The Neon Demon is a 2016 psychological thriller-horror film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and co-written by Mary Laws and Refn and starring Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, and Keanu Reeves. The plot follows an aspiring model in Los Angeles whose beauty and youth place her in significant danger amongst the women she becomes associated with in the industry, who are murderous and dangerous.
Performed by Orchestra of the Swan, Tamsin Waley-Cohen- violin, conducted by David Curtis
Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon 21 April 2016 - Part of Shakespeare 400 commemorations
Immortal Shakespeare Choral symphony for choir and orchestra
Prelude (00'54) I. Brave new world (03'56) II. To thine own self be true (08'31) III. Never doubt I love (14'04) IV. Be fire with fire (21'35) V./VI. Truth will come to light / All the world’s a stage (24'08) VII. Set me free (27'30) Postlude (Stay passenger) (32'10)
The choral symphony 'Immortal Shakespeare' brings together three artistic strands- words, visuals and music, in celebration of the timeless words of the Bard. Key to the project are a series of sketches made by J.M.W. Turner on a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1833, which I came across when researching this commission in 2011. The sketches can be arranged to form a journey from birthplace to resting place and on one of these Turner inscribes ‘The Immortal Shakespeare was born in this house’, which gave the title of this choral symphony.
The birthplace to resting place idea is mirrored in the choice of text, as I took Jacques’ famous monologue and compiled a selection of texts from Shakespeare’s plays which chart the seven ages of man: from Infant to Old Age. The final hymn sets the words on Shakespeare's funerary monument at Holy Trinity Church, where the work received its premiere.
The work is commissioned by Orchestra of the Swan and Sorel Organization, with special gratitude to Tate Britain for permission to display some of the sketches and Dominic Dromgoole (Artistic Director, Shakespeare's Globe) for his insightful guidance during the choice of text.
Oshi has a very large Buddha in him, one that can change the air into scented flowers. He used to be Tommy Whalen from Indianapolis but he had his eyes cut to look Japanese. He got started out in San Francisco in the early days when Buddha consciousness was just rising out there and people were still slipping pork in the seaweed soup.
At seventeen he did drag in a place called The Gay Deceiver and was billed as ‘The Boy With The Face Like The Girl Next Door.’ The owners paid him almost nothing and kept him strung out on hash in a little room above the bar, like a detective novel.
Somehow Oshi found the Zen community and started sitting za-zen. He collected ‘mad money’ from the state for being strung out. It’s free out there if you’re crazy enough. Oshi breathed hash and gin through the Buddha. Buddha breathed light and air through Oshi. It all changed his mind to indigo. Buddha consciousness rose in him until he didn’t feel like the broken piano at the bar anymore.
Now thirty years later he has a permanent room at the bath house and prays for young boys. Doesn’t sit anymore. Said he became realized ten years ago with a young hustler from Akron, Ohio who told him he could stop flying, just lay back and touch ground.
Old Oshi, very round now, jet black wig, looks like a retired Buddha in his cheap wash-and-wear kimonos. He’s graceful old gentleman Buddha. Buys everyone drinks. Gives away joints. Always high. Always lighting joss sticks. As he says, ‘Giving things is just a way of getting on with everyone, you know, the universe and everything. It’s like passing on the light.’
He told me once when he sang Billie Holiday’s ‘Blue Monday’ at The Gay Deceiver they used an amber spot and he wore a strapless lamé gown, beaded on his eyelashes, lacquered nails, and the people cried.