Tag Archives: Old Ideas

Video By Dominique Issermann: “Moments of” Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas

Leonard Cohen’s Music – Dominique Issermann’s Images

This video is a sequence of vignettes, all shot and directed by Dominique Issermann on her iPhone, for  eight of the songs on the Old Ideas album. These range from slideshows of Leonard Cohen photographs taken by Issermann to video sequences over which Leonard Cohen sings but in which he does not appear. The vignettes themselves are in black and white although the title inserts are in color.  Two illustrative screen captures follow (click on thumbnails to enlarge).

There is, as well, the occasional product placement.


This video is also available on  the Leonard Cohen iPhone app and was discussed in the Leonard Cohen iPhone App Review.

Leonard Cohen “Moments of” Old Ideas
By Dominique Issermann

Uploaded by


Credit Due Department:  Video found embedded at Telerama.fr

Review Of The Leonard Cohen iPhone App

Leonard Cohen – There’s An App For That

The Leonard Cohen iPhone app by DKB Productions was released Aug 23, 2012 and is available for installation1 at the App Store.

My report on the app’s features based on my test drive of it follows.


The News page appears to be linked to the news page of the official Leonard Cohen site and, is, as can be seen above, fairly limited.

Tour –  And Hidden Bonus

The tour schedule is up to date. The Sept 8 & 9, 2012 shows, for example, are listed at Wembley Arena, a venue change which was officially announced only yesterday.

The links eventually lead to a ticketing site for each show but there is a hidden bonus – clicking on any concert date first leads to a screen with a photo of Leonard Cohen, and while most of the shots are the standard performance scenes, some are unusual and there is at least one photo I’ve never seen before. A  couple of examples follow.


This page is straightforward: clicking on an album takes the user to iTunes for music samples and the opportunity to purchase the songs.


The Photo page, as anticipated, links thumbnails to larger images. Most of the images will be well known to fans but some are unusual and interesting.

The Prize – “Moments Of” by Dominique Issermann


The summary of “Moments Of” (also called “Moments With” in some of the copy) on  CatchApp describes this feature as “Dominique Issermann shoot 8 videos clips for Leonard Cohen coming up album: Old Ideas.”

Well, there are indeed video sequences, all shot and directed by Dominique Issermann on her iPhone, for eight of the songs on the Old Ideas album. These range from slideshows of Leonard Cohen photographs taken by Dominique Issermann to video sequences over which Leonard Cohen sings but in which he does not appear.

There is also the occasional product placement.


A couple of scenes from “Crazy To Love You” follow.

Watching the Dominique Issermann videos justifies the installation of this app, even if the other features go unused.

Other Pages

The app also offers a selection of Leonard Cohen Videos, links to the official merchandise shops, and a “Blog” page which opens to Notes From The Road.2

The Tipping Point

All the other features are nice enough, but it’s the Links page that makes this a must-have app.

  1. Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS []
  2. For more information about Notes From The Road, see Where To Find Current, Detailed Information About The 2012 Leonard Cohen Old Ideas World Tour. []

Examine Leonard Cohen’s Use Of Words In Old Ideas Album Lyrics With Interactive Word Tree

Sample word tree search for “love” in Old Ideas album

Visualizing Leonard Cohen’s Word Use In Old Ideas Lyrics

Like word clouds and tag clouds, word trees are a means of graphically viewing word use in a specific text – in this case, the lyrics of the songs on Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas album.  The above graphic show a sample search for the word “love” in that album. At the end of this post is a fully functional, interactive word tree that can be used search for and view specific words in those songs.

From Many Eyes,

A word tree is a visual search tool for unstructured text, such as a book, article, speech or poem. It lets you pick a word or phrase and shows you all the different contexts in which the word or phrase appears. The contexts are arranged in a tree-like branching structure to reveal recurrent themes and phrases.

Using The Word Tree

From Many Eyes,

Unlike most Many Eyes visualizations, the word tree starts with a blank slate instead of a full visualization of the data. You must choose a search term to display a word tree. After a word or phrase is typed, the computer finds all the occurrences of that term, along with the phrases that appear after it. For instance, the word “word” occurs a number of times in the previous paragraphs.

You will notice that in the words following “word” there are many repeated phrases. For instance, “tree” follows “word” five times, and “or phrase” follows three times. To create a word tree, the computer merges all the matching phrases.

You can manipulate the tree in several ways. To zoom into a particular branch, clicking on a word in the tree. If you control-click on a word, the diagram will use that new word as the main search term. And if you wish to see the context occurring before rather than after a phrase, select End. As you navigate the word tree, you can use the Back and Forward buttons just as you would in a browser to quickly step through your history of views.

To point out particular words in the tree, choose Highlight Mode from the menu at the upper right. You can then click to highlight words, or control-click to highlight multiple words. Once you have finished highlighting, choose Clicks Will Zoom from the menu so that you can zoom by clicking.

Punctuation Matters
Unlike many text visualization methods, such as tag clouds, the word tree does not ignore punctuation. In fact, it treats periods, commas and the like as separate words in the text, because within the flow of a text, punctuation can be critical to the meaning and rhythm of the phrases.

Branch order
By default, the tree branches are ordered from top to bottom by order of occurrence in the text. For instance, if the phrase “we saw” first occurs before “we conquered,” then the “saw” branch will be above the “conquered” branch in the word tree for “we”. You can choose two other modes: alphabetical, or ordered by overall branch size.

The Data

The data set includes all lyrics from the songs on Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas album as found at LeonardCohenFiles. Original spellings have been retained. Titles, credits, and dedications have been excluded. Each instance of repeated words and lines (e.g., a chorus) has been included. Because apostrophes are handled as if they were blank spaces by the software, all apostrophes have been deleted (e.g., “he’s” has been changed to “hes”). Each ampersand has been replaced with “and.” The processed text was then uploaded to Many Eyes, the IBM-sponsored site that collects data sets and creates visualizations of aspects of those data sets.

Visualizing Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Album Lyrics With A Word Cloud

Visualizing Relationships Of Words In Leonard Cohen’s Lyrics

A simple pie chart or bar graph can sometimes illuminate a mathematical relationship between sets of values more effectively than the most elegant formula. Similarly a visual method of displaying the relationships and connections within a body of text may yield insights that have proved elusive to capture by listening to or reading the lyrics.

Word clouds, aka wordles, display specific words in a size proportional to the number of times that word is used in a given set. The word clouds on this page are based on the words in the songs on Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas album;1 the two wordles (one black and white and one in color) are differently formatted but each shows the same data. (click on images to enlarge)

Customize Your Own Word Cloud

Viewers can customize the Leonard Cohen Old Ideas Album Lyrics Word Cloud with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes as well as variant language choices at Interactive Word Cloud: Leonard Cohen Old Ideas Album Lyrics.

  1. By default, the visualization treats different letter cases (“Hello” vs. “hello”) as different words and filters out common words (such as “the”). The “Language” menu lets you adjust these settings. The data set includes all lyrics from the songs on Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Album. Titles & credits are not included. Each instance of repeated words and lines (e.g., a chorus) is included. This system does not handle certain characters well so I also replaced each ampersand with an “and” and deleted all apostrophes. []

Listen To The Complete January 2012 Jarvis Cocker – Leonard Cohen Interview

Cocker-Cohen Conversation Now Online

The enlightening and entertaining January 18, 2012 interview of Leonard Cohen by Jarvis Cocker was a highlight of the coming-out publicity party for the Old Ideas album. Unfortunately, only isolated clips from that session have remained available online.  Now, however, reader Jo Meul has spotted a Soundcloud recording of the January 29, 2012 edition of  Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service, “Sincerely, L. Cohen,” which features Cocker’s January 18, 2012 interview of Cohen, selected Cohen songs, and commentary.

Anyone with an interest in Leonard Cohen who missed this when it was broadcast should take advantage of this second chance to be delighted.  Those who have heard the interview before will find it as fascinating – and fun – now as it was then.

Preview: During the interview, Leonard Cohen calculates that the ideas in Old Ideas are 614 years old – except those which are older, advances his claim that giving up smoking has lowered his voice, explains his feeling that he has been “scraping the bottom of the barrel just trying to get the song together,” laments the loss of many of his notebooks and the masterpieces they contained,  and looks forward to meeting Chuck Berry, with whom he shared the PEN New England’s prize for Lyrics Of Literary Excellence.

Sincerely, L. Cohen – Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service (Jan 29, 2012)

Lana Del Rey’s New Song “Reminds [Her] Of Leonard Cohen”

Lana Del Rey & Leonard Cohen, both adorned with laurels

The juxtaposition of Lana Del Rey and Leonard Cohen – which I had once assumed was, like the town of Brigadoon, certain catastrophic floods, and the date 11/11/11, one of those things that appear only once every 100 years – has again taken place within a matter of weeks after Ms Del Rey’s album, “Born To Die,” ascended to #1 on the charts in many markets at the same time Leonard Cohen’s “Old Ideas” was  # 2, a karmic cataclysm discussed in Who The Heck Is Lana Del Rey?.

In an interview with the Spanish magazine S Moda that was reprinted in English at LanaDelReyFan.com,, Ms Del Rey reports that one of her new songs is reminiscent to her of something Leonard Cohen might write; she then goes on to account imagining “Leonard Cohen & Bob Dylan together” as something that “makes [her] happy.”

Q: If you write your second album, are you going to talk about what fame has brought you?
Lana Del Rey: No, I will take up where I left everything. I’m starting to write new tunes. I have a new song that I love. [Sings a few lines: “In the land of the gods and the angels, I was a monster.”] When I thought, ‘God, it reminds me of Leonard Cohen! “.

 Q: Cohen is one of your favorite artists?
Lana Del Rey: I like to imagine Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan together. It makes me happy. On my list of favorites also are Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Nirvana, Lil’ Wayne, Eminem and Odd Future. No female… No, but I’m not against it.

Credit Due Department: I was alerted to this cultural phenomenon by Coco Éclair.