Music from and to the heart

Monica Akihary and Niels Brouwer have been my neighbours for years. Together they form my favourite band Boi Akih. Singer Monica’s heritage is Moluccan/Dutch and Niels is composer and a fabulous  guitar player. Listen to some of their clips at

I’ve seen them in concert various times, sometimes with the two of them. In different set-ups they expand from duo to a six piece band. Each of these configurations has its own sound due to the interplay of members searching for their own origin during an ongoing adventurous voyage.

Their performances always reach the hearts of the audiences. So I am going to follow them on tour in Indonesia in September, with planned concerts in Jakarta, Ambon and Bandung.

Continue reading

Old pictures from South Asia on Kern Institute site

I am a member of the Association of the Kern Institute in Leiden because of my interest in the Indian – Dutch history. In 1989 I have documented in slides what is left of Indian-Dutch monuments from the Dutch East Indian Company VOC on the coasts of India, see my site  

The Association possesses a collection of objects, and takes care of its management and restoration. Among these objects, most noteworthy are the “Gandhara album”, which contains a number of albumin prints dating from before 1885, some 80.000 pictures as well as a number of palmleaf manuscripts. It is freely accessible online.


The Kern Institute is the national centre of expertise for South Asia and the Himalayan region, more specifically India and Pakistan, Tibet and Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The institute houses the Department of Indian & Tibetan Studies of Leiden University, as well as an excellent library that offers excellent resources for a broad range of approaches to the study of India and surrounding countries.

Overwhelming performance of Lost and Found Orchestra in Amsterdam

It had a four out of five stars review in De Volkskrant on 4 March 2009 after the first performance of the Lost and Found Orchestra at the Carre theatre in Amsterdam, where they played until tonight. The review was so interesting that it triggered me to go this wonderful circus shaped theatre on the river Amstel together with my daughter Mirjam. We experienced an overwhelming experience. With a core group of 35 musicians and with a full choir, LFO creates a symphonic piece of music theatre, using Afro and Caribbean rhythms for their one-tone, unconventional instruments made from traffic cones, hose-pipes, saws, plumbing tubes, bottlebellows, glass instruments and anything else they can lay their hands on. They have a Hosaphone (garden hose with a brass mouthpiece and a funnel mouth) and Plumpet section, see a short video  they have online.

Creators of LFO Steve McNicholas and Luke Cresswell also made large format movies. Wild Ocean 3D was the title of the last one. They are currently producing a new movie about endangered tropical coral reefs and have other 3D movies in development.