TTW#06 - Derek Jarman - In Conversation, 1979-80
Cassette only - limited edition of 250 copies
A: Part One - 42m15s
B: Part Two - 40m08s
Released with the kind permission of Keith Collins. Cover illustration – “A Drawing for Tempest” (1969) by Derek Jarman, courtesy of Richard Torry.
Three interviews with Derek Jarman, conducted by Richard Torry in London’s Soho district, in 1979 and 1980. Edited by Richard Torry in 2009. These interviews were recorded by Torry as part of research for his finals dissertation at Middlesex Polytechnic, and have remained unissued since then. Their informality offers a uniquely candid insight into the filmmaker’s world view.
The artwork for this edition features a drawing by Jarman himself, gifted to Torry at the same time as these interviews were recorded.
Derek Jarman biography:
When Derek Jarman died of AIDS-related causes in February 1994, his death was widely reported in the national press. Seven years previously, when he first learnt he was HIV-positive, his name was known only to dedicated film-goers and cognoscenti of the artistic avant garde.
Between diagnosis and death, Jarman produced no less than five feature films and as many books, painted furiously, made pop videos, created a singular garden in the shingle surrounding his simple fisherman’s cottage at Dungeness in Kent and became an impassioned and provocative spokesperson not only for gay men everywhere, but anyone oppressed by reaction and bigotry.
As a painter, his many exhibitions include The Young Contemporaries at the Tate in 1967, when he was still a student at the Slade; the 5th Biennale des Jeunes Artistes at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, also in 1967; a retrospective at the ICA in 1984; and the exhibition “Queer” at the City Art Gallery, Manchester, in 1992.
As a designer, his stage commissions include: Frederick Ashton’s ‘Jazz Calendar’ at the Royal Opera House in 1968; John Gielgud’s production of “Don Giovanni” for the Sadler’s Wells Opera Company at the Coliseum, also 1968; the “Rake’s Progress” for Ken Russell in Florence in 1982; and “Waiting for Godot” at the Queens Theatre in London in 1991. Film includes “The Devils” and “Savage Messiah”, both for Ken Russell.
Jarman’s own films encompass a great deal of work in super-8, some of which has been collected under the title “Glitterbug’; and a number of features, ranging from “Sebastiane’ through ”Jubilee”, “The Tempest”, “The Angelic Conversation”, “Caravaggio”, “The Last of England”, “The Garden”, “Edward II”, “Wittgenstein” and “Blue”, his astonishing final film which consists solely of a soundtrack and the colour blue.
As an author his many books include “Dancing Ledge”, “Kicking the Pricks”, “Modern Nature”, “At Your Own Risk”, “Chroma”, “Derek Jarman’s Garden”, “Up in the Air: Collected Film Scripts” and “Smiling in Slow Motion”.
Richard Torry biography:
Richard Torry is a London-based musician, DJ and fashion designer. Torry was discovered whilst studying at art school by Malcolm McLaren, which led him to work for Vivienne Westwood in the early 80s. He co-founded The House of Beauty and Culture together with Christopher Nemeth and John Moore and enjoyed a hugely successful fashion career in the 80s and early 90s, which saw his clothing designs influencing his former employer and being worn by everyone from Boy George to the drummer from U2.
Richard then abandoned fashion for his first love, music. He formed Un Homme Et Une Femme with Louise Prey of Ping Pong Bitches fame, before teaming up with Leigh Bowery to form legendary art-rockers Minty. Nowadays Richard records under his own name or as Menthol. His DJing is a regular fixture at London’s more outré club-nights, and he has been involved in many of the Capital’s more fascinating parties: The Siren Suite, Kashpoint, The Sound Storm, and more…
One of two new releases from mysterious UK tape label The Tapeworm. Elsewhere on this list you'll find the blown out psych garage fuzz of the Van Patterson Quartet, and on past lists, The Tapeworm has unleashed limited releases from turntablist Philip Jeck, guitarist Stephen O'Malley, Simon Fisher Turner as well as a truly fascinating reading of works by Jean Baudrillard. This limited edition cassette seems to lean more toward the mood/vibe of the Baudrillard, as it is another all spoken word release, this one a series of 3 recorded interviews with film maker Derek Jarman, recorded in London between 1979 and 1980, originally research for a dissertation, these recordings have remained unheard and unreleased since then.
The conversations are truly fascinating, and Jarman is friendly, affable, funny, discussing, film, sex, the US versus the UK, the underground verus commercial filmmaking, fashion, Malcolm McLaren, the Queen and her fake crown and more. The sound is warm and fuzzy, plenty of surrounding sounds, crackle and random bits of sonic detritus, as well as drop outs and other elements of old tape recordings, but it's all about Jarman and the interviewer, and their funny, relaxed conversations.