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…Continue
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.
SunshiP is the band; and "My Death" is the single that appears below. The…Continue
Added by Strato Copteros on July 17, 2012 at 16:42 — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Strato Copteros on July 10, 2012 at 16:30 — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Strato Copteros on July 5, 2012 at 15:51 — No Comments
... 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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by Strato Copteros on June 29, 2012 at 16:30 — No Comments
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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. …Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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,…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by Strato Copteros on September 12, 2011 at 14:16 — No Comments
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue