after june

"CK" is a conglomerate of personal artistic projects by a Canadian chameleon.

Woke up early, ears wanted Gazette.

Good morning, world! Welcome back to Silly Disco Machine Radio, with your hosts DJ Tabz0r and Candy the Rapper. Morning, Candy!

CTR: It's Rapper, actually, the abbreviated-

T: Sorry whu? Ha ha ha. Alright, let's get into this! Today we here at SDM-Radio woke verrrry early in the morning. 

CTR: Oh, why's that?

T: Well-- uh-- I've been having, let's call them manic attacks, since the Gazette concert last week, you know? Like, my chest constricts, right, my throat squeezes itself down into the top of my lungs and I get this tingling in my head, I'm smiling uncontrollably and giggling--

CTR: Oh, T, that's called fangirling.

T: I KNOW!! Ehem, I know. I'm sorry. But I mean this truly and literally. It's interfering with my day.

CTR: Thinking about the Gazette?

T: NO! This resulting condition! Waking up because your body doesn't need sleep, it needs to keep hearing these sounds! Thirsty ears! Jolting awake at night, too, just, throughout the day needing... It's a manic attack!

CTR: Are you in one right now?

T: ... Maybe...? OK, listeners! The Gazette Song of the Day is, though I know I've already mentioned it recently, The Social Riot Machine!

DJT: Particularly paying attention to the production of vocals! Its range of tones and timbre! Its roles within the song, like as percussion, or a sustained bass note, or ...that other fluttering thing with the flanger and shit on it?! I feel the voice mimics every instrument and matches its emotional and digital tone. Then, on top of that, the mix. All the instruments are choppy and sporadic, the arrangement is a many-pieced, ever-changing thing, and the vocals most of all embody that constant change.

Because Ruki's voice is SO GOOD, obviously its an important instrument which adds a really, really good, unique and emotional quality to the song! Psych-horror-metal, I say. grin emoticon So to conclude this rant review, Candy the Rapper, I could safely say that, the way Silly God Disco made me seriously question my keyboardist nature with its bass antics the way no other song has, The Social Riot Machine exemplifies the most tempting and satisfying example of metal, tonal vocals. Also, extracurricular activity for our listeners, we'll cover Silly God Disco soon but feel free to listen ahead and follow the bass line. Then imagine the kind of dancing the bassist is doing. Tell me it doesn't make you smile! Go on, tell me. You can't. You're smiling. Sorry, did I tangent off about Reita?

CTR: You did, DJ Tabz0r!


First day in Hazelton/Kitwanga: Pictures!

Mom drives to Hazelton every day to look after the animals which still live on the burnt husk of the property. We also go to a spring on the way to an old mine in 2-Mile to get water; Kitwanga tap water is currently unsafe for drinking.

Following the spring's stream into the woods leads to one of my favourite haunts. I used to come out here to practice singing loudly! Now I just haunt.

These last two, very high-quality photographs, are titled: Road Through Hazelton At Dusk, Obviously and The Bustling, Gentrified Area of Hazelton At Dusk.

Not a soul in sight the whole time, just how I like it. SEKAI WO WATASHI NO~

Disconnect in Kitwanga

Greetings from Kitwanga! The word means "People of the Land of the Rabbits", and is 48 km from Hazelton, where yours truly grew up. Mom relocated here after the farm in Hazelton burnt down, so: now finally, visiting home doesn't necessitate dealing with the kitten-drowners and goat-haters down the street!

"hi, we like rabbits"

"hi, we like rabbits"

Visiting home does necessitate dealing with some other things, though. Like Mom's cancer. And voracious rez dogs. And having no wifi!

To you Hazelton/ Bulkley/ Skeena readers whom I grew up with, yeah yeah, I know, Waaaang, aka Shittywest, no big deeeeal. We're all in this together.

To you readers from Toronto, cities and populated areas of the world in general: it's a big deal! We're all in this together. And yet most of you know nothing about the reserves of Canada, the lives and histories within them, and their Fourth World conditions. That's unacceptable for us Canadians. I'm not blaming anyone but the school system for it, though. The First Nations have an oral culture which settlers first tried to eliminate, then simply ignored, and which now features minimally, euphemistic as heck, in Canadian history. I grew up in this reserve cluster and still learnt virtually nothing but white settler Canadian history in school. Let that sink in. 

Sunk? Okay. I'll leave the Truth and Reconciliation speeches aside for now and give a snapshot of Kitwanga as it is today, a ramshackle of ditches and trees, totem poles and tires and the great riverbank, all looming in the cold white air outside the education centre window. Its heavy silence is respectfully adorned by crow cackles, or punctuated by the distant rush of a car on the highway, and every other hour dismantled completely by the passing train over tracks cut obstinately through the reserve cemetery.

I stood directly next to the tracks to record the train's noise yesterday, and mused briefly over whether its pace is moderate enough for an agile person to jump up and grab a rail, like in old tales of travelling through the depression. It isn't. It's a fast, modern train. Furthermore, it has no rails. So, riding them is not an option. 

So what is your option to get to a job fair or drop a resume off in Terrace, if, say, you're part of the 50% of families here with no car? Glad you asked! You don't have one. Oh! You may hitchhike, I suppose, if you don't mind the very high probability of going missing forever. 

There's no public transit. There are about 400 people. There are no jobs here. And no internet. There's your life equation, deal with it.

Okay, a few households can afford the hideously overpriced services-- wifi and cell service became available in the last 4 years, and even direct connections only came to the village 5 years before that. The education centre relies on an ethernet connection so slow, downloading Unity took 12 hours. Anyway, so if you're from a family with internet, count your lucky stars. You also probably have a car.

There's no library, or high school.

These are a few of the reasons suicide, alcoholism, abuse and mental/emotional disruptions are so common here. Think about a community which is so small and so self-contained. There's little to do-- soccer and smoking weed are nice, and at least one of those things is legal, but that's still a limiting pool of options. Everyone you'd like to date is probably related to you, or you have no desire to date these people you know too much about anyway, in which case you become an 18-year-old goat-raising spinster or whatever. 

The Artist and Her Mother.

The Artist and Her Mother.

People who've never met you already have opinions of you based on your family history and the extensive village gossip network; there's nothing to distract you from whatever household problems you may be having, nowhere to escape the aforementioned gossip network when it turns against you, and no resources to "work your way" up or away.

Police (generally white) do drug busts on teenagers in the high school in Hazelton, disrupting the classes to make an example of some kid (generally Native) who had a joint in their locker. Their mistrust of authority becomes perfectly legitimate, the unpleasant high school experience becomes even more unpleasant with this new badge of shame, and this further disrupts school performance, grades and prospects for the future. Because the only positive prospects for the future given around here are through the government: through a government job, a school scholarship or something equally rare and intangible for a depressed youth.

These are all the reasons I moved away and consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to do so (university scholarships). Yet I come back, and every time I do, shaking off the barnacles and pine needles and leaving fills me with AAAGONYYYYYY!

For immersion into Canadian isolation and beauty, as well as Native history and culture both traditional and contemporary: nowhere is better than the remote Pacific Northwest.

Anyway, yours truly is here for a few weeks for life reflections, being at a crossroads, as it were.

Figuratively AND literally!

Figuratively AND literally!

This crossroads, in summary: my mom is sick, I like to see the stars at night, and I just got a major grant for an art project. If there's a good time to relocate for a year or two, it's now. But: Toronto has the game development community and the friends which feel like family, live shows, and nightlife, which I pined over from here in the boonies for many years. And, moving a 60-lb Kurzweil, various computers and paints across the country is no fun. And, though I'd love to stream from here and give the metropolitan world a look into this area, alas.... no wifi.

... what would Emily Carr do?

This damning report of Kitwanga and the Skeena Valley brought to you by Someone In Love With Kitwanga and the Skeena Valley.

GDC 2016


Let's get right to this. I suck at blogging. And yet, life is pretty cool. So here's a blog post from last month which I never finished and therefore never submitted. But today I realized: incomplete blog posts = life! I mean, when do we really encounter closure? The only times I've felt "well, that's closure" is during a break-up, or a death. So I'm going to embrace incompleteness -- my life is busy and often I'm offline -- and here is what I wrote about GDC 2016.

March 17, 2016

I don't blog a lot. But when I do, I'm in a hurry and it's in point form! Also I mmmight be drinking wine which was rubbing alcohol in a past life. #ThanksObama

I'm at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco! I'm here representing three groups: officially, Toronto-based videogame sound agency Orb Soundwerx and #INeedDiverseGames; unofficially, Dames Making Games Toronto.

Tonight and last night have been awards nights, neither of which I've attended, because my days have been non-stop from panels in the morning and parties in the night. I need some time to eat Cheezies and unwind, you know? Also, the awards were covered by Gamasutra, so if you'd like to learn about the best independent games and audio in games last year, click on those words. (I can tell you this though: Her Story played the part of That Kid at your high school grad who received highest honours, various scholarships and medal after medal, eventually having the Excellence in Chemistry lanyard get stuck in his 'fro. Yeah, we all remember that, Stanley (congrats, Stanley))

Anyway, my firsthand GDC experience involves primarily the panels and seminars, because I'm socially awkward and only network when there's alcohol involved, so during the day I mainly keep to myself and absorb information.

So let's speak of the panels a bit!

Big conference rooms full of nerds. There, you have it.

Oh, you want insight into what was learned? Maybe you should just click on that Gamasutra link and read articles done by people who get paid to recount such things! Bwahahah! Because my strongest impressions at this point are:

-The writer's "round table" took place around a square table, thus shattering my last illusions that semantics are taken seriously by ANYONE; 

-Games for Change: Turn to Face the Strange thankfully rebuilt those same illusions. Also, it was a very good panel about two kinds of games: those done with the primary intent of being thought-provoking, critical and careful art, vs. those done with the primary intent of makin dat $$$ by massaging the vicious behemoth symbiote of Status Quo + Marketing. The hopeful and completely realistic thesis was that the two camps can and should help each other out for mutual benefit. Also there were some nice animal kingdom metaphors: rare, starving games and fat, domesticated games.

-Feng Zhu's panel on designing an IP was basically a condensed university course on digital art, creative writing, storytelling fundamentals and team management all in one. Also, Feng Zhu is hot.

One last thing: a lot of bad stuff has happened throughout this GDC to me. It's on my brain, a pestilent brain-worm, constantly biting where it hurts and souring my memories. If I recount this bad stuff, it will be in a separate blog post, and because I'm a big proponent of yins and yangs, that blog post will have to be offset by a glowing recollection of GDC 2015, which was nothing but wonderful to me.

Sooo, given the sporadic nature of these blogs, the brain-worm may never be brought to light. But for posterity, here is the official mention that this year, a lot of shit happened. Maybe that's why I'm drinking this $8 bottle of wine!

Or maybe that's just because $8 bottles of wine are part of my hipster/skuzzy/poverty-chic persona.

The hostel behind me is now filling up with the other indie teams here at GDC. Why are they here? Why aren't they at the Microsoft party half a block away? Well, maybe some of us are shunning the Microsoft party because they've allegedly hired sexy school-girl erotic dancers, and umm what, you sexist twats, have you lost your minds and think no one is holding you accountable for this shit anymore? Or maybe it's because indie nerds are the best partiers anyway. At any rate, I'm off to watch this guy with a mohawk do yo-yo stunts, or maybe off to a non-Microsoft party where one may run into Chris Avellone or Amy Hennig.

Later, nerds!