Strato Copteros's Blog (42)

East Cape Blues

Thank you to neofundi and my good friend Socs - a friendship now into its 35th magnificent year - for providing such an amazing platform for me to share some of my thoughts ... and now my music.

So ... emboldened by my friends' positive reaction to my posting of one of our band's songs "My Death" yesterday, today I'm posting the vid of one of our live performances earlier this year. The song's called "East Cape Blues" and was shot exclusively on iPhone and edited on laptop by good…

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Added by Strato Copteros on July 18, 2012 at 16:00 — 1 Comment

SunshiP

Having blogged intermittently about the 2012 Grahamstown National Arts Festival; and written bits and bobs for the last year about SunshiP - the band I drum in - finally I have something to show my friends in Jozi, most of whom haven't seen me play - in fact all of whom knew me before my exit from Jozi and mid-life existentialism drove me to finally actualise the dream I've had since childhood. 

So ...

SunshiP is the band; and "My Death" is the single that appears below. The…

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Added by Strato Copteros on July 17, 2012 at 16:42 — No Comments

National ArtFest Days 8,9,10, 11 - More Than One Could Ever Imagine

So its over. The ArtsFest for 2012 is done. As am I. I'd hoped to write daily updates - to put you right inside the glorious kaleidoscope that the Grahamstown National Arts Festival always is. I couldn't. This year was just too big, too much, too busy, too full, too intense, too constant. My god! Every day was so full, that by evening what had happened just that morning felt like it was days, even weeks, old.

Having worked as a wordsmith for a dozen years, I pride myself at being able…

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Added by Strato Copteros on July 10, 2012 at 16:30 — No Comments

Days 6 & 7: Creative Heaven

In our little normally secluded corner of the Eastern Cape, when Fest rolls into town, everything changes. Obviously! But it's more than the obvious influx of shows and people. It's almost as if the town's DNA,and that of its people, is irrevocably altered - a kind of creative cosmic shift, where the largesse of what is all around us somehow infuses itself into our bloodstream through our pores. For a while, like plants, we grow by osmosis. For some in Gtown, Fest is the annual cash express…

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Added by Strato Copteros on July 5, 2012 at 15:51 — No Comments

Days 3,4,5: The Arts Are Alive!!!

... And it's nearly killed me! This has by far been the busiest festival I've had in years; and how much of a good thing I can stand, now seems to have become the sub-plot of my fight against fest fatigue. You know when a kid comes back from the zoo and starts listing? - "We saw lions, and tigers, and monkeys and leopard and ... and ... and ... Oh and ... wow and there were ..."

Check this out for the Strato Artfest zoomania days 3, 4, & 5 retrospective 

In the last three…

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Added by Strato Copteros on July 2, 2012 at 22:07 — 1 Comment

FestDay 2- Rebirth of Boogaloo

So one of you took me seriously yesterday - got jealous, got on a plane and came! Well done Dimitri!

Dimitri and I have done over half a dozen festivals together; and it doesn't feel like fest without him!

Now that's who arrived. What disappeared were the SunshiP posters - replaced by some other schlongs' who took mine down and put up theirs. Sneaky sneaky. The Gtown 10-day poster wars have begun. And while we all jockey for wall space and attention, the festival juggernaut…

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Added by Strato Copteros on June 29, 2012 at 16:30 — No Comments

FestDay1 n the Fun's Begun!

It starts ... slowly ... a creative giant gently opening one eye to stare out at a world arriving to watch it groove! That's always the Grahamstown National ArtsFest's first day - the slumbering megatron of a billion bits of creativity now beginning to wake. In a week's time, the freshly woken creative gargantuan of today will be in full-on arts and culture overdrive, as it heads into its last weekend. But right now as the first weekend of fest begins to loom just above the horizon like the…

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Added by Strato Copteros on June 28, 2012 at 16:00 — 1 Comment

Overnight Me to "Amazing"

So I've just collected my media accreditation for the Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2012. To use the festival's strap-line, "Welcome to Amazing" fundis! Quite nifty to have the world's second largest arts festival in my hometown, don't you think? Yep - only Edinburgh pips us; and this year's ArtsFest fringe programme is bigger even than the "burgh's".

The festival programme booklet that my media pack came with, is over 250 magazine pages long - with up to six individual offerings…

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Added by Strato Copteros on June 27, 2012 at 17:30 — 1 Comment

ARTiculation

Having just completed a monumental marking marathon of 120 assignments and 120 exam scripts, the greatest difference that struck me between students was not so much whether some had grasped the course content more than others, but how capable they were of articulating their knowledge. Ok - so it was Media Law & Ethics at university level. Certainly not everyone's cuppa coco. Of course the level of understanding would vary. The thing though, is that I got most of them into it - with a…

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Added by Strato Copteros on June 19, 2012 at 17:14 — 3 Comments

Climate Change - The Myth of Emission Reduction

Right now, as the world’s signatories to the Kyoto Protocol meet at COP17 climate summit in Durban to negotiate new emission reduction targets, you’d be forgiven for thinking that after so many years and 17 annual climate change summits, emissions were coming down. The facts: 

In the latest report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) - the world’s premier energy consumption monitoring body - 2010 marked the greatest increase in global warming gas emissions ever recorded. …

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Added by Strato Copteros on December 1, 2011 at 12:28 — 5 Comments

Black Tuesday

It was meant to actually be Black Wednesday - the day the secrecy bill was originally planned for tabling before parliament - tomorrow. But it smacked too much of the original Black Wednesday - October 19, 1977 -when the apartheid regime shut down three independant newspapers, banned a host of civic organizations and arrested countless activists, less than a month after murdering Steve Biko. Today, Biko and those who laid down their their lives for freedom, weep in their graves - too…

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Added by Strato Copteros on November 22, 2011 at 18:00 — 3 Comments

Get Played!

As a drummer playing actively in a band, I have to come up with the right drum parts for every song we do - ones that reinforce the bass guitar's rhythm and drive forward the melody of lead guitar and vocals, to the best interests of the music. Sometimes it's relatively easy. Sometimes not. In most songs there are those niggly 'turnarounds' - the big rhythmic shifts, such as verse to chorus and back, which to cock up as a drummer is the musical equivalent of a missing the gear when taking…

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Added by Strato Copteros on October 14, 2011 at 16:00 — 1 Comment

The Eternal Light of Being

There is no better way to be in your body, in the present, than looking at the stars. And where I live outside of Grahamstown - with only pinpricks of distant man-made light in the distance - on nights when the moon is still young and slim, the sky drops to just above my head - so filled with stars that it almost becomes white. And it's exactly in those moments when forever comes alive - when eternity is visible.

Now we all think of eternity as something nebulous, spiritual,…

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Added by Strato Copteros on October 3, 2011 at 17:54 — 2 Comments

Wildlife, Mallrats & Morons

Driving out of the Addo National Park yesterday late afternoon, it occured to me that at four and a bit months old, my niece Luna had been exposed to her first lions and elephants before her first shopping mall - Not that she'll remember, but the notion made me smile. I recall bumping into an old varsity acquaintance and her young daughter at the Woolies in Sandton once - their trolley packed with little girl pink of every size and description, with the young girl clutching, and…

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Added by Strato Copteros on September 16, 2011 at 16:00 — 1 Comment

Never EVER Give Up!

Watching a documentary on sharks with my nephew Ilyo this morning, there is a particular scene that he and I love! We watch it again, and again, each inspired in our own way and becoming progressively more elated together! It's a scene shot in a bay, where baby gennets (seabirds) take to the water for the first time to fly - without their parents, who've already left the colony. Understandably, inexperienced young birds floating on water and flapping their wings draws sharks. Big ones. Bull…

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Added by Strato Copteros on September 12, 2011 at 14:16 — No Comments

FUNdi!

I've been spending a lot of time on my drum kit lately. The better I become, the better I want to be - especially since the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. And now that I've hit you with two great cliches in a single sentence, let me make my point. If you don't love it, it aint gonna be fun for you, and you're not gonna become a FUNdi at it!That's it, that's all! I love love love playing drums! So it's fun for me to sit there starring into the distance doing rudiments and… Continue

Added by Strato Copteros on September 9, 2011 at 16:17 — 1 Comment

Juliustraction - Juju's Sole Purpose of Distraction

Remember that daft game we played at school? - the one where you held out your left hand, got the other kid to look and then bonked him on the head with your right - remember? In today's South African socio-political landscape, that game's now a firm favourite - and the red herring left hand has a name: Malema.

It happens time and time again, as I've pointed…

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Added by Strato Copteros on September 5, 2011 at 20:00 — 3 Comments

The PeOpLePoWeR of my life

Having recently returned from Jozi, where I was treated with all the love saved up for the prodigal son, and was then welcomed back in Gtown with so much warmth, I've felt like a very very lucky so and so all day! Add to that being featured on neofundi, putting that on facebook and getting such a kind response from so many, and I'm flying on my friends' wings! Love is an amazing thing! In my heart I know it's what we're made of! And the people in my life remind me daily! Fifteen years ago… Continue

Added by Strato Copteros on September 2, 2011 at 15:30 — 3 Comments

Ard's the rule not the exception

No - not Art, as in "arts and culture", but Ard as in Mr Mumble Matthews who slightly slaughtered our national anthem live on TV before the full Springbok squad. 

Shame. I felt for him. Cos as much of a leftie as I've always been considered to be, a patriot, a committed African, there is always that tricky passage in the second paragraph of Nkosi Sikhelele that I always hum to after boldly singing the opening stanzas and before I kick in again on "uit die blou van ons se hemel", which…

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Added by Strato Copteros on August 25, 2011 at 12:30 — 2 Comments

Mining Ministress

Women we are taught are insinctive nurturers, protectors, carers and empathisers - more compassionate towards, and in tune with, the world. Which leads me to conclude that Sharon Shabangu, SA Minister of Mineral Affairs is actually a man. There is no other way to explain her nonchalant dishing out of prospecting licenses - putting vast swathes of pristine eco-sensitive environments under devastating threat - or the controversy after controversy that's wracking her department about personal…

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Added by Strato Copteros on August 18, 2011 at 17:30 — 1 Comment


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