rather romantic view of the North American Indians. They were either the wild heroes or - maybe more often - the villains of the comics and adventure books I, and probably most other boys of my age, liked to read.

When I now look at these early 1920s photographs of North American natives, I see proud, but often also very sad faces.

Indians in a reservation in Montana.
Malamut Indians in Alaska.
A Sioux girl.
A young Tlingit woman.
Eastern Canada Indians.
Ojibway Indian from Manitoba.
Young Iroquois woman. 
Pueblo Indians in Tusuque, New Mexico.
Hualapai girl.
Moki girl from Arizona.
Chemehuevi wife with baby.
Stockbridge tribe woman.
Apache Indian workers in Arizona.
Florida seminoles.
Indian chief. 
Apache Indians.
Navajo Indian (Arizona).
Young Seri woman (Arizona).
Apache woman (Arizona).