Category Archives: Uncategorized

Edutainment Sketching

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If there was a teacher at school who you remembered for good reasons, it was probably a performer. Someone who was comfortable enough in themself to dress up as a historical character, or sing in class, or raise the awareness of the room. The ones that really stood out had a way of imparting the knowledge with humour, zest and passion.

I keep saying I want to be a musician, because I’m attracted to the idea of reading music as if its English, of hearing the melody in my head and being able to instantly play it, of having improvisational and compositional skills. Of being a performer that inspires people, that jogs them out of routine. But as I enter year 32, I am becoming aware that the door is closing on me being a young, standout star performer – or a young any type of performer! I have a feeling that my true calling has as much to do with music as education. Edutainment. In fact, it’s more than a feeling now. It’s a where-to-start moment. 

Most where-to-start moments are followed by the realization that you’ve already started. I already get more excited by being able to answer questions about all this sophisticated music technology. I’ve already debased myself with a short series of facetious, thought-provoking videos (remember Is A Blah Blah?). I have already dissociated myself with the tired old image of the superstar, lights-and-make-up musical star. I mean, honestly, how boring, right? I want something new and exciting. I want to hold workshops and impart this knowledge, show how to practically apply the skills that I have learned. 

If I was formulating a plan on how to go about this – and draw some kind of salary from it – it would begin with the most important question: who’s the market? In this case, I believe the market is ripe and flowering. Thanks to an already over-saturated media landscape, we have a generation of teenagers who know that they want to try their hand at making music. Specifically, electronic music, because, let’s face it, it’s the avenue with the lowest barrier to entry. That means numbers, which is all a potential sponsor or advertiser wants to hear. So focusing on how to make what Ninja Tune calls ‘the broadest beats’ (ie best beats), we have the potential to reach outwards into communities and gather willing youngsters into music workshops and training sessions with the intention of qualifying them for future achievements. 

I believe something like this is percolating somewhere in South Africa, and I believe I am partly responsible for making it happen. 

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Insulated

A good word is ‘insular’. As in ‘insulation’, the property which separates and protects something from its surroundings. The essence of the word is separation, disconnection, and comfort. Warm, insulated roofing. Tearing off layers of asbestos as you admit to yourself that everyone has a story to tell. 

Here, by the heater on another Friday morning, I have what I want. I am employed, but not 9-5. I negotiate deals on events, teach English in the evenings and chase various other small, infrequent video production, feature writing and creative jobs. I’m insulated. I have a lovely family and partner. 

“Ladies and gentlemen,” I announced to 5 people at the show last night, “Due to multiple technical failures, I am unable to complete my set.” That was that. Today I feel stung by failure, but able to continue. If I give myself this warm day of storytelling. I’ll make something of it, goes the story. The moral is that hard work pays off, and that’s how I’d prefer it to end. Stick to the script. 

Strange mood. Insulated.

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memorable line.

…and with great sadness do i realize that, like a sea-turtle, you either make it or you do not. 

The Way

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D C G Gorillaz Track

i’ve been waiting down the shore for the tide to turn

counting all my demons and my blessings and my beautiful burns

i’m in the same ol’ situation aahve been in before

only my imagination encourages me to go on

breaking bottles on the tracks till you get your way

little bit of poison in every bottle you put away

nothing left to throw on the fire have to compensate

only this resilient reminder things are gonna change

My Dear (a heaven hell song so far)

despite how attractive i appear

intentions lie beneath these eyes dont come near

dont come near

i know the reason you came

i personify the fantasy you crave

its for you my dear

it’s not real

you have answered my cry

darling i’m alive

every time i cry

i’ll feel your lips on my eyes

i’ll make you available to me

give you the pleasure oh the pleasure that you seek

make you feel

we’re nothing short of asinine

poison each other’s glass and drink each other’s wine