Tag Archive: music

Chances are that you are one of the 20.829.525 (and counting) people that saw this video. It’s about a girl singing an acoustic version of Adele’s song ‘Rolling in the Deep’. I saw it some time ago and immediately loved it. I then showed it to my kids. They loved it even more. And my wife almost had to cry, she too was swept off her feet. And so our family is responsible for at least 15 of that astonishing total of 20.829.525 views. Why did we love it so much? Because here’s a girl that obviously is aware of the camera, but she is also just herself. Overly excited to do it right. Not flawless in her singing, but so enthusiastic she just makes your heart melt. Now, I come from the world of television format development and I’ve witnessed the worldwide uprise of the talent show formula at very close range. In fact, I’ve been a part of the creation process of many. Many spin offs that is. Because once an idea proves to be a commercial success, it’s creative potential is quickly drained by television makers all over the world. And so audiences worldwide see one talent show after another. And although I’m amazed by all the talent out there, many talent shows are more about show than about talent. Immense studio’s, crowds that go wild, visual effects, fancy camera movements, fast editing, clever storytelling – sure – a show it is. And that’s all fine with me. I post this film to show that the simple setup of a guy with a guitar and a young girl on a couch, can be more than enough to entertain you, move you and make you feel good. Or how a small show can have a huge effect.

April 12, 2012 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,

Welcome to Paris on a warm afternoon somewhere in September. You’ll be accompanied by singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas. As she takes you through the crowded streets, her soulful soothing voice and gentle guitar play, really are an oasis of peace. Watching this video will make you feel as if you’re actually there. It’s a blissful afternoon tune, perfect for a sunday. The song she’s playing is called ‘No Room for Doubt’ and the video is shot as a part of the great Take Away Shows by La Blogothèque. More Take Away Shows that featured on focusNjoy.com, click here and here.

November 27, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,

How a simple tone, a single chord or a solid sound, can hit you like magic, is just incredible. It can give you a feeling of homesickness to a time and place where you’ve never been. I just came across a band called ‘Snowmine’. I never heard of them before, but man, they seem really cool. In the sense that they seem truly aligned with each other as people (in the first place), as musicians with different talents (second) and with creating multiple layered sounds (third). That not only sounds really nice, it also looks very nice. And that’s what congruency is all about. Congruency, in human behavior, means that what you say, corresponds with what you show (or do). It means you’re aligned. And it’s actually quite hard to be congruent yourself, let alone being in a band. Yet these guys, have a band. They are a band. I sure do like to hear more of them. If you like, download their song ‘Curfews’ (it’s what you hear in the beginning of the video) for free. I did, and I hope you enjoy it as much I do.

November 18, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the worlds greatest composers of all time. He’s certainly my favorite classical hero. Regarded as the master of harmony and counterpoint, Bach excelled not only as a composer, but also as an organist, violist and harpsichordist. About making music he said: “It’s easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself”. I really like looking at things that way. Making anything complicated simple. Like: “It’s easy to run a 100 meters in 9.58 seconds: all you have to do is run really fast”. The Chinese philosopher Confucius said: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”. So, here’s a nice ‘simple’ tune from Bach, perfect for a sunday morning. Played on piano by Francesco Tristano, Filmed at Théâtre de l’Atelier, Paris. More Blogotheque? Click here.

October 30, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,

I love lullabies. Yesterday I stumbled upon this one, by My Brightest Diamond. It’s a wonderful song and video, filmed during a music festival in Berlin, august 2011. The filmmaker: “After the concert I finally dared to ask her what I wanted to ask her that morning, to sing us this lullaby that struck me down. It’s Sunday morning, a morning of hangovers. The whole hotel seems suspended in the air. We ask her to get to the bar, to make it sing for her, to sing for her son (for whom she had written this song). We erase ourselves. She, she doesn’t. After we’re done filming, I cry. She cries too.”

October 13, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: ,

I always thought The Beatles song ‘Help!’ was a love song. You know: “Help, I need somebody. Help, not just anybody…” and then I stopped listening to the lyrics, believing I got the message. Until I came across this video. It’s a beautifully made animation, kind of adorable actually and it made me understand and appreciate the song better. It’s really about getting older, changing times and things becoming more complicated. For instance the line: “When I was younger, so much younger than today… I never needed anybody’s help in any way”, reminded me of my childhood when life was clear and problems didn’t seem to exist. But then of course times change, as they do in the song.

October 6, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags:

Some days I really feel like dancing and I throw myself on that floor to make some confident moves. There are also days I prefer to stay in the background, making just a little step, or two. I’ve had days where at first I wanted to be invisible, finding myself transformed an hour and a half later, making the craziest moves. There are days I just don’t catch the rhythm, no matter how hard I try. And there are days I really don’t want to dance, but I’m forced to anyway. And then there is style. Dancing comes in all kinds of styles, just like living. One style isn’t better then the other, it’s what makes you feel good that counts. And watching these people dance, reminded me of just that.

September 23, 2011 by: | Category: Video | Tags: , ,
    • Daring to be vulnerable gives you power to be

      People are vulnerable as individuals and as a species. And fighting vulnerability is useless. No matter how hard you try. Simply because you can’t control everything and so your life can turn upside down at any moment of any day. You may be the King of the World, the Smartest Woman in the Universe or the Sexiest Man Alive; it won’t help. You can however hide from it. And most of us do. Behind a fancy job title, nice car or house. Interesting friends, a busy agenda, designer clothes or healthy hipster life style, but sooner or later vulnerability will find you. So what can you do? Well, it’s simple.

      Simply face it and embrace it. Because when you embrace it, you no longer need to fight it. You no longer need to run or hide from it, by keeping up appearances and putting energy in this hopeless attempt to avoid the discomfort of feeling it. You can now be as you are, vulnerable, instead of pretending not to be. The way I see it: vulnerability is indestructible. So by letting it in and become a part of you, in a way that makes you indestructible. Daring to be vulnerable gives you power to be.

      Vulnerability becomes a Strength

      Are you alive?

      From time to time it’s good to ask yourself: “Am I alive?” Because it’s not uncommon to just be busy doing what you’re always doing. To be caught up in a routine. And that routine may very well result in hours, days, weeks, months or even years of living, without actually being alive. Because there’s more to living, than just breathing. Imagine someone in a coma and it becomes clear… I recently attended a re-birthing workshop and I experienced the difference between A) normal breathing: a mostly shallow, kind of mechanic and unconscious way of getting the bare minimum of oxygen ‘shots’ and B) breathing with full awareness, in a rich flow, organic and fully open to receive life’s energy in all it’s splendor. It let me experience the meaning of the phrase: “Just because you breathe, doesn’t mean you’re alive”. And so I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to wonder: am I  really alive or mostly just busy breathing?

      Just because you breathe

      Who am I… or rather, what am I?

      I guess you’re familiar with this sensation: one moment you feel great, and the next… well not so great. I sometimes feel like I’m nothing and sometimes I feel as though I’m everything. It’s a really fine line, much like it is with being crazy or brilliant. John Lennon had a nice way of putting it. He said: “Part of me suspects I’m a loser. The other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty”. I wrote a post about that one too. Anyway. A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon the “I, a universe of atoms…” quote by the American physicist Richard P. Feynman (1918 – 1988). And it’s stuck in my head ever since. Because to me his words are both mind blowing and heart warming. The thought of “I” being a tiny, stand alone atom – and an infinite, whole universe at the same time, blows my ego off it’s socks. Because “I” isn’t (only) the ‘earthly me’. “I” is a single atom and an entire universe, completing one another. Think about that when you’re looking at yourself in the mirror. So yes, it’s a quote I gratefully meditate on. It’s so simple and yet so deeply profound. It makes me feel humble and larger than life at the same time – it’s liberating. Look at us humans. Look at you, look at me. We are both nothing and everything. Again. That’s just… wow.

      I, a universe of atoms

      focusNjoy #122: Stop searching, start finding

      Imagine you’re looking for something, but you can’t find it. Annoying. Yes. Very. But then, maybe you’re not supposed to find it. Or maybe you’re just looking in the wrong place. Or maybe… you already found it, but you don’t realize it yet. Whatever the reason is, you might want to stop searching. Why? Well think about it: as long as you’re busy searching – you’re not… finding!

      Stop searching, Start finding

      A fresh start for focusNjoy

      Dear friends, it’s been more than a year since my last post! Honestly, I needed the break but a lot of good things have happened to me in the meantime. Apart from a great time at Eyeworks Netherlands, where I worked as a Senior Creative with some great people at the Program Development Team, it were exciting times for me personally as well. Too much to tell you in one post. But I will share more in the coming months, because it’s been truly transformational.

      I’m planning on a brand new start of focusNjoy at the end of April. And this time, I intend to actually make some money haha – because running an ad-free blog is great, but from a financial point of view it wasn’t a success and one of the reasons for me to get back to television. Later in 2014 I intend to finally start with my workshops in Amsterdam. I’m super excited about that but let’s see how things develop. Anway – I’m back and I’m feeling fresh. Hoping to hear from you – always feel free to send me an email and say hi!

      Love, Stijn.

      focusNjoy back 2014
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