Life Codecs Ruminations. Reflections. Refractions. Code.

January 16, 2011

“What the World Needs Now is Love”, Bacharach/DeShannon

Filed under: arts — Tags: — Kamal Advani @ 02:55

Started listening to compositions by Burt Bacharach recently. Very impressed overall. One of my favourites thus far has to be the song “What the World Needs Now is Love”, composed by Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David, and first recorded by Jackie DeShannon. Here’s the video, and wikipedia entry. Beautiful stuff.

November 13, 2010

“New Butterfly”, by Ade ISHS

Filed under: arts — Tags: , — Kamal Advani @ 18:33

New Butterfly” is Ade’s second album. You can find my review of his first album, “Visions“, here. The same disclaimer in that post applies to this review.

As before, the album is contemporary instrumental piano. The music is simply beautiful. Both relaxing and deeply contemplative. Ade’s in no rush to finish a song, the timing is just right. The notes feel a lot more harmonious, diverse, confident. My favourites include “Jakarta at Night 3“, “Go on 2“, “I Saw Happiness“, and “Moving Ashburton“. “Jakarta at Night 3” – well if you have spent a night in Jakarta – the faintly cool night breeze in a city named after a prince, you’ll get the connection. Tracks average 6-8 minutes in length. One contrast (in both feel, and length) is “Unity in Diversity“, a short (1:35!), light piece.

Highly recommended, awe-some. 10/10 stars. Still DRM-free (yay!).

October 23, 2010

Garudas, Phoeni[xes|ces], Eagles

Filed under: arts,general,philosophy — Tags: , , , — Kamal Advani @ 18:43

Disclaimer: Some of these views are my own, they may not be accurate, they may be downright wrong in fact – they are opinions. Please research accordingly. This article is not meant to be a historical thesis of any sort, just observations and personal inferences.

With the disclaimer out of the way, I can go crazy with fiction or non-fiction as I please, whee.

I got into a discussion about ancient history today with a senior teacher of mine. It reminded me of how much I used to like stories, myths, legends, and associated symbolism. Anyway one link led to another, and I began reading about Prambanan[1][2] – a temple in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia built around the 9th or 10th century. One of the depicted major gods in Prambanan is Vishnu, one of the 3 major Hindu Gods[3], whose consort/vehicle is the Garuda[4.1][5] – a mythical powerful bird.

In Indonesia, the Garuda is used as a national symbol, a symbol for the Pancasila[6] – the 5 unifying cross-cultural, cross-religious, tenets of Indonesia.

A part of article [2] and article [5] tell of Garuda as being the son of a mighty sage Kasyapa and his wife Vinata. Paraphrasing [5], in short, Garuda had a brother, Aruna, who was born misshapen. Aruna was forced out of an egg (like a real egg, think chickens, not wombs) by Vinata’s (his mother) impatience and overexcitement.

Aruna was angry that he suffered this and cursed his mother. The details of this curse are unclear – [5] says that the mother became a slave to Naga, I’ll let you read up on it. Essentially, the fix to this situation was for Garuda to steal some heavenly ambrosia – a non-trivial feat (we’ll need to trust the myths on this) – guarded by various beings. Garuda was able to do this and save his mother. This virtuous quality of being able to save one from a disaster underlies (among several other things I suspect) the choice of using Garuda as a national symbol.

Article [4.2] depicts various uses of Garuda as symbols in an organisational or governmental setting. Article [5] gives an overview of the use of Garuda in Thailand.

The Greeks (and Romans) revered the Phoenix[7.1] “as a symbol of rebirth, immortality, and renewal”[7.1]. USA uses the Bald Eagle[8.1] as their national symbol. According to [8.1], “The founders of the United States were fond of comparing their new republic with the Roman Republic, in which eagle imagery was prominent”. I suspect that the eagle in turn was inspired by the phoenix in those circles. A phoenix is also most closely associated as being the European mythological counterpart to the Eastern Garuda[7.2].

Furthermore, [8.2] speaks of the role of eagles in Native American culture, an ancient culture with their own series of mythology and belief systems. It is highly likely this also factored into the decision to use the Bald Eagle as a US national symbol.

It’s fascinating (to me anyway) that so many places come to similar symbolism, in spite of the vast diversity, and physical proximities between the lands.

Something to munch on on a Saturday. Speaking of munching, I am starved. Exeunt.


References
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prambanan
[2] http://my.opera.com/akbar_taksisman/blog/2009/03/30/candi-prambanan (in Bahasa Indonesia unfortunately)
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trimurti – Vishnu the Preserver, Shiva the Destroyer, Brahma the Creator. Hinduism is considered to be a polytheistic religion, however, I believe this to be a superficial classification. In fact, many of the older Yoga-based philosophies are very monotheistic. The various divinities and deities being almost individual aspects of the One. In that, it is both monotheistic and polytheistic – the many from the One, and eventually back to the One. It is my personal view, that many of the “modern” groups have, perhaps accidentally, muddled the core essence.
[4.1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garuda
[4.2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garuda#As_a_cultural_and_national_symbol
[5] http://tudtu.tripod.com/garuda.htm – use of Garuda in Thailand.
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancasila_(politics)
[7.1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)
[7.2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)#Specific_legends
[8.1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald_Eagle#The_national_bird_of_the_United_States
[8.2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald_Eagle#Role_in_Native_American_culture

December 15, 2009

Jazz’ing Diana Krall Style

Filed under: arts,general,personal — Tags: — Kamal Advani @ 23:59

A few renditions by Krall (live videos):

So Nice – playful.
Walk On By – favourite.
Look of Love – jazzzzyyy.
Cry Me a River – I first heard this song (not sure who sang it though) in the movie “V for Vendetta”, sad but hey, with songs you gotta learn to detach it of associations, and enjoy it for what it is, a great song :-).

Enjoy!

December 5, 2009

Bon Jovi Unplugged

Filed under: arts,personal — Tags: — Kamal Advani @ 16:51

Some beautiful unplugged (acoustic) versions of Bon Jovi – definitely not as jump-and-head-banging-rock as the regular versions (then again, I don’t think Bon Jovi counts as head-banging-rock, just jumping :P) – but beautiful chill out music. Videos:

It’s my Life
Hallelujah (cover)
Living on a Prayer

Enjoy!

August 22, 2009

“Alone”, Heart

Filed under: arts — Tags: — Kamal Advani @ 02:39

I’ve heard various versions of this song (well, okay, maybe more like 2), but this version is a nice listen – the acoustic touch on live stage is awesome. Youtube video, enjoy. Apparently it’s live in Seattle, 2003.

May 3, 2009

“Visions”, an album by Ade ISHS

Filed under: arts — Tags: , — Kamal Advani @ 20:48

Disclaimer: I know Ade personally. Though I can’t handle crappy/mediocre music, from friends or foes!

“Visions” is Ade’s first solo album. Ade’s an independent musician based in Melbourne, Australia. The album is a collection of 9 beautifully composed piano pieces. My personal favourites are “Birth of Love”, “Sky” especially the second half of the composition, and “Rain 1″. The pieces are pleasant, relaxing, ambient but non-intrusive, and at times very inspiring (for one thing it digs out my wish to learn a musical instrument every now and then!). On average, each piece runs for about 7 minutes, and it is easy to sense the effort and love that has gone into the album’s creation. Note that although this is his first solo, Ade is by no means new to the music scene, having been involved in various events previously.

I highly recommend “Visions” if you like instrumental music. You can find out more about Ade and “Visions” at Ade’s website. In the spirit of fair use, trust, and freedom of platform choice (yay!) – Ade’s made sure the music is DRM-free.

Finally, only peripheral to this – but nevertheless quite interesting to geekoids and musicians alike – is that Ade’s Computer Science PhD is on Music Information Retrieval – so yeah, he likes his music :-).

April 25, 2009

“Do that to me one more time”, Captain and Tennille

Filed under: arts — Tags: — Kamal Advani @ 05:32

Chill out song – very girly – but still decent enough :P. Captain and Tennille, Do that to me one more time.

March 15, 2009

“Send me an Angel”, The Scorpions

Filed under: arts,personal — Tags: , — Kamal Advani @ 06:10

Most stuff by Scorpions would make my all-time favourite list, however this particular version of “Send me an angel” (lyrics) is awesome. Enjoy :-).

“Nessun Dorma”, Vanessa Mae’s Violin Rendition

Filed under: arts,personal — Tags: , — Kamal Advani @ 04:54

Here’s the video – it’s just some background images for the piece really, not a “real” video. Definitely makes it to my all-time favourite list. Here’s more info on the piece itself. You might also like the more opera-friendly version sung by the 3 tenors. For completeness, I like Andrea Bocelli’s version too.

Beautiful stuff. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

– Kamal, bumming and unemployed at 1.55am :-).

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