June 26, 2022

Ramblings

Bush Tucker Man is an utterly mesmerizing Australian TV series from the late 1980s that follows Les Hiddins as he travels through remote areas and demonstrates how to find bush tucker — forage wild foods — in inhospitable environments.

I find it remarkable in the respect and indebtedness Mr. Hiddins gives to the Aboriginal people of Australia, as well as the the understated editing. I can only imagine how frenetic and unnecessarily dramatic a contemporary version of this program would be.

Unfortunately, it seems only the first three episodes of the first season are available. Also, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation doesn’t allow video embedding, so you’ll have to follow the link:

Bush Tucker Man on Youtube

Reading

  • Putting Time In Perspective – It’s all too easy to become fixated and trapped by our myopic experience of time. This humorous and eye-opening exploration breaks down our regular human measurements and makes the vast spans of time slightly less abstract.

Listening

Tabula Rasa

Ramblings

Recently I found myself in the postmodern-Roman Colosseum of the Vancouver Public Library rummaging around the botany section. Through the electric hum and drone masquerading as silence, I heard the unmistakable sound of aggressive mumbling. I emerged from the beige aisle to see a frustrated man at a public computer terminal, scrolling through the comments of a Youtube video — obviously not pleased with what he was reading.

Who knows what grudges and sociopolitical dramas were unfolding on the 6th floor of the Vancouver Public Library that day. Maybe he had every right to be irritated by the comments. But it got me reflecting on both the toxicity of our comment culture and my own relationship with the disturbing entity we call the Internet.

Reading

Listening

I have no good explanation why, but lately I’ve been fascinated by Qawwali music, and so I’ve been listening to the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the king of kings of Qawwali. Live at WOMAD 1985 has been playing on repeat.

I can’t quite trace the breadcrumbs of how I learnt about Zulfiqar Ali Loond, a Pakistani multi-instrumentalist who won a national award but can only be heard in a few amateur videos on youtube. Regardless, enjoy…

Tunguska revisited

“Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.”

André Gide

Today sees the re-release of my second (and so far final) album under my 833-45 moniker: Tunguska.

I was both flattered and surprised to hear it described as “a record like no other in contemporary electronic music.”

I’m grateful to Notype for the support with both this re-release and with my music in general throughout the years.

Listening to Tunguska now, I hear an ominous foreboding of the Sixth Extinction which most of us were only barely aware of at the time I composed it around 2001. The path we’re on now makes the devastation of the Tunguska event seem quaint by comparison.

While the album is available for download under a pay what you want model. If you do listen to it and enjoy it, consider making a donation to a conservation organization of your choice.

Listen

R. Murray Schafer, a Canadian composer, author, educator, and pioneer of acoustic ecology passed away recently.

Many years ago I stumbled into acoustic ecology when I was studying at SFU, and promptly switched my major. Although I never met Mr. Schafer, his book The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World was revelatory — an astonishing read that roiled with ideas I’d never considered.

A 2009 short film by David New serves as a brief introduction of some of R. Murray Schafer’s ideas:

Solar Cycle 23

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” — John Cage

Solar Cycle 23

Today, NoType is re-releasing an album of electronic music I recorded over twenty years ago. Solar Cycle 23 is an album of noisy, minimal electronic music based primarily on shortwave radio recordings I made. You can listen to or download Solar Cycle 23 for free or by donation.