Interview: CALAX-003
Simon Fisher Turner
Calax Records (C): How was last year for you?  

Simon Fisher Turner (S) : As long as I can keep creating things, that's good. The problem lies in whether I can continue to release them physically, rather than just digitally. I don't just want to put out digital releases, but something tangible that you can hold onto. That's what's great about cassettes. I grew up with cassettes. It's been three years since I released my last record, which was a bit of old, borrowed, and new ideas combined. It's always a compilation of ideas spanning different genres of music to a certain extent. When it comes to releasing a record, it feels different from releasing anything else because it seems so final. However, a cassette doesn't seem to have that same finality. It's difficult to describe. 

What really kept me going musically is “Guerrilla Audio”, which I've been doing for the past seven years. Every two weeks, I have to create something and send it to people online. I just have to keep doing it. For instance, the next one is due in 7-8 days, so I have to make another one within that time frame. I haven't really thought about it much, but I really like the discipline of “Guerrilla Audio”. 


これまでの音楽活動を支えてくれたのは、7年間続けてきた“Guerrilla Audio”です。2週間に1度のペースで楽曲をつくっては、オンラインにいる人たちに送りること、ただ、それをやり続けるしかないのです。例えば、次は7〜8日間で作品を作らねばなりません。あまり、そのことについて深く考えたことはないですが“Guerrilla Audio”の「規律」はとても好きなんです。

“Guerilla Audio” is a sound project by Simon Fisher Turner. He reconstructs the sounds he collects in daily life and publishes them on the Touch label's website every two weeks. The text where and when his recordings are often included, making it feel like you are reading his diary. / “Guerrilla Audio(ゲリラ・オーディオ)”は、Simon Fisher Turnerによるサウンド・プロジェクト。日常から収集した音源を再構築して、2週間に1度、TouchレーベルのWebサイトにて発表しています。レコーディングの場所や時間についてもテキストで記述されており、時折、彼の日記を読んでいるような感覚になります。

To make a long story short, the last year has been okay after the pandemic, which is now not as serious as it was two years ago. In Europe, things are much more relaxed. However, I'm still worried. My family and I have managed to avoid getting COVID, but it was an extreme experience for everyone. Quite a few of my friends got COVID, and some of them have long COVID, which is really unpleasant. I never imagined this would happen. Musically, last year was good. I think it's nice to be in touch with Sawada again. It's fun to work with him and everyone in Kyoto, and to create cassettes for “Eyes And Ears” and “SFT TAPE2.” I don't think I've worked hard enough, though. 

話をまとめると、昨年はパンデミック以降では良い1年でした。ヨーロッパでは2年前ほど前からCOVIDは落ち着いていますが個人的にはいまだに不安はあります。私や私の家族はなんとか感染を避けることができましたが、COVIDはみんなにとってエキストリームな経験でした。COVIDに感染した友人も何人かいますし、その中には症状が長引いている人もいます。とても不愉快なことです。こんなことになるなんて想像もしていませんでした。音楽の面で言えば、昨年は良い1年でした。沢田さんと再び連絡を取り合うことができたのも良かったですし、彼や京都のメンバーとのプロジェクトは楽しい経験です。そして“Eyes And Ears” や“SFT TAPE2”をリリースすることができました。十分に頑張ったとは言えませんが。
Simon Fisher Turner - “Eyes And Ears” from Calax Records (2023)
Simon Fisher Turner - “SFT TAPE2” from TDO cassette (2022)
“Unknown Prism” is a performance project that began as a sound correspondence between Simon Fisher Turner and Jyoji Sawada. This special performance, a mixture of physical expression, drawing, and improvised music, took place at UPLINK Kichijoji in December 2022. /”未知のプリズム”はSimon Fisher Turnerと沢田穣治による音の往復書簡から始まったパフォーマンスプロジェクトです。身体的な表現からドローイング、即興音楽が混然一体となったこの特別なパフォーマンスは、吉祥寺UPLINKにて2022年12月に発表されました。
music performed by Jyoji Sawada : contrabass, fretless bass, piano | Takashi Mori : remix, effect, sound collage | Simon Fisher Turner : soundscape | Aoi Yamada : voice | dance & visual collaboration (on stage) with Aoi Yamada : dance | Hiraku Suzuki : live drawing | Performed on Dec 17th 2022
*Calax has no ownership rights to this sound file, which is included this interview with the permission of Jyoji Sawada.
My youngest child is almost eighteen now. He has six more months of school, and then he'll go to university. So I'm still at the end of my children growing up. My daughter attends a university in Scotland, so she's kind of left home. My son is still at home, so I still have to get up and make him breakfast, pick him up, and do everything as a father. My wife has been the breadwinner and everything like that, in an old-fashioned way. She's a film editor. For the past 20 years, I've been the primary caregiver, and my wife has been the primary provider. That's been fantastic for me because I can make music at home, and go away for a few days at a time to do a bit of work. It really has been a bit of work. It takes me a long time to create a big piece of work. So, to answer the question, 2022 has been okay. I can't complain.

C: Is there any influence with the current situation? 

S: When COVID hit, I was doing a concert in Moscow, possibly in March 2020. I had just finished the concert and returned to England. A couple of people were coughing on the plane. When we landed in England, I had one more appointment, and then the country went into lockdown. During COVID, I made a record that has still not yet been released. I started working with someone named David whom I had never met before until last year. We began an audio correspondence, and he was someone who understood what I was looking for. He started sending me very small fragments of music, or rather just sounds, which we call "slithers of sound", meaning one sound. He sent me collections of sounds, and then I made a track from that. Over the two years of COVID, I made about 32 tracks from his sounds. From those 32 tracks, I made a compilation, which was great. Then, I decided to sing over about 8 tracks of it. I went to a studio and did some work, which took a long time. It's almost finished.

Musicians often work in isolation, and obviously it was no different in a way. What was different from now was that my daughter was at home taking exams, my son was at home taking exams, and my wife was at home. We were all stuck inside this apartment, and it was awful. But it was nice to walk late at night because I couldn't make any noise during the day. Luckily, we could go for a walk in the streets at night or ride bikes. Everybody walked at night. It was interesting, but I wouldn't like to repeat it. 



C: Do you have any projects already planned for this year? 

Yes. A couple of things have come in some very interesting ways. And film works have come in. One is a documentary film about the political situation in Palestine/Israel, and the other is a film about a guy who just takes photographs, who is from California. I haven't started anything new and big, because I work all the time making stuff because of “Guerrilla Audio”. And I haven't actually got the record with David finished. Hopefully that will get sorted out in the next few weeks and then we begin to talk about the artwork, the films, the video, the promotion, etc. with Mute Records. And creatively we've got some “Blue” in May at the Brighton Festival, and we're playing the Tate Modern in London, and in the Turner Gallery in Margate, and in Manchester. That's with four actors and that's being directed by a quite well known theatre director, Neil Bartlett. I'm just gonna do the music for that. 

ええ、いくつか興味深い話が入ってきました。映画の仕事も入っています。1つはパレスチナとイスラエルの政治状況についてのドキュメンタリー映画で、もう1つはカルフォルニア出身の写真家の男性についての映画です。”Guerrilla Audio”にかかりっきりなので、いまだ新しいもの、大きいものには取り掛かれていませんが。デイビットとのレコードも終わっていません。うまくいけば数週間の内には事が進み、アートワークや映像、プロモーションについてMute Recordsと話し合うことができるでしょう。クリエイティブの面では、”Blue”を5月のブライトンフェスティバルでやります。ロンドンのテートモダン美術館で演奏した後に、マーゲードにあるターナーギャラリー、そしてマンチェスターへと巡回する予定です。4人の俳優がNeil Bartlettという有名な演劇演出家のディレクションによって動き、その音楽を私が担当するのです。

From March 7-27, special screenings of Derek Jarman's last film, “Blue”, will take place around London, with four actors and Simon's new score. 3月7日~27日にかけて、デレクジャーマンの遺作となった”Blue”の特別上映が、4人の俳優とサイモンの新たに書き下ろされた曲とともに実施予定。

Then I just did some music for “A Geico Desire” for Yamada-San, who's Japanese film director we had worked with 25 years ago. He's just made fun at his a nice little film, which is about 8 minutes long. 

そして、山田監督の作品、“A Geico Desire”に向けても楽曲を作りました。彼とは25年前に仕事をしたことがあります。今回は8分程の短い作品ですが、とても楽しそうな様子でした。
“I've Heard the Ammonite Murmur (1992)”, directed by Yamada Isao. 
”アンモナイトのささやきを聞いた(1992)” 山田勇男
But I have not been big.  There will probably be a big beginning this year. The big beginning will start when my son leaves home. I like working with music for films, but not for commercial films because that seems to work out these days. I just carry on doing what I'm doing without worrying about the future too much.

There's a woman, who is a composer, who is an old friend of mine, and who is from Iran. She's called Shiva Feshareki. And I went to see a play last week and she's really amazing. And we want to do something together. And I've worked with her before, but we don't know each other. We don't want to. We know we want to work together, but we don't know what to make. When you really want to work with somebody, but you don't know what to make, it kind of depends on whether you'll get together and then decide what to make. But, you have to make the decision of what you're going to do. My plans are to just keep on moving forward at the same time, as occasionally going backwards, extracting things from backwards.


イラン出身で、古くからの友人であり、作曲家の女性がいます。Shiva Fesharekiという女性です。先週彼女の演奏を見に行ったのですが素晴らしい内容でした。彼女と一緒に何かをやりたいと考えています。以前彼女とは仕事を一緒にしたことがあるのですが、お互いのことはよく知らないんです。敢えて知らないようにしています。誰かと仕事をしたいけれど何を作れば良いかわからないとき、最終的に何を作るか決めるのは、ある意味ではその人に委ねられています。でも、何をやるかは自分で決めないといけない。私の計画では、前に進むと同時に、時には後ろに下がって、後ろから何かをヒントを抽出するようなことも考えなければなりません。

Shiva Feshareki

I made a film last year in Fiji with a friend of mine called Cynthia Beat. She's made 3 films. One is called “The Invisible Frame”, and another one is called “Cycling The Frame”, both with Tilda Swinton. And the other one was made in Fiji last year. I was in it. But this won't be finished for a year. I'm still kind of making films with friends. I'm involved in a documentary about learning with Tilda. And we'd been making that for a few years through a university in London called the Brubeck Institute. My life is full of children, education, music, documentary films, and very little money. 

昨年はフィジー島でCynthia Beatという友人と映画をつくりました。彼女は3つの作品を作っています。1つは”The Invisible Frame”、もう1つは”Cycling The Frame”という作品で、両方ともティルダ・スウィントンが出演しています。最後のもう1つは、昨年フィジーで撮影が行われました。私も出演しています。でも、これが完成するのは1年後なんです。今でも友人と一緒に映画を撮っているようなものです。ティルダとともに何かを学ぶことについてのドキュメンタリー映画の制作に携わっています。ロンドンのブルーベック・インスティテュートという大学を通して、数年前から作っていました。私の人生は子供、教育、音楽、ドキュメンタリー映画でいっぱいで、お金はほとんどありません。

“Cycling The Frame (1988)”, directed by Cynthia Beat.

“The Invisible Frame (2009)”, directed by Cynthia Beat

C: Do you have any criteria when you start a program with somebody? 
S: It's really important to work with people you like. That's my honesty. When working with Yamada-San, we didn't speak the same language, but we can speak. We can go for walks around for hours, and spend the day together last year. I can't speak a word of Japanese and he can't speak a word of English. But we can communicate. So it's not a problem if you've got a good idea to try and make a good work. I don't have any rules that I suppose through Derek Jarman, he sort of told us quite a lot that you don't really have to stick to the rules. It really helps if you're a nice person and you can enjoy eating and talking and walking and looking at the world with an open mind.


C: Let us go back to your past. Did your parents have any musical influence? 

S: I have two other brothers. Boys were quite difficult to think for my mother, you know. My mother loved Spanish music, flamenco music, singing and guitars. She was immersed into the whole Spanish lifestyle. She is a big influence for me. She introduced me to flamenco music. On the other hand, my dad didn't seem to really like music or anything very much. I mean, we didn't see my father very much as a child. He wasn't really around because he was a sailor, and was always on his ship. But he also changed my life. He came back from a tour of Japan and the Far East with a Christmas present for each of us. And inside the box, there was the cassette tape recorder, which was a new device at that time. This was life changing because I really got into recording sounds when I was probably 13. That was a big influence for me, because I could record sound here, and then could go over somewhere else, and I could play that sound back. Another time I used a cassette machine for recording things from the radio. 

And then, of course, at the boarding school, I used to sing in the local church choir. Every day you have to sing massive amounts of classical music. And I had to start learning piano and then later I tried to learn the violin, but I didn't like the violin. Also I started learning the clarinet, eventually I just stopped learning when I was about 16 because my music teacher said obviously I seemed to be not very interested in learning other people's music, and she also said I should just play my own music. She was very encouraging for me to just play the piano, for instance. So I just used to play the piano. I never really thought about a musical career at that time. I was just starting by accident. I made terrible pop records when I was an actor. Between the ages of 15 and 25 for 10 years, I was a kind of bad TV actor, not very talented but good looking and weird. 

私には他に2人の兄弟がいます。子どもの全員が男の子であることは、母にとっても大変なことだったでしょう。母はスペインの音楽、フラメンコ音楽、歌とギターが大好きでした。彼女はスペインのライフスタイル全体に没頭していました。彼女は私に大きな影響を与えてくれました。彼女は私にフラメンコ音楽を教えてくれたのです。その一方で、父は音楽や何かがあまり好きでないように見えました。 子どものころはあまり父に会わなかったんです。父は船乗りで、いつも船に乗っていました。でも、彼もまた私の人生を変えてくれました。日本や極東の航路から帰ってきた父は、私たち兄弟一人ひとりにクリスマスプレゼントを持ってきたんです。そして、プレゼントの箱の中には、当時としては新しい機器であったカセットテープレコーダーが入っていました。私が音を録音することに夢中になったのは、恐らく13歳のときですから、これは人生を変える大きな出来事でした。録音した音を、移動した別の場所で再生することができたからです。また、ラジオから録音するためにカセットマシンを使ったこともありました。


C: How does your acting career begin? 

S: When I was fourteen, I left boarding school and enrolled in schools of drama and ballet in London. Shortly after starting school, I acquired an agent who helped me secure work on BBC Radio. From there, I transitioned to television and spent about 10 years acting in various TV programs. Although I acted in many bad programs, I still couldn't find one that I was looking for today. Ironically, the more TV work I did, the more I became interested in music. Strangely enough, the more I rejected, the more popular I became, and the more I grew to hate it.


C: How did you meet Colin Lloyd Tucker? 

S: I was working at a record company. Because I had just started making music for art galleries in London. At that moment, none of us had any money, and I worked in an art gallery. One day, I heard about a record company that was releasing interesting records. I think I heard about Rough Trade, which was a record company, distributor, and had a shop. I went to see them to ask if they would release some of the music I was making for the art galleries, but they said “No”. However, they told me about other record companies, so I phoned them up.

One of the record companies I called was Cherry Red Records. They said, "Are you Simon Turner? Do you want to come in? We would love to meet you." So I went to see them, and they offered me a job at the record company instead of releasing my music. It was a very good opportunity. The company also had an artist named Matt Johnson, who had a band called The The. Through Cherry Red, I met a friend of Collin, and we all joined Matt's band called The Gadgets. It all connects up, and that's how I left the record company and joined others. We played gigs, and then Colin and I left and started Deux Filles. Strange times indeed. But Colin and I are still friends. I nearly called him yesterday, but I didn't. He's 80 now, still making records, and has his own life. 

私はレコード会社で働いていました。というのも、私はちょうどロンドンのアートギャラリーのために音楽を作り始めたところだったんです。その時は誰もお金を持っていなかったのでアートギャラリーで仕事をしていました。ある日、面白いレコードをリリースしているレコード会社の話を聞いたんです。たしかRough Tradeの話を聞いた記憶があります。彼らがディストリビューターでもありショップも持っているという話を聞きました。そこで私がギャラリーのために作っている音楽をリリースしてもらえないかと相談に行ったのですが断られてしまいました。でも、他のレコード会社のことも教えてくれたので、電話をかけてみたんです。

電話したレコード会社のひとつにCherry Red Rcrordsがありました。彼らは「サイモン・ターナーさんですか?ぜひお会いしましょう」と言ってくれました。それで会いに行ったら、私の音楽をリリースする代わりにレコード会社での仕事を紹介してくれました。とてもいい機会に恵まれました。その会社にはマット・ジョンソンというアーティストもいて、彼はThe Theというバンドをやっていました。チェリーレッドを通じて、コリンの友人と出会い、みんなでマットのバンド「ザ・ガジェット」に参加しました。すべてが繋がって、それでレコード会社を辞めて、他の人たちと合流したんです。ギグをやって、コリンと二人で脱退してDeux Fillesを立ち上げました。実に奇妙な時代でした。コリンと私はまだ友人です。昨日も彼に電話しそうになりましたが、しませんでした。彼は今80歳で、まだレコードを作り続けながら人生を過ごしています。

C: We saw an interview which says the idea for the fictional unit Deux Filles you came up within a dream. 
Deux Fillesのアイデアは、あなたが夢の中で閃いたものだと、別のインタビューで読みました。

S: Yes. I was playing very quiet music in art galleries in a dream. And I had a dream that playing this music as a man, people were throwing things, and it was very unpopular. But as soon as I became this French girl, people thought it was great. It was that simple. And you know, it was a really nice time to spend inventing Deux Filles. We had to come up with a real storybook, so we didn't want to just be two guys who dressed as girls. We wanted people to actually believe they existed. So for two albums, it was like we were really two French girls. We used to write false press releases and say that we were recording in Sudan or trapped in a rainforest somewhere and being rescued by Indians, and we could just make up stories about them. There used to be gossip columns in the British music press, and we could send them stories, and they used to print them, so strangely enough, people started to believe that lots of the story was on the back of the first girls. I mean, it does sound as though it could possibly be true. We kind of went into it, and we thought, well, it is possible that this could be true. And ever forever, that it's strange. It was a nice way of releasing music. It was a nice thing to do. It was fun. It was really good fun dressing up and going through the whole Deux Filles idea. 

そうですね。夢の中で、私は美術館でとても静かな音楽を演奏していました。男性としてこの音楽を演奏すると人々が物を投げたりして、とても不評だったという夢を見たんです。でも、フランス人の女の子になった途端、みんなそれを素晴らしいことだと褒めてくれたのです。それほど単純なことだったのです。そしてDeux Fillesを発明するために費やした時間は本当に素晴らしいものだった。私たちは本物のストーリーブックを考えたかったので、ただ女の子の格好をした2人の男性にはなりたくなかったんです。実際に存在すると信じてもらいたかったんです。だから2枚のアルバムの間、私たちは本当に2人のフランス人女性であるかのようでした。スーダンでレコーディングしているとか、どこかの熱帯雨林に閉じ込められていてインド人に助けられているとか、嘘のプレスリリースを書いたり作り話をしたりしたものです。イギリスの音楽新聞にはゴシップ欄があり、そこに記事を送ると掲載されたので、不思議なことにファーストアルバムに映る女の子たちの背景に多くのストーリーがあると本当に信じられるようになりました。私たちも「これは本当かもしれない」と思い込み、役の中に入っていきました。音楽をリリースする方法としては楽しいものでした。ドレスアップしてDeux Fillesのアイデアに沿って行動するのは本当に楽しかったです。

Deux FIlles - “Silence And Wisdom (1982)”

Deux FIlles - “Double Happiness (1983)”

Deux FIlles - “Space And Time (2016)”

Deux FIlles - “Shadow Farming (2021)”

C: And I tried to ask you about the cover photos on Deux Filles first album, “Silence and Wisdom”, which was taken by Michael Costiff.
そして、Deux Fillesのファーストアルバム『Silence and Wisdom』のジャケット写真について聞こうとしたのですが、あの写真はマイケル・コスティフが撮影したものだったんですね。

S: Here's a living region in England. There's an English punk girl called Jordan who had spiky hair. She died last year. She was in the movie "Jubilee" and wrote an autobiography. She came to talk to me because we used to know each other, and she was a friend of Derek's. She used to manage “Adam and the Ants”, and I was the driver. I saw her at a nice party for her book launch, which was held during the COVID lockdown. There was a guy there whom I hadn't seen for years, and it was Michael Costiff. He doesn't remember taking the pictures we did together. It's funny because it was a long time ago now, some of the people involved are still alive, and some have passed away. The idea with the girls was to get people we knew to help us, and it's still the same today. You ask your friends to help you, but I didn't really know Michael very well. I knew him through friends of Derek's, I think. But he was really great. That was the only photo session we ever did, which is why we keep using the same photographs in different ways. We never did any more photographs. But I saw him, and it was very funny and strange to see him. When we were young, we all knew each other a little bit and used 
to hang out together, since the music scene was quite small and we used to go to the same clubs. 

イギリスに暮らしている人々の繋がりについて紹介します。ジョーダンという名の、トゲトゲした髪をしたイギリスのパンク少女がいました。彼女は去年亡くなりました。映画「ジュビリー」に登場していて、自伝本も書いています。彼女は昔からの知り合いで、デレクの友人でした。彼女は「アダム&ザ・アント」のマネージメントをしていて、私は運転手でした。COVIDのロックダウン中に行われた、彼女が自伝本を出版した記念パーティーで彼女を見かけました。そこには何年も会っていない男がいて、それがマイケル・コスティフでした。彼は僕らが一緒に撮った写真のことを覚えていなかったんです。もうずいぶん前のことなので、関係者の中にはまだ生きている人もいれば、亡くなった人もいます。感慨深いですね。Deux Fillesの考え方は、知り合いに協力してもらうというもので、それは今も変わりません。友人に協力を求めるわけですが、私はマイケルのことをあまりよく知りませんでした。デレクの友人を通じて彼を知ったんだと思います。でも、彼は本当に素晴らしい人でした。だから、同じ写真を何度も使いまわしているんです。でも、彼に再会した時、とても面白く、不思議な気持ちになりました。僕らが若い頃は、音楽シーンがかなり小さかったので、みんなお互いに少しは知っていて、よく同じクラブに遊びに行っていました。

Jordan in Jubilee (1978), directed by Derek Jarman

If somebody was doing something, you could help them. That's how it got started with Derek. He would just say, "I'm doing this pop video or something. Do you want to be in this?" And you just get a gang together and then you're in a pop video. I think the same thing still happens today in a way. But it's really just about asking people. For instance, when Pollard and I made this record as Jeremy's Secret and we're naked on the record cover, people hated it and everything, but it was a nice record cover. John Marchant, a photographer we knew, took the photos. If you've got a photographer, you can ask them to take the photos for your record cover. That's better than just a holiday photograph or something. So the thing to do with photographers is always to ask. 

This evening we've got two photographers coming tonight to play this concert. Howard Sooley, who is a friend of Derek's, and Sebastian Sharples, who is a filmmaker whom I worked with. Sebastian always carries a camera with him and has been taking professional photos for the last 30-40 years. He just goes to all these parties and openings and takes photographs. Everybody knows him, and he's a friend of mine. If you do something long enough in the city, people will know you.



Jeremy's Secret - “The Snowball Effect (1984)”

C: And you also almost every day take photos on Instagram.

S: Yes. I just say things without thinking, And then I go. "Oh, it's interesting. I see something.” And I think that'll make a nice picture. Usually, it doesn't take much time to take the picture, but sometimes I need to edit it - adjust the size, colour, or exposure. Yesterday, for example, I took a picture of the sky and the bridge. Later, while going through some papers, I found an old post from New York that made me laugh. It's like blinking - I just capture what I see and people look at it. It's strange and I love looking at other people's pictures too.

My son is addicted to his phone. He wakes up and checks it first thing in the morning. In contrast, I can leave my phone at home and not worry about it. I like taking pictures of arty stuff, such as Kyoto or interesting abandoned architecture, but it's not serious. My son and I also enjoy looking at cats and French bulldogs. If we could turn my Instagram into wallpaper, it would be fantastic! But when do you stop? I mean, when do you stop thinking about taking pictures? Last night, I took pictures of the moon, myself with the light behind me, my feet, swans at sunset, and more. I take pictures when I'm doing nothing or on my way somewhere. It's not like I plan to take an Instagram picture - it's just something I do between other things.

Music is different - I have to sit down and deliberately make music. I need to prepare for a concert, worry about it, and keep it simple. I'm always taking pictures and thinking about sound and music, and that's good for me. But sometimes I feel like I need to get a proper job. 




Images taken by Simon’s own.

C: Can I ask about Derek Jarman? How did you get to his project?

S: When I was walking in the woods one weekend, I found myself on Kings Rd. It was a sunny day, and I was just sitting on a street corner. Somebody came up to me and recognized me from when they interviewed me when I was 17 years old. The journalist asked me what I was doing, and I said I wasn't doing anything, just watching the world go by. He then asked if I needed a job, and I said yes. He said he worked for some people who had a big house, were involved in films, had a top band called Adam and the Ants, and had a film director named Derek Jarman. He asked if I could drive, and I said yes. He then said they were looking for someone to help in the office and asked me to come by the office. A few days later, I went to the office, and they invited me to stay for lunch. I offered to help with lunch and said I could make salad dressing or fry something up if they wanted. They were impressed and asked if I wanted a job working in the office downstairs. They were just finishing a film with Derek Jarman. Later that day, Derek came over, and we hit it off. They asked me to take Derek home, and I did. Then they said I could start helping Derek with moving an exhibit, moving some paintings from where he lived down by Tower Bridge. I got involved in a casual labouring way, which is actually how I've always started on films. 


“The Tempest (1979)”, directed by Derek Jarman

I'm good at helping others get things together, and that's how I really started with Derek. For instance, on “The Tempest”, which was the first film I properly worked on, I was in the office when the producers got the money to make the film. Derek knew that I knew London, and he said, "Simon's onboard. He's gonna start working for us right now." On “The Tempest”, I looked after getting lots of things together in London because the film was shot outside of London. I also looked after the catering wagon that supplied everyone with food and tea. Then I worked on the whole of “The Tempest” all the way through it, in the office, driving, and doing other tasks. I was an assistant to everyone, but I also had to look after the film and make sure it was sent back to London every day. I've always been interested in film production, and I've kind of done everything apart from direction. I've never directed, but I've done pretty much everything else. I enjoy solving problems when someone says they need something and don't know how to get it. I love it. That's what's nice about some of the film projects I've done, like “The Epic of Everest” or the film that's currently in production. You know, I enjoy doing research. I love preserving things. 

私は、他人の仕事を手伝うのが得意なのですが、デレクとの出会いもそのようなものでした。例えば、私が初めて担当した「テンペスト」でプロデューサーが映画製作の資金を手に入れたとき、私は事務所にいました。デレクは、私がロンドンという町を熟知していることを知っていて「サイモンならできるぞ!彼は今すぐ私たちのために働き始めるつもりだ」と言いいました。「テンペスト」は、ロンドン郊外での撮影だったため、ロンドンでいろいろなものを揃えるのが大変でした。また、みんなに食べ物やお茶を提供するケータリングのワゴンの管理もしました。それから「テンペスト」の映画全体を通して、オフィスの管理や運転、その他の仕事をずっとやっていました。私は皆のアシスタントでしたが、フィルムの管理もしなければならず、毎日ロンドンに送り返されるのを確認しなければなりませんでした。私はずっと映画製作に興味があり、監督を除けば何でもやったようなものです。監督をしたことはありませんが、それ以外のことはほぼすべてやっています。誰かが何かを必要としていて、それをどうやって手に入れたらいいのかわからないという問題を解決するのが楽しいんだ。それが好きなんです。 「The Ephic of Everest」や現在製作中の映画のように、私が参加する映画のプロジェクトは、それがいいんです。私はリサーチをするのが好きなんです。物事を保存するのが好きなんです。

Derek Jarman

When I worked with Derek, I started off doing small things. For example, I looked after the extras - all the people who weren't actors but all the other people like character actors, guys in bars, and people on the streets. One day, Derek asked me if I wanted to be in the film. And I was already an actor, which was very strange. At the end of filming, people sent lots of cassette tapes of music they wanted to include in the film. So we sat down with all the cassettes, listened to the music, and picked a few we liked. Then we went to see some composers, but I can't remember who we saw. And then, Derek said, "Listen, it's crazy. You know the film backward. Why don't you just do it?" It was kind of insane because I had never done anything like that before. So, I had to audition and do a test, and then, create some demos. Eventually, they said, "Okay, you got the job." 

With Derek, it was always accidental. It seemed like we were working together by chance. I was in the right place at the right time. I never planned anything for clerical work. It was a bit like when I was looking for something and couldn't find it. Instead, I could find something of Derek's that I'll play. You know what I mean? Derek gave me everything I needed to know about music and film. I wouldn't have even dreamed about doing music for film, as I had no interest in it. I liked music for films, but it wasn't something I really wanted to do. However, I really enjoyed doing experimental films with people. I didn't like doing commercial work. I think it's because I can't do what people want me to do. I can only do what I want to do for their film. You have to let me interpret the film, and then I can come up with something. But I'm not very good at following orders or dealing with what people think I should be doing. I'm not the right person for that. There are people who are really good composers, but I'm not one of them. Some of my music is really nice for films, and if I work on silent films, that's really fun because I don't have a director or producer telling me what's right or wrong. But if someone from Netflix were to say, "That's not right. Can you change it?" I'm not very good at changing things when I've already got an idea that's working for me. It's difficult because I'm very enthusiastic. I just like working with people who are fired up and ready to work. It's not rocket science. We don't have to talk about it for 10 months. You can just send me something, and I can just do it. We can just make stuff. You know? We can just pick up and go. And it's really nice to make stuff and then say, "Okay, great. That's done." I've got a mobile phone and we can just make stuff. That's what's fantastic about what we've done so far. It's a really nice way of working. We can just test something even though we live 7,000 miles away. 



“Eyes And Ears (2021)” from Calax Records.

C: That was a very wonderful experience for us too. Can I go back to Derek Jarman? How did you usually create some music for Derek?

S: No. I mean, nothing was already planned. The films can be divided into two categories, “EdwardⅡ” and “The Garden”. I'm fine with “The Garden” as it was, but it would be interesting to see someone else create music for it. “The Garden” was very crazy and anyone could do it now. If we made it now, it would be completely different. Back then, we had enough money to pay the musicians properly. I would do something on the guitar and then send a cassette to David, who played Chapman Stick, and he would come in and do a session. Everything was recorded on cassette machines. 


“The Garden (1990)”, directed by Derek Jarman

With “EdwardⅡ”, a lot of it was made while we were shooting the film, and I had a room by the studio where I had two keyboards, tape recorders, and a little synth. I could see everything being filmed, so I began making music while we were filming. I would sample sounds and make up samples of stuff that happened during the film's making. A lot of my work with Derek came from being on the set when he was filming. I had a little room and was part of the film crew. I was walking around with the DAT recorder, and if I wanted something, he would ask someone for it. I would then record it on my own. With “EdwardⅡ”, Derek let me get on with it, but the film editor was with me pretty much every day. We made the film and edited it, and then the edits came to me. I was directed by the film editor and not by Derek. It was a great way of making sure I captured enough music, but not too much, and that the drama was doing the work itself. I really enjoyed making stuff up in the studio, and I miss it. Now, I have to make up stuff at home, which is not nearly as exciting as being in the studio.


“The EdwardⅡ (1991)”, directed by Derek Jarman

C: Can you share some of your most memorable stories with Derek? 

S: There was a very sad time when we were in Rome. We were doing 6 or 5 concerts in the same place in Rome, a beautiful little theatre. He got very ill with AIDS and he was supposed to come to the first performance of “Blue”, which we were doing in Rome. He could hardly speak and said he was really sorry, but he had to fly back to England because he was too ill to come. That was very upsetting. He said, "Don't worry, you know, you'll be fine." Instead of Derek coming along, I tuned my radio which I had on stage into the local radio station of the Radio Vatican. The singing came up and it was amazing. That's how we used to start the concerts with a piece from the Vatican, which was, you know, in the same city as we were. Derek was good. I liked all the great things I experienced with Derek, including Tilda. Myself, Derek, and Tilda went down to the prospect coverage when he first bought the cottage. There was one day, my birthday, and Tilda cooked a cake for me. It was really memorable because it was a disaster, but it was made with love. 
ローマにいた頃、とても悲しいことがありました。ローマの同じ場所、美しい小劇場で5~6回コンサートをやっていたんです。彼はエイズで重い病気に罹り、ローマで上演する「ブルー」の初演に来るはずだったんです。彼はほとんど話すことができず、本当に申し訳ないと言っていましたが、病気で来られないので飛行機でイギリスに戻らなければなりませんでした。それはとても残念なことでした。彼は、"心配するな、大丈夫だ "と言ってくれました。デレクが来れなかった代わりに、私はステージに置いていたラジオを、地元のラジオ局に合わせました。歌声が上がってきて、それはもう素晴らしかった。そうやって、コンサートの冒頭にはバチカンの曲を演奏していたんだ。デレクとの思い出はとても素晴らしい。ティルダも含めて、デレクと共に過ごした、すべての素晴らしい経験が好きだった。私とデレク、そしてティルダは、彼が最初にコテージを買ったときに、遊びに行ったんだ。ある日、私の誕生日にティルダがケーキを作ってくれたんです。とても酷い出来でしたが、愛情を込めて作ってくれたので、本当に印象に残っています。

Other times, I liked the time I spent with him on my own, when he would realise that I would just record him doing anything. We recorded a nice piece for a Japanese compilation about silence, which I'm playing a little tonight. He was talking about his experience of witnessing nature shut down, that truth of silence when all the birds think it's nighttime, and they all suddenly stop tweeting. We had good times, we used to eat a lot together, we used to go to a spaghetti house and eat carbonara. He was always funny and fun to be with because he was full of energy. He'd always come up with some crazy idea, like going shopping for something. He was a good teacher without teaching. He knew perfectly well that I was learning so much from him, but he didn't seem worried about it. He talked about things I never knew about, and I just had to ask him. He'd tell me what it means. It's such a good thing when you don't understand someone because then you can ask them and they'll tell you what it means. I had no idea who Caravaggio actually was until he told me. He was a very knowledgeable man, very clever without being smart. He just said things, and you learned things from him just by listening to him. He loved to laugh, joke around, walk, and just loved life. It was just incredible being around him, you know? He was a beautiful guy, and everything he did was just so captivating. He was always coming up with new ideas and projects, and it was impossible to keep up with him. One day we'd be talking about making an Indian musical, and the next day we'd be onto something else entirely. Can you imagine what he'd be doing now with mobile phones and films? It would be crazy, but brilliant.

I think about him a lot, and his approach to making films was truly remarkable. He had a great sense of what would work, and he just went ahead and did it without any barriers. He was really cool. You don't always have to explain everything you do, but with time, you can look back and appreciate the work you've created.



C: What do you think of the situation surrounding the world today? 

S: Terrible. Absolutely terrible. People need to be nicer to each other. It's just common sense, you know? I don't understand what's happening to people these days. There's so much greed and selfishness going around. Look at the earthquake in Turkey, for instance. It's a terrible tragedy.

The thing is, we need to come together as a planet and start taking care of each other. We're all in this together, you know? There's a term called "homosapiens", which refers to us humans. But the truth is, we're not very good animals. We're mean and nasty, and we don't take care of our planet. If we don't change our ways, diseases like COVID will wipe us all out, and the animals and fishes will take over once again.

It's not all doom and gloom, though. There are amazing plants and creatures on this planet that have been around for thousands of years, like the monkey puzzle tree in England. We need to start taking care of them and the planet, too. In the end, it's up to us to make a change. We need to stop being selfish and start taking care of each other and our planet. It won't be easy, but it's the only way to survive.



でも、暗い話ばかりではありません。この地球上には、イギリスのモンキー • パズル • ツリー(”生きた化石”と呼ばれる杉の一種。)のように、何千年も前から存在している素晴らしい植物や生き物がいます。私たちは、彼らや地球を大切にすることを始めなければなりません。結局のところ、変化を起こすのは私たち次第なのです。利己主義をやめて、お互いに、そして地球を大切にする必要があるのです。それは簡単なことではありませんが、生き残るための唯一の方法なのです。

C: How do you want to spend your time in the future?

I'd like to make a good film every year and ensure that my children and family are all happy. I'd like to do some good. Making nice music is all well and good, but I'm being quite selfish in a way. So, perhaps I'd like to do something good for people. I try to make music that makes people think about peace, love, and happiness, but there's more to be done. The future is not looking good here in England at the moment. People have to look after the planet, which is going crazy. We all need to think a little bit harder about what's going on. But obviously, I want to make music. I like making music. The great thing about it is that I'd like to go to the studio and take a month to make a record in a lovely studio. That would be fantastic, but someone's got to pay for it.

Feb.7th 2023