Tim Hinck's thoughts on music and life- There is a lady living across the street from me. She is dying of cancer. I have never seen anyone so full of life and energy. She loves to work outside in the flowers and grass of her yard. I can see her savoring every sunny day... the way she stands up from planting a flower bulb with such satisfaction on her face and claps the dirt from her gloves with resolution. I want to be like that lady.

Location: Schalkwijk, Utrecht, Netherlands

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

...still training

just a quick post before i run out the door to Amsterdam. today i get to try out the organ in the Waalse Kerk where I'll give a concert next month.

worked on my project in the climbing gym again today. I got it down to only 2 falls.
movie clip of me climbing

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Training and Banking

i did lots of fun things this week including working a second day on my project-climb in the climbing gym in den Haag. i had to go to den Haag to close my old bank account and open a new one, but of course the real reason to stick around town was to hit my project with my climbing buddy devon. his dad (devon's dad and mom are visiting all week) came with us to the gym and took some pics and video of both of us climbing. the climb is a rad 50-foot route up the steepest wall, and 5.12b in difficulty. the route was obviously built by a tall dutch guy, because it involves a lot of dynamic jumps and "just barely" reaches for me.

the second time i tried it i fell 4 times before doing all the moves. there are only about 2 or 3 big holds on the route and not really any big enough to stop and shake out. i'm hoping to cut my falls down to only one or two when i go back on monday. david and lorelei will be with us, so i'm hoping to get more video and put a little clip together of me working this route. it's a lot of fun, and at least it keeps me motivated.

today i got my new bank-card in the mail. the mailman brought it personally, and i had to show I.D. and sign for it.

besides that, i am on the last few lines of the Trio-Sonate i'm writing. i hope it's finished in time for our rehearsal on monday.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


(organ keys from 1680; Cappel, Germany)

Remodernism is a word for the current feelings and ideas of many artist (and musicians) these days. Many artist have had enough of flashy, shallow post-modernism and are ready to move on. For ages, artists have struggled to relate their art to the experience of everyday people. I guess the aim is to try to have everyone appreciate their art more fully, and then go out and buy it. The problem is that it is sometimes hard to do this while still maintaining artistic integrity: producing works which are profound and important, honest and effective. Post-modernism was a "nice try" in its efforts to make art real by deconstructing all of the assumptions of the past. It tried to erase the distinctions between serious and commercial art; between Eastern and Western art; between specific forms or styles. What you see in a post-modern gallery is a lot of collage and pastiche and giant campbell's soup cans. I think this quote (ref?) really sums up the post-modern idea: "The music of modernity, however, was viewed primarily as a means of expression while the music of postmodernity is valued more as a spectacle, a good for mass consumption, and an indicator of group identity." This was really a movement for the 20th century... a movement for the Global Community.

It's when you take a step back and look at something in wide-angle that you sometimes discover just how terrible it is. Post-modernism tried so hard to connect with the people that it forgot that the best way to connect with people is to be a real person yourself... so have real goals and address real issues. You have to have ways to evaluate art... because if there is no such thing as good or bad art, then there is no such thing as an artist in comparison to a man. It's time for artists to get serious about their work again. This is something that, thankfully, most musicians and painters and other artists are doing. Remodernism is one fancy word for this new focus. Like all great movements in history, this one probably is barely a definable movement at all, and it certainly doesn't agree with itself. In fact there are many things about Remodernism to turn and flee from, but I think it has some good points:

(from a Remodernist Manifesto:)

3. Remodernism discards and replaces Post-Modernism because of its failure to answer or address any important issues of being a human being.

4. Remodernism embodies spiritual depth and meaning and brings to an end an age of scientific materialism, nihilism and spiritual bankruptcy.

7. Spirituality is the journey of the soul on earth. Its first principle is a declaration of intent to face the truth. Truth is what it is, regardless of what we want it to be. Being a spiritual artist means addressing unflinchingly our projections, good and bad, the attractive and the grotesque, our strengths as well as our delusions, in order to know ourselves and thereby our true relationship with others and our connection to the divine.

10. The making of true art is man's desire to communicate with himself, his fellows and his God. Art that fails to address these issues is not art.

"Today's art [post-modernism] is not art. Its working methodology is to think of something which is not art and to call it art. This is exactly Duchamp's ideology." (Billy Childish and Charles Thomson)

Of course all artist get off on bashing the styles and revelations of the previous generation, but I sincerely believe that with the death of post-modernism we have witnessed a serious close-call. I hope we never again see the day when some idiot slaps two subway cards and a cat skeleton on plywood and says "what does it mean to you?" ... or when someone records their intestinal noises and calls it his new symphony. It's time for anyone who calls themselves an artist to wake up every day and paint and paint and paint.

(Katherine Gardner, Susan Finlay's Statement of Intent):
"As Camberwell art students... it is easy to become bogged down in a quagmire of post- modernism, intellectualising bad objects under the pseudo-intellectual guise of satire. We say death to irony. [Remodernism] has our full attention and admiration... We are sincere - none of this pretentious non-art. We are sensitive, creative people. Why should we be dull, repetitive and mainstream, when there is the opportunity to be brave and original."

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Lynn Hill's Nose

(phil wiygul bouldering in joe's valley, utah 2004)

well, living here in the Netherlands can sometimes feel like living on another planet. it's so strange to hear the about events that should have made up the activities of your daily life, as if it were old news and statistics. the people i love, the the communities and organizations i put energy into... they all are moving ahead and breaking new ground without me. as if to drive home this point, today i found out that one of the most important achievements in the history of climbing was accomplished almost 7 months ago without my knowing: the 2nd ascent of "the Nose".

a little history:
the climbing route up the most prominent ridge of the most famous granite monolith in Yosemite National Park (and maybe the world)... THE NOSE route on El Capitan. for decades is has stood as a landmark achievement of modern mountaineering and a proving-grounds for the world's newest strong climbers. but this route took a leap of mythological proportions when in 1993 Lynn Hill became the first person to climb this route (about 3,000 feet tall) completely free from artifical aid. this means that lynn used gear and ropes only as a safety backup, and never to pull herself up (as all other climbers do). this means that in theory lynn is the only person who has really climbed this route... an accomplishment that was not equalled by even the strongest of male climbers.

the second ascent went last October, not to some hot-shot punk, but to the quiet, dedicated husband and wife team: Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rodden. the two climbed the route together, placing their gear on lead (and only for protection). a few days later, Tommy came back (with Beth only belaying this time) to climb the route in under 12 hours, leading every pitch. This astonishing accomplishment means that he climbed literally 30 full-length climbs stacked on top of each other (only resting to belay Beth up to him.

here's a link to a Lynn Hill website, where you can read more about this historic route and what it takes to climb it:

Lynn Hill talks about the Nose Route