We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Chinese Contemporary Music Emergent
The liberalization of the arts in China continues apace, well ahead
of the protection of individual freedoms. It is all part of a
transition into modernism and is a function of the increasingly
vested nature of Chinese society. It is to be lauded and to be
cheered while patience needs to be exercised as the emergence is
paced. No one wishes to trigger a counter reaction.
Mass demonstrations and party politics makes headlines, but cultural
input informs society as a whole and is often way more important.
The Chinese people are throwing of the shackles of the past as they
prosper and expressing it all as we do. Through the music we listen
Expect to hear more from these players as new stars are promoted.
struggling with official censorship, China's contemporary music scene
is finally taking off, fuelled by live shows, the Internet and a
government eager to cash in on a growing market.
Chinese indie bands
came late to the music scene, largely missing out on the lucrative
days of vinyl records, cassettes and compact discs, and also suffered
enormously from state broadcasters' preference for pop.
But from rock to rap
and hip hop to grunge, the independent music scene has blossomed in
recent years as the Internet and an explosion in live venues have
given an outlet to acts long shunned by state-run television and
"Since I have
been here, everything has changed," said Helen Feng, the lead
singer of the electronica band Nova Heart who returned to her native
Beijing in 2003 and has just finished a European tour.
"The changes in
the music scene have been massive. Everything has gotten better,
personal liberties have gone up, the numbers of bands have gone up,
the numbers of venues have gone up, financial support has gone up,
fans have gone up."
Born in Beijing to
Chinese parents, Feng, 34, spent most of her childhood in the United
States where she was raised on the likes of Natalie Cole and George
Gershwin, eventually graduating from University of Southern
California where she minored in music.
Since returning to
China, the blonde diva has been at the centre of the Beijing music
scene, fronting three different successful bands, while working jobs
with state radio and television and American music video giant MTV.
Feng, whose bands have
toured throughout China, playing numerous outdoor music festivals,
says there is no longer much government antipathy to modern music --
something veteran music producer Kenny Bloom agrees with.
has become supportive of the music industry... no one is banned in
China and no one is arrested for singing a song, at least not to my
knowledge," said Bloom, who runs an Internet platform promoting
Chinese indie bands.
While available sales
data is thin, bands get by on what they make from concerts and fairly
low-level CD sales in a market notorious for piracy.
Bloom said many of the
around 100 music festivals that now take place in China every year
were sponsored by local governments eager to showcase their local
enterprises, bolster regional tourism and let the music industry
"The fact that
they give licences to all these music festivals is a great
indicator... they are letting these big festivals take place... with
up to 60,000 people going to them. And nobody seems to mind."
Bloom used to produce
albums for Cui Jian, one of China's biggest music stars and known as
the "Godfather of Chinese rock and roll".
He set up Mogo.com.cn
in 2009 to promote independent music in China and the website now
features footage of thousands of live performances from about 300
indie bands, which users can access for free.
At the moment the site
is mainly used by industry insiders and musicians themselves, but
Bloom plans to introduce presenter-led programming that would appeal
to a broader audience.
To build up content,
he has a simple arrangement with the bands: they allow him to
professionally record their performances in his cramped Beijing
studio for free and he uploads it up to his website without charge.
Internet platform is really cool ... it is a professional video site.
It allows us to see what other bands are doing," Qi Zihan, lead
singer of the electronic folk band Mountain People told AFP at the
After 10 years of
constant touring, Mountain People -- from the mountainous
southwestern province of Yunnan -- have become renowned for their
amped-up traditional Chinese instruments and energy-packed shows.
As well as becoming a
favorite band in Beijing, the Mountain People are revered in their
home province of Yunnan and regularly tour overseas.
the music was restricted in China, but now things are better,"
government) realised that overall the music and the music industry
didn't have such a big influence on society. They realised there are
no problems (with rock music). Overall they want the music industry
Meanwhile, bands are
smart enough to know that mixing music with sensitive political
issues could be a fast way to end a career, Bloom said.
thousands of bands, indie bands, hiphop bands, ethnic bands that are
really pushing the envelop in music. They are starting to write great
songs, their arrangements are good, they are playing better,"
"The bands aren't
stupid, they want to play music, the fans want to hear music, it is
nothing more complicated than that. Not everything has to be
political, music is music."