Friday, December 2, 2011

"To put a toxic waste dump so close to where people are fishing and there's tourism is highly irresponsible."

Return of the Abominable Jungleman (a blast from the past)

Nchan et Christine ont poursuivi en Malaisie leur collecte de sons et de témoignages auprès de musiciens -- joueurs de gamelan traditionnel ou jeunes percussionnistes rencontrés aux franges de la ville. Dans la jungle toujours proche, ils ont suivi Antares, un musicien chinois sage et fou, arpenteur de tous les sentiers et joueur de flûte. Marié à une aborigène, il défend la forêt, les droits de sa tribu auprès du gouvernement tout en écrivant ses articles d'ethnomusicologie dans la hutte qu'il a tressée, au vert, relié au monde par un esprit transculturel -- et par Internet! ~ Christine Rodès

This is hardly an original statement, but it's worth repeating: the internet is the best thing technology has come up with thus far! Some insist nothing can beat the washing machine - but as I have never owned one, I don't have an opinion on that.

Earlier, I was cursorily checking visitor stats on my blog when I was intrigued by a Google search someone located in Muscat, Oman, had done on "magic river antares"... so I followed the link to the search results and found this YouTube video dating back at least 6 years but only recently uploaded.

Sometime in 2005 a colorful bunch of visitors had appeared at my home, wielding video cameras and recording equipment. Even before I could say hello, they were busy shooting video footage of everything that caught their fancy. They told me they were multimedia artists, collecting raw material from around the world and incorporating it in their trance-inducing son et lumière performances, featuring multiple images projected on huge screens to the accompaniment of live electronic music.

The group was called Sisygambis and they were performing at KLPAC. The music consisted of a mix of sampled sounds and synthesized effects played by Christine Coulange and Nchan Manoyan, who both looked like they might have stepped out of a flying saucer parked just down the road. Anyway, we spent some time cavorting at a nearby waterfall and afterwards they asked me to play some of my wind instruments. I got on so well with them they invited me to visit them in Marseille and perhaps collaborate on some art project with them.

Alas, in 2009, I received word that Nchan had died in a car accident - and that put an abrupt end to my cross-cultural conversation with Sisygambis. I liked Nchan a lot, not just because he had the most amazing bird's nest hairstyle and a wizardly goatee, but he struck me as truly an evolved soul and a very warm human being. Viewing the video above brought back a flood of vivid memories and renewed my soul connection with Sisygambis. I'm glad they are continuing their wonderfully stimulating multimedia projects.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The decent face of Malaysia: dedicated to those who walked for freedom yesterday

Representing the First Peoples of Peninsular Malaysia
S.Arutchelvan, secretary-general of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (left)
A truly motley and muhibbah gathering!
The Bearded Ones marching for democracy
Author/actor/playwright Kee Thuan Chye (left) chats with Anura
My first close encounter with architect/social commentator Clifford Tan
Members of the Bar Council rose valiantly to the occasion
Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee addresses the spirited gathering
Note the unsmiling goon in blue standing directly behind him...
Big round of applause for all who showed up
Lim Lip Eng, MP for Segambut with his colleagues
The gentleman and scholar who bought us coffee at the Lake Club
Lily Fu (mother of my daughters) blogs at SeniorsAloud
Media crew recording the event (so their editors can produce a negative spin)
How will NTV7 and TV3 use this footage?
The Walk for Freedom to Walk begins just before 12:30PM
My old friend, Ambiga, who has become a national icon of democracy
This way to Parliament... but the road is blocked by riot police!
Afiq, don't waste your life serving a bunch of arrogant crooks!
"Okay, dear, I'll stop by for some milk later, I'm in the middle of an illegal procession!"
"Right... should be over soon... meet you at Pizza Hut"
Putri & Khabs make a sexy legal team
Painter/poet Rahmat Haron has lost a lot of weight but at least his hair is still big
Bernard & Sega: Honk honk honk honk (if you're feeling horny)
Pasir Gudang, that's Khaled Nordin,... duh... don't expect much from this big zero
The Khalsa Kontingent was very much present
Umbrella of Shame: nope, it won't protect Najib from the approaching storm...
A million memories were snapped on 29 November 2011

Decency is beautiful!

 Just try and suppress such youthful vitality and idealism...

Hmmm... who's the dude with the cool blue shades?

 The Save Malaysia Stop Lynas group came all the way from Kuantan

 Dignity walks hand in hand with decency

 A new breed of legal eagles who believe in rule of law

Elizabeth Wong looked resplendent in PKR blue

 The Walk for Freedom to Walk had many touches of glamor

 The venerable Haris Ibrahim stands out in every crowd

 Hisham Rais posing with a fan

 Jasmine & Danny: true Malaysian patriots

Yellow shirt, yellow tie, yellow wristwatch, yellow underpants too?
An evocative whiff of the Arab Spring?

Walking alone is good for the body; walking with thousands, good for the soul
Tian Chua is all smiles: he cut his political teeth on street protests
Tony Pua is on the A-list of admirable and lovable MPs
Every bit of shade is precious on a day this hot
This group of bogus Yellow Shirts was planted to blur the issues.
TV3 subsequently aired footage of them bearing a banner proclaiming LGBT 2.0 
and the Seksualiti Merdeka logo. How low can you go, Umno?

 "My son is a lawyer; I came to support him!"

How about some music and dancing too?
Thumbs up for a truly energizing and uplifting show of solidarity

[Photos by Antares]