FROM A WINDOW

This is from a friend's apartment in an old, tall, granite mansion block on a hill in Edinburgh. Last night we played with the Berlin Cabaret goddess Ute Lemper in the beautiful Usher Hall. Proper grown up stuff. Perhaps not our best show but Ute was extremely nice when I burst into her dressing room and fell over by accident. A romantic friend from the past turned up too - reviving certain memories and causing some interesting reflections - that was nice, if rather strange.

Another friend found and sent this funny thing from somewhere on the web. It features an half old forgotten track used without permission - I suppose I should have been outraged and complained or something but I liked it so much I couldn't be bothered. Nice one Nev.

More films, music and a new website soon.

FOR ROTHKO WITH LOVE

The music for the Rothko room is in place at the Tate Modern. It can now also be heard on line - song for mark

It was a pleasure to do - those paintings have long been a favourite but it was a curious thing too - his intentions seem to have been quite mixed. He started off wanting to intimidate the wealthy diners at the Four Seasons restaraunt in New York's Seagram building (the original commission) but changed his mind. Now they are generally seen as being contemplative, peaceful - even sacred.

Anyway, he ended up doing himself in like so many other artists, and so, partly, this was also meant as an elegy.

FOR RUSSIA WITH LOVE


I just returned from Moscow again. We were playing at the Golden Mask Theatre Festival - a very wonderful thing and a great pleasure to attend. It was probably one of our best shows - with Jacques back in the saddle and Eyal creating a magical dream world around us. The Berlin artist Jim Avignon joined us on stage for some live action painting and a whole posse of Alex's friends from the animaiton studio came to hang out.

On Saturday, our friends Marina and Serezha had asked us to play an acoustic show at a hospice for the terminally ill. So we arrived at a very peaceful little building on a quiet street somewhere as the snow started falling. It was an unusual event - no samplers, no projections, no electricity. There was a small audience of patients and staff from the hospice and some little birds in a couple of cages. Some of the patients were in beds and barely concious - one man in particular sounded as if he was about to go at any moment. When Jacques started to play 'La Bete et La Belle', the birds joined in too. I felt moved - just to be there at all and have the opportunity to do this sort of thing - although I confess felt some awkwardness at singing these songs, many of which refer to death, in a situation where mortality is very present. There were a couple of kids there and that really tore me up. Afterwards, just before we had tea and biscuits, I completely lost it for a few minutes in the loo. How do you tell children they are dying? - how do they understand that and how can they still smile and be so pleased to see you?

Back on the street, with the city noises and the snow falling more thickly, we wandered back into our lives and that stupid feeling that it couldn't happen to us - death is for other people right?! Despite everything that has happened, I find it really hard to not imagine I will somehow go on for ever. Anyway it makes you think doesn't it? - and one of the things I always think is how connections with people matter more than almost anything.

So, hello to all friends - but particularly this time to my Russian ones - old, new and however brief..