Posts Tagged With: random

Gaudi Wonderland – Park Güell, Barcelona

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona

‘A fool or a genius, time will tell,’ said Antoni Gaudi’s tutors as they handed him his degree. Spain’s greatest architect is famous for his gothic psychedelic style which predates the colourful extravagance of the sixties by decades. Park Güell, so named because it was based on the English Garden City Movement, was definitely a work of genius: an undulating pleasure garden of vibrant colour and form.

Gaudi Fountain Park Guell

Gaudi Mosaic Roof Park Guell Spain
Park Guell Barcelona Spain

Gaudi's Sala Hipóstila Park GuellGaudi Turret Park GuellWe stayed in Sitges on the coast, just outside Barcelona, and ventured into the city for a Gaudi expedition and shopping at Desigual. You have to take two escalators up a mountainside until you reach the summit which boasts sweeping views of the city, with the Sagrada Familia just a toy on the horizon.

Speaking of toys, Park Güell is like falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. A panorama of spiritual symbolism and gingerbread houses create the ideal environment to relax and enjoy the view. I listened to a busking violin as craftsmen repaired broken tiles, which betrayed the real age of the place.

After the tourists have gone and the sun starts to set, the park starts to feel magical, and you can almost see through Gaudi’s eyes. Influenced by Moorish architecture, Gaudi was a visionary, a Modernista with perhaps a penchant for mushroom tea…

Palm Trees Park GuelI was fascinated to see how Gaudi recycled unwanted ceramics, or trencadis amongst his mosaics and made something beautiful out of damaged and discarded materials. It’s incredible to think this place is a century old.

gaudi mosaic collage

Gaudi actually lived here in the park in this house which was intended to be a show home: Park Güell was originally supposed to be a housing development for rich aristocrats! I wonder if their names were Dougal, Florence and Zebedee?
Gaudi's House Park Guell Spain

Gaudi Tunnel Park Guell
Sala Hipóstila Roof Mosaic Park Guell Spain Gaudi

To see Gaudi’s work first hand is to be immersed in the colour of Spanish culture, joyful, flamboyant and bursting with energy.

Up next: Barcelona – The Sagrada Familia.

Categories: Design, Photography, Random, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Shopping Patterns

drawer and wrapping paper collage

patterned paper collage

pastel display collage

I went shopping and took these iPhone pictures and stuck them together in collages. The first image is from House of Fraser and All Saints, the second is Paperchase and the third is from an art shop.

Categories: Art, Design, Photography, Random, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Aurora Borealis Sandwich

Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy character The Audience

‘It’s insane,’ said a friend of mine after watching Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy.

That’s the ultimate accolade for a show which has been described as biting into an aurora borealis sandwich. Known for the phenomenally successful Mighty Boosh, Fielding has created a colourful world of bizarre characters in psychedelic settings which boggle the mind. It’s a kaleidoscope of lysergic humour, which takes in Sgt.Pepper, the most dazzling extremes of glam rock and more than a large dollop of The Banana Splits. Remember them? Andy Warhol features as Noel’s cleaner, with a voice like Stephen Hawking and a laugh that comes as tickets. It’s a hugely entertaining visual wonderland, with artistic and cultural splashes on a canvas of indefinable humour.

It’s about to end it’s first run, so grab the final episode on Thursday 8 March on Channel Four (UK, sorry about that – emigrate) or watch the series on 4 OD but hurry because the episodes are  expiring in order.

Categories: Random, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Neon London

Ed's Diner neon sign london

Cafe illuminated sign london

Singin' in the Rain West End London Neon Sign

Bar Italia Soho London Neon Sign

Liberty's London neon sign

Wizard of Oz London West End Neon Sign

Palladium Theatre neon Sign London West EndOn my recent trip to London, I managed to grab some shots around Soho and the West End. Theatre Land is currently booming, with increasingly lavish productions competing with each other. This part of the city has the most character, and sitting in a Soho cafe, you can watch the world go by. All life is here, and Old Compton Street is almost like a film set, bustling with extras and rickshaws.

There is an urgency here, to see and be seen. I just wandered round casually taking pictures, and spotting celebrities. David Walliams strategically positioning himself under a spotlight with a leggy blonde outside the Palace Theatre, and Ian Brown trying to look mean and hard while waiting for a bus. Things must be going well if he’s getting the bus! No wonder the Stone Roses are reforming, so they can all afford Day Savers…

From Ed’s diner to Ronnie Scott’s jazz bar, this is a melting pot, embracing diversity from Chinatown to Oxford Street. There is still an air of notoriety and a sense that anything could happen. Eulogised by Marc Almond and mentioned in Brecht’s Mack the Knife, Soho retains some of the romance of the sixties when gangsters owned most of the property and Carnaby Street was buzzing just round the corner.

Ronnie Scott's London Neon Sign

Categories: Photography, Random, Travel, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Doctor Who Experience

Handsome man in the tardis

It’s amazing that The Vibes is nearly one year old, and yet you’ve all been spared one of my great obsessions. I just got back from London, where Panos and I went to The Doctor Who Experience, part thrill-ride, part exhibition. It’s the nearest you can get to actually being in the fifty-year-old BBC sic-fi show. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the world of the Tardis, Doctor Who is the perfect story: an infinite format which can be applied to just about anything that’s happened, and everything that hasn’t. It’s all about an alien with a stolen time/spacecraft, roaming the universe in search of trouble, saving lives and planets and fighting evil.

This is a short film of our trip to space, which includes a remix of Delia Derbyshire’s ground-breaking electronic theme, which is widely regarded as the earliest example of techno. She recorded it in 1962. Read it and weep, Detroit.

Watch in high definition and full screen…

“All of time and space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?” as the Doctor says to his companion. When it comes to travel, he’s universally free range. The sheer scope of this format means that the show keeps regenerating, much like the Time Lord himself. It never gets boring and big hitters like Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are eyeing the film rights as the Doctor’s profile continues to grow. For the madman with a box, this is going to be a great year. There, that was painless, wasn’t it?


The remix from the video can be listened to here,

doctor who theme remix artwork

Or download here (right click)

I decided to remix Delia Derbyshire’s iconic and pioneering version of the Doctor Who theme to get me out of copyright wrangles when I posted the above video on YouTube. I took three samples, a ‘seething’ sound which was a kind of slithering hiss, the Tardis wheezing and a single bass note, which sounds a bit like a drum. It turned into an epic project and I stalled halfway through. Rather than go insane, I re-recorded the complete half of the track in reverse, and stuck it on the end of the first half, effectively doubling the length of the track and making it sound like I’d done twice the work. George Martin would love me. Delia, however would probably not join me on the dance floor as I threw shapes to the funked up version of her tune. And rightly so: her thundering realisation of Ron Grainer’s theme was the very first example of electronic dance music and about 20 years ahead of it’s time. It’s definitive and unique. No other piece of music has sounded like it before or since, and like a siren it excites and unsettles. It’s interesting to note that this version has never been successfully improved upon, in 50 years of Doctor Who.


Other Doctor Who posts: Art Deco Dalek, Doctor WhoTube and Who Tune Remixed

Categories: Music, Photography, Travel, Vibe Monitor, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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