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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)

weaving, sadie plant, geekgirl & cyberfeminism

last weekend I did a Spinning & Weaving class at Sydney Community College with Pat Davidson, and a yarn & fibre dyeing class in the Blue Mountains with Wooldancer. both were great - though I am now behind in answering uni philosophy class questions ;) this week I also came across Travis' actionweaver site via @spindexer. I made one of the card looms using his template on the site. I didn't use the backstrap though and because I'd folded the card - I'd only had photo paper available so it's not the most sturdy of looms - it became weaker. I've ordered one of his portable laser looms, so it should arrive over the next couple of weeks. photos of my first attempt :


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childhood Fairy Tales

"Fairy Tales - retold by Bridget Hadaway" book - these are from my favourite Fairy Tales book when I was a child. I went back to Brisbane last weekend and stayed at Mum's place and was talking about Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales books and had Mum kept our books and then I found this one. my favourite stories were Princess and the Pea, Ali Baba & the 40 Thieves, and The Little Mermaid. I LOVED the illustrations and I remembered them better than the stories I think. the other stories and illustrations in the book are great too, but these three are the ones I remember most - especially The Little Mermaid - I used to read that one over and over.

Fairy Tales - retold by Bridget Hadaway
ISBN 0 7064 0374 6 - First published by Octopus Books Ltd, 59 Grosvenor Street, London W1 in 1974

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dune day vs clear day - panels test

I took a video from the train on the Wednesday Sydney awoke to the red dust storm and then another on the next day. the videos were taken with my nokia n95 camera, so it lost most of the redness, but you can see that the sky was dustier than the clear Thursday. they're not completely in sync, because I wanted dune day to be slightly ahead of clear day, so you can watch it from left to right and see the scene & colours change as your eye reaches the second panel. I'm not sure if this effect worked as well as I planned though - perhaps I should have lined them up so they were in sync after all.

made with Isadora - the 20090929_dune-day_clear-day.izz patch is attached

I always have problems saving the Isadora video files as they always lose video quality and end up with lots of compression artifacts. I tried exporting at 5% rate, but it somehow increased the framerate and sped up the video! so this was saved at 95%.

other videos taken on the day - with my sony camera so the colours show up properly :

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GE AR - augmented reality

GE AR - augmented reality
I tried playing this AR video at home tonight and it worked! this is the first attempt so the video I took is a bit dodgy but it gives an idea. the cat was purring whilst I was recording and kept nudging my head. I tried blowing on the mic but couldn't get the windmill blades to spin. try it out! now I want to try make my own!!
thanks to @LukeSnarl for tweeting the link

http://vimeo.com/4764743 :

GE AR - augmented reality from kath on Vimeo.

GE page
- print out the marker
- u might need to upgrade your flash player to v10
- turn on your webcam (mac - do this with flash player not photobooth - read the help tips on the url for help)
- launch wind power or solar energy links
(if you just see the green oval spinning then it probably can't see your camera)
- hold the marker printout so it's facing your webcam.. then watch the 3d images appear!

http://ge.ecomagination.com/smartgrid/#/augmented_reality

http://bit.ly/9V5hV is a better video demo (clearer than what I've done - but I wanted to try it myself)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00FGtH5nkxM

luke sent me a great AR game by Julian Oliver (NZ) :
http://vimeo.com/1320756 :

levelHead v1.0, 3 cube speed-run (spoiler!) from Julian Oliver on Vimeo.

this is amazing!
he's made a game using cubes - called Levelhead - it's won all sorts of awards (deservedly so!)
he explains it on his website @ http://julianoliver.com/levelhead (& has code for you to try too)

Julian is part of HIT Lab NZ - The Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand - from their site it looks like they're doing some pretty cool stuff!!

ARToolKit

ARToolKit
ARToolKit documentation page - with samples, tutorials and background details

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building a new site

helping with a new site - using drupal 6 to build it. it's for a music label. I haven't had a chance to talk to the guys much yet about what they want, so it's very early stages & I'm testing some of the new drupal 6 modules that I haven't used before + some old favourites

I want to try an online store to sell file downloads and physical cds etc

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twitterMUD and twitterMOO - other worlds within the twitterverse

I've been reading Erik Davis' "Techgnosis" book and thinking about MUDs and MOOs again. I used to play on the MOOs back in the early-mid 90s and read up about them again to see if they were still running a while ago : mud articles + moo articles. so I was thinking on the train home last night that twitter seemed very similar - it seems similar to IRC to me, as well as the MUDs/MOOs - the syntax of the commands ie the @ like the @command_name in MUDs/MOOs & IRC. some twitter software uses the auto-reply DM when people follow you, so I was wondering if you could reuse / subvert this to be used in a MOO/MUD on the twitterverse? or even not using DMs, but just open tweets. you could have games running throughout the twitterverse - people could create other worlds within it, using the text descriptions as was done in the MUDs/MOOs

wondering if we could subvert the auto-reply 4 a #twittermoo #twittermud instead - txt based i/f like this reminds me of those text worlds

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summertime mangoes

Inder Salim on reader-l posted about The Mango Tree in his community. some people in his block of flats have 'claimed' the fruit from the tree as their own, and he comments about the validity of this.

at the end of the article, Inder asks, "So has anybody tasted a real mango, if there is one, and if yes, who deserves to eat that, and relish?". I've taken his question as literal and replied with the below post. I didn't comment on the issues that are also mentioned in the article - about people in his community living well together and sharing the fruit of the common tree - breaking down the community social control structures, or regarding some of the children who may not have eaten a mango. on the reader-l, a couple of people commented on some of his terms, calling them racist.

hi Inder, my mango eating experience is also from Australia similar to

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trainscapes ceiling

I thought it'd be cool to get a personal projector and project videos onto the ceiling of the train for people to watch during the ride to & from work. have a website where people could suggest videos, or perhaps they tweet them or sms. they could rate them too on the site. I was thinking art or landscapes - trainscapes. but I suppose eventually it'd be overtaken by advertisers or spammers. would be nice for a while though! just look at all this ceiling space doing nothing - apart from the bright lighting in the train, this would be ok for an adhoc screen. 29/04/2009

http://blip.tv/file/2050621

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openframeworks & openCV - computer vision libraries

yesterday, @DustForEyes posted an "AR scratching" video by vanderlin to stealth board & twitter. it's tagged with tags such as AR, augmented reality, opencv, and openframeworks, so I googled some of these. the AR markers seem like the fiducial markers found in reactable - note there's going to be a performance / demo of one of these called dubtable at ripped next week which would be cool to check out.

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audio test

audio test

itunes rss feed test - for podcasts/video blogs

- this test is for an audio file - ~10sec of an mp3 file
- attached it to this blog post

itunes sees the post and can play the audio file ok (pc) :
- there's no image file or song details etc but I didn't add any to the mp3 file in itunes

added some details to the song in itunes and reuploaded the file (filesize increases to 227kb)

tonight I'll try installing the 6x itunes module - I think it can add extra fields for itunes rss
then I'll try making a custom view / CCK type

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the promise of a new future....

I've been reading my old copy of Localizer 1.0 this weekend - a book compiling art, music, labels, personalities from the early-mid 90s technohouse culture in Europe - mostly Germany, but also including Holland, Norway and other places. I still love much of the music from back then. and also the art works at the parties - below are some examples from Localizer book - I still love these styles. I think maybe I need to go to some more outdoor parties to see them again. to me, it was partly a promise of a new future with technology, music and art, which started in the late 80s (for me). whatever happened to that feeling though? I'm now living with technology, working with it, yet nothing seems that new & fresh anymore. I think it's information overload - new things come out so quickly and with the internet I hear about them too quickly that they don't feel new anymore. I miss the feeling of having to wait for a book to arrive at the store or my mailbox before I found out about something happening elsewhere. /old & jaded rant

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ideas of history/origins of Apollo Space program samples in electronic dance music?

any ideas of history/origins of Apollo Space program samples in electronic dance music? (Q via maillist, pls help) http://tinyurl.com/cdx84e

I'm on a maillist which discusses EDM (electronic dance music) and one of the members/list managers, Graham St John (an Australian scholar who has compiled a few books on EDM) has asked about origins of samples from the Apollo Space mission in music. he's asking specifically about dance related music but the discussion has brought up Sun Ra's name. so I was wondering if anyone here knows of examples/history along hip hop / funk /soul / electro (80s, not 2000s) & electronic dance music lines which might help plot the history deeper? (the discussion then went onto alien imagery at some psytrance events but that's another topic)

here's the initial request from Graham St John :
I'm attempting to trace the appeal of Apollo Space Program dialogue

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neofiles Singularitarianism episode # 018

listening to the neofiles Singularitarianism episode # 018 where RU Sirius talks with Eliezer Yudkowsky, director of the Singularity Institute, about the singularity. Yudkowsky's description of the singularity is "the technological creation of smarter than human intelligence, and the resulting jump or discontinuity in human history" ... "it is a particular point in time when we have the first AI, or the first enhanced human that's smarter than anyone in the human race up until then". he mentions, Vernor Vinge, who first coined the term "singularity", "coined it by analogy with the singularity at the centre of a black hole where our model of the laws of physics breaks down - not that physics itself, necessarily breaks down, but our model of the laws of physics breaks down".

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videobloggingweek2009 - day7 : New Plymouth Wind Wand

New Plymouth Wind Wand from kath on Vimeo

this is the New Plymouth foreshore - sunset and Len Lye's "Wind Wand" sculpture.

footage taken 06/02/2009 during a visit to New Plymouth, New Zealand for the weekend

#videobloggingweek
#videobloggingweek2009

day 7 - sunday

http://vimeo.com/4115679
http://blip.tv/file/1984144

blog entry @
http://www.aliak.com/content/videobloggingweek2009-day7-new-plymouth-win...

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