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Who are you today?

Who?

Yes, that is right. I asked who and not how.

“How are you today” seems to me to be one of the most useless questions i know.

 

 What choices do you have to answer?

 

“Thanks, I’m fine.” Just answering to brush the question of like some dust that happened to land on your jacket.

Or you can answer how you actually feel. But that might take too long time for anyone to listen to. Most people are not really interested. In most cases whatever you say  does not change anything anyway.

According to rumor there is a tribe somewhere in Africa where they greet each other:

 

„How is the space between us today?“

 

That makes some kind of sense to me. The question also includes the one asking. That also makes sense to me. How I am feeling might change with whom is the asking.

Today, the space between me and myself is rather good.

We are almost one. Still we are at least two.

 

How many me`s is there inside of a me?

Are they individual me`s or just graded variations?

What is me and what is not me?

Do I have enemies of me inside of me?

 

Who are you?

 

I am watching you pointing at to those who love or have loved you as the answer to the question i am asking.

I am watching you looking at your loved ones as one creature instead of individual creatures. One big ball of a creature with everchanging faces and bodies. Sometimes different faces melt into one creating a loved one you have never been with in person. One person taking over where another one ends. Sometimes they fall in love with each other as well. Sometimes they let you in. Sometime they leave you outside to watch.

I am watching how the ages of your loved ones change. I am watching how they talk to you, how you sometimes are making the same moves, yet they answer you differently, and so the game changes. And sometime you communicate differently to them, but still the answers they give you are mostly the same.

You go in and out of love like in and out of a room. Or like you go in and out of the many faces and bodies of music.

 

Where does love stop and begin?

 

When does music start and stop?

Does the music start when it starts?

Does it start when you start to wish for the music?

Or does the music really start when you begin to remember it even when it is not playing?

 

Sometime you say that the biggest problem we have with music today is that it is so easy to listen to that we mostly forget to listen to it in our minds. That we hardly ever have to go hungry for music. There is music everywhere. We have to shut it out. We don’t get to listen to the music inside us. We do not spend time making that meeting with the inner and outer music. On the other hand: we have to seek silence actively if we want it. Not to play that record, however nice it is. Not to listen to that audiobook, no matter how fitting the voice reading it is.

I see you walking with your lovers hand in hand. Sometimes you are in the middle, sometimes you are on the side. I see the some people ignoring the three of you, but also that some people smiles longingly at you as if it is their dreams you are taking for a walk.

Its like music you say: i listen to different music. One music does not exclude the other. Blues does not exclude ambient. Rock does not exclude jazz. Red does not exclude black. You do not exclude him or her. And so on and so forth.

 

I started by asking who are you today, did you answer? I do not remember. I will ask again.

 

Who are you today?

 

Answer as you like.  Yourself or somebody else? Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe? One or many?

 

 Who are you today?

 

I will watch you as you search for the answer.

Will you go deep inside and take a look?

Or will you just take a the first one surfacing?

 

Who are you today?

 

Who?

 

 

 

*

 

Todays song:

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress – Radka Toneff

 

*

 

Written with

Eraldo Bernocchi & Harold Budd – Music For ‚Fragments From The Inside‘ (2005)

on repeat, every composition played three times, before moving on.

 

For example, a series of sessions on a train going from Oslo to Istanbul. No multi-tracking, everything is mixed as it is played. Editing only to clean up false starts and possibly to reinvent the purpose of dreaming. The passengers are occasionally joining in the performance as dancers or train conductors. As we are travelling towards Istanbul there are several artists painting the train green inside as well as sculptors changing the landscape we pass through. The sun transforms itself into a fish and the horizon is turned vertical. Instead of windows to look out of there is silence to look inside. The audience is applauded for listening deeply and for focusing the sounds that would otherwise be lost. Finally as the train comes to Istanbul it bursts into flames and everyone leaves by the secret exit. Except you. How would it sound? Imagine.

„… Isserley, a female driver who scouts the Scottish Highlands for male hitchhikers with big muscles. She herself is tiny-like a kid peering up over the steering wheel. Scarred and awkward, yet strangely erotic and threatening,  Isserley listens to her passengers as they open up to her, revealing clues about who might miss them should they disappear-and then she strikes. What happens to her victims next is only part of a terrifying reality …“

 

Under the skin is mostly told with images. You don`t get much of the story just by listening to the soundtrack. Quite the opposite with Locke – where you would get the complete story just by listening to the one-sided dialogues he has on his phone.

What do these two films have in common? They are centered around a person driving a car. In Locke it is a man. In Under the skin a woman. Or more precise: an alien in the guise of a woman. Locke is driving all the movie, except for a short stop towards the end. Isserley is continuing her voyage as she leaves the car and walks, runs, takes a bus, goes deeper into the forrest until she …
 
Female Voice: [with a mechanical buzz over shadowy morphing orbs] T- D, S- Z- Th, B- T- V, H- T- D- K- G, S- Z- P- B, Ba-Ba- T- T, K- Kuh- Ch, Th- V- Th, Zzz- Sss- Bzz- Ch, B-B-Buh- V-V-Vuh, G-G-Guh D-D-Duh.

Female Voice: [now over a shiney white torus, slowly morphing] B-B-Buh- B-B-Buh, B-B-Beh, B-B-Beh, Bah, N-N-Nuh- N-N-Nuh, N-N-Nuh- No. N-N-Nuh, F- Feel- Field, Fill- Filled- Filts, Foil- Failed- Fell, Felds- Pill- Pills, Pall- Nall.

Female Voice:  [now over a watery chestnut-brown eye] Foal- Foals, Fold- Fold, Pool- Pool, Sell- Se…

 

Fascinated by the film I decided to pick up the audio-book of Under my skin – and listen as I  listen to books, every sequence three times.

That makes a book of 9 hours turn into a book of 27 hours. As I listen to each chapter three times before moving on, letting details sink in, getting to know the storytelling style of the author. Not only what he is telling, but also how he is telling it.

And I am not only listening to the story, but also to my listening itself. How it changes as I hears the chapter for the first time, the second time and third time.

To listen to how I listen as much as what I listen to sharpens my senses, sharpens my ears, sharpens the images, makes them clearer in my minds eye, makes me go behind the words.

It takes more time, but i am not in a hurry.

 

Female: You’re not from here? Where are you from?

Camper: I’m from Czech Republic.

Female: Why are you in Scotland?

Camper: I just … wanted to get away from it all.

Female: Yeah? Why here?

Camper: Because it’s … It’s nowhere.

 

The book lets me inside Isserley and her thoughts. Gradually I get to know her backstory and the people surrounding her, elements which were left out of the film. Just seeing the film is like only getting the skin of the story. To listen the book is to go under the skin.

This is one of the films where I think you might as well see it first – because the book will reveal so much anyway that is unfilmable.

„Isserley always drove straight past a hitch-hiker when she first saw him, to give herself time to size him up. She was looking for big muscles: a hunk on legs. Puny, scrawny specimens were no use to her.“

I have been hitchhiking in Scotland – and I have been picked up by women in cars. And occasionally when I look back I see myself as one of the hitchhikers being picked up. Not having told anyone back home my plans, not having anyone waiting for me – would have made me a suitable victim. The only hope I could have had was that she found me to skinny to be worth the hassle.

„In the end, though, vodsels couldn’t do any of the things that really defined a human being. They couldn’t siuwil, they couldn’t mesnishtil, they had no concept of slan.“

Bon appétit.

 

Interview with Jonatan Glazer

Interview with Michel Faber

Essay about „Under the skin“

Audiobook „Under the skin“ 

 


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