Sunday, 30 January 2005

Down and down in the mess

At last a whole day with nothing to do. Salomé is now taking most of my time. Quite expectable, a week before the premiere, but less enjoyable when new things come up every day, so it’s impossible to plan anything. I thought bringing Cyril in the project would make the task easier for me, since I cannot really claim to be a sound engineer. Most of the technical aspect I do not master at all. My experience has been rather empirical, so I didn’t want to find myself in the situation where I’m in charge of something I don’t really master. However, I came to realize that I’ve learned more than I would admit. Cyril is currently going through a down-in-the-endless-well phase, a breaking up in his relationship, not knowing where to go, not able to take any decision. True, the organization of Salomé is a big mess, some of the actors remind me of the Lina Lamont character from Singin’ in the Rain. They waste everybody’s time and energy, not remembering what to do, not listening, and trying too hard to show off their acting skills, and not unexpectedly, those are the supporting actors. Authentic cases of the 'ignored genius', if you ask me.
But we have to overcome all those distractions and focus on the play. Cyril wants to leave the boat before it sinks even deeper. That self pitying, whiny and negative approach only arouses my anger, not my sympathy. But since he’s unable to take any decision, and waits for some miracle to happen, I finally understood I had to go the whole way, and also prove to myself I’m more capable than I think. I also have to concede that, like Cyril, I was none too happy to be part of an obviously lousy project. So maybe having him by my side was a way to feel comfort.
Maria Cristina’s ideas are fab, I want to develop other projects with her, even restage Salomé in Great Britain. But the acting is quite disastrous, not so much because the actors are bad, more because they are miscast. One would think he’s in play by Feydeau, another other recites his lines like Gérard Philipe, and a third fellow would play his role like in a Greek tragedy. 

A whole day with nothing to do. I was to see a play with Julia, but I cancelled that. Julia behaved like a grande dame and a great friend, and showed me understanding and support. Such a joy and comfort to know some of your friends will not be upset and hold it against you if you change your mind at the very last minute.

Monday, 24 January 2005

Killer Joe

Lian showed us Killer Joe, a character she has created for the song Goovy. Dozens of little faces with a different expression. Killer Joe  was apparently based on Robert Smith, but I do think it reminds me a lot of Tim Burton’s Mr. Jack. (although I shouldn’t say it too often)
Anyway, she has created a world of her own, complete with house, furniture, piano, telephone and newspaper lying on the floor. That has required weeks and weeks of patience and hard work in order to make each face, each item.
I’m really excited to see the first clip of the video. 

Monday, 17 January 2005

Army of Mixes

I have read that Björk was asking fans and musicians to submit remixes or cover version of Army of Me for a 10th anniversary 2cd release of the song. The money made of the sales would go to charity.
I didn’t give it much thought, because I had no idea how I could remix the song, much less re-arrange it.
But then Simon talked about it as well, and the idea grew in me. Why not? W.h.a. was a goldmine in terms of musical ideas. There was enough to fill a whole opera.
So I spent the whole Sunday writing the arrangement and the programming on the computer, then recording my vocals with my old microphone. I tested the result on Aurélien who passed it. At one o’clock in the morning the song was sent to Björk’s website. Que sera sera!

Listen to

Monday, 10 January 2005

Death / House / Dream

If I could keep notes of all the dreams I’ve made, I could publish a whole book. A friend told me that Kafka wrote down many of his dreams in his journal. I will try to find the book.
I’ve always loved to read journals of letters to know more about somebody.

It took place in a dark big Hollywood mansion, not unlike the one in which Norma Desmond dwells to hide from the present.
It also took place on my birthday, July the 17th. My family was there, as well as some friends. But I had a very uncommon job: I was to make sure that corpses were actual dead people, and do it in a rather horrible way: have the body split open and swim in it. Maybe it is a way to turn into a vegetarian.
So all the guests were in the living room, and I had to go upstairs to check the last corpse. That wasn’t fair, I was telling my mother. It was my birthday and I didn’t have to perform that gruesome task on the very day! Still, I climbed the big marble staircase, and reached a room on the landing. The door was shut, but I could see through it. There was not light on, but moonlight was filling the room so I could make out the shape of the naked body on the table. It was completely white. A bald man in his fifties, with heavy make up. He was turning his head in my direction and showing a rather uneasy smirk. I had to massage the back of that dead person! I visualized myself doing it, but decided to move on instead and not enter the room. There ended the dream.

It’s hard to remember exactly the dream. I usually try to focus on my connection to it, rather than its possible meaning.
The second dream involved my friend Dominique. He was living in his new house on the Côte d’Azur. Now that I think of it, I notice that each time he appears in my dreams, he always has just moved in a newly bought house. This time it was a white two-story house, with a small living room downstairs, and two bedrooms upstairs. The place was nicely furnished, yet with very neutral tones. Mostly white. This house strangely bore similarities to the one where my childhood friend An and his brother Hoà used to live. His mother got cancer and prematurely died when barely aged forty. No one knew about her sickness, except her husband and my parents. We learned the terrible news only one week before it was too late. The husband wanted to spare her the pain and the agony of knowing. The shock took time to register in us and her death haunted us for many years afterward.
She died in her house, one Sunday afternoon of November. Since then, the spirit of this house would regularly appear in my dreams as other people’s house. So that’s the house that Dominique was showing me. We then took his car to go to a friend’s place. The ride reminded me of that scene in To catch a thief where Cary Grant is driving Grace Kelly at high speed in his convertible car along the French riviera. The sky was gorgeous, yellow turning red, with beautifully shaped clouds.
Dinner at Dominique’s friends was terrible. Everyone started blaming me for what was happening to him. I left, and a second later, found myself in his house again. Since no one was there, I decided to borrow a few cds and dvds from his huge library. It was then I discovered one room occupied by two sleeping young men, the very room where An’s mother died.
I walked out to the garden and found out that people had been waiting for me. An execution was taking place. Around twenty young people were to have their throat slit open. I was last on the list. When my turn came, I was given the choice to shorten my wait and be killed before the person before me. I accepted, since I didn’t want the agony to last.
I felt the blade cut my throat and saw the blood dripping. Schubert’s Death and the Maiden second movement was playing on an old gramophone.

Tuesday, 4 January 2005

Bye bye London

Good bye London!
Another chapter of the book is finished. I have nearly two months ahead of me before going to Japan. Will there be enough time to finish the album as well as the website? Not to mention the rehearsals of Salomé