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AliaK's blog

Bangkok - found sounds and art

some links on Bangkok sound art and digital art and other interesting blogs / media

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Hunter (SBX) - The Words

Hunter (SBX) - The Words

reflections on Hunter’s first three albums
"Done DL" Hunter and Dazastah (2002)
"Going Back to Yokine" Hunter (solo album) (2006)
"Monster House" Hunter and DJ Vame (2010)

When Walter Benjamin said in 1936 that "the art of storytelling is coming to an end" - due to the rise of the printed novel and the lowering value of experience - it is clear to see he didn't anticipate the later rise of the hip hop emcee to partly revive this craft in our modern world. In all of his albums, Hunter shows his skills as a wonderful storyteller - in the traditional meaning of the term - sharing with the listener the stories from his life. Of course, not all the stories are happy, but all have an undercurrent of hope to them. There are tales of growing up, getting into trouble and later returning to his hometown of Yokine, Perth in the songs "Adolescence", "Going Back To Yokine" and "Yokine (Drugs + Crime)". These are stories of self-discovery, and of changing his life - giving up old ways that were not working for him and focusing on music, rapping and a hip hop infused life instead. "What I Do Best" has the feeling of "coming home" to a community of supporting people and finding your place in the world. There are stories of mateship and the value of community with his Syllabolix (SBX) family and crew. There are stories of having children and the specialness that can bring to one's life in "Ultrasound" and "Kids of the Future". Also, there are stories born from remembered advice from his father littering his rhymes - as it seems his Dad is always close to his thoughts and words - "Kids of the Future", "The Big Issue", "Me Old Man".

Hunter has great comedic sense too - with the songs about relationships bouncing along at a steady pace. The stories of lust, the virility of youth and some of his experiences with women are some of his more popular songs. In these songs, which he describes as “nothing nice”, he tells of the women’s role in the tales. Often these stories are the most explicit, in language and description, yet there’s an undercurrent of humour to them, often hinted by the light and playful melodies that waft over the beat, which leads me to think perhaps they shouldn’t be taken too seriously at their word. The stories of relationship breakdowns and coping mechanisms in “Never Trust a Woman” are as tense as the subjects, and show that we often end up hurting those we love the most. “Coming Home” is a song about making mistakes and some of the consequences, and suggests (to me) that it’s related to “Zed”.

“Zed” is the most powerful and emotive song on his albums so far. He describes the depths of despair—taking yet another fall, thoughts of suicide, and saying good-bye. Hunter’s rapping style changes during this song—to a softer tone, almost spoken word—the enthusiasm has left his voice, to match the sombre words he is sharing with us. Upon first listen I wasn’t sure if it was him rhyming—I had to check the album liner notes to confirm—he sounds very dislocated from his normal voice and self.

I’m not even sure if I was meant for this place
so after I’m gone, please let them know
that I didn’t want to feel pain
I didn’t want to cause it
so I had to go
couldn’t swim against the flow
kept getting sucked down to the depths below
where the sun don’t even show
not even a distant glow
and we all need some sunlight to grow
it’s like a chain hanging round my neck, dragging me down
after a week you probably won’t even notice I’m not around
I used to love the sound
of waves crashing down
I want to get so lost that I can never be found
under the ground
or maybe high in the sky
nobody knows where we go when we die
so I guess this is good-bye

Hunter ponders “The Big Issue”—a mixture of his own thoughts with some long-remembered advice from his father on how to live your life, and how to cope with what life brings. There are words on pain and what it means, and of course, his ideas on the meaning of “The Big Issue”. The lyrics in this song show a higher level of consciousness, connecting the soul and mind to the heart,

I want to hear the sound of people supporting
The soul is the emotional organ
your brain has got the thought in
your heart feels the distortion
where your mouth keeps talking
and your legs keep walking
pain is just a warning, a caution
and everybody gets served a portion

The powerful and moving “Say a Prayer” says thanks to the “best friends a man could have“. It also sounds like a message for his son and those close to him—it’s at once an apology, confession and explanation of his life. For me, this is one of his best songs—Hunter has summarised his life and beliefs in these few stanzas—he has distilled his life into this one song—and shows the spiritual side of his self in a subtle and beautiful way. Be prepared to shed a few tears over this song.

please, understand what I tried to do
is be strong enough to walk alongside with you
. . .
you know I made mistakes, too many to mention
now I need to be forgiven without condition or question
my confession, yes, I made a fucken mess
but I wanna get it back to become one of the best
and I’ve been blessed
with the best of friends a man could have
and I damn should have
thanked them before this time
so I’ve gotta take the time
in the middle of this rhyme
to say Thanks
. . .
I try to do the right thing
and time and again
I keep fucking it up
and I really don’t know when
I’m going to get it back
on the right track
and I’m sorry to you all
but I want you to know that
I forgive myself
‘cause I found the connection
that forgiveness and atonement leads to redemption
every second, every step and every breath
brings us one step closer to death
and what’s next
do you love the life you live
and do you live the life of love
and is that going to be enough
to get you going, through the times ahead
because it’s going to get rougher like the Good Book says
I had a revelation, that God will move Heaven and Earth
and we’ll all get exactly what we deserve
in the end,
will Kharma be a foe or friend
please Say A Prayer
as the dark descends

Hunter writes from the soul—he shares his soul with those who listen—especially with those who listen to more than just the upbeat, party songs. There have been ups and downs in his life-story, just as there have been in each of his listener’s lives. The difference is, that Hunter’s life is laid out for all to hear in his rhymes as he contemplates life, and the experiences of his life. This reminds me of the lines highlighted by David Toop, in Seamus Heaney’s poem “Personal Helicon” which are uttered as the subject looks at himself in the reflection of water at the bottom of a well: “I rhyme / To see myself, to set the darkness echoing”. (2010: 134)

k-film beach flying

my first k-film. I've been wanting to try this for close to a year or more, ever since Adrian Miles pointed them out on the artists in the cloud list. built using Korsakow. I was running an old version of mac o/s so I couldn't use the software. upgraded on sunday night & now it works. I've got a couple of orphan branches and I didn't clean up the clips or audio, so it's far from perfect, but gives me the idea on how to do it. this is just a simple one using flying / water / blue / waves / waveriding / patterns type keywords

these korsakow k-films really are quite wonderful. it links the videos on words (in & out). so u can have a language story underlying the film. there's many words / things I cannot say - either for not having the words or not being able to speak them. but I can think them when filming. then link them up later. story within the story. hopefully the mood / theme comes across. so many ideas to try.

this test film is using steps involved in the How to SNUify (first) tutorial. I'm sure there's plenty more things yet to try. it was very easy to make. just add all the clips, then add input & output words to create the 'links' between the videos.

if you play it, maybe turn down your volume as I didn't remove the audio so it's natural sound with lots of wind & plane/flying distortion. I might try a music soundscape next - replace the audio on the video clips and then link them - it would sound different each time, depending on the order you / the viewer (listener) played the films back

note: the default embed code seems incorrect : the url seems incorrect - it should be .html not .htm & the .js file shouldn't have the index.html before it, so change these and it should embed ok on other sites. doesn't seem to be displaying, so use the link above. will look at it later after some sleep

like isadora, the beach-flying-korsakow.krw file is tiny

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sophia's choice - listening & learning

sophia's choice - listening & learning

Expanding Mind with Erik Davis
Expanding Mind - 03/03/11 - Gnostic initiation, spiritual scholarship, and the evil trap of the universe: a conversation with Miguel Conner, host of Aeon Byte and author of the new interview collection Voices of Gnosticism. mp3 download

the god above god - Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio
CCG #42-- Philip K. Dick with Jeremy Puma author of 'Running Towards The Bomb'
Coffee, Cigarettes & Gnosis #1-20 - Abraxas

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Flood Money Auction - Hip Hop fundraiser for Qld Floods

the Flood Money Auction is a fundraiser that is bringing together the Australian hip hop community to support those who have suffered after the devastating floods in QLD. The biggest and best have all donated some amazingly rare and valuable items to be sold with all proceeds going towards the Premiers Flood Appeal. visit for more details and to see the items up for auction. as at 13th feb, @PeakStreet mentioned "$4,500 rustled up for this #FloodMoneyAuction already & counting!" great work everyone

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the stems cake

the stems cake 13/09/1987, originally uploaded by AliaK

the stems cake 13/09/1987

the stems cake for my friend's birthday. myself & another friend made & decorated this 13/09/1987. it looks like the cover of their record. I think my copy of the record was stolen at a party a couple of years later (as were my old violent femmes & swampy records) :(

wow the stems are still touring overseas (2010). great to hear "AT FIRST SIGHT VIOLETS ARE BLUE" was the record

"At first sight"

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t-shirt triggered memories

I hope lyocell is ok, because this tshirt I bought, 50% cotton, 50% lyocell is *the* most comfortable shirt I've had since I was a kid. says it's bleached wood pulp. so thank you trees (sorry you were cut down for this). need to get more. the shirt feels like this abba tshirt I had when i was about 8 that I used to wear every day. would rollerskate under friends house in it. the feel of 1000 washes and Brisbane summer heat & kids playing in big back yards & under-the-house skate rinks.

I don't want to wash it yet in case the feeling goes away! ha if u want to try one. I just bought another

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consciousness on ngrams

graphs of an ngrams ( word search in google books for "consciousness". it seems it peaked in the late 1800s, early 1900s and then again 1970s-1990s. perhaps not an exact science as it would depend on how many books (these are English books only) have been scanned & included in the source files, and how many people used the actual term in those books. but it gives a general idea of when the term was more popular in writings?

searching English books from 1500 - 2008 (I asked for 1 - 2010)

searching English books from 1900 - 2008 (I asked for 1900 - 2010)

Aaron Bady did an interesting comparison on 'race' terms on his blog : race in the 20th century

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St Peters coal seam gas mining meeting 06/12/2010

I attended the St Peters Coal Seam Gas Mining Public Meeting at Petersham Town Hall last night, along with about 150 other concerned citizens from St Peters, Petersham, Tempe and other surrounding suburbs (I'm in Camperdown)

I took some notes - in addition to my previous post about this which has newspaper article links - I haven't had time to type them up yet, so below are my notebook pages - pls excuse the messy writing. some of it was hard to hear so there's a few "...??(pls check)" sections but it should give you an idea on what was discussed. I also recorded audio of the meeting though it's rather unclear to listen to also (phone recording)

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on the shortness of life

i just finished reading "on the shortness of life" by seneca. I think the main idea is that we are too busy being preoccupied and busy that even if we live a long life in number of years, we've only lived a short time in quality life terms. he suggests that in order to live a long life we should read and think more in philosophical terms.

"Life is short, art is long" a quote from Hippocrates (pg 1)

"It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it" (pg 1)

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gas mining in the inner west, sydney

there have been reports in the paper recently that St Peters is going to be mined for gas

update 07/12/2010 *** : I attended the public meeting in Petersham last night - here are my notes ***

from what I've read online (newspaper articles) it seems that the St Peters gas drilling won't use fracking techniques - hydraulic fracturing (with the chemicals) but still, City of Sydney & Cr. Clover Moore allowed it to go through - correction 29/11/2010 Kristina Keneally's office approved the exploratory drilling via Clover Moore's tweet in reply to Sophie Loizou's question : @CloverMoore : @sofieloizou @cityofsydney has no role in approving or assessing exploration licenses. See my question in Parliament:

exploration starts early 2011 (according to this special report from Sun Herald).

if it isn't bad enough to be drilling in the city, the scary thing (I think) is that they *do* use fracking techniques when drilling in the country areas close to the dams in most states. this could have huge impact in contaminating our water supplies, which as we know are very precious (luckily we've had rain this year so many dams are full)

also I don't recall receiving any notices about this in leaflet drops - a city of sydney one arrived this week, I'll have another read to see if it's mentioned. if the greens hadn't asked for more info I'm not sure anyone would have known about this??

there's a film called Gasland showing at these cinemas which shows the practice of fracking in the USA. I'm going to see this on the weekend.

on the Greens website there's a couple of articles and a petition. I think people need to be made aware of what's happening. I know I'd like to know more of the details of what's involved & impacts etc.

Greens MP Cate Faehrmann has some info on the sydney (& nsw) gas drilling if you want to find out more - 'fracking' seems to be happening in other parts of Aus too - disturbingly close to our water supplies/dams. what's that song? "Australia, don't become America"

Saving our trees blog has a notice for a public town meeting to discuss this. there's also a facebook event page

Gas drilling in the Inner West – Public meeting
facebook event page

* Monday 6th December 2010
* 6pm
* Petersham Town Hall
* Speakers Cate Faerhmann MLC & Marrickville Mayor Fiona Byrne

some articles in the paper:

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#vlomo10 day17 video : bethells drive

a drive to bethells beach not far from Auckland, NZ on 10/07/2009. another video from the archive. this is my favourite beach in Auckland - the sand is brown and in winter the wind blows and you're surrounded by a sandy mist.

day 17

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#vlomo10 day16 video : global village

I've started another MLA ( class called Global Village - I'm a little behind as I joined a week late, so tonight I watched the week1 videos and read through the forum posts. I'm behind on another too - Douglas Rushkoff's "Program or be Programmed" which hopefully I can catch up on during my holiday weekend (though I think this might be the last week). for Global Village, run by talented artist Bobby Campbell, we watched videos by Robert Anton Wilson, Marshall McLuhan, William Gibson, Ray Kurzweil, Timothy Leary and more. I liked the quote from Soren Kierkegaard "life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards" - I think this is partially what we're (?) / I'm doing with the video diaries each November for #vlomo10 (videoblogging month). I watched another of McLuhan's videos where he spoke about technology/gadgets vs the book & the return to tribalism (technology/communication gadgets/tribes) from individualism (renaissance man/books/singular experiences) : Marshall McLuhan - The World is a Global Village (CBC TV) - this was interesting too - his predictions of the future were very apt.


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#vlomo10 day15 video : 2004 crop circles

on 08/08/2004 I went on a helicopter ride over Wiltshire and surrounding areas and saw some of the crop circles. my cousin's husband worked for the flight company (pilot though he wasn't flying this helicopter) and they were taking people on crop circle tours and there was a spare seat so I jumped at the chance to see them. there was also a crop circle conference running that weekend further down the hill but I recall it was quite expensive so we didn't go in to it. the end of the video is some footage from the same day driving through the UK countryside - England is beautiful in the summer - the colours of the wheat fields against the sky is one of my favourite memories of UK summer. so, for day 15, this is another one from the archive.

I don't think the video is online as I didn't think the quality was that good and I didn't like how shaky the camera was, but again. but I really like the colours in the footage & I even like the shakiness now too - with the frames of the helicopter windows and different shadows. am glad I didn't delete these clips now! amazing how time can change your views on things (& the world) I took many photos on this day and some of these have been included on a UK crop circle tracking website.

photos at

the music is "mountain goat" from Amorphous Androgynous (who are also known as Future Sound of London - one of my favourite bands)

day 15

(half way there! keep going everyone!)

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#vlomo10 day14 video : newtown festival

it was a hot hot hot day at the Newtown Festival today. a few clips from my wanderings. I liked the band that was playing near the King St entrance - I've heard a couple of those songs on fbi radio but I can't remember the name of the band. hula hoops seem to be this year's craze. might have to try one - good for the waistline!


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