Little sweetheart, as I mentioned last week (in the post that spoke of how in my best moments I hope I'm doing my best to keep devoting the rest of my life to you) I've been working on a live performance art adaptation of our double-album for you, Of Love and Loss. In October we had a concert performance of it in Brooklyn and after that I rewrote it replacing the idea of actors with a female spoken word narrator who, performing in tandem with us (the band), takes us on the journey, sort've like in a radio play or a novel - the narrative voice along with the music and lyrics, ya know? We have an idea to do it in either something like an art gallery (indeed, we think of this now more as an art installation than a tradition theatre "production") or a sacred space or even outside in a beautiful place. We're looking for a visual artist to collaborate with, maybe using film projections - I'm putting some together myself, meantime - and I've sent the manuscript out to a few people. One of them, that nice filmmaker, Alexandra Dennis-Renner, from USC who's doing the documentary about us, little sweetheart, wrote me to share her thoughts after reading it. It's so very much about you, my darling, I thought I'd post it here....
"I don't know how technical to get, so I'll leave it at this: It's wonderful.
I'm not sure how to describe the piece as a whole other than it just works. It flows, it weaves in and out of itself in a way that knits everything together into this tight, soft little package, and even though its meant to be abstract, there's a definite beginning-middle-end that gives you a sense of both resolution and anticipation.
I can imagine it so clearly as a stage show (a really wicked one...can't wait to see it in the flesh), yet it makes so much sense as literature. It's like a play and you read it like a play, but it's still such a different beast all of its own. The little quirks: the narrative uniqueness in the stage directions, the overall intimate, interactive nature of the show--they keep you invested and eager to see what happens next. But not in the typical Freytag pyramid sort of way...it's more hypnotic than that. You're not following the narration and the story intellectually as a listener/audience member, but emotionally. It's like you're living this series of events and you have to keep following because you don't have a choice. You're living this moment and it's not up to you to stay engaged in the story or not. It's as if the story and the narrator are this proxy for life/the Universe/fate/whatever you want to call it and they're pulling you by the elbow through everything because that's how living and being present in something greater than yourself works (I hope that makes sense).
The atypicality of this show is all so conducive to BPX and everything the band has become over the course of three albums. It's this total, physical representation of the soul of the band and the music. It's not just this-or-that. Not just a story, not just a play, not just a record or a song or a way two people fell in love. It's all of these things together existing not just in the same realm but within each other that invoke a completely new experience. It's like the liberal arts degree of music or theatre: you realize how all these different, seemingly related yet removed elements compliment and further each other....but rather than coming together to create a more rounded education, they allow you to have a complete moment. They make you a whole person (emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, artistically, personally) while you're immersed in the show.
I loved the shared storytelling between you and Jason. It was seamless. And the humor...oh my god. How Summer would eat bananas with a knife and fork...the bit about putting Equal on individual pieces of dark chocolate. It's just so funny. The whole show has this love and warmth wrapped around it, but that moment in particular, that (dare I say) comic relief added all the more authenticity and fondness. It added an even warmer depth to her as a person and the show as a portrait of her being.
It's 25 pages... easy enough to get through in one sitting, but I'll be honest: I had to stop and take a break once or twice because I was overwhelmed with every emotion arguable. It really delivers a wallop to the senses... it's going to be a powerful piece of visual art.
On a less technical note: There's no doubt in my mind that Summer is an incredible human being. The way you talk about her, the way you create for her... it's so obvious that she's a presence and a beautiful force all her own and I want nothing more than to know her. This show has the potential to do that. I wouldn't be surprised if she was there at every staging breathing this little bit of her own essence into the performance. But even more so (and thinking about it brings tears to my eyes), I want whatever it is that you two have. I want to find someone or something that I love that deeply and that gives me a reason to live so graciously. It's the most goddamned beautiful thing.
I'm so very excited to see where this goes and the kind of joy, grief, catharsis, inspiration, imagination, closure, realization it brings to the people who see it and take part in it..."
So am I, little sweetheart. And it's all for you. Everything is. Love you forever.