Competition Music!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Given the overwhelming response of my readers (Thanks Kath and EEbEE!) I've decided to post the music for you to use to write/sing lyrics to! It's a very short loop, and it's not a great quality for now as it's just easier to upload and stuff this way. It's the little mp3 player on the side bar under the subtle heading of 'Competition Music!'.

The piece is a very chilled lounge piece. I did this because I figured that it's appealing to a wider range of audience (compared to, say, industrial...?) and because if the music is slower, it might make it a little easier to write/sing to. If you'd like me to mail you the loop itself for you to listen to over and over, please drop an email in my inbox (see previous post for address) and I'll happily send it your way.

PS. Let me know what you guys think!

PPS. For the record, it's an absolute bitch to find an mp3 player add-on that actually plays music you want to play and not the 'Top 20' from some arbitrary Russian site...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Audience participation!

I have had an idea, but I'd like to gauge it's potential success. So here goes.

I would like to collaborate with one of you on a piece of music! So, what I'm thinking of doing is compiling a loop sample that I will upload onto this, here blog for your auditory enjoyment. There is a catch: I'd like you to try and write/record lyrics for a song to this! Now, I know that not everyone has the most sing-worthy voices, but if you feel confident enough to do so, please do record and email me the recordings! Otherwise, strap a friend/family member to a chair and force them to sing for you! If possible, please make sure the recordings are of relatively high quality and are in a *.wav format. But this isn't crucial...

I royally suck at writing lyrics of my own, so I'm sure you will do far better than I can!

If you think you'd be up for it, please mail me at with 'I wanna write your song!' as the subject line and I will then know how many of you are interested! Fill the contents of the mail with whatever you want (provided it isn't offensive...or viral in nature).

It's also a neat way to see how many of you are still avid readers here...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Post? But I'm too scared!

I may, or may not, have mentioned this at some stage, but I am...a bedroom DJ. Yes, I confess, I am a closet music producer whose works never reach the public domain! I can feel your damning glares spearing at me over the internet burning little glare-shaped holes in my mind!

So, on Friday, someone made a comment along the lines of ' should post the music [my own music] onto the net somewhere and let other people enjoy and critique it! Otherwise the whole process is tantamount to [self-gratification] and nothing else!' He used less child-friendly terms but you get the jist of the message.

And now I am completely torn. I do want to release my work onto the vastness of the internet for all of you to partake in, but at the same time, I'm paranoid about copyright infringement and people stealing my work! What do I do? To post or not to post, that is the question...

Long weekend! Alas, not long enough...

[I must apologise upfront; this post was written about a week and a half ago, but thanks to blogger's misbehaviour, none of my pictures would upload. Thus it has been maturing in my drafts folder until blogger cooperated...]

So, for those of you who read from abroad, this last Monday was a public holiday in SA: Human Rights Day! I personally find it rather ironic as the university made me work on the Monday, especially on Human Rights Day of all the public holidays, but moving swiftly along...

I was away this weekend, on a field-trip for one of the university's second year courses. The job was not particularly exciting; drive the students to the university's farm east of Nelspruit, help them identify some bugs and plants for their insect and plant collection projects, drive them home again and do all of the above without getting anyone hurt/killed. Apart from nearly crashing one of the rental vehicles into a wall (Toyota recalled their cars for a brake malfunction, right? Well obviously not all the cars...) and one of the lecturers almost running a student over (same brake malfunction...) it went off without any major hiccups.

The problem is that now, I am absolutely drained! I have SO much work to do and I just can't muster the energy to do it! So instead I'm blogging and posting some pics from the trip:

A fishing spider! These guys are pretty big (about 8cm diameter legtip-legtip) and hunt fish! They can actually go underwater for short periods of time. The hairs on their bodies trap a layer of air around them which acts like mini scuba gear so that they can hunt underwater.

Here we see one of our lecturers performing the trademark (not really) 'zoologist crouch'. He's actually looking for water scorpions amongst the leaf litter in a rather disgusting pool of water.

A personal life-ambition fulfilled! See a live vine snake in the wild: Check! These guys are ridiculously venomous but are apparently relatively docile. They're part of a family of snakes that actually have their fangs at the back of their mouths, instead of having the hinged sabres in the front, like vipers, that we think of when we think of snake fangs. Hard to spot against the branches of a bush too...

A little piece of froggie paradise. The pond behind the house in which we stayed. We checked it out one night for frogs; they were everywhere! And there were so many different kinds! It was awesome!

A stunning view from 'sundowner rock' where, oddly enough, we have sundowners! Unfortunately, it was cloudy almost all weekend, but the view is much more spectacular when the suns out!

A local amphibian resident. Very well camouflaged and very cute!

Some local flowers. Unfortunately, I suck at plants and so I can't really tell you what they're called. :(

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A history of our own

Last night I was invited to attend the screening of a whole bunch of old 8mm home movies shot by my grandfather and grandmother of their family at various stages of their lives. It was an amazing opportunity to see what my father and his family were like, growing up, as teens, getting married etc. And it was AWESOME! And freaky at the same time...

It's hard to imagine that the people you've only ever known of as adults were once children and teens. I'd seen photos of them, but it's somehow difficult to imagine those still images of someone that you don't recognise as being of real people or even as the 'little' versions of the people you know now. One of the things that really struck me was seeing my father as a child, playing around on a beach. He looked just like in the photos, but he was alive, running around and obviously having a good time. And that kid, was my dad!

I realise how silly it sounds, but it's a difficult experience to put into words.

The other amazing thing was seeing how people's behaviour doesn't change over time! So many of the mannerisms of my fathers family in the films, as little kids, persist to this day! Small things like their posture or how they held their arms are identical and unchanged!

The other thing that I found very interesting was seeing how much my cousin looked like his father when they were both young! He and I were the only ones that agreed on this, but just because nobody else thinks so, doesn't make it not true!

Oh, and a lesson to all would-be home movie makers: When on holiday, don't bother filming the surroundings. In 50 years, nobody will care! Film the people! That's what we all want to see!

Some pictures from the night:

The 'cinema' complete with rows of seats and a screen! I'm not sure why my cousin looks so unimpressed...

Deciphering 50+ year old labels with obscure titles like 'Number 2'

A shot from the footage of my parent's wedding. Unfotunately phone camera's don't cope well with capturing the flickering images off 8mm film. You can just make out the shapes of some people in this one

Repairing the projector. This happened several times throughout the evening. Amazingly enough, none of the film burned out! I was under the impression that the 'burnout' was a common feature of screening such as this, and yet, not so much as a puff of smoke all evening! Our projectionist must have been a reel pro...(pun intended  )

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'll miss you SO much!

Given that I will be leaving my alma mater, Wits, in the not-too-distant future, I have been thinking a lot about how much it has meant to me to be part of it. The other day, while on the hunt for food, I was reminded of one of the more fun aspects of Wits' charm: The quirky promotions that seem to happen on campus on a regular basis. Luckily, I had the presence of mind to snap a few on my phone, before the promo broke up!

Where else in the world am I  likely to encounter giant walking fruit on my lunch break?!

I'm not entirely sure why the giant fruit were hiding under black sheets, especially seeing as it is the middle of summer in Johannesburg (usually around 30 degrees centigrade in the shade at this time of day...). The one on the left is a giant lichi, in case you're wondering...

Behold, the giant granadilla! You can also make out the giant mango behind him and what appears to be an orange too...what the other one is...I have no idea.

Even giant fruit get tired! Here they are, parking off on the grass for a well-deserved break.

This, amongst other things, I will really miss when I'm gone.