Just a few pics around where I spend my days, and some music that has come my way lately. Sadly there will not be a complete escape from the nasties happening out there as Roman the Russian has put up a vlog post that is required viewing — F-bombs and all
I learned a lot from the following very authoritative account of the Arabic oud. Beautiful sound too.
Closer to home, seeing several reactions to that great song “I am, you are, we are Australian” by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers, all of them favourable, I was led to a great account of how the song came to be. Many of us would like to see it as our National Anthem!
Here is one of the reactions:
Here is the story of the song.
I call that benign patriotism, positive, inclusive, generous, unthreatening. But too ofter patriotism degenerates into jingoism and calls up demons in us. This is shown vividly, you might recall, in that wonderful movie Cabaret.
Roman the Russian in Tbilisi does not quite dare to draw the comparison, but comes very close as he contemplates what has been a viral hit lately in his home country from which he is now exiled.
Scenes like this trigger that response:
Tomorrow belongs to me….
Now look at what he is watching and see his reactions for yourself. Warning: Roman is very fluent in very colloquial spicy English!
Yes, Roman’s anger at that song and all it represents, and with all those responsible for it and participating in it, is totally justified. What a horrible contrast it is with the gracious and beautiful song by Bruce Woodley! So I leave off this post with a return to my world, to my window, to a West Wollongong sunset.
I did graduate to an actual computer and even the Internet at the end of 1999 — an ominous time to do so as some may recall. Windows 95 and dial-up.
But what about a couple of remarkable people in different countries, very different backgrounds and talents, who were considering entering the world then. And are now 27 or turning 27. That excludes quite a few of the Russian and other vloggers I follow these days, who are even younger, whereas I could possibly be great-grandfather to some of them. After all, the first Australian Prime Minister I can genuinely recall is Chifley and at school I sang “God Save the King”! George VI, that is.
A pianist and more — Japanese, Born 14th July 1995. (13 years after Mr Rabbit!) See Wikipedia:
Hayato Sumino (born 14 July 1995) is a Japanese pianist and composer known for his performances of music by Frédéric Chopin.
Born in Tokyo, he started playing the piano at age 3. He studied science and engineering at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, graduating in March 2020 with a master’s degree and the President’s Award. He also studied music information processing technology and artificial intelligence for six months at the French Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music.
In August 2018, he won the Grand Prix at the 42nd PTNA Piano Competition, a Japanese piano competition. In July 2019 he won third prize at the Lyon International Piano Competition.
In 2021, Sumino participated in the XVIII International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, in which he advanced to the third round (the semifinal). His live performance in the second round attracted 45,000 online viewers, setting a record for the competition. Before the competition, he had studied intensively online (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) with Jean-Marc Luisada.
Sumino is also a YouTuber by the name of “Cateen”, with over 1m subscribers as of 2022.
The barefoot pianist!
And in concert mode:
Five million people have viewed this one:
Born in Ukraine. A pianist? No.
An underwear model and influencer.
Yes — him
Now some will be saying “airhead” or some other variation on your take on “model” and “influencer” — but you would be wrong. Others of course will just be happy that I have posted a pic of someone I have never looked like! (I wish!)
But look at his life story so far.
I was born in the small town of Dobropillya, Donetsk Region in East Ukraine. I was raised by my mom and grandparents. I always loved creativity, and did a bunch of dancing, journalism, acting, and writing when I was in high school.
In 2014, my life changed. A lot. I finished high school right when war came to my country. I knew I was gay — and even though Ukraine is trying to be tolerant to LGBTQ people, it was far from a comfortable place to build a life for me. And now there was a war 80 miles from my house. So I had to take a radical step — and I left my country.
My family was pretty lower-middle class, but I had a big dream: Be free and build my life the way I want for me and my family. And I definitely have the best mom in the world. So we took a risk: We borrowed a bunch of money from her friends, and sent me with only three months allowance to Warsaw, Poland. By myself. Being only 17. Without really knowing Polish that well. I went to the capital to study at the University of Management in Warsaw….
He came to my attention with a vlog post of which I wrote on Facebook:
Born in Ukraine. He is quite remarkable, very articulate. Yes, that “knew it when I was 5” is not unusual. Oh, he’s not ugly either… One of many comments: “Duane F 2 weeks ago (edited) — Extremely eloquent. Should be mandatory viewing or listening for every adult in the world, although I know that would be impossible to achieve.”
“Today it will be the story when I realized that I was “Different” – gay. I realized that I was gay in very young age – but because of lack of education and circumstances I accepted myself very late in my life. I want to share with you my opinion about – How you can turn gay and If you can at all. Talk about church and gay. Ukrainian situation around gay people and others. Stick to the end.”
Opening with the view from my window yesterday afternoon here in West Wollongong.
From South Africa — Melvyn Tan performs Mozart’s piano concerto no 12 in A major K414 in Mozart’s own arrangement for string ensemble, with the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble, directed by Rosemary Nalden. This concert was recorded at the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival in February 2015. There are three movements: Allegro – Andante – Allegretto Buskaid is a music initiative based in Diepkloof, Soweto, offering string tuition to children and young adults from the less privileged local community,
Here is a lovely cover of “Imagine” by then 13-year-old Robert Levey II:
We all know the following song — but what about this version?
And from the war…
An escape story
And here is someone whose journey I have followed to (at the moment) Kazakhstan:
Here is the live stream he has just finished. The screenshot above comes from it, and you will see it went for two hours. I have not heard it all yet.
Now a heart-warmer!
This you must see!
“Today I’m speaking with Anna Danylchuk, who has been creating a war diary since the early days of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2022. She aims to tell the truth about Ukraine when there are so many attempts to propagandise the war and the causes of the war. Anna is passionate about the beauty and independence of her country, and communicates this very powerfully in her videos, in a subjective, emotional, and honest way honest.”
#Strongwomen. "I write about the power of trying, because I want to be okay with failing. I write about generosity because I battle selfishness. I write about joy because I know sorrow. I write about faith because I almost lost mine, and I know what it is to be broken and in need of redemption. I write about gratitude because I am thankful - for all of it." Kristin Armstrong