All posts by cathycentral

When the Dutch trade fair

This article was so popular it was shared by three separate publishers (ACCESS Magazine, Dutchnews.nl and The Holland Times).

 

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FILMWORK | Slow TV

For a few years now I’ve been making ‘SLOW TV’ for the local television broadcaster, Salto (salto.nl). These are short, 1 or 2-minute videos of nothing much happening, no narrative, no voiceovers, but something pleasant to watch, set to some ambient music.

 

With thanks to We Are Ok for the ambient music tracks.

Voiceovers

Specialising in voiceovers with a youthful energy; clients like my voice not just for its clarity but its distinct characteristics. The variety of tones within my repertoire include:

MYSTERIOUS & MAGICAL

Listen to the whole ad and enjoy the music by Magnetic Man, my bit is right at the end … (Sound Production: Kaiser Sound Studios).

Or listen to just my bit below …

SERIOUS & STRAIGHT

A promotional film for React and DWZ for use with international corporate clients:

 

YOUNG & INNOCENT

Lip syncing on Dinosaurs @ Dusk full dome film, Mirage 3D:

 

But if you have time, why not watch the whole film, and learn a thing or two about dinosaurs. My character, Lucy, is full of knowledge (and attitude).

WATCH FULL FILM ON VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/mirage3d/dinosaursdusk 

FUN & CHEESY

English Breakfast Radio:  Cool Cathy jingle (produced by We Are OK)

 

STORYTELLER

A short excerpt from the children’s story, Princess Nobody, by Andrew Lang.

 

CHATTY

Radio interview with film directors, Roel & Berend Boorsma.

 

CLIENTS 

TESTIMONIALS

“Your voice adds just the Disney quality we would like” Mirage 3D

“I’m glad that you are available … because I appreciate your voice very much” Kees van Dalen, Uitgeverij Deviant

CONTACT

So contact me at:

cathycentral@gmail.com

Zitakula at Paradiso

Here’s an update on this music review of Zitakula I wrote for The Holland Times (March 2017 ed): their Paradiso concert is sold out! 🎺🥁🎷🎹🎸🎤

Zitakula

 

 

 

 

 

zitakula cutting

 

 

 

 

Zitakula at Paradiso

BY CATHY LEUNG (@cathycentral)

With two EPs under their belt, this Amsterdam afrobeats band is now just about to release their debut full length album and they are throwing a party at the Paradiso to celebrate. On 20 April, concertgoers will no doubt fill out the venue’s Kleine Zaal (small hall) with a whole night of bouncing, jumping, swaying, rocking, twerking and whatever other dance moves the kids do these days. As the respected 3voor12 says: “Standing still is not an option with Zitakula”.
Their music is a mix of afrofunk, soul and more, which takes a hardcore of eight musicians to create, including two sax players (tenor and alto), a trumpet player and lots of percussion. Actually, it seems like pretty much the whole band contributes to the percussion. With influences including Fela Kuti, and Ebo Taylor, but with a sound very much their own, Zitakula bring a confident swagger that belies their young years. Perhaps it’s because they are having so much fun – guitarist Camiel van Zilfhout in particular is great fun to observe on stage. One of their first recorded tracks, Polyrhytmo, has an uplifting riff that you still look forward to even after 100 plays. Sadly, their charismatic lead vocalist Joey Skeete Mcleed had to quit the band in 2016 but they managed a gradual transition to suit the big new voice of Sandy Miessi Bakomi. With her Congolese roots she has fitted right in while adding a bit of a soul booster-jab, as you can see in the music video for Plenty of Fish. [see below]
In just a few years Zitakula has already amassed a loyal following; gaining local fans from energetic gigs at places such as Noorderslag, the Oerol festival on Terschelling island, as well as a TV appearance on De Wereld Draait Door. And they certainly appreciate that loyal following … this year’s debut album has been successfully crowdfunded to the tune of €12,665 (they only asked for €8,000). The realities of an eight-piece independent music act is that there’s not much money to go around but it is testament to their infectious passion that they are making it work. For readers who would appreciate the good vibes of a Zitakula gig – make a date in your diary. But if you can’t make it, the new album will be available as a digital download, CD and vinyl so you can make a party of your own at home.

 

Zitakula – albumpresentatie
Thursday 20 April
Paradiso – Kleine Zaal, Amsterdam
Tickets: 8.50 (excl membership fee 3.50)
zitakula.com

 

 

Writing portfolio | The Digital Dutch

 

In adapting to life in the Netherlands, embracing the many digital innovations the Dutch have introduced into everyday life is a good start.

 

I’m especially loving:

  • mobile payment for parking spaces
  • Mediamatic’s  ‘ik’ tag
  • 9292 local transport app.

 

Although:

  • I have yet to use my Digi-ID
  • I haven’t found my broadband speed that fast in practice, anyone else?

 

So, when I was asked to write a cover feature on ‘The Digital Dutch’ for ACCESS magazine, I jumped at the chance. Have a read of the original article, above.

Rubens, Van Dyck & Jordaens @ The Hermitage

The Dutch masters and paintings of the Golden Age have always left me rather cold: portraits so sombre, domestic scenes so depressing, tonal landscapes so hazy, and as for the masterpiece, Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, ynaaah… Now Rubens et al are similarly Baroque era artists and you would think that I wouldn’t have been much inclined to have a look, but there you’d be wrong.

Venus and Adonis
Detail, Peter Paul Rubens and workshop, Venus and Adonis, c. 1614, © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

It had me at hello

I was immediately attracted to the promotional imagery (you’ll see the posters around town): naked blonde goddess draped around the neck of a young adonis – literally. And that’s the power of this show in a nutshell; it’s so much easier to make a connection with these paintings, to enjoy them.  From the facial expressions on the subjects, the consistent eye contact, playful subjects and poses, together with the proliferation of flowers, animals, produce: it’s utterly charming. At the press launch I think I was the last one to make it to the sumptuous lunch, dawdling amongst the landscapes on the top floor.


Detail from The Union of Earth and Water
Detail from The Union of Earth and Water (Scheldt and Antwerp), Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Snydersc. 1618–21, © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Seduction

Given pride of place at the start of the exhibition,  The Union of Earth and Water made for a stunning beginning and its symbolism (the dependence of Antwerp on the River Scheldt) set the scene for the social and political backstory of the exhibition. I loved the casual seductiveness of the earth goddess; the meaningful look and the unembarrassed posture (reminds me of a friend of mine, I think she nabbed her future husband with a look like that in the hot tub).

guinea pigs
Detail, Venus and Cupid, Hendrick van Balen and Jan Brueghel, 1600, © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Mythological mischief

There was further playfulness with Venus and Cupid, the former teasing the latter with some flowers, also notable for the inclusion of guinea pigs nestling gently at the foot of the painting – fertility symbols don’t you know?

de vos self portrait
Detail from Self-portrait with his Wife, Susanna Cock, and Children, 1634, Cornelis de Vos, © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Sweetness

Child portraits usually give me nightmares but de Vos captured the sweet innocence of his kids in a way that touched me, you can almost sense his fatherly pride.

Joie de Vivre

The exhibition notes refer to an evident “joie de vivre” in many of the paintings selected, the use of food, flowers, hunting and animals, and this strikes a familiar note. How many times have I heard it said that Belgians and southern Hollanders (Limburgians, Brabantians) are distinguishable from the Dutch of the North for their greater emphasis on good living, fine foods and such? The fruits and game displays so lusciously painted here do tend to back that up.

fruit detail
© State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
Detail from Still Life with Dead Birds and a Lobster, Pauwel de Vos,1640–60, © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
The Virgin and Child in a Garland of Flowers
The Virgin and Child in a Garland of Flowers, c. 1618, Jacob Jordaens and Andries Daniels, © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersbur


Even the religious paintings of  Mary with the baby Jesus are more than once set within garlands of rich flowers, bringing to mind a kind of mexicana vibrancy.

And lastly…

Together with the lovely setting at the Hermitage, with green courtyard and bright and airy restaurant cafe for a cuppa afterwards, it’s something to be savoured, as the Flemish would.  Nb Do look out for the brilliant grumpy dog.

growling dog
Detail from Venus and Adonis, Peter Paul Rubens and workshop, c. 1614, © State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens: Flemish Painters from the Hermitage

17 September 2011 – 15 June 2012

www.hermitage.nl