Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Graham Hancock: Supernatural

A longish (2 hour) radio interview with author Graham Hancock following the release of his book Supernatural, in which he discusses aliens, fairies, evolution of human consciousness, shamanic drumming and South American ayahuasca shamanism, Christianity, and "taking control again of our birthright... of direct contact with the spirit... of living conscious lives full of love and caring..."

Here's a nutshell-version with moving pictures - discussion of evolution of human consciousness and how it relates to mystical experience, how the development of organised religion quashed the acceptability of such experience and how we need to reclaim it.

Shakti playlist - 37 videos!

I've just discovered a 37 video playlist of Shakti on the Floating World Web. Check it out!

Inayat Khan: spirituality and music

Taken from Earthlingz Yahoogroup, posted by Chris Case...


Samples of Hazrat Inayat Khan - teachings on music and spirituality

p. 163
- "The highest and most ideal form of composition is that which expresses life, character, emotions, and feelings, for this is the inner world which is only seen by the eye of the mind...Music loses its freedom by being subject to the laws of technique, but mystics in their sacred music, regardless of the world¹s praise, free both their composition and improvisations from the limitations of technicality."

p. 3
- "But among all the different arts, the art of music has been especially considered divine, because it is the exact miniature of the law working through the whole universe."
p. 85 - "But that magic charm of the voice is in the natural voice. Every person is gifted. God has given him a certain pitch, a natural note, and if that pitch develops and he develops that natural note, it is magic, he can perform a miracle...Apart from singing, even in speaking, among one hundred persons you will find one who speaks in his natural voice, ninety-nine who imitate. They imitate someone else; they do not know it."

p. 5
- "Besides the natural charm that music has, it has a magical power, a power that can be experienced even now. It seems that the human race has lost a great deal of the ancient science of magic, but if there remains any magic it is music."

p. 9
- "According to the esoteric standpoint, music is the beginning and the end of the universe. All actions and movements made in the visible and invisible world are musical. That is: they are made up of vibrations pertaining to a certain plane of existence."

p. 17 - "Those who have probed the depth of material science as far as modern science can reach, do not deny the fact that the origin of the whole creation is in movement, in other words; in vibration. It is this original state of existence of life which is called in the ancient tradition sound or the word. The first manifestation of this sound is therefore audible, the next manifestation visible. In the forms of expression of life, life has expressed itself first as sound, next as light."

p. 20
- "The man of science says that the voice comes from the spine, the diaphragm, the abdomen, and the lungs, The mystic says that sound comes from the soul, the heart, and the mind."

p. 22
- "Thousands who have never thought of anything but the self have gone, and we do not even know that they have existed. The dead souls, the ordinary people, go to hear that dead song. The living soul hears the music that is alive."

p. 28
- "The attraction that one finds in colour and in sound makes one wonder if there is a mystery hidden behind them, if there is a language of colour and sound which could be learned. The answer is that the language of colour and sound is the language of the soul, and that it is our outward language which makes us confused as to the meaning of that inner language."

p. 40 - "Philosophy or science, mysticism or esotericism will all agree on one point if they touch the summit of their knowledge, and that point is that behind the whole of creation, behind the whole of manifestation - if there is any subtle trace of life that can be found, it is motion, it is movement, it is vibration. This motion has its two aspects. There are two aspects because we have developed two principal faculties: sight and hearing. One aspect appeals to our hearing, the other to our sight."

p. 43
- " speaking near such a plate marks are made upon the plate with sound and vibrations. Those marks make either harmonious or inharmonious forms. If that is true, then every person, from morning till evening, is making invisible forms in space by what he says. He is creating invisible vibrations around him, and so he is producing an atmosphere."

p. 47
- "Music, according to the ancient people, was not a mechanical science or art: music was the first language."

p. 49 - "In order to keep their music [ancient music] akin to nature, it was necessary to give liberty to the singer and player to sing and play as he wished. Naturally, uniformity was lacking, and a standardized system could not be made. That is why this music always remained an individualistic art only - not an education. For this reason the music of the ancient people had its advantages and a great many disadvantages. The advantages were this: a musician - a singer or player - was never bound to sing in a particular way in order to execute properly the music he wanted to play before the public, but was always free to give the music according to his inspiration at the time. It gave him full liberty to express his emotions, his passions, without any outward restrictions which he should obey."

p. 54
- "There are two aspects of life: the first is that man is tuned by his surroundings, and the second is that man can tune himself in spite of his surroundings."

p. 62 - "Man is not only a physical body. Man has a mind, and behind the mind there is the soul. It is not only the body that hungers for food, the mind hungers for food, and the soul hungers for food. What generally happens is that man only ministers to his bodily needs and gives no attention to his inner existence and its demands. He experiences momentary satisfaction, then hungers again, not knowing that the soul is the fineness of man¹s being. And so that unconscious craving of the soul remains."

p. 67 - "We waste much energy in useless speech. Among the old races we see that a motion of the hands, an inclination of the head, takes the place of words for many things."

p. 75
- "As the form of every sound is different, so every syllable has a certain effect, and therefore every sound made, or word spoken before an object, has charged that object with a certain magnetism. This explains to us the method of the healers, teachers, and mystics who, by the power of sound, charged an object with their healing power, with their power of thought. And when that object was given as water or as food, that object brought about a desired result."

p. 76
- "The physical effect of sound has also a great influence upon the human body. The whole mechanism, the muscles, the blood circulation, the nerves, are all moved by the power of vibration. As there is a resonance for every sound, so the human body is a living resonator for sound. Although by one sound one can produce a resonance in all substances, such as brass and copper, the there is no greater and more living resonator of sound than the human body. The effect of sound is upon each atom of the body, for each atom resounds; on all glands, on the circulation of the blood and on the pulsation sound has its effect."

p. 88
- "The voice is not only indicative of man´s character, but it is the expression of his spirit. The voice is not only audible, but also visible to those who can see it. The voice makes impressions on the ethereal sphere, impressions which can be called audible; at the same time they are visible. Those scientists who have made experiments with sound and who have taken impressions of the sound on certain plates - which impressions appear like forms - will find one day that the impression of the voice is more living, more deep, and has a greater effect. Sound can be louder than the voice, but sound cannot be more living than the voice."

p. 98
- "If we study life today - in spite of the great progress of science, radio, telephone, phonograph, and all the wonders of this age - we find that the psychological aspect of music, poetry, and art does not seem to develop as it should. On the contrary, it is going backward. And if we ask what is the reason the answer will be that the whole progress of humanity today is in the first place a mechanical progress. This hinders in a way the progress of individualism...But in art especially, where the greatest freedom is necessary, one is restricted by uniformity, painters and musicians cannot get their work recognized. They must follow the crowd instead of following the great souls. All that is general is ordinary, because the great mass of people is not highly cultured. Things of beauty and good taste are understood, enjoyed, and appreciated by few, and there is no way for the artist to reach those few. In this way, what is called uniformity has become a hindrance to individual development."

For more gems, study the book. There are far too many to post in this recommendation.

----Reprinted from the John Coltrane E-mail Discussion group


Thursday, 21 June 2007

IndiaLucia - Great blend of Flamenco and Indian music


Great blend of flamenco and Indian music. The sitar player has a luvverly smile! :-)
Site also has good info on Indian migration to Spain and influences on Spanish music - click on Introduction on the front page.


via Chandrakantha Tabla Forum

Michael Moore's new movie "Sicko"

NB It seems the video has been removed from FileFront...

Just watched Michael Moore's new movie Sicko, comparing USA's shocking health system with those of other countries, eg Canada, UK, France and Cuba. Excellent viewing. Those poor Americans, why don't they do something to make their country a better place? Watch Sicko here or click on the download link (696MB)

The Human Brain: Interesting Optical Illusions

Got this Power Point presentation by email just now - check it out for some interesting optical illusions and reconstructions our brains can get up to...

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Japanese artist Rinpa Eshidan

1week of art works

モーションペイント第二弾、壁バージョン。輪派絵師団による絵の 変化を追った一週間の ドキュメンタリー作品。

A motion painting project shown on the surface of a wall, this piece documents a week in the life of the Rinpa Eshidan

Recommended by Hiro Minamizawa...

Thursday, 14 June 2007

We are all Aussies Oi Oi Oi!!!

Here is the full version of Song Australia - Fair Dinkum Manjit. My friends Abhinav and Tadao posted a link to the short version last year, and I might have told a few friends about that.

Manjit Boparai is a Brisbane taxi driver from India who loves the multicultural relaxed atmosphere of Australia. He wrote this song extolling the virtues of Australia and would sing it to every passenger. One day a producer from Australian ethnic TV station SBS got into his cab...

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Lake in an Island on a Lake in an Island...

Lake/Island Combinations

Pt. Sharda Sahai on YouTube

Pt. Sharda Sahai, khalifa of the Benares Gharana of tabla

Google Calendar (plus some tricks)

I've just started using Google Calendar and I have to say it seems an excellent way to publish events. You can embed your calendar in your website, as I have done for my concerts, and other world music concerts in Brisbane-Byron and Japan. You can also invite other people to join your calendar so that they can add their events directly, for example I'm also a contributor to Fueya Kangiten's Japan Indian Classical Music Calendar (インド音楽ライブ情報 by笛屋歓喜店). BTW I'm looking for contributors to my BrisByron and Japan calendars - please contact me if you'd like to become a contributor.

As I mentioned, I have 3 calendars and contribute to a 4th. It's really easy to copy between calendars, so I have my own personal concert calendar and I copy events from that to the other regional all-events calendars.

I've found a few tricks to keep in mind when using Google Calendar:

Easy way: If you just use plain text event descriptions and publish events within one time-zone, you probably won't need to read all this... Also note that if you enter a URL explicitly as text ("http://.....") it will work as a link. However with many links this starts to look ugly, and some URLs can get very long and unwieldy, in which case you'll want to know the following:
  1. HTML Event Descriptions
    Event descriptions default to plain text, however you can add links and adjust font-sizes.

    Start a blog with - their blogs seem to use the same format, so you can put things together with their WYSIWYG interface, then switch to the HTML view and copy everything from there.

    If publishing HTML from other sources, watch out for the following:
    • Remove all BR and P tags - Google formats the text to include carriage returns, which are usually ignored when displaying HTML. If you have regularly formatted HTML, with carriage returns AND BR or P tags, you'll end up with double blank lines.
    • When you edit an event, or copy to another calendar, the event description will suddenly revert to plain text with no markup code. (Hopefully Google will fix this problem eventually...) So it's useful to have a place you've kept the modified HTML you've so carefully crafted. When making a post, I put together the code in Blogger - it uses the same format, so it's pretty easy. I have a template file which includes a small header with "Posted on behalf of..." and a footer with my own details (including a link back to my website). Also see the next point on RSS readers...

  2. Use an RSS Reader
    An RSS reader (also useful for following news and blogs) can be very helpful when dealing with Google Calendar. You can subscribe to your calendars' RSS feeds and so see any updates automatically. I'm sticking in the Google family and using Google Reader, although there are many other options including Bloglines and Thunderbird.

    Benefits of RSS Reader:
    • HTML in your event description shows up here, so when you need to edit or copy an event, you can copy the HTML event description from your RSS reader.
    • See any updates to your calendars automatically. For example, when I see a new post on the Fueya Kangiten calendar, I know I need to copy it to my own calendar. Also, I can check that other contributors to my calendar are doing it properly.
    • If, like me, you're publishing other people's events, and they publish those events to their own blogs, you can quickly see when they have a new event.

  3. Beware Time-Zones!
    You have to be careful if you're posting events across timezones. For example, I'm currently in Japan, but still posting events to my Australian events calendar. In Google Calendar, I have the timezones for my two calendars set appropriately, but there's also your own personal time-zone setting (find it by clicking Settings at the top-right of your Google Calendar page). I've got my current time-zone set to Japan. I realised that if I published an event in Brisbane at the local Brisbane time, when it gets published to my website it shows up an hour later. It considers that the time I entered is Tokyo time, so in Brisbane that's one hour later! There are two possible fixes (until Google works out how to have events related only to the local timezone):
    • I either have to correct my personal time zone setting each time I publish an event in a different region;
    • or I have to remember to adjust the publication time to that of my current timezone. (For example if I'm in Japan and publishing an event for Brisbane, I'll say it's 1 hour earlier than the real time - then it all comes out OK.)

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Historic maps and photos of Africa

Historic maps and photos of Africa

Northwestern University hosts a fine collection of historic East African photographs, viewable as sample sets or in their original photo-albums (requires flash). But the real prize is their wonderful collection of 113 historic maps of Africa, which are zoomable to incredible detail, also 1, 2, 3. via

Monday, 11 June 2007

Mal Webb on YouTube

YouTube videos of Mal Webb - amazing beatboxer and wacky singer from Australia

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Tabla master Samta Prasad on Youtube

Legendary Benares Gharana tabla player, Pt. Samta Prasad, famous for his fantastic sound presented through relatively simple compositions.

Friday, 8 June 2007