Sunday, February 7, 2010

With the Winter Olympics just five sleeps away, the hills are alive with the sound of snow-harvesting helicopters. Apparently there is too much grass at Cypress Bowl, and grass is tough to ski on.

At the foot of these hills, Presentation House Gallery continues to repurpose the Playwrights Theatre for the installation of Theo Sims’ The Candahar, a boxed recreation of a fully-functioning Belfast pub. Outside the pub (in what remains of the theatre), a stage for performances, talks and actions, which I helped to program, in addition to writing the bar's theme song.

The song's lyric is comprised of twelve unpaired lines taken from eight Rodney Graham tracks, to which I added lines of my own (“Candahar / Is it far?” and “Everyone is high but me”). The lyrics were then applied to a tune inspired by a radio ad heard during the airplane scene from Robert Frank’s Cocksucker Blues (1972).

Once written, I played the song for Paul Kajander and Casey Wei (of kick evrything), and they recorded it last weekend on Mayne Island. From there, the song was edited to sound like a cross between an AM radio single and the jingles that pay for their airing.

Below is the lyric to “Candahar”:

CANDAHAR
(Rodney Graham/Michael Turner)

Candahar
Is it far?

To be a mess in your old age
Mixing Tylenol and Tanqueray
Same suburban crap café
Restitution must be made
Once I had a life
Everyone is high but me

Candahar
Is it far?

An actor’s life is the life for me
I planted one, I planted three
In the penitentiary
It’s a sin what you’re doin’ to me
Life is so unfair
Everyone is high but me

Candahar
Is it far?

Took a lot of knocks today
A little thought gone astray
I was a bottle blonde those days
To need a headache and a shave
Part of my technique
Everyone is high but me

Candahar
Is it far?

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