The doors of Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles opened in 2003. The building is part of the Los Angeles Music Center and has a capacity of 2 265 people. Designed by Frank Gehry in 1991 construction began in 1992. Funding was both public and private including a donation of $50 million from Lillian Disney, widow of Walt. Origirnally the buildings exterior was due to be made from stone but when building stopped between 1992 and 1994 due to a lack of funding a number of alterations were made to cut costs resulting in the exterior being finished in stainless steel. As well as being an architectural success the building also received high paise for its ascoustics designed by Japanese audio engineer Yasuhisa Toyota. Alterations were made to some of the steel panels to reduce heat and light refections following complaints from residents about blinding glares and hotspots when temperatures reached 140 in some parts of streets the building stood on. The building comes in the so called “post modernist” era. An example, some say, that post modernist and modernist design is the same ideal of challenging the old and offering great function.
Theres a lot of really great Scandinavian clothing companies, for whatever reason they seem to be largely unknown in the rest of Europe and beyond. College no.9’s Henley exposes three of the best in the first of his monthly reviews of Scandinavian fashion houses.
Stenströms has been making shirts for over 100 years, the Swedish company has built its reputation on the back of quality shirting made from the finest cotton,
becoming purveyors to the Swedish royal family. Founded in 1899 by August Stenström in Helsingborg the company now makes ties, scarves and pockets squares also. The shirts come in a range of fits and collars and cuffs. As well as solids for formal wear there is also a vast range of checks and stripes, some with playful contast buttons. In Oslo both Follestad and Ferner Jacobsen are stocking the full range of Stenström products. Outside of Scandinavia Stenström can be found in Austria, Poland, Ireland, Holland, Germany and South Africa.
Trading started for Ricco Vero in 1986, though it can be traced back to 1936
when Einar Kvamme opened his Tailors shop, Kvamme Clothing. His son Jan followed in his fathers footsteps but when his son, also named Einar took over the young designer changed the company name to Ricco Vero and opened a number of concept shops in the city center and on Hegdehaugsveien offering a full range of attire for men and woman, suits to shoes, knitwear to overcoats as well as a range of accessories.
Tiger of Sweden is perhaps the most modernist friendly of all Scandinavian fashion houses. Founded by Marcus Schwalzman It started in 1903 making high quality suits made to measure. In 1905 Schwalzman decided to make suits ready to wear. This in 1905 was a new concept in suiting, suits were made by tailors on demand but Schwalzman’s idea proved popular and by 1929 his company employed 1000 people to keep up with demand. The company was named Tiger after a number of
suit models made during the 1920’s were given the name, first there was Tiger 1 in 1926 then 2 and Tiger 3 followed in 1927. Today Tiger makes a full range of garments for both gentlemen and ladies. As well as the numerous Oslo stores where Tiger is sold it can also found at I.C factory outlet, Maridalsveienen 87C.
Today marks a 100 years since blues player Robert Johnson was born. Dido Lament looks at the turbulent and short life of one of the greats.
Robert Johnson is credited with being the most influencial blues guitarist from the pre-war period. His life is shrouded in mystery, documented by a patchwork of information. There are only four known photographs of Johnson, his recorded work consists of just 29 songs, yet he is one of the main players in the developement of the blues, taking Delta and incorporating his own style to produce a unique sound. Eric Clapton discribes him as “the most important blues player of all time”. Born on May 8th, 1911 (though there isn’t a birth certifiate to confirm this date) Johnson was born as the love child of Julia Dodds and Noah Johnson in Hazlewood, Mississippi. His early life seems to have been
spent in Memphis with Charles Dodds, the husband of Julia. Charles Dodds was forced to leave Hazlewood by a lynch mob following an arguement with white landowners. In 1919 he moved to Tunica to be reunited with his mother who had by that time remarried to a gentleman called Dusty Willis. Johnson himself was called Robert Spencer (perhaps taking his mothers maiden name, though no record of this has been found). The following year the family moved to Lucas, Arkansas. In 1929 he adopted his natural father’s surname and married Virginia Travis. Virginia died in childbirth later that year at the age of sixteen. He remarried in 1931 to Caletta Craft and moved to the Delta. He left his new wife after only a few months when she became ill and became a itinerant (or walking) bluesman, playing street corners, bars and dances trying to earn a living from his music. It was during this time his most famous song was written; Sweet Home Chicago as well as Cross Road Blues, the song that led to the infamous folklore story that Johnson one night asked the devil for help with mastering the guitar in return for his soul, though in truth it was written at the crossroads in Clarkesville in the Delta while
hitchhiking home. Johnson seems to have led the life of a womanizer and hard drinker, “laying his hat” for a few weeks at a time before moving on. It was this life style that lead to his death in 1938 aged 27, wen he was drinking whiskey poisoned by a bar owner angry at Johnson’s flirting with his wife. The site of his grave isn’t known. His only recorded work comes from two sessions; 1936 in San Antonio and in 1937 in Dallas. Both sessions were for Brunswick records and six records were released by the label as race records. The largest selling was Terraplane Blues which sold 5000 copies. In 1990 Columbia Records released a two CD box set: Robert Johnson; The Complete Recordings. The set sold over a million copies making Johnson the biggest selling pre-war blues artist.
Jim Flora loved his jazz, maybe as much as I love his artwork. He also did book covers as well as paintings and drawings. There are many copyists of the Flora style but none have bettered him. Heres a sample of his cover work and jazz tinged art.
Robert Moses and his World Fair. NYC 1964.