I Feel GoodAugust 23, 2015
On a train to the Edinburgh Fringe, upon spotting that during my journey across London my gig wages from this past week have disappeared from my pocket, a few things are going through my mind.
I wonder, first of all, who they are, this person, and how they feel, to have such a skill. Do they feel powerful. Was it a thrilling moment for them, reaching out to me, to take away my cash. Was the moment itself, the act, their motivation, in fact?
What will they do with the money – perhaps it will save someone? Or maybe damn them.
Do they imagine I will be hungry for the lack of this money? I know I will, but I also know, more so every day, how others will be hungrier.
I think of my privilege as a white middle class male with a family who loves him, and I wonder if the last human to have had their hand in my pocket can boast the same arbitrary advantages, or not. I think of how intimate we are, them and me, while so strange.
Finally I wonder what’ll happen if I wish this person well. I imagine them laughing, I imagine them rich, I imagine them pissing the money up the wall, and I say “enjoy it” and I say “good”, in an obstinate bid to preserve some dignity. Not to be nice, but to be strong. There’s a hot energy of indignance, spilled in rage, that can fuel many good labours if properly contained and utilised. If this is how my money’s been spent, then ok. Let’s make the most of this abundance of new energy.
As Robert Penn Warren is quoted as saying:
“Goodness… You got to make it out of badness… Because there isn’t anything else to make it out of.”
We screen my film ‘I Feel Good’ on 7th September in Waterloo, and release it the following day. In it, I’m sharing the sentiment I’ve just described, while around me my world is turned into mayhem by people having fun. Directed by Melodie Roulaud, it is a single-shot film set to a tune taken from my forthcoming third album, Peach. It features 17 trouble causers, group-games and destruction. Get in touch to come and join us at the screening, or look out here to see it online, from the 8th Sept.
Making this film, we had some of the finest creative moments I’ve known for years. Above all, the people are superb. More details on the film below. Good luck everyone, you’re doing very well.
Gus / Alabaster
EDIT 8th Sept: The film is now available to watch here.
I FEEL GOOD
“Hope grows naturally like a dandelion between the bricks…”
A somber man addresses us with his wisdom, while around him the joy of many makes him a fool.
Alabaster is telling us, “I Feel Good”, backed by an orchestral score. Behind him, people with painted skin are laughing, playing, fighting, and pulling his walls down. They behave like live humans beings, while Alabaster tries to tell us how he manages to live. The actions are revealed through a single tracking back shot.
In this film, the human interactions evoke the individual will required to persevere in daily life. The lone character addressing us with his obstinate resolve to remain positive is swamped by a colourful cast whose heedless behaviour makes a mockery of him, and a ruin of his surroundings. Watching the film, we can identify with the central character surrounded by a world of chaotic and irrational events.
Made using group games from Misha Gloubman / Sheila Heti and Clive Barker, and the full input of the cast. Filmed in a gallery under railway arches in Waterloo, London.
Script, lead role, score and audio recording Angus Fairbairn
Director Melodie Roulaud
DOP – Leo Naessens
GRIP – Hardy Damavand Saleh
MATTHEW ‘JELL’ JENNINGS
Filmed at Gallery 223
With indispensable help from:
ARTHUR WEYMAN (transport)
SHAUN SPARK (stands)
THE TOTAL REFRESHMENT CENTRE (lights)
BEN GOLDSTONE (lights)
Taken from forthcoming LP by ‘Peach’, Alabaster DePlume
Recorded at Limefield Studios, and Madwaltz, Manchester
Mixed and produced by Paddy Steer and Angus Fairbairn
Mastered by George Atkins at 80Hz
Words and music by Angus Fairbairn
ANGUS FAIRBAIRN (vocal, tenor saxophone)
PADDY STEER (drums, percussion, synth, bass)
JOHN ELLIS (piano)
MIKEY KENNEY (violin)