During my workshops I occasionally give a demonstration performance of an extract from Berkoff’s story ‘Big Fish’ from ‘Graft – Tales of an Actor‘. This is the soundtrack I use as backing for the beginning of that story:
I was nine when tv news reports of Mishima’s death (by ritual suicide) made a deep impression on my imagination. So when Paul Schrader’s astonishing film – Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters was released five years later, I sneaked in to a movie theatre to watch it by myself. The film and its soundtrack are the result of a ground-breaking collaboration between the movie director and the composer Philip Glass – in which the musical score was totally integral to the final movie – not just a background added in during the final stages – but Schrader actually used the music as a guide for the editing of the movie.
For my solo show, Graft – Tales of an Actor, I use many tracks from the Mishima soundtrack, and as in the movie, each track is played from start to finish – and so the music works at times as a director, an outside force guiding the performance in a direction which might not otherwise be discovered.
“They marry and produce strange offspring.” – Steven Berkoff