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David Byrne Discos w/ Imelda Marcos in HERE LIES LOVE

David Byrne Discos w/ Imelda Marcos in HERE LIES LOVE


DAVID BYRNE: I don’t like to do things because
they’re good for you or because they’re good for society or good for the world. I don’t
because I really enjoy it personally. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] DAVID BYRNE: Russell’s no longer in this movie. [MUSIC] DAVID BYRNE: I’m working on a piece called
“Here Lies Love” that I’ve been kind of working on for many many years and the short explanation
is it’s kind of a disco musical. It’s a little unconventional, there’s almost no dialogue.
It’s about 28 songs that all just kind of go one right into the other. And they tell
the story of Imelda Marcos, Benigno Aquino, Ferdinand Marcos, Estrella, but we mainly
follow this one woman and her..from her childhood to when she is forced to leave. And wrote
a lot of songs, I wrote a lot of them with Fat Boy Slim, the British DJ, and the cast
which is mainly Filipino. The inspiration came from the fact that Imelda, who was kind
of this flamboyant notorious kind of person on the scene, I read that she loved going
to discos. She loved going to Studio 54, she turned the top floor of the palace in Manilla
into a club, she had a mirror ball installed in her New York townhouse. She really was
immersed in that world, that lifestyle, during that period and I thought here’s a…a kind
of a world leader of a sort who has a lot of crazy stuff going on, but also comes with
a soundtrack. I can certainly do, maybe with Fat Boy Slim’s help, kind of a dance music
thing that kind of immerses you in that world and maybe there’s a connection between the
euphoria that you feel in that world in a dance club and the euphoria that a person
in power has. We..I know that the audience comes in with preconceived ideas. First thing
they have in their head is this is the woman with the shoes. Well the shoes are never ever
mentioned. We have to break down the audience’s preconceived ideas and go “wait a minute,
we’re gonna tell you where she came from and there’s a lot more to her than what you know.”
And then later on we get to the kind of more kind of indulgent and extravagant stuff that
she’s became known for and the audience kind of realizes okay, now they’ve…now what they’re
seeing is a human being. I did a couple of years of research so I had lots of material
to draw from. Quotes from the different characters, speeches, interviews they’d given. All that
kind of stuff, which was really rich. There were phrases that they used, the title phrase
“Here Lies Love” is a phrase that Imelda really said she wants on her tombstone, and all this
kind of stuff that I could..could never have made up. So in a way writing from another
character’s point of view where you can…I can say, “oh no that’s not me speaking. That’s
this character telling you that.” is very liberating. It’s…it allows me to engage
in some kind of corny cliches because it rings true to what that character would say at that
particular moment, but if I had to say it, I would be totally embarrassed. I would go,
“no, no I can’t say that because that’s way too corny.” DAVID BYRNE: I’m David Byrne and you’re watching
EPIPHANY on THNKR. [MUSIC]

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