Bowie InstaMiniSeries: no. 2

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"UNBOUND” Episode Two Executive Producer: @InstaMiniSeries Director: @nikkiborges Music: @davidbowie Writer: @carolynncecilia Co-Producer: @lawrenceperyer Director of Photography: @joshuasterlingbragg Line Producer: @delaVega Associate Producer: @amandadelanuez, @itscecifernandez Production Designer: @LezGolden Costume Designer: @Bodilicious Hair / Make Up Artist: @missy_mua Miss Clarkson’s Make Up Artist: @angdidmyhair VFX Production House: @heym1ster Dance Choreographer: @ofbonesdance, @hollyebynum Stunt Coordinator: @stuntmanpete Wire Rigger: @stuntworks Stunt Woman: @hellskitten29 Behind The Scenes: @a_madd Production Assistant: @clemencyforclem Special Thanks: @instalucas Final Cut: #dechesermedia Editor: Mike Ragone Creative Consultant: Michael Decheser Starring: @tavitulle, @rysak, @nikkiborges, Ching Valdes Anan, @amandadelanuez, @Jayknowlest, Jonah Herman

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Radiohead … stuff

With just two weeks to go before the Furillen Radiohead weekend …

RADIOHEAD AT FURILLEN POSTER 3

… I thought that some of you might benefit from a bit of inspiration.

So I put together some links for you to browse.

Right here is series of ‘geeky facts’ about the band, put together by NME just before the last Radiohead album – The King of Limbs – was released in 2011.

One of my favourites on that list is the review of Kid A by Mark Beaumont in Melody Maker. Giving the album 1.5 out of 5, Beaumont called it

tubby, ostentatious, self-congratulatory, look-ma-I-can-suck-my-own-cock whiny old rubbish.

I think we’re meant to snark up on Mark with the benefit of hindsight and tell him what a crap critic he is.

Not me, though.

My view is that anything that actually sounds like ‘look-ma-I-can-suck-my-own-cock’ must be …

fcking-awesome

… and Kid A most certainly is.

So … nice one Mr Beaumont, you really nailed it.

For slavish Radiohead watchers, I guess the reddit is as good as it gets.

So … here it is.

wow

As you might expect, the Radiohead reddit is rife with speculation about the new album release date – but you’ll find lots of other ‘interesting’ threads there too, such as Need Puppy Names for a Yorkie puppy (ya know, because of Thom Yorke).

On that last one, I am so tempted to suggest they call that puppy ‘my owner is really weird’ …

weird gif

… but I don’t do reddit.

For those of you who, like me, admire Radiohead’s album artwork, you might enjoy this piece, in which the artist responsible for it – Stanley Donwood, aka Dan Rickwood – talks about what he did.

I was particularly struck by what Donwood said about the difference between Kid A and Amnesiac:

Kid A was for me a fucked up phone call whereas Amnesiac felt more like someone had left a really, really long answerphone message.

I don’t know what he means, either … but that doesn’t stop me from liking it. And just look at the Amnesiac cover …

amnesiac

… so, Stanley … your bullshit is forgiven.

On the opposite end of the bullshit spectrum, here is Thom Yorke in a 2006 interview, telling us that he feels hypocritical playing large stadium gigs because of their environmental impact.

Asked how this conflict can be resolved, he says …

Fuck knows.

Thank you Thom. For everything.

And especially for that.

Finally – for now, at least – here is something for those of you who dislike Radiohead … although I seriously doubt that you scrolled this far down if you do.

This is what an especially charming Radioheadphobe had to say about Thom Yorke:

He’s just a strange little British man who dances like a spider monkey.

But – really – who on earth would want to argue with that …

yorke dancing

A happy weekend to all!

Bowie InstaMiniSeries: no. 1

You probably don’t need me to draw your attention to this, but the first vignette from Instagram’s new miniseries Unbound, featuring music from David Bowie’s final album Blackstar, has just been released.

An explanation of the series is here …

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"UNBOUND: A ★ InstaMiniSeries” In the Fall of 2015, David Bowie gave us unique pre-release access to the music from ★ (pronounced ‘Blackstar’), his 28th studio album, allowing us to create our own visual interpretations of his songs, with no limits or preconditions on his part. Completed in December 2015, UNBOUND: A★InstaMiniSeries takes the audience on a journey of evocative images inspired by the moods suggested in the album’s music, lyrics and artwork. Each episode of the series is sure to capture the imaginations of all who experience it and will undoubtedly lead to endless speculation and discussion of meaning, metaphor and intention. We are honored to have had this opportunity and hope you'll join our 16 episode series, premiering February 25th. New episode every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Executive Producer: @InstaMiniSeries Director: @nikkiborges Music: @davidbowie Writer: @carolynncecilia Co-Producer: @lawrenceperyer Director of Photography: @joshuasterlingbragg Line Producer: @delaVega Associate Producers: @amandadelanuez @itscecfernandez Production Designer: @LezGolden Costume Designer: @Bodilicious Hair / Make Up Artist: @missy_mua Miss Clarkson’s Make Up Artist: Angie Elizalde VFX Production House: @heym1ster Dance Choreographer: @ofbonesdance, @hollyebynum Stunt Coordinator: @stuntmanpete Wire Rigger: @stuntworks Stunt Woman: @hellskitten29 Behind The Scenes: @a_madd Production Assistant: @clemencyforclem Special Thanks: @instalucas Protagonist: @tavitulle Lounge singer: Patricia Clarkson The Dancer: @rysak Woman at the Train: @Jayknowlest Young Boy: Jonah Herman Man in the alley: @Qdb_omg Woman in the red dress: @nikkiborges Drummer: Owen Riley-Duffy Older woman: Ching Valdes Anan Piano Player: @katiemorrmidd Dancer #2: @maks_wel18 Dancer #3: @katiemattar Dancer #4: @fulloutfarrish Dancer #5: @_ious Dancer #6: @felixs_journey Arm of man: @delaVega Woman in the audience: @amandadelanuez

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… and episode 1 is here …

 

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"UNBOUND” Episode One Executive Producer: @InstaMiniSeries Director: @nikkiborges Music: @davidbowie Writer: @carolynncecilia Co-Producer: @lawrenceperyer Director of Photography: @joshuasterlingbragg Line Producer: @delaVega Associate Producer: @amandadelanuez, @itscecifernandez Production Designer: @LezGolden Costume Designer: @Bodilicious Hair / Make Up Artist: @missy_mua Miss Clarkson’s MakeUp Artist: @angdidmyhair VFX Production House: @heym1ster Dance Choreographer: @ofbonesdance, @hollyebynum Stunt Coordinator: @stuntmanpete Wire Rigger: @stuntworks Stunt Woman: @hellskitten29 Behind The Scenes: @a_madd Production Assistant: @clemencyforclem Special Thanks: @instalucas Final Cut: #dechesermedia Editor: Mike Ragone Creative Consultant: Michael Decheser Starring: @tavitulle, @rysak, @nikkiborges, Ching Valdes Anan, @amandadelanuez, @Jayknowlest, Jonah Herman

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Enjoy!

Furillen catch-up

I’ve not been inworld much this week, having been caught up in a whirl of meetings and gigs in first life. I won’t bore you with details about the meetings, but the music is worth mentioning.

I am in the midst of seeing two bands twice. Many of you might not have heard of Enter Shikari – people try to give them a genre, such as post-hardcore or Electronicore, but this approach doesn’t really work for me. They are a ‘political’ band, citing Rage Against The Machine and Sick of it All as influences – although here, too, a label doesn’t do them justice.

Anyway, they are really great live – and having seem them twice in 2015, I wanted to catch them as they step up from medium-sized rooms to what in the UK we call ‘arenas’, i.e. spaces holding around 10,000 people.

On this tour they are playing a few Mindsweep remixes from Hospitalized, and the sound coming from the long line of sub-woofers in front of the stage was – literally – causing a breeze.

Here’s a clip from the show I attended with my daughter – a huge fan – last weekend.

In case you are wondering – no, I wasn’t taking this video. I was getting bruised ribs right at the front.

I’ll be seeing them again tomorrow in London’s best arena. I say ‘best’ because there are no seats at all, and there is something about standing – and moving – with 9,999 other people that I rather like.

The other band I saw twice is a duo from Columbus, Ohio, called Twenty-One Pilots, playing back-to-back gigs in Bowie’s part of London, Brixton. I have been to a lot of gigs recently, and – having seen them three times now – these are, for me, the best live performers of them all.

Their sense of theatre, with some great masks and costumes, and their movement around the stage – quite an achievement for a duo where one guy is a drummer and the other often plays piano – are brilliant.

Here’s a clip from last night’s gig of them performing Car Radio.

Once again, this isn’t my video. I am – with my daughter, again – in front and to the right.

So what’s all this got to do with Furillen?

Music.

When I look back on my gig list from 2016, Radiohead are bound to be on it. Several times. I’m hoping they will headline Glastonbury this year (I have a ticket), and will try to catch them at one or two other festivals on their calendar.

Their album could – will! – drop any moment between now and late May. If we are lucky- who knows? – it will be out in time for our Radiohead weekend at Furillen.

But even if it’s not, keep making those pictures and videos, because it’s one hell of a back catalogue.

Seeing as I’m giving you clips not pictures today, let’s sign off with a link to the full hour of Radiohead’s legendary set from Glastonbury 1997 – and no, alas, I was not there.

May all your Fridays be good ones.

coming up at Furillen

We have a few events on the horizon at Furillen, so I thought I would note them down in one place for easy reference.

First. Round 3 of the Furillen photography competition is due to end on Friday 4 March at Midday SLT.

pier poster_001

I know that some of you are working on this, but others were a little reluctant because it seemed like too much work, or too complicated. So while there are still almost two weeks left before the deadline, allow me to simplify what this round involves.

Pictures.

Of, and about, Furillen.

Furillen in SL. And also – if you wish – Furillen in RL.

furillen-hotel-gotland-utsikt

Theme: ‘what Furillen means to me’.

So … if you are holding back from this round because it seems too complex, please think again.

Second. The Furillen Radiohead event – 12-13 March 2016.

RADIOHEAD AT FURILLEN POSTER 3

This is a weekend with a difference, because although I will do everything I can to pull something together that is every bit as rich and as fun as the Bowie event was, on this occasion I wanted to go a step further …

So I am inviting you to make your own pictures and videos inspired by Radiohead songs to display at the sim during the event.

Which give me an excellent excuse to show you this, of Thom Yorke, going kind of apeshit himself …

… and also to brag about being present when this happened – unannounced – during the UK’s Latitude Festival last summer. Thom with Portishead, singing The Rip …

Many people are already working on producing pictures and videos for this weekend. I’d like to make it a really collaborative event in which everyone who wants to contribute, can do so.

If you have an idea but you’re not sure about whether it fits, contact me or Mareea Farrasco, who is helping out with the organization.

The likely answer in most cases is ‘yes’.

Third. Abba. Some of you said yes. But I’d like more. All I have in mind is a costume party, based on one of Sweden’s greatest exports. (I could, of course, have chosen Ikea or Volvo … ?)

Now click this, and I dare you not to be moved, somehow

If you’re a child of the 1970s, or a more recent convert to the music of this great spandex quartet through watching the wonderful musical and movie, Mama Mia, let me know.

Want more bad outfits? OK …

Fourth. Other musical events. Someone – she knows who she is – mentioned a heavy metal show. I can well imagine an event with avatars dressed up to the music of great bands like Slipknot, Kiss, Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Rammstein, AC/DC, Marilyn Manson … a Furillen version of the UK’s great Download festival, which I will doubtless be going to.

You might not love the music, but come on … the costumes??

slipknot-ipad-hd-wallpaper-131011

kiss

rammstein

marilyn-manson1

I rest my case.

Enjoy your Sundays!

R DI HE D @ F RI L N

As I’ve said before, although Furillen stands in many ways for solitude with its emptiness and austere mood, it is a sim that lives and thrives on the strength of the conviviality one finds there. The sim is a virtual community of artists as much – if not more – than it is a landscape.

Furillen people

This is expressed in the art that gets made there: in the way that creative ideas are realised and expressed, shared and displayed. With our previous events – the Moon Edenbaum exhibition of portraits and the Bowie weekend – these qualities have been merged to create occasions that have been genuinely immersive and involving, and really quite memorable for those who took part in them.

In more spontaneous forms, too, Furillen is finding its own particular ways of expressing itself as a social space. The flashmob events are a great example of this process – and we had another last night. The line-up reached a peak of avatars on the sim within minutes of being announced, and while people came and went as first life commitments called on their time, a large gathering of Furillenites remained in place for several hours during the evening, plotting and planning future events and collaboration.

Furillen people  v.1.2

This was, for me, Furillen at its very best, as expressed in these extraordinarily fine pictures by Nhera Larnia (above) and Laura …

Flash mmmmmmob

Of the future events we talked about during the evening, perhaps the most exciting will be the Radiohead weekend.

radiohead & furillen

2016 will be a big year for the band. Having been on hiatus for a number of years, they dropped their ‘rejected’ Bond movie theme song – Spectre – onto an unsuspecting public on Christmas day. The song, which I love, has been on the sim’s music stream ever since that time, as are a number of other Radiohead tracks.

Here is Spectre as we might have heard and seen it in the movie theatre, were it not for the exceptionally poor musical taste of the film’s producers…

https://vimeo.com/150012825

One of my personal all-time favourite songs by Radiohead is Exit Music (For a Film), which is beautifully conveyed in this ethereal movie …

A new Radiohead album – likely to be released without warning – is due out any moment now. A summer tour is also being planned, with festival dates already being announced regularly on the band’s website.

Here is the image the band is using to publicise the tour – and possibly the artwork that will be used on the album itself – mocked up as Furillen’s welcome mat. Please note – geek alert! – that the font I have used  here (BD Plakatba) is from the Kid A album …

radiohead 2016 furillen2

As a few minutes on Google will testify, Radiohead’s music lends itself very well to all kinds of original artistic expression, and this is what we would like to tap into and celebrate at Furillen.

We are therefore inviting producers of machinima and pictures – as well those who work in other media – to join us in exploring any aspect of this band’s music that inspires them. Our suggestion – but it really is only a suggestion – is to focus on a particular song and produce a work that conveys it or responds to it in some way.

We have been approaching people individually to invite them to contribute, but if you read this and feel excited by the project, please get in touch, I am very open to ideas.

As ever, I am pulling this together with help from others. In this instance, Mareea Farassco is lending a hand, so please also speak to her if you want to take part.

Let’s fix a date in mid-March for this.

RADIOHEAD AT FURILLEN POSTER 3

Not everyone likes Radiohead’s music, of course – and not every band or music genre demands or justifies a full weekend of attention. In this spirit, I wonder about holding some smaller, shorter – evening-long – musical events in which we can face the music and dance.

So here’s a question for you. For a shorter music event at Furillen, involving striking costumes and music from Sweden that you can sing along at home to, does anyone fancy some of this?

Let me know, and I’ll ensure that it happens very soon.

 

live like it’s Spring

Spring has arrived at Furillen – and the response has been good. Sometimes there is no need to ask for your feedback, I simply see it in your pictures.

New light, new life. Furillen.

Laura Feeling It @ Furillen

Spring Air @ Furillen

The ‘Spring coating’ of the sim has been low key.

The Spring Is Coming @Furillen

The windlight was changed …

Renewal

… trees have been greened …

https://flic.kr/p/EbaX2N

and three Spring pairings have been introduced:

of huskies…

Early spring mood

… magpies …

magpies_008

… and swans …

magpies_002

This new life at Furillen – alongside the woodpecker you’ll find in the treeline – brings with it a new soundscape.

magpies_006

The monochrome feel remains key, as does the sim’s overall minimalist design.

Shy'Sun'Spring @Furillen

But while the snow has gone, there are no guarantees that the sun will always shine. A Furillen mist is an ever-present possibility, as is rain. Only time will tell …

 

memory of a free festival

david bowie weekend by pup

Mareea Bowie @ Furillen

The Children of the summer’s end
Gathered in the dampened grass
We played Our songs and felt the London sky
Resting on our hands
It was God’s land
It was ragged and naive
It was Heaven

https://flic.kr/p/E6H6Yo

Stardust!

Touch, We touched the very soul
Of holding each and every life
We claimed the very source of joy ran through
It didn’t, but it seemed that way
I kissed a lot of people that day

been chased by his huge blocks..

Spirit of Bowie @ Furillen

https://flic.kr/p/E6AfjW

Oh, to capture just one drop of all the ecstasy that swept that afternoon
To paint that love
upon a white balloon
And fly it from
the topest top of all the tops
That man has pushed beyond his brain
Satori must be something
just the same

One, two, three...

Homage to David Bowie in Furillen_003

We scanned the skies with rainbow eyes and saw machines of every shape and size
We talked with tall Venusians passing through
And Peter tried to climb aboard but the Captain shook his head
And away they soared
Climbing through
the ivory vibrant cloud
Someone passed some bliss among the crowd
And We walked back to the road, unchained

https://flic.kr/p/DxhF2H

https://flic.kr/p/DbeymA

https://flic.kr/p/E6uFLi

“The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We’re Gonna Have a Party
The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We’re Gonna Have a Party
The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We’re Gonna Have a Party
The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We’re Gonna Have a Party
The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We’re Gonna Have a Party.”

The Free Spirit of Furillen – 13-14 February 2016

Warszawa

We had a great first day of the Bowie weekend yesterday. I’ll post some pictures tomorrow of some of the outfits people wore. There were some interesting and very creative choices. Even the janitor changed out of his usual boiler suit and bleached his hair for the occasion.

Bowie at Furillen #4 (Rebel Rebel)

While the movies we had showing were popular, and the slide show of more than 200 pictures especially so, it was really all about Bowie’s music. There were more visitors to the stream than usual, and the average listening time shot up.

bowiegif 13

Starman got the highest number of listeners, while Heroes was also very popular – as, interestingly, was the song Bowie co-wrote with Eno, Warszawa. Joy Division originally called themselves “Warsaw” in honour of this song.

A request I wasn’t expecting was for This Is Not America. This was co-written by Bowie and a jazz fusion band called Pat Metheny Group, and was used for John Schlesinger’s 1985 movie, The Falcon and the Snowman.

Bowie didn’t perform it live until much later.

I came away from the day in awe of Bowie’s range. Nobody, in my view, comes close – he did everything, and most of it way ahead of his time.

In that spirit I wanted to share this – Bowie, appearing as the Lord Royal Highness in SpongeBob’s Atlantis Square Pantis in 2008. Apparently he became a SpongeBob fan through watching it with his daughter. Here is a picture of the character Bowie voiced – notice the eyes?

bowie Spongebob_bowie

You can watch a clip from it hereBowie also wrote a song for the upcoming Broadway show, The SpongeBob Musical. You couldn’t make it up …

I have spent quite a bit of time watching Bowie videos, reading about him and listening to his music while putting this Furillen event together. To be honest, after a while I stopped thinking about the event at all and just gathered material that I wanted to share.

bowiegif 04

What struck me more and more were his qualities as a human being: not only his genius and insight, but his humour and humility. Watch this video of a 1999 interview – where he says he doesn’t even know how to pronounce ‘Bowie’ – for evidence aplenty of what I mean:

What a beautiful man.

I’ll leave you with a video of the last single Bowie released during his lifetime. It is, of course, Valentine’s Day …

the furillen bowie weekend: details

aaa bowie details pic

We are gorging ourselves on Bowie at Furillen this weekend. It’s been fun putting it all together – even during a horrendously busy week in RL – and I’d like to thank Rinnuendo for helping me to gather material and, in particular, to make the movies work. Without her help the show wouldn’t be so great.

The weekend-long event will start on Saturday morning, European time. Those visiting the sim will find …

Pictures: a slide show, ‘projected’ onto the building at the centre of the sim, will feature more than 200 images, some rare; in addition, there will be GIF boards set against the hotel, and elsewhere on Furillen.

Movies: we have 7 cinema screens set up, showing a range of material from music video compilations to documentaries, including some awesome live footage. Here’s what they will be showing, moving clockwise from the regular Furillen movie screen at the south of the sim.

  • Main screen: a four-hour compilation of music videos.
  • Screen 2: Sound & Vision: a one-hour documentary about Bowie’s career.
  • Screen 3: videos from The Next Day, featuring The Stars Are Out Tonight, The Next Day, Love is Lost (Reich Remix), I’d Rather Be High (Venetian mix), and Valentine’s Day.
  • Screen 4: Five Years of Bowie: a one-hour BBC documentary covering five crucial years early on in Bowie’s career.
  • Screen 5: Best of Bowie: a ninety-minute compilation of music videos that was posted to Vimeo through Bowie’s own account.
  • Screen 6: videos from Blackstar, featuring Blackstar, Lazarus and Sue (Or In A Season of Crime).
  • Screen 7: Reality: a thirty-minute conceptual film that was made to accompany Bowie’s 2003 album of the same name.

Please refer to previous blog posts here and here in order to address any issues you may have trying to play the movies. What you absolutely need to do – and this applies to both Mac and PC users – is install QuickTime.

Music: there will be 26 of Bowie’s studio albums playing through the music stream on a random loop. These are:

In addition, I will also be playing some of his individual albums – from beginning to end – at set times. If you want to request that a specific album gets played through during your visit, please feel free to ask. But those I plan to give special slots to include:

david-bowie-low

hunky dory

ziggy album

bowie station cover

heroes

David Bowie's The Next Day

blacstar

That’s it. I leave it up to all you to decorate the sim with your avatars, costumes and whatever else for the weekend.

Have a good time.

Because he most certainly did …

bowie b and w giphy