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Music & Coding

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From what seem like two very opposites of the scale share many similarities that make this topic so interesting.

Coding has been around for a long time. Just not in the capacity that we are to know it today. It was theorised in 1842 by a lady names Ada Lovelace, who predicted that the computer could one day, play music and chess. Which is exceptional for the time. More history about coding will be looked at in depth in my Digital Artifact .
The Roland 808 was the foundation of Trap Music. It was what introduced sampling into the music scene.




The is a drum machine that was introduced by the Roland Corporation in 1980. In short it is a programmable drum machine, with which users can create their own rhythms rather than having to use presets.


Is it becoming clearer now?

The development of coding goes hand in hand with music. And for my Digital Artifact I am going to not only create a song in GarageBand (Apples music making app) I am going to go one step further and create something called a launch pad from scratch in a coding program called Java.


The GarageBand aspect of my assignment will consist of a fairly short video that see’s a song that I have created using Midi inputs and preset loops. This component of my assignment demonstrates not only how far music has come in the past 30 or so years, but how accessible it is for users to be able to access this material and have literally fingertip access to making music. GarageBand allows the user to manipulate samples which is similar to my app.


Java is the program that I am using for my app. Java is great because you can use it for android development, meaning that I can hopefully make this app so it works on your Samsung or whichever android device that you have access to.

Coding is something that I have been actively involved in since I was in high school, I have always taking an interest to the fact that it is the future, and that with this knowledge I am able to CREATE my own things, as well as develop apps.  Researching the how to code android devices provides documentation on their API’s (application protocol interfaces) which are classic with methods.

There is a website out there on the web called Stack Overflow. It is essentially Reddit, just designated for coding and all things that fall in this category.

My App is going to be a Launchpad. In my presentation I heightened what this was and where it came from.
BUT .. If you missed my presentation you can find it here!!


Something that I needed to know was how to play sounds at the touch of a finger.
For this I sampled some code that you can find here

Except the thing with sampling is, it isn’t ethical to just straight copy and paste code, because it isn’t mine. So what I have to do is look at the code, learn the code and figure out how it how to apply it to what I am trying to do.

After learning this, I suddenly realised that for a launch pad to work, the first essential component is to have multiple sounds playing at the same time. For this is found a better alternative which is a sound pool. The coding for this can be found here 

Coding and music are closely related in a sense that they are both forms of creation. Computer Programming languages can manipulate a device to alternate/produce and record sounds when interacting with the correct technology.


Technology + Music

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The rise of technology has steered music as a whole into a whole new dimension. The change in genres of music over the last few decades has been remarkable, in particularly from 2000 onward. The rise of Electronica as a whole has been massive. With what has become mainstream genres such as; Dubstep, Trap and House all using technology to be able to make the music that is made.

Artist such as Avicii, Calvin Harris and Diplo have all ridden the wave of new music in the last 10 to 15 years, all thanks to the ever evolving thing we call technology.
Apart from the literal advances in music making, in the last 15 years we have seen the rise of platforms such as YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify. This isn’t even to mention the takeover of Beats By Dre. Which allow us to listen to music better than ever.

For my Cybercultures research assignment I will be investigating the use of different technology in music, producing new genres of music.
I endeavour to make a YouTube Video, in which I will be actually trying to make some of this music, as well as investigating and talking about the topic at hand. I will be studying the new ways in which technology is made, as well as who is actually producing this music.  I will be looking into the future based off what I can learn, as well as drawing comparisons, and influences from the past.

I will be focusing on genres such as Chiptunes, but not explicitly . Exploring new genres and immersing myself into them is something that I am extremely excited for. I’m not sure what path I will be taken on, but it will most definitely be an adventurous one.

I have had somewhat of a head start, as I am a massive fan of EDM (Electronic Dance Music), and I have had some experience with making music beforehand, however I haven’t heard of genres such as Chiptunes or 8-bit thus far.

An issue that I have already encountered is finding scholarly articles on this topic and sub genres, though I am endearing to find something. I have not had much video editing skills, and for this video to work I will need to start learning what I’m doing fairly quickly.

At this stage I want to transform my research into a YouTube Video, however a Prezi may be on the cards intertwined with videos that I would make myself in order to properly explain my material. I feel as though this may be the best way to express myself, as well as include as much useful information as possible.

This is a song, constructed entirely from STOCK iPhone Sounds and Ringtones. The pure genius of this itself is something to admire. And why stop here, there are plenty more where that came from, in fact there is a whole genre.

  • Chiptunes (Chip-Music or 8-bit music) originates from electronic/computer music, it’s a synth-pop, Video Game Music (VGM) Genre. Started in the late 70’s to early 80’s in Japan and the United Kingdom, but with the aid of technology has sky rocketed.

Take that in for a moment, it’s not rock and roll, pop, country or hip hope. It’s a genre, all of its own.

We are all familiar with The Simpsons Theme song, quickly gather it in your mind.

Now listen to this 8-bit Version.

This is cutting edge, this is taking every single aspect of something, breaking it down, cutting it all up into a million little sound pieces and starting again, making it into this new age sensation. Something that isn’t quite what it was, something that is now a much different style, a cover.

It’s very easy to take lightly videos such as this, but I see it as an excellent introduction to this genre.

Anamanaguchi combines digital electronic sounds that are seen in Chiptune, with traditional band instrumentation. Founded in 2004, they create music using video game hardware from the 1980’s, mainly NES and Game Boy. They have seen a rise to the top since there first album release in 2009 that went unrecognized as far as the US charts were concerned. However in 2013, after their second album was released they peaked at number 102 on the US charts, number 2 on the US Dance charts and number 1  on the Heat Seekers Charts.

Korean Hip-Hop Reaction Video

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For my final Digital Artifact, I decided to do a reaction video based upon Korean Hip Hop. With the help of best mates George and Josh, we sat down to watch some videos and react to what we saw . Josh can understand some Korean but cannot understand it fully and George is studying law here at UOW.  Giving our autoethnographic responses to this video was something that I thoroughly enjoyed, and would definitely do again

I chose this for my Digital Artifact because not many people from the western culture are involved actively with the Korean Rap scene. I have linked the videos

In summary though, I am proud  to submit this as my final assignment for DIGC330. I hope that you all watch it and drop a comment as I would love to hear from you.


South Korean Hip Hop P2

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When you say Korean music industry, the first thing that pops into most people’s heads is K-Pop, and that’s fair enough, especially when that is such a large part of the Korean music industry. However, with PSY aside, I turned to South Korean Hip Hop, with the intent to find something, I wasn’t sure what, but I wanted to find something.
Now at first I was very cynical, I personally enjoy rap as a genre and a great deal of my time I spend listening, writing and rapping my own. I did a lot of prior reading and a lot of research to see what types of Hip Hop I would listen to and what, in a nutshell, it all meant.

My initial assumptions on South Korean hip hop, from a point of view where I stand to know more then I previously did, portrays my assumptions in a negative light.
Given that I had very little knowledge of what type of culture I was diving into, I think that some of the assumption I made judged what I was watching as if it were a product of American hip hop.

After my initial assumptions in the week 5 blog, I decided that some translation would provide me with some contextual depth. So I started to search for another south Korean hip hop artist and found one that goes by the name of J’Kyuan and his song ‘If I were to go’:  I managed to find a translated version, here are a few lines:

If I were to go,
TO go to YG,
I will become a much bigger moneymaker then Big Bang
I am so sorry but I love you haters.
I would quickly ascend if I were a cheat and say good-bye to poverty forever.My rhyme is costly,
Like a dandy smart from head to toes completely
1Tym, Once getting into it, the fragrance of my style is as strong as Stony Skunks
Like sugar-free, I am a guy who is straightforward.My rap will linger in your ears for
twenty four-seven
Once getting into it, it is unstoppable.
When Gummy hear it,They will say,
what a masterpiece!
Sign here right now
design my album cover right now,
If you want y favour, put your tie on right now.
I am always arrogant, to anyone,
So make sure you have my number on your phone!

We can see then that this sub culture of what is American Hip-Hip is very aggressive, very ‘arrogant’ so to speak. Which then got me wondering why this is? So I did some research and found out. I wanted to include this translation so that everyone that is viewing this can have equal understanding on what underground South Korean Hip Hop is all about. It’s about this defiance to the popular culture, about stance, aggression and most importantly, identity.

South Korea’s Hip Hop scene is what’s known as a social minority group that does not belong to the mainstream. It even goes as far to rap about how much they dislike it.

This subculture, it’s more than just a group though, it is a youth subculture (Ha, 2011).  They have their own distinct clothing styles that differentiate themselves from the popular culture through which they express their individualism, values and beliefs. This is seen in my previous blog, where I provided screenshots and commentated a South-Korean hip hop song.

Furthermore it shows a sense of identity. Whether in Symbolic and implicit ways, this ‘lifestyle’ is what brings this minority together, it allows them to express who they really are, and the things that they really feel.  Which brings me to my next point,

Resistance. The younger generation want to, and in their case need to resist against the older generation and oppressive social atmosphere. They subsequently have a desire to have an abundant and fun personal life. This could very well justify why the video in my first assumption was so aggressive. Fighting for something that they believe in, even though it may not be portrayed in the lyrics, is emotional work, especially when the back hand to what you’re fighting against is the Korean cultural traditions.

Finally, sexual identity. With Korean subcultures, they are traditionally formed by men, so it makes sense that sub culture showing masculine tendencies and mostly rebelled against upper classes (leblanc, 2002).

Another aspect that I did further research on was the similarities and differences of American Hip Hop (as the mother culture) and South-Korean Hip Hop and the sub culture. South Korean Hip Hop incorporates Korean Style Elements such as the Korean Flag in clothes, it also prefers music that includes both rap and melody. As opposed to American Hip Hop, which incorporates styles that show roots of hip hop as African and American styles, in clothes, and prefers rap-focused music.
The similarities between the two however include the culture of youths who enjoy hip hope music, and the pursued desire of; freedom, equality and fun.




Hip Hops Aggressive Cousin

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For my project I will be diving into different South Korean Hip Hop artists including Noise Mob and Deepflow. The aim of these profiles is to highlight and create an overall picture of what South Korean hip-hop is all about. There are several differences between what is the popular hip hop in
South Korea when put in comparison to American hip hop artists.

So, I was at an American hip-hip gig earlier this week and during it I found myself for a split second thinking is there a way I can incorporate music into DIGC330? And the answer is yes, yes I can incorporate it.

South Korean Hip-Hop then according to Ye Jun Cha, of Korea’s biggest hip-hop music site, says that the initial movement of trial was followed by a lot of “trial and error” in the scene, when it, as a genre was trying to establish originality.
Some of you, well most of you would have heard of the likes of PSY and Far East Movement, who have previously broken out in to the global scene with smash hits such as Gangham Style and Like a G6. However, although this type of music is what I expected to find. When I researched underground hip-hop artists, it was a completely different story.

My initial idea was to actually go to a gig and experience everything for myself. But quickly after having the idea, I found out that unless I wanted to go on exchange, that wouldn’t be happening.
So instead I am using YouTube as the means to conduct my autoethnographic response. I have researched, and subsequently found two artists.

Some of the things that I’ll be integrating is any scholarly articles and research regarding South Korean Hip Hop and any history that I cans subsequently find. There will be links to western hip-hop artists that have come out of Japan also.

I am aiming to make my blogs as aesthetically pleasing and somewhat evocative, I will be doing this by visually engaging the reader into a range of sources for an opportunity for further research. I mentioned earlier that I’ve heard the likes of Far East Movement and PSY, but that is the limitation to the hip-hop scene in South Korea that I have. Although, during previous weeks of DIGC330, I have written an autoethnographic response to a Korean e-sports documentary ‘State of Play’. So I have analysed cultural traits and started to enhance my understanding of a more G rated South Korean culture.

Initial autoethnographic encounter: 

So for my initial autoethnographic encounter I took to snapchat. The reason for doing this is simply because I wanted to quickly take a photo of what I was watching on YouTube and then add a caption to what I was thinking, and then be able to keep going (considering that the video’s only go for 4 minutes, I thought this was a great idea). I also wrote down notes as the video went on, which were basically my thought process. I have edited them slightly just for correct grammar purposes.

My first autoethnographic experience is on a YouTube video by hip-hop star ‘It G Ma’ and it’s called Keith Ape.


  • This is going to be evil, it’s going to be aggressive, I can just feel it
  • The culture and the use of photo’s here is painting a picture in my head about the tone of this.


  • This is the first person we see, and my immediate reaction was, why is he wearing a surgical mask?
  • It also looks like what I am assuming to be the artist, is about to bust down the door and start his rap
  • This is different, really different.


  • He broke down the door and the instrumental has a hard, gangster like feel to it
  • Bits are in English and then some bits are also in Korean. It is confusing, but I still understand so far what the general gist is about
  • American like rap, typical culture – cars, drugs, woman ( the high life)


  • This is the first English statement, I think that I saw. Provocative, yes, Very.
  • Ok, so now, we are in a Verse, and these two men are filming this video in black and white
    • But this is pink, and it takes up the whole screen


  • Again, more of these symbols, which I can only link to what would be gang related on some level?
  • I can hear from the tone of their voices that they are making threats and speaking about their crew ( More English )


  • So this is the rapper in the last verse, and it’s in English.
  • I understand, and stand by everything that I have said so far, based on this verse
  • Dollar signs and such is appearing, almost flashing on the screen, perhaps to accentuate that they have money
  • There is yelling, towards the end of the song, it builds up from a soft rap all the way to an emotional filled yell. So whatever the other guys were talking about must have been important

Ok, so this is the end of the video, and from what I have just seen, this South Korean Hip-Hip group is by far not what I expected. It is nothing like what we, as listeners to the radio here in Australia have heard. However, it drew similarities to American hip-hop scene, just in a different language.


Internet Hostels

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For many years Japan has hidden information regarding its poverty. The poor are quietly hidden in shadows away from what appears of economic homogeneity in Japan (Borgen project, 2013). Japan have also hidden facts about poverty since 1998. A researcher at the National Institute of Population and Social Security in Tokyo has said “it is very unpopular for the Japanese media to say anything about Japanese poverty.” In turn, denying the existence of what is clearly an increasing levels in poverty, subsequently sees Japan fail to support its growing impoverished population.

Poverty Japan

To the eye, Japan is a world leader in technology, If you google Tokyo, you’ll find an endless supply of beautiful photos such as this:

However, what you don’t know is that this is a person that is seeking refuge. This happens to be a Comic book café, but at internet cafe’s all over Tokyo there are people that are staying in a small basic rooms for 1,920 yen what is the equivalent of 25 AU dollars.

Poverty Japan 1.jpg
This is Fumiya, he is 26 years old and has stayed in an internet café for over a year. If it wasn’t for this basic accommodation he would be homeless. According to Roegiers (2013), Fumiya has as temporary job, with little security.  As well as himself, people like this make up one third of the countries labour force.

“Though they are provided with necessities, I thought it was like living in a coffin – small and dark,” Fukada said. “It is really uncomfortable to stay in a tiny space like that for a long time.” (Fukada 2013).

Unfortunately, this is the reality. And although these people aren’t situated in countries such as Africa, the sheer amount of the population that are suffering from poverty in Japan is sky rocketing. Of the total population, 15.7 percent of Japanese people live in poverty, a percentage greater than countries with less economic resources (Borgen Project, 2013).

1 in 6 Japanese children live in poverty. That’s right, 1 in every 6, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Although Japan provides relatively equal access to education, the number of children on welfare who subsequently proceed to a higher school education diminish as they go through the system. Fees for public school add up to 400,000 yen a year, minimum, according to education ministry statistics.

As you can see from the above video, it is culturally known that Japanese families tend to put strain on their children in order for them to succeed, and with the population of Japan so high, as well as the thriving percent of the population that is competing to get into a higher education, you can imagine how hard it would be to start from the bottom and try and climb up the financial ladder.

All in, it is no surprise that the otherwise homeless of Japan are seeking refuge in café’s like this. This, in my opinion is a great alternative from the otherwise treacherous streets.

Below is a link to an eye opening photo essay that depicts life inside an Internet cafe:




The Problem with Poverty in Tokyo

In Japan, 1 in 6 children lives in poverty, putting education, future at stake


Autoethnography: Korean E-Sport Culture (Starcraft)

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Autoethnography is a mixture between autobiography and ethnography. In this case it is a self-reflective document on a culture that is other than my own (Korean). Ethnography draws on the study of a culture, while an autobiography draws on what is known as “epiphanies” – remembered moments that have perceived to have a significant impact on the trajectory of a person’s life (Ellis et al, 2011).

Analysing the Korean e-sports documentary State Of Play, I have drawn upon three different concepts that I personally picked up on during my viewing, and was drawn to elaborating on.

The first concept is the Gender Roles. It was very prominent in the documentary and it was something that left me thinking about it after finishing. I decided that I wanted to do some more research on this and discovered a survey, conducted by WallPlayed, who is an e-sports production company. They conducted the survey over the course of one year at multiple Korean e-sporting events, one of which was the Ender’s Game Tournament (StarCraft 2, Feb. 2014). Of the 2,040 respondents, 69 were female; 33 listed themselves as “other”. Moreover, the almost whole amount of e-sporting players were male, which is a heavy reflection on traditional South Korean beliefs. The portrayal of men in the documentary saw them in a somewhat dominant position all throughout the film.

Another concept which raised an eyebrow was the family relationship and how that was depicted, in particularly the father son one. I noticed that during the film, and I’m still trying to decipher whether this was a deliberate act, or whether this is just how it is, was the way that family was westernised. I know for sure that my family still hounds me on ‘What I’m actually going to do with my life?’ which we see done in the film, in the nicest way possible. Now from my understanding of Korean Culture, this question should be more a less a statement, and the answer should be pre-meditated. Nonetheless it was good to see that there was a choice. This is what affected me the most in the film, as it is what I was able to relate to the most. See I was thinking from the start, that the parents would have been very strict and would be wanting to know what was going on at all times, but this was not the case. This said however, I am basing this off of how I was brought up, rather than a culture as a whole which may experience the family life very differently.

Finally, the concept of e-sports culture, a culture that I had no idea even existed. During the film, there is a scene in which they are comparing StarCraft and the e-sports to soccer. After this, I felt as though there was a universal understanding of what is was to be a part of this. The way in which e-sports was portrayed in the film was very welcoming, and almost family like. They lived in the same house and they all had this respect for each other, which I saw as a brotherhood. Don’t get me wrong though it was an extremely competitive environment. I also took the liberty of looking into another autobiography on K-Pop Culture, from an Australian perspective, and you will find that is much the same.