Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Just back in from the most extraordinary piece of theatre. A Chilean troup performing 'Sin Sangre' (Without Blood) based on a book (short story?) by a Chilean writer. The most exquisite mixture of film and theatre. The whole performed behind one transparent movie screen, and in front of another, allowing them to layer amazing effects. And combined with a beautiful, simple, heartbreaking script. Just amazing. I am still in shock from how powerful the whole thing was. Combining video and theatre is hard enough at the best of times, but making a piece based around this combination, and then making it into real theatre.... wow!

I post the trailer for the piece, which does it no justice, and link to a film (of the film) of the whole piece from a festival in France.

and an 'arte' video of the whole show

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

You never stop

The end of the year coming up and I'm trying to wrap up a million projects, while do the admin for a million projects coming up and strangely enough I don't have a million hours in the day to do it. Sometime I curse the fact as an artist you stumble out of bed, wash your face (not compulsory) and then there you are, working. And the day continues until late at night you find yourself... working. And sometimes I bless that fact. Since if you love your work, it means you get to keep on doing it, and doing it, and doing it.

Here's Baryshnikov in his 50's working and working...

If I'm lucky, I'd like to be doing what I do, like he's still doing what he does. That would be amazing.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Most boring, and most documented?

Sometime in the ancient pre-history of the 1980's I had the pleasure of seeing the first North American gig of the band New Order (the reformed Joy Division, after the suicide of their lead singer). The excitement was intense, the crowd was pumped up and we were jammed against the edge of the stage desperate to see what was going to happen.

About half an hour into the gig, I started to notice my attention, along with most of the crowd, start to wander away. Skinny hipster musicians (ok, they weren't called hipsters then, but you know what I mean) staring at the keyboards and synthesizers and pressing buttons. I don't think they even looked up at us or said anything. The rest of the gig was spent at the bar, with the rest of the crowd, occasionally checking over our shoulders to see if they were 'doing anything'.

Not until this iphone concert have I considered that there could be much, much more boring ways of making music.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Amazing review for Lisa's new (first!) novel

Read the whole article here.

a couple of choice quotes

"Toronto-based Lisa Pasold's debut novel is as enticing as the lit-up Las Vegas strip and as satisfying as a winning hand at poker."


"Millard is an exceptionally refreshing heroine -- wonderfully independent and completely unwilling to rely on anyone else for her needs. Millard's first-person account of her story is wonderful. Though she's celebrated for her bluffing skills during games of poker, she's thoughtful and straightforward with the reader."

Mathew Herbert, 1st prize for obsessive and wonderful recording methods

I wish I could say the final result was more amazing. I mean, it ends up being well crafted and listenable ambient dance music, and considering how many crappy versions of that exist, I guess that's already great. But, whatever you think of the final result, the means he uses to get there are amazing and beautiful. In this video he's up in a hot air balloon, or sitting in the ocean waves recording drum tracks.

These days I'm all about process... the means justifying the ends... and what a wonderful process this would be... I'm gonna make sure my next project ends up with me doing research in a hot air balloon!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

books come alive

Thanks New Zealand film board for this extraordinary piece of animation

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Theatre Fails America... Canada too?

Great essay by Monologist Mike Daisey on American theatre. Or perhaps the slow death of the possibility of ever having a paying career in the theatre in America.

"The regional theater movement tried to create great work and make a vibrant American theater tradition flourish.

That dream is dead. The theaters endure, but the repertory companies they stood for have been long disbanded. When regional theaters need artists today, they outsource: They ship the actors, designers, and directors in from New York and slam them together to make the show.

Not everyone lost out with the removal of artists from the premises. Arts administrators flourished as the increasingly complex corporate infrastructure grew. Marketing and fundraising departments in regional theaters have grown hugely, replacing the artists who once worked there, raising millions of dollars from audiences that are growing smaller, older, and wealthier. It's not such a bad time to start a career in the theater, provided you don't want to actually make any theater."

when I think of some of the amazing, huge, beautiful theatres I have performed in all over the world that sit empty most of the time because it is simply too expensive to program theatre in the spaces that were designed to perform theatre, I wonder how true this essay is everywhere right now.

you can find the whole article here