Sound of Silence #SOS  

Our new video is released at last and available to watch here: 

Sound of Silence by Hapi and the Lost Species

We have chosen to cover an all time classic, the Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel and also famously covered by rock band Disturbed. This is the perfect song to do a cover version of because of the lyrical content aligning with the band's ethos. We're raising awareness of the silencing of nature where over previous decades, even centuries wildlife has diminished to make way for more humans therefore the collective sound wildlife makes is less and less. 

Where we had huge flocks of birds we now have much smaller flocks, where we had large herds of mammals these are all greatly deceased and where we had many more thousands of insects whose wings hummed in the air, we now see much lower numbers of these essential life forms. 

The theme also ties in nicely with Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, a book published in 1962, warning of the consequences of using pesticides on the large scale still in use now. The outcome is fairly obvious, pesticides kill insects indiscriminately. What a strange world where we kill the animals we need for pollination to create seed for food we need. 

As nature becomes more and more depleted as a result of human actions we are able to recognise this impact on the natural world and label it as the annihilation or extermination event it is and even name the era as the anthropocene where humans are changing every aspect on planet earth, in many cases to its detriment. Also to our detriment - the silencing of nature is an insidious creeping change which we barely notice in our day to day lives but we need to always bear in mind that while wildlife is being depleted every day, humans are not living sustainably and there is no sign of this trend slowing or reversing. 

The shortened version of the sound of silence is aptly #SOS 

Save all our souls and forgive us for what we have done to paradise. 

Everything is changing  

Do you think everything is changing including yourself, the people you know, the world? We all have to readjust a lot. Most of the time I find this enjoyable but sometimes I feel stuck. When your objective is saving the world there is so much to do it's hard to know what to focus on - I thought of highlighting children taken away from parents in Aboriginal families in Australia, or my seemingly perpetual bug bear where climate change hogs the headlines whereas species loss through non climate change reasons gets very little traction. I think the best focus though is to try to imagine the world based on what we think it should will look like in the future, maybe I am a futurist.

So, let me tell you about what I think needs to happen....people need to know what business will look like in the future. From my experience (and I don't get this at all) people seem to only be able to envisage either Capitalism or Communism but the future market will not look like either of those. I will call the future ecomony "Ecotalism" and it will be similar to the global economy now except it will be sustainable. In order to get to this point we need to start now, or continue the good work where we elect a responsible government which has a long term plan, we buy and create sustainable products and we refuse to buy from or continue to boycott irresponsible companies.

If there is a way to monetise making the world a better place, we need to do this. Advising the world on how to live sustainably is a way to earn a living. People need to change from making money from physical products to making money from advising people to live within the planet's resource limits. Imagine if this idea took off? I still think we might be able to accelerate positive change and solutions to slow down and reverse the current trend of destruction and exploitation. From what I have seen there is a demand for answers and solutions to problems and also for clarity, there seems to be some confusion about some issues. 

We need to be seeking out, supporting and paying people who are genuinely trying to fix things. What we do not want is any greenwash, there's a lot of that about. If it's a large global multinational saying they are saving the world with a new scheme then this will unfortunately inevitably be greenwash. Recently I was at a small conference lead by an online marketing leader. I was describing my current idea which is for ecotronic music (which is music with meaning, not love songs for people but love songs for the planet) and I suggested I could monetise information on how to rewild in your local town by turning lawns into wildflowers, bringing garden ponds back and leaving gaps in fences for hedgehogs etc. I spoke for a couple of minutes and the guy running the group said I should get a round of applause, that was really sweet but the faces soon went back to the usual money money money face. We do need money though, it is very tough to live without enough money.

Thanks for reading and keep fighting!

Hapi & the Lost Species




Moby - Everything is wrong but he is right 

There are things in life that might jar some people, certain phrases; animal rights being one, activism another, also protest. When I see these words with the eyes of someone who lives in the bubble (people who just live their own life without many thoughts that go beyond it), the words might come across as some sort of trouble making. This is not the right way to look at it though, (almost) Everything really is Wrong although some people devote their whole lives to changing that. Meanwhile the bubble people benefit from an improved world without even realising, possibly not even caring about the sacrifices others have made. People risk their lives and others lose theirs doing the right thing to create positive change in the world. 

In 1995 Moby released the album 'Everything is wrong' and on the inside of the sleeve was a list of everything wrong...and today it still is. It's worse in many ways but perhaps there is more awareness now. I think Moby's album sleeve from all those years ago is brilliant, he's someone who is using music in any way he can as a vehicle to deliver a message about something even more important. I really like the album title 'Animal Rights' as well, it's almost as good as 'Meat is Murder' by The Smiths.

I have googled 'animal rights' and read through the Wikipedia entry:

The intellectualisation of animal rights is kind of weird, to me. Minimising suffering is a no-brainer so why do humans allow what is going on in the world to continue? It's as though we are stuck - is it because of the system? Is it apathy? Is it ignorance?

The word rights sounds a bit confrontational to me, I'm trying to think of something less contentious and the best I can think of is the human right to live on a planet that is not exploited for every last drop of resources. Is it my right to live on a planet without exploitation versus other's right to exploit? Or just can't we all change things...please? Together? Now? Thanks.

Here's an excerpt from the album sleeve, remembering it's nearly twenty five years since the release date:

"In the past 20 years approximately 1 million species have disappeared from the world's tropical forests. From 1960-1985 over 40% of the central american rainforests were destroyed to create grazing land for cattle. The united states imports over 100,000 tons of beef from central america each year. It takes 23 gallons of water to produce a pound of tomatoes. It takes 5,214 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef. One acre of land can produce 20,000 pounds of potatoes. One acre of land can produce 165 pounds of beef. The u.s. cattle industry produces 158 million tons of waste per year. Livestock production is the #1 cause of water pollution in the u.s. 22 million acres of land have become unusable due to desertification. 85% of the topsoil loss in t he u.s. is the result of livestock production. In the u.s. 33% of ALL raw material consumption is used solely in the production of meat, egg, and dairy products. It takes 1 pound of grain to make 1 pound of bread. It takes 20 pounds of grain to make 1 pound of beef. 75% of the grain sent to third world nations goes to livestock production. The countries with the diets highest in animal products are also the countries with the highest rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, etc. 50 percent of men who eat meat regularly die of heart disease. 80% of usda chicken inspectors no longer eat chicken. If the average commuter passenger load in the u.s. were increased by just 1 person per day we would save 33 million gallons of gas each day. Americans spend over 1 billion hours stuck in traffic each year. 30% of u.s. greenhouse gas emissions come from cars. Air is sold in mexico city for $1.15 a minute by sidewalk vendors. What greenpeace spends in a year general motors spends in 4 hours. million children under the age of 6 suffer from lead poisoning. in europe 50% of the cars still use leaded gas. 2 million gallons of motor oil are dumped in american waterways each year. over 8 million tons of oil are spilled in the world's oceans every year. 5 billion gallons of water are flushed each day in the united states. Sewage treatment facilities in the u.s. discharge 5.9 trillion gallons of sewage wastewater into coastal waters every year. u.s. tuna fisherman are permitted to kill over 20,000 dolphins every year. 2 million sharks die in driftnets in the north pacific every year. Only 1 in 10 baby chimpanzees survive the trip form the jungle to the zoo. 1 billion animals are killed each year in experiments. 17 million animals are trapped in the u.s. each year for fur. Many traps are so painful that animals check through their own limbs to escape. For every fur animal trapped two other animals (dogs, cats, deer, etc.) are trapped and killed. In 1997 450,000 minks died on fur farms from heat exhaustion. 1 ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and enough energy to heat the average home for 6 months. Enough wood and paper is thrown away each year in america to heat 1 billion houses for a year. Six times more jobs are created by recycling as opposed to landfill operations. The amount of money spent on trash disposal in american schools is equal to that spent on new textbooks. Out of every $10 that americans spend on food, $1 pays for packaging. 65% of garbage in the u.s. is packaging. 50% of all trash thrown away could be recycled into new products. 500 new dumps are built each year in the united states. Over 1 billion trees are used to make disposable diapers every year. Americans throw away 20 billion disposable diapers each year. Americans dump the equivalent of 21 million shopping bags full of food into landfills every year. billion batteries are thrown away each year by americans. over 700,000 tons of hazardous waste is produced in the u.s. every day. americans throw away 10 million cigarette lighters every week. 500,000 people die of cigarette related diseases in the u.s. each year. pesticides that are banned in the u.s. (such as ddt) are regularly sold to third world countries. 90% of all food borne pesticides are found in meat and dairy products. 10% of nursing mothers who were vegetarians had ddt in their breast milk. 90% of nursing mothers who were meat eaters had ddt in their breast milk. In 1945, before widespread pesticide use, u.s. corn growers lost 3% of their crops to insects. Last year they lost over 12%. 74 different kinds of pesticides have been found in drinking water. Over 100 chemical contaminants have been found in the breast milk of nursing mothers in the u.s. of the 34 chemicals most widely used on lawns, 25% are widely believed to cause birth defects, genetic mutation, and cancer. Americans spend 6 billion dollars on their lawns each year. 25% of u.s. nuclear reactors would not be able to contain a core breach meltdown. A 1985 study predicted a 45% chance of core breach meltdown in the u.s. before 2005. In 1992, 430,000 people in the world died from cancers resulting from nuclear testing radiation. More money is spent in the u.s. on nuclear weaponry in one year than was spent on housing from 1980-1992. To date cleaning up storage facilities for nuclear debris has cost taxpayers 200 billion dollars. In 1989 the u.s. military used 200 billion barrels of oil, enough to keep all american public transit systems running for 22 years. 1 ton of toxic waste is produced by the u.s. every minute."

The Anthropocene  

I'm reading a book that is tying a lot of ideas together. As an environmental science graduate I do wonder when we will see the repercussions of the limits to growth on planet earth. Is it a weird time to be alive? Is it stranger than any other time? Most days it feels pretty weird and sci-fi to me. It's just the usual questions of 'what does it mean to be human?' and 'are humans doing a really bad job?' and 'is there any possibility we will turn this around and start living better?'

I actually do think it's possible, it just depends how bad people want things to get before having to make changes. It looks like people want things to get really, really bad, like 'it really is too late to do anything now bad.' On the other hand I think a massive near spontaneous change is possible where fairly suddenly it becomes very unfashionable to want lots of shiny new things, coupled with people being less passive and more demanding of companies. For example, people succeed in their demands for alternatives to plastic (or use no plastic at all) and the billionaires fund the oceans plastics clean up out of their own pocket, without it coming across as some kind of business opportunity.

Many people in the Western World have a good standard of living but it's all at a cost and as we know, poorer countries bear the brunt of the West living the dream. The idea that less developed countries want to reach western standards of living is I think what we all want, it sounds nice, the prospect that everything will work out and the way humans live will stabilise....and we will live happily ever after. The problem is this isn't what's happening because the rate of exploitation is exceeding the rate at which improvements to living are made and by that I mean things like people going vegan, organic farming, increased awareness of issues.

As we know, we are experimenting with testing the limits to growth of humans on planet earth, it's such a shame we can't find the brakes to slow down. so many beautiful species lost, many we will never know. This is the anthropocene, the age where human impact is so massive it's probably going to be a geological epoch on the Geologic Time Scale of planet earth, people are just deciding the beginning date of the anthropocene. With the sixth mass extinction underway (irrespective of climate change) they better get on with it, they might run out of time. How ironic would that be?

Phuwcha Dreams  

I think I have always been interested in the future, I mean the past is interesting but the future is where everything is, from now. I am trying to learn more and more about this anthropocene era we are in and in my own little way try to do whatever I can to bring about the most favourable outcome possible. There's every possibility that plant life will dominate the planet towards the end of the century, mammals having been wiped out, annihilated by humans (who only exist in small numbers).

Then again there is change afoot, there is change in the air but it needs to increase, it needs to begin to increase more quickly than the exploitative factors. The rate of regeneration needs to exceed the rate of annihilation. All of this concerns me even though you could say I might not be directly affected by the sixth mass extinction but actually I have felt directly affected for years. Even though I don't live in country where elephants and giraffes are the native wildlife, it directly affects me when I hear of or see news stories on social media. A dead rhino mother with its orphaned calf hurts my feelings, it physically affects me, it upsets me a lot and I want it to stop. I would like all of the exploitation to stop and one day it will. Whether that is because of collapse or pre-emptive change brought about my humans changing the system is humanity's current challenge. Everything else needs to go down the list of priorities.

I actually believe the change required is possible but even while humans are changing we are losing species forever, so we can't change quickly enough, or bring back the lost species. My issue is humans can do so much better, we're letting ourselves down, we're not doing our absolute best. As I say, either way, we're going to change. We need to start living with the understanding that humans are not living sustainably on planet earth, that's the clue, the current way of living can't be sustained, we are using 1.7 planet earths.

SEO for musicians - what I have learned about online prescence 

So, we know musicians nowadays have to cover a lot of bases and I mean loads. We need to be singers, songwriters, socialisers, entrepreneurs, networkers, social media experts as well as having a lot of patience and perseverance to get results.

After using my Reverbnation site for a number of years I have recently decided to go for having a dedicated website again, mainly because it's much more customisable and now seems like the right time. Having said that websites almost seem like a different breed/type/species of online presence and seeing as I use social media so much, websites can seem like an optional extra. As a fan of other musicians though I appreciate a website for all of the detail you are looking for when you are into an artist and you just want that little bit more information.

Social media is very immediate but how would or how will I (or we) let people know about the existence of the site? What needs to be done is the google search someone would carry out on your site needs to be optimised so that google can point them in the right direction. There are lots of additional things that can be done - I started out optimising our music pages myself but once I got the gist of it and realised what was involved I thought I would look for someone who really knew what they were doing.

I used facebook and posted in an SEO group asking if anyone could help out and I followed up a few leads and in the end I went with who has been really helpful. One of the things that you need to take account of in searches is mis-spellings and people sometimes think my name is spelled Happy and by including that fact in this blog, Google will now understand that and direct people to the website even if Hapi is spelled as Happy or Hapy. People also spell my surname incorrectly but I am not going to cover that here because I consider myself as a 'first name only' kind of artist. : -)

While we're on the subject though here is some information about the name Hapi (researched by Darren):

Origins of the name Hapi 

The name Hapi (meaning Gift of God) originates from a deity who was assumed responsible for the annual flooding of the Nile in ancient Egyptian religion. The flood deposited rich silt (fertile soil) on the river’s banks, allowing the Egyptians to grow crops. The annual flooding of the river was said to be the "Arrival of Hapi". Since this flooding provided fertile soil in an area that was otherwise desert, Hapi, as its patron, symbolised fertility. Hapi was not regarded as the god of the Nile itself but of the inundation event. 

Characteristics for people called Hapi 

People with the name Hapi are seen to have a deep inner desire to use their abilities in leadership, and to have personal independence. They also intently focus on large, important issues they are passionate about. 

People called Hapi are excellent at analysing, understanding, and learning. They tend to be mystics, philosophers, scholars, and teachers. Because they live so much in the mind, they tend to be quiet and introspective, and are usually introverts. When presented with issues, they will invariably see the larger picture.

That is weirdly accurate - thanks Darren. 

Lots of love Hapi

The power of music 

I imagine a world several years ahead of where we are now. As time goes by people are becoming ever more aware of what it means to live in an unsustainable way for a long period of time. Humans have been living unsustainably since 1970 which means they have been using more than we can replace for nearly fifty years. The anathema, remedy or solution to this may come after a long and drawn out period of time or it may come suddenly, we don't know. What I am sure of though is that at some point in the future, people will understand that abundance is not infinite and acquiring new material items will no longer be fashionable. At this time people will have a need for music which reflects that new consciousness. That time may have already begun, that would be good. Here's the music for the new era, hope you love it.