Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Last year Cochita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 for Austria, consequently this years Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Vienna, Austria on Saturday 23 May 2015. This year to celebrate the 60th Aniversary of Eurovision, Australia will also be joining the six host nations of United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Austria and Germany. Anyway The second of two program’s was held Thursday 21 May to decide who will be joining the host nations in the final. The choice this evening is between:

  • Adio – Knez – Montenegro
  • Amber – Warrior – Malta
  • Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila – This Time”- Lithuania 
  • Molly Sterling: Playing With Numbers – Ireland
  • Leonor Andrade – the Sea that Separates Us – Portugal
  • Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola; Chain of Lights – San Marino
  • Monster Like Me – Norway 
  • Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta – Hope Never Dies – Czech Republic
  • Nadav Guedj: “Golden Boy”- Israel 
  • Aminata – Love Injected – Latvia 
  • Elnur Huseynov: “Hour of the Wolf” – Azerbaijan 
  • Maria Olafs: Unbroken – Iceland
  • Måns Zelmerlöw: “Heroes” – Sweden 
  • Mélanie René – Time to Shine – Switzerland
  • John Karayiannis – One Thing I Should Have Done” – Cyprus 
  • Marjetka and Raay aka “Maraaya” – “Here for You” – Slovenia 
  • Monika -In the Name of Love – Poland 

(songs through to the Grand Final are in. Bold)

Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream)

Irish musician, singer-songwriter and producer Kevin Shields was born 21 May 1963. He is the vocalist and guitarist of alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine, One of the most recognizable aspects of Shields’ music is the thick and dreamy guitar sound, associated with his later recordings with My Bloody Valentine. When creating My Bloody Valentine’s album Loveless, Shields became a relentless perfectionist and attributed the time involved to both their lack of resources and not recording when there was no inspiration to guide them. Many mistook the main guitar track for ten to fifteen layered guitars, however Most tracks were ultimately done in one or two takes with one or two main guitar tracks. The most notable exception is “To Here Knows When” which took months to create and even longer to mix. He went through 18 recording engineers before finishing Loveless.

After releasing the album Loveless Bloody Valentine signed on with the major label Island Records. Island ended up empty handed after financing the band for several years (finally spending approximately £500,000 according to Shields). Island cut off finances in 1997; however, Shields was still legally tied to the label until 2001 when the contract was finally terminated. In the meantime, Shields wrote many songs but never released them. The only work to come out of this period was two covers: We Have All the Time in the World (Louis Armstrong) on the 1993 Peace Together compilation; and a Wire cover on the 1996 tribute album Whore.

LOVELESS – MY BLOODY VALENTINE

Shields got work remixing and producing various musical acts. He has also played sporadically with Primal Scream since 1997. In 2003, he contributed music to the motion picture Lost in Translation, and was nominated a BAFTA for his efforts. Rolling Stone included Shields at number 95 on their list of the 100 greatest guitarist of all time in 2003. More recently, Shields had provided musical accompaniment to Patti Smith’s reading of her book The Coral Sea. In 2007, Shields expressed interest in a reunion and releasing a new album with My Bloody Valentine. SO in February 2013 after a gap of over twenty years since the release of Loveless, My Bloody Valentine released the splendidly noisy album MBV to much critical acclaim.

Albrecht Durer

Albrecht_Duerer-_Lamentation_for_ChristGerman painter, engraver, printmaker, mathematician, and theorist Albrecht Dürer was born 21 May 1472. His high-quality wood cuts established his reputation and influence across Europe and he is regarded as one of the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance. His vast body of work includes altarpieces and religious works, numerous portraits and self-portraits, and copper engravings. The woodcuts, such as the Apocalypse series (1498), retain a more Gothic flavour than the rest of his work. His well-known prints include theKnight, Death, and the Devil (1513), Saint Jerome in his Study (1514) and Melencolia I(1514). Hiswatercolours also mark him as one of the first European landscape artists, and his ambitious woodcuts were revolutionary. Dürer’s introduction of classical motifs into Northern art, secured his reputation as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. This is reinforced by his theoretical treatises, which involve principles of mathematics, perspective and ideal proportions.

Dürer started work as an apprentice for his Grandfather Anton Koberger, who left goldsmithing and quickly became the most successful printer and publisher in Germany, eventually owning twenty-four printing-presses and having many offices in Germany and abroad. Koberger’s most famous publication was the Nuremberg Chronicles, published in 1493 which contained 1,809 woodcut illustrations. In early 1492 Dürer travelled to Basel to stay with the goldsmith Georg Schongauer Very soon after his return to Nuremberg, on 7 July 1494, Dürer married Agnes Frey and opened his own workshop. Over the next five years his style increasingly integrated Italian influences into underlying Northern forms. Dürer’s father died in 1502, and his mother died in 1513. His best works in the first years of the workshop were his religious woodcut prints, and scenes such as The Men’s Bath House (ca. 1496). These were larger and more finely-cut than the great majority of German woodcuts and far more complex and balanced in composition. During an outbreak of plague in Nurenburg Dürer left for Italy and painted watercolour sketches as he traveled over the Alps.

687px-Albrecht_Dürer_-_Adorazione_dei_Magi_-_Google_Art_Project-1He also travelled to Venice to study its more advanced artistic world and learned how to make prints in drypoint and design woodcuts in the German style, based on the works of Martin Schongauer and the Housebook Master. He was also influenced by Giovanni Bellini. In 1496 he produced his famous series of sixteen great designs for the Apocalypse, the engraving of St. Michael Fighting the Dragon and the first seven scenes of the Great Passion. A little later, he also produced a series of eleven on the Holy Family and saints. The Seven Sorrows Polyptych, commissioned by Frederick III of Saxony in 1496. Around 1503–1505 he produced the first seventeen of a set illustrating the Life of the Virgin, which he did not finish for some years. Dürer made large numbers of preparatory drawings, especially for his paintings and engravings, and many survive, most famously the Betende Hände, a study for an apostle in the Heller altarpiece. He also continued to produce watercolours, including a number of still lifes of meadow sections or animals, including his Young Hare (1502) and the Great Piece of Turf (1503,The Venetian artist Jacopo de’ Barbari, whom Dürer had met in Venice, visited Nuremberg in 1500, and Dürer said that he learned much about the new developments in perspective,anatomy, and proportion from him.

A series of extant drawings show Dürer’s experiments in human proportion, leading to the famous engraving of Adam and Eve (1504), which shows his subtlety while using the burin in the texturing of flesh surfaces.Despite the regard in which he was held by the Venetians, Dürer returned to Nuremberg by mid-1507, remaining in Germany until 1520. His reputation had spread throughout Europe and he was on friendly terms and in communication with most of the major artistsIn Italy, he returned to painting, at first producing a series of works executed in tempera on linen. These include portraits and altarpieces, notably, the Paumgartner altarpiece and the Adoration of the Magi. In early 1506, he returned to Venice and stayed there until the spring of 1507. By this time Dürer’s engravings had attained great popularity and were being copied. In Venice he was given a valuable commission from the emigrant German community for the church of San Bartolomeo. This was the altar-piece known as the Adoration of the Virgin or the Feast of Rose Garlands. It includes portraits of members of Venice’s German community, but shows a strong Italian influence. It was subsequently acquired by the Emperor Rudolf II and take to Prague. Other paintings Dürer produced in Venice include The Virgin and Child with the Goldfinch, Christ Disputing with the DoctorsFrom 1512, Maximilian I became Dürer’s major patron. His commissions included The Triumphal Arch

435px-Albrecht_Dürer_012Dürer produced some of his most celebrated paintings: Adam and Eve(1507), The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (1508, for Frederick of Saxony), Virgin with the Iris(1508), the altarpiece Assumption of the Virgin (1509, for Jacob Heller of Frankfurt), andAdoration of the Trinity (1511, for Matthaeus Landauer). During this period he also completed two woodcut series, the Great Passion and the Life of the Virgin, both published in 1511 together with a second edition of the Apocalypse series. The post-Venetian woodcuts show Dürer’s development of chiaroscuro modelling effects,[9] creating a mid-tone throughout the print to which the highlights and shadows can be contrasted.Self-portrait, 1508Other works from this period include the thirty-seven woodcut subjects of the Little Passion, published first in 1511, and a set of fifteen small engravings on the same theme in 1512. Indeed, complaining that painting did not make enough money to justify the time spent when compared to his prints, he produced no paintings from 1513 to 1516. However, in 1513 and 1514 Dürer created his three most famous engravings: Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513, probably based on Erasmus’s treatise Enchiridion militis Christiani), St. Jerome in his Study, and the much-debated Melencolia I (both 1514).In 1515, he created his woodcut of a Rhinoceros which had arrived in Lisbon from a written description and sketch by another artist, without ever seeing the animal himself. An image of the Indian rhinoceros, the image has such force that it remains one of his best-known and was still used in some German school science text-books as late as last century.

In 1515 he produced woodblocks for the first western printed star charts and portraits in tempera on linen in 1516.On his return to Nuremberg, Dürer worked on a number of grand projects with religious themes, including a crucifixion scene and aSacra Conversazione, though neither was completed. This may have been due in part to his declining health, but perhaps also because of the time he gave to the preparation of his theoretical works on geometry and perspective, the proportions of men and horses, and fortification. Having secured his pension, Dürer finally returned home in July 1521, having caught an undetermined illness—perhaps malaria., Dürer’s future work was restricted to portraits and illustrations for his treatise and Dürer produced comparatively little as an artist, painting a portrait of Hieronymus Holtzschuher, a Madonna and Child (1526), Salvator Mundi (1526), and two panels showing St. John with St. Peter in background and St. Paul with St. Mark in the background, and a painting of the Four Apostles

Dürer died in Nuremberg at the age of 56, leaving an estate and workshop where his widow lived until her death in 1539. The property is a prominent Nuremberg landmark and is now a museum. He is buried in the Johannisfriedhof cemetery. Dürer’s final major work, was a portrait of the Nuremberg patrician Ulrich Starck. Dürer’s intense and self-dramatizing self-portraits and Work in Printmaking influenced many major painters in the 19th and 20th century who desired a more dramatic portrait style including Raphael, Titian, and Parmigianino, all of whom collaborated with printmakers in order to promote and distribute their work.

Henri Rousseau

454px-Henri_Rousseau_-_Exotic_LandscapeFrench Post-Impressionist painter Henri Julien Félix Rousseau was born May 21, 1844 He was also known as Le Douanier (the customs officer), a humorous description of his occupation as a toll collector.Ridiculed during his lifetime, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality.Henri Rousseau was born in Laval, France in 1844 into the family of a plumber; he was forced to work there as a small boy.He attended Laval High School as a day student and then as a boarder, after his father became a debtor and his parents had to leave the town upon the seizure of their house. He was mediocre in some subjects at the high school but won prizes for drawing and music. He worked for a lawyer and studied law, but “attempted a small perjury and sought refuge in the army,”serving for four years, starting in 1863. With his father’s death, Rousseau moved to Paris in 1868 to support his widowed mother as a government employee. In 1868, he married Clémence Boitard, his landlord’s 15 year-old daughter, with whom he had six children (only one survived). In 1871, he was appointed as a collector of the octroi of Paris, collecting taxes on goods entering Paris. His wife died in 1888 and he married Josephine Noury in 1898. He started painting seriously in his early forties, and by age 49 he retired from his job to work on his art full-time

His best known paintings depict jungle scenes, even though he never left France or saw a jungle. Stories spread by admirers that his army service included the French expeditionary force to Mexico are unfounded. His inspiration came from illustrated books and the botanical gardens in Paris, as well as tableaux of taxidermied wild animals. He had also met soldiers during his term of service who had survived the French expedition to Mexico, and he listened to their stories of the subtropical country they had encountered. To the critic Arsène Alexandre, he described his frequent visits to the Jardin des Plantes: “When I go into the glass houses and I see the strange plants of exotic lands, it seems to me that I enter into a dream.”Along with his exotic scenes there was a concurrent output of smaller topographical images of the city and its suburbs.He claimed to have invented a new genre of portrait landscape, which he achieved by starting a painting with a view such as a favourite part of the city, and then depicting a person in the foreground.

In 1905, Rousseau’s large jungle scene The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope was exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants near works by younger leading avant-garde artists such as Henri Matisse in what is now seen as the first showing of The Fauves. Rousseau’s painting may even have influenced the naming of the FauvesWhen Pablo Picasso happened upon a painting by Rousseau being sold on the street as a canvas to be painted over, the younger artist instantly recognised Rousseau’s genius and went to meet him. In 1908 Picasso held a half serious, half burlesque banquet in his studio in Le Bateau-Lavoir in Rousseau’s honour.After Rousseau’s retirement in 1893, he supplemented his small pension with part-time jobs and work such as playing a violin in the streets. He also worked briefly at Le petit journal, where he produced a number of its covers.The Dream (1910), Rousseau exhibited his final painting, The Dream, at the 1910 Salon des Independantsa few months before his death on 2 September 1910 in the Hospital Necker in Paris.At his funeral, seven friends stood at his grave in the Cimetière de Bagneux: the painters Paul Signac and Manuel Ortiz de Zárate, the artist couple Robert Delaunay and Sonia Terk, the sculptor Brâncuşi, Rousseau’s landlord Armand Queval and Guillaume Apollinaire.