I ♥ Bobby Briggs by Jane E. Thompson

Lynch directs Dana Ashbrook and Madchen Amick in the Twin Peaks pilot

Really, I’ve found the below much harder to write than it should be. Perhaps because I’m still in the midst of working out what the hell it is I’m doing and I’m not yet ready to articulate it. Excuse me as I bumble through. Read on at your own risk!

To put it simply: I’ve taken a section of a play I’ve written previously but never produced and decided to expand upon it. For the more confused, still percolating thoughts, see below:

Things I’m thinking about when I think about this work:

  1. The Narcissism of Small Differences: is the current title of the play and a term coined by Freud to describe the minute (and often exaggerated) differences we find to distinguish ourselves from others in order to maintain a sense of individuality (as individuals), or create and maintain a common enemy (as groups). It’s used to maintain power imbalance and discrimination.
  1. The Phallic Economy: When I write I like to bring an idea back to some kind of theory that maybe I can read in the hope that something else will pop. In the play, the relationship between two lovers (male and female) is infiltrated by a second man who, through jealousy, tradition and whatever else, polices the behaviour of the young woman and colludes with the young man to maintain affiliation with androcentrism.

I see the motivation in the second man in relation to Irigaray’s phallic economy and her essay ‘Women on the Market’ in which she argues that our society, our culture, is based upon the exchange of women. Men are the ones who do the business, and women are the ones exchanged. Society (men) determines her exchange value, and nature, her use value. Spoiler alert: the woman (commodity) is desired for her exchange value:

“There is no such thing as a commodity … so long as there are not at least two men to make the exchange. In order for a product—a woman?—to have value, two men, at least have to invest (in) her” (Irigaray, p. 181, 1985).

  1. The Bourgeois Myth, via Barthes, Žižek and Lynch: The bourgeois myth relies on both the erasure of itself (ex-nomination) by not referring to itself, and what it must allow (inherent transgressions, no matter how immoral, fantastical, hidden or otherwise) in order to present itself as eternal and natural. The very fact that it needs these transgressions means that it is neither eternal nor natural. Despite this, we persevere with the irreconcilable dualities of bourgeois ideology (morality and immorality) with transgressions considered the fault of the individual and not the system itself.
  1. Bobby Briggs (and Sexing Elvis): In one of the later scenes in the play’s current incarnation the young woman says to the young man: “I used to think, god, what talent he has, look at him. They love him. The way you looked, the way you spoke, the way you were, and none of it was about selling anything except yourself. You’re a genius at it. And I couldn’t work out if I wanted you, or wanted to be you.”

Re-watching Twin Peaks in its entirety (most of which I had not seen since the original airing in 1990/1) I was struck by not so much the pervasiveness of Lynch’s exaggerated, self-conscious representation of binary gender (being a long-time fan of his work), but rather the affect it may have had on me as a 12 year-old viewing it for the first time.

Lynch’s female characters have been written about at length by female critics finding the nostalgic conservatism of his aesthetic combined with the violence done to them regressive and ultimately damaging within the context of the violence towards women in the broader society. While I find some of the female representations on the show problematic (and I don’t want to exonerate Lynch entirely), it must be remembered that he not only co-created the show with Mark Frost but also job-shared with a number of writers and directors – especially when he took a long hiatus during the second season to film Wild at Heart and relinquished considerable creative control. (During which time I find the gender representation on the show most problematic, tbh.)      

Anyway, I found my attention drawn in particular to the swaggering braggadocio of Bobby Briggs and I thought, god, how much I loved him —always had— despite his often dodgy ethics. It took me a moment to realise what this was: it was His (the character’s not the actor’s) performance of himself. Bobby Briggs’s construction of himself as the cool, self-assured bad boy of the town is fascinating to me not because of its durability as protective armour, but the opposite— his coolness is constantly being shattered by events and people around him, but he continues nonetheless, the cycle repeating itself, even in the face of James Hurley, one could argue (despite the soap opera) is less constructed (?), less self-conscious (?), more innate? (?)

(…Or simply more boring? *ponders*)  

I realised upon re-watching that I’ve been writing versions of Briggs in my male characters most of my life. That Bobby’s performance of his gender was perhaps more striking to me as a 12 year-old, than say, Audrey’s. Was it an objectification of him? Was it perhaps my way of ‘inhabiting’ him, a construct I felt was unavailable to me at the time? Who knows? But this also struck me reading an essay by Sue Wise on reconsidering her formative years as an Elvis fan; that as a feminist and gay woman, how it was that Elvis (“butch god, sexual folk hero and archetypal macho man”) fit into her life. This led her to question the part of “feminist orthodoxy which, paradoxically, accepts objective and ‘male’ accounts of the world at the expense of personal and subjective experiences” (Wise, p. 13, 1984). How to reconcile her memories of listening to, reading about, scrapbooking and swapping pictures and stories of Elvis with her best friend growing up, with the pervasive (white) male-defined image of him: “the master of the sexual simile, treating his guitar as both phallus and girl, punctuating his lyrics with the animal grunts and groans of the male approaching orgasm. … Rumour had it that into his skin-tight jeans was sewn a lead bar to suggest a weapon of heroic proportions” (Melly, in Wise, p. 14). Perhaps better not to and recognise your own experience as something yours and not some male writer’s version of a moment, an image, an experience which really, is just their subjective experience made objective.

So these are the things I’m thinking about when I think about this work. I suspect I will have to stop thinking about these things in order to actually write it. I hope that happens soon.

In the meantime I thank Liv and Julian for providing the conditions to hear what I have wrought already, out loud, with actors.

Xox j e

Jane E Thompson is a Melbourne-based playwright. She’s has spent the last 20 years in theatre in various roles: actor, playwright, director, costume designer, dramaturg, spectator, sometimes student, sometimes autodidact.

In 2016 she completed a Master of Writing for Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts; and was a recipient of the Besen Family Artist Program Writers’ Development Workshop at the Malthouse Theatre.

 

an essay on failure by angus cameron

15111043_10154873669858900_4135294599365542655_o
in the mirror, darkly by Angus Cameron being read at The Festival of Homer 2016.

When I was much younger I read the Wikipedia page for the Ingmar Bergman film Persona. I identified with it instantly and knew it was going to be one of my favourite films. I had a moment of inspiration and I wrote an idea down in my journal of ideas. It was a film (or play, if that was even possible!) about a male director remaking Persona with two women, one older and one younger, without them knowing — as a comment on misogyny, obviously. As with many, many ideas that were written in my journal, I promptly forgot about it. Nothing from my journal of ideas was turned into an artistic object beyond the perfect product in my mind. I always assumed that one day I would be a famous playwright. But I never factored in the actual writing, working, rewriting, reworking and solitude of it all. I lost the journal. Time passed.

One day I bought the complete collection of Ingmar Bergman films on DVD. I read somewhere that Žižek—or maybe Simon Stone, or both—went away for a couple of years and read a lot of philosophy, the former, or watched a lot of movies, the latter. Through osmosis they became masters of their craft, they said. This seemed eminently plausible, and better yet, achievable, so the purchase was easily justified. Plus, I figured the collection already contained many of my soon-to- be favourite films. So I sat down with an enormous compendium of DVDs and put on Persona.

When I read the synopsis and the ‘themes and interpretations’ sections on the film, I was drawn to its focus on psyche, the Other, language, gender, and queer sexuality; not to mention the grounding in Elektra. The film itself cared little about what I was drawn to and presented me with images, in concatenation and simultaneity, sounds and a psychological thriller of a narrative. Viewing the film was an altogether different experience to what I was expecting; it was a more impenetrable machine than I expected. Not that it’s a difficult film but a demanding one. After it finished, I figured that that was enough Bergman for now. I put the compendium away and don’t remember the last time I saw it.

The film stayed with me. Images. Moments. A sense of unease. It slowly became if not one of my favourite films, one of the most memorable. The film had really burrowed in and my original idea stayed with me for some time, without giving me the impetus to actually write anything. In fact, I had not written anything at all. I assumed that fame and a body of work would just come. This is not the case. One day I realised that people would never consider me a playwright unless I . . . well, unless I wrote a play. This seemed harder than watching movies (which I had somewhat failed at) but it also seemed unavoidable.

My first play was a critical disaster. I left the country and my theatre company. All those years of not writing plays meant that I could not write a play. I was disappointed, to say the least.

The Malthouse Theatre used to run an event called, maybe, Thirty Thursday, where artists were encouraged to come and drink and mingle in the afternoon. One such afternoon, I spent some time talking to a lovely young woman. She told me she had come back from New York, where she worked with the SITI Company, and I nodded as though I knew what she meant. Then I told her about my critical failure. She was very polite and listened to my story.

Soon thereafter, the Malthouse Theatre had a production of Persona, after it had a run at Theatre Works (and maybe Belvoir?). The creator of the show was an up-and-coming star, Adena Jacobs, with whom, it turned out, I had spent a large amount of time talking about myself and not about her or her work at all; although the answer to my question about whether or not Persona could be done on stage was a resounding yes, I had missed an opportunity to find out how this came to happen and it was a rather final nail in the coffin to my idea.

In 2015, midway through a Masters of Writing for Performance, we were set a challenge of writing a play in a weekend; there were no restrictions but it had to include a number of elements: a non-heterosexual love, something falling out, characters with an age difference and a tangerine — there may have been more but they’re largely irrelevant. I failed at this challenge. However, I failed better. I wrote one act of a play. It was about two women brought together by a director to remake Persona. It was called Tangerine. It was well received in the class (as much as a writing exercise can be) and I felt encouraged to write the second act. I gave myself another weekend. The first act set up a situation, the second act tore it down. The lines between the remake and the original blurred. Once it was finished, I rewrote it again, for good measure.

In the back of my mind though I was beginning to reach an impasse. Although one of the aspects that drew me to the text originally was how queer it seemed, I began to see clearly that a man wrote it, and some queer sexualities are a female experience — a ground-breaking revelation. In particular, there is a moving monologue in which one of the characters details a sexual encounter between her, another woman, and two young men, on the beach. There is an undeniable energy to the text; however, there are moments when male authorship is very apparent — the way in which the main interlocutor seems to orgasm immediately upon penetration, for example. My play wanted to interrogate these ideas, subvert them, blur them and so on, so I was coming from a place of wanting to do good. But I started to think, maybe this was not a story for me to rewrite. Perhaps orgasming upon penetration is a common experience (it is not mine), so it’s not out of the realms of possibility but I started to see that there was an insurmountable hurdle to me writing it — no matter how ‘authentic’ my writing was, no matter how many women I spoke to, there is a shortcoming to my ability to write these characters.

Some would dispute this. I spoke to a range of people about my quandary (paying special attention to female responses to the work), many of whom pointed to the number of men who have written good female characters, feminist texts, and said that as long as it’s ‘good’ then it’s okay. While I respect these opinions, the power as author to put words in other people’s mouths still niggled me. My play did not sitting well with my outlook. Of course, all of these fears were compounded by the best of intentions and the desire to write compelling, complex female characters and address the sexism that I could see in the industry. Like Ibsen, when he said he simply wrote the truth when he wrote A Doll’s House I argued that it didn’t matter that I was a man as long as I was writing the truth, and writing the truth well. But still, more than ever, I began to question if this was the right way for me to engage with these ideas; and as I sat at my MacBook I had to ask myself, is my desire to interrogate, also a desire to exploit?

It’s a simple fact that art always fails. It might not fail you, or me, but it will fail someone. Great works of art can speak to myriad peoples, across time; however, there is always going to be someone for whom it does not resonate. That’s why Plato wanted it out of the republic; it is mimetic, too far from the idea of things; it is untruthful. Once a chair is put on stage it comes to represent all chairs, and that becomes problematic when you want to see lots of different representations of chairs. And one piece of art cannot represent all chairs. So, art fails. Cast it out.

Unfortunately for Plato, many of us also recognise that art still serves a function. If we accept that art will fail, then we can turn our attention to how it fails, who enabled it to fail and who else gets a turn at failing. The dilemma of my play became a question not of can I write this play, but should I write this play. Whether or not the play I wrote was ‘good’ is beside the point. Art always fails; and so, we must have many people, many different people, making many different kinds of art so that a multitude of experiences are available to the community. While my engagement with feminism, my writing of complex female characters and all the rest are worthwhile pursuits, my rewriting of Persona to redress gender inequality, explicitly looking at ageism, motherhood, body image, and female queer sexuality, is not really necessary. And that’s okay.

Unfortunately for me, I had told The Festival of Homer that I had a play for them. It was a reworking of Persona, I told them, which definitely touched on the Elektra narrative, and yes, it would most certainly be ready for the festival in late 2016. The truth was, there was no such play that I was comfortable showing to a public.

Sometimes I struggle to see the point of an adaptation. Because I think all theatre is adaptation. Season to season, show to show, moment to moment, a piece of theatre changes to suit its environment and everyone involved; that’s what sets it so firmly apart from cinema. A production of King Lear is different in London, to Istanbul, to Beijing, to rural Australia. And ask anyone who has talked about how different an audience is on a given night and it’s clear that there is something that shifts within the theatrical space. Peter Brook talks about this in The Empty Space, in the chapter on the deadly theatre. This quality curses theatre to struggle within our capitalist paradigm; it is too ephemeral, too costly and too specific to be monetised effectively (there are, of course, incredibly successful shows but by and large, theatre struggles). Moreover, a new play evolves from the mind of the maker, to the page (or straight onto the floor) and constantly remodels itself to suit everyone’s needs and the outcome of the project, finally altering itself when presented to an audience. So, new play or old, for me, it is all adaptation.

And if all theatre is adaptation, isn’t it the point of the theatre maker to adapt a text for performance? What else are they doing? Admittedly some may require more than others but personally, an ‘adaptation’ offers little reward (NB: future theatre companies reading this, I will gladly adapt something for the right price). One day the nuances and pleasures of an adaptation will make themselves known to me and I will completely change my position but today is not that day. Sadly, I was in a position whereby I needed to provide a festival with an adaptation and almost no impetus to do it.

I went back to the theatrical origins of the story and reread Elektra. I read the Sophocles and the Euripides and The Libation Bearers by Aeschylus. I also read Jane Griffith’s introduction to her adaptation of Antigone. In addition, I spoke to her about Elektra, as it’s one of her favourite texts. I even went back further and did some light reading of The Iliad and The Odyssey but time was not on my side. The Wikipedia pages were most helpful.

It became clear that there was a story at the heart of the narrative but there was no one-way of writing it. Various playwrights had drawn out specific themes to illustrate one aspect or other of society but—and I should have listened to my own thoughts on adaptation and taken them to the extreme—there is no singular Elektra. It became a question of figuring out what, to me and to others, makes Elektra ‘Elektra’ and then to use that as a backbone, a model, an idea in my head for the play that I was to write.

By fusing the two ideas in my head, the old play and this new one, I told a story of a famous family—which went a long way to repositioning my focus on ‘women’ to ‘the lengths people will go to for notoriety’—and set about finding a new mode of delivery. The style in which I wrote the play lost its attempts at naturalism and instead adopted an epic register. The Kardashian-esque family was suddenly imbued with tragic speech, which, hopefully, reinvigorated the narrative by fusing the classical story with an invitation for contemporary audiences to connect with it.

The play was presented at the inaugural Festival of Homer, in the Hellenic Museum, in November 2016. The endlessly enthusiastic and supportive Olivia Satchell directed it. Hamish Irvine, Christian Taylor, Cariad Wallace and Marissa O’Reilley acted it. And Keziah Warner, without whom half my 2016 plays wouldn’t exist, was the dramaturg.

No doubt I have failed once again. And yet, with every failure I get closer to producing something that will one day become a Wikipedia page. If someone reads the synopsis and gets an idea, then my job is done. Art is a response, one of many possible responses and one that contains within it even more multiplicities; it doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and when it’s produced it makes people ask questions. Those questions can become new responses. It’s a cycle. As long as there is equal access then we can all fail together. I can only hope that whoever responds to me fails a bit better.

Angus very kindly allowed his play in the mirror, darkly to serve as a prototype for VIMH’s dinner and a show and, even more generously, offered this essay as a reflection on his experience with this work. 

dinner and a show #1: christopher bryant

For our first official dinner and a show for 2017, we caught up with our first official D + S writer Chris Bryant through a cheeky Q&A.

  1. What writing have you brought to dinner and a show?

A piece I’ve been working on for the past couple of years on-and-off, The Great Dark Spot. It’s an odd little science fiction piece about the aftermath of trauma, and I haven’t quite worked it out yet! I have a strange relationship with it as a piece of my work: it’s changed form and focus about three times, and I constantly feel I’m returning to the first draft stage. It’s really only in the past year or so that I’ve connected with what I want it to be.

  1. Why is it important to you?

The main characters in the piece, Hattie and Kyle, have grown up with only themselves to rely on after their mother disappeared when they were children and their father consequently abandoned his parental role. It’s quite a personal piece of work that looks at living in the aftermath of trauma. I wrote the first draft in the aftermath of my own trauma – I nearly died in a car accident in 2014, and I’m also adopted – so there are a lot of strangely personal elements to its story, which is also why I haven’t quite been able to let it go.

  1. If you could have dinner with any artist (living or dead), who would it be and what would you ask them?

John Waters. I wouldn’t be inclined to ask much, only listen – however, I would ask him his advice for making art in such artistically austere times. He eschewed traditional funding and studios to make his films (in particular his more transgressive earlier films); I think he’d have a lot to say on the matter. I love his films, his books, his anger, and his humour.

A bit about Chris:

Christopher Bryant is a Griffin Award nominated playwright (Home Invasion, 2015) and NIDA graduate (Master of Fine Arts (Writing for Performance), 2014) who has worked with a range of companies including Malthouse Theatre, MKA, ATYP, Apocalypse Theatre, La Mama, ACPA and Monash University. Recent work includes The Mutant Man, shortlisted for both Belvoir’s Philip Parsons Playwriting Fellowship in 2014 & the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation’s Playwriting Competition in 2015, making him the first Australian nominee in the award’s history. In early 2016 his “talented and thoughtful” play Intoxication played to sold-out audiences at the La Mama Courthouse in the Midsumma Festival. He is the current & inaugural recipient of the Russell Beedles Performing Arts Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria for his play The Other Place.

DIY theatre: Sydney

At the beginning of 2014 I spent some time observing the roundtable dramaturgy process pioneered by the Lark Play Development Centre in New York. Whilst there I had the pleasure of meeting Doug Howe, cofounder of NITEcorps with Beatriz Cavur. New International Theatre Experience is a “global service organization that supports and empowers theatre makers by revolutionizing the way artists and administrators create, connect and cooperate in the twenty-first century.”

Part of this involves spotlighting different theatre cities on a monthly basis. In September 2014 they took a snapshot of Sydney by asking local artists to speak about different aspects of both our local and national ecology.

Doug approached me about the insight I’d gained from running Somersault and I’ve copied my attempt here. I tried to get a handle on the increasing trend of mainstage companies cashing in on the rough-and-readiness, the brash daring, of indie work (and the gaining of cultural capital through risk-taking-by-proxy). It’s a tangled mess but one that I would like to try and unwind, particularly as I’ve moved to Melbourne just this week and it seems to be the heartland of these DIY-ers.

I recently found myself sitting across from John Bell in the office headquarters of his theatre company, Bell Shakespeare, which is hidden away in The Rocks by Sydney Harbour. I had nervously declined a drink from his secretary, and sat in a surprisingly low-slung chair as my idol sipped his cup of green tea and waited for me to start the conversation. In 1970, Bell, Ken Horler, and Richard Wherrett established Nimrod Theatre Company, which is widely considered responsible for establishing and promoting the emerging Australian theatre of the early 1970s, or what came to be known as the New Wave. Almost for the first time, Australians could go to the theatre and see themselves, not their British counterparts, onstage. For a nation with an aggressive colonial history and a dearth of cultural representation, it was a revolution.

I had requested this meeting because I wanted to understand how Australian theatre in 2014 had grown since its heady conception. To my surprise, Bell’s immediate response was that “independent theatre now exists.” When Nimrod was created there was no fringe scene whatsoever; perhaps because there were so few professional theatre companies for theatre-makers to make work around the edges of. To those pioneers associated with the Nimrod triumvirate, today’s theatre landscape would now be unrecognisable. You cannot step sideways in Sydney without coming face-to-face with either a collective, indie company, or individual makers who are developing and producing their own work.

In light of this, there has been an interesting dance developing between mainstage companies and these independent artists over the last few years. Last June, I attended a forum on the state of Australian playwriting, and a young playwright on the panel suggested that she made her ‘real’ work, the work that drove her out of bed in the morning, for the indie sector because she felt restricted by the ‘blueprint’ of our major companies. That is, she felt weighed down by the unspoken requirements that professional companies hold for the work that they produce which is determined by the need to minimise production costs and is dependent on its potential appeal to subscribers. Worryingly, at this same forum Tim Roseman (Artistic Director of Playwriting Australia and, previously, director of new writing theatre venue Theatre503 in London) pointed out the very real possibility that King Lear would never see a production if it was written today. What company in its right mind would commission a new work that had to outlay the expense of hiring a minimum of 14 actors?

And yet…

Increasingly, these same mainstage companies are creating space within their season for independent theatre artists. In Melbourne, Malthouse Theatre’s Helium season is a curated collection of Australia’s “most exciting” independent performance work, which is picked for “big ideas, the high risk and the bleeding edge.” In Sydney, Griffin Theatre Company, which resides in the same space as the original Nimrod, runs an “annual season of new Australian and international writing co-presented with the country’s most exciting independent theatre-makers.” Melbourne-based queer D.I.Y. theatre group ‘Sisters Grimm,’ who famously staged their first works in their garage, are now on the cusp of their second production with Australia’s flagship organisation, Sydney Theatre Company.

I think the clue to this mainstage-indie dance is the recent surge in desire for the vitality of “D.I.Y.” theatre. Doing-It-Yourself smacks of the poor theatre student who does not have the funds or the know-how yet to engage in professional practice and so exists on the fringe, making his/her own art until he/she has developed enough industry experience to be hired for a “professional” production or by a “professional” company. However, the lack of resources in the indie sector allows a certain type of creativity that may be compromised when production budgets become the norm. There is a recklessness, a searing freedom, to making your own work when you have a shoestring budget and no company accountant keeping a watchful eye over your shoulder.

In 2013, I co-founded Somersault Theatre Company with playwright Alison Rooke. We recently produced our first show, My Name is Truda Vitz, which was a solo work I had written about my grandmother. We hired the theatre at Darlinghurst’s Tap Gallery, which is a mainstay venue in the indie scene and is infamous for being perpetually run-down and populated by cats (if you haven’t had a cat wander onstage during a show, you haven’t really lived). Although the possibility of fusing the entire venue by turning on a switch was always fairly high, there was also nobody we felt accountable to, besides our audience, for the work we were making.

I never met my grandmother. She died before I was born and even when she was alive she never spoke about what happened to her as a young woman. All we know is that she escaped Vienna in 1938 when she was 17, covered in contraband jewellery, and that she lived alone as an Enemy Alien in England for seven years. My Name is Truda Vitz was an attempt to reconstruct Truda’s life before she was forced to flee. As this reconstruction was ultimately fictional, the show was also about the importance of the act of paying testament (because of the scale of the event, the narrative that I imagined may not have belonged to Truda but it would have belonged to somebody, somewhere). I stood on stage each night alone except for my cello, which stood in for my grandmother in the piece. Our set was a chair and a sprawling family tree chalked onto the back wall. We served cleanskin wine after the opening night performance. We also sold out six of our ten shows.

“D.I.Y.” theatre is almost incompatible to the unspoken blueprint of many professional theatres and perhaps this is its attraction. With no company image to maintain or adhere to, there are no expectations of your work, and it is met by the audience on its merit alone. Although it cannot capitalise on the prestige associated with a company’s repertoire it is also free of the well-grooved patterns established by that same body of work. All that it has is the creative furnace in which it was made and the determination of artists to use whatever they have on-hand to produce their internal worlds onstage.

wordless verbatim

I started asking questions, recently, about ways of knowing that do not relate to objective evidence. How can you tell a person by their smell? What music arrests movement because it defies reality, cutting into something inside of you that cannot be reached with language? Could we use a piece of music to create a sense of a person that could never be achieved with words?

I am currently writing a play about my grandmother. It is a verbatim theatre piece except that I never met her and I have no record of anything that she said.

I need, then, to work out how to make a person come alive that circumvents traditional ways of knowing and I think music might be a good place to start.

Below is the ongoing list of suggestions of music that cuts into the body, reaching something that is otherwise impregnable. Any more suggestions are deeply welcome.

(I made a judicious decision to leave out Miley Cyrus’s ‘Party in The USA.’)

  1. George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue
  2.  Nine Simone – Feeling Good
  3. Edward Elgar – Cello Concerto in E Minor
  4. G.F. Handel – Largo (from Xerxes)
  5. Arvo Part – Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten
  6. Leonard Cohen – The Traitor
  7. Nick Cave – The Ship Song
  8. Nick Cave – Into My Arms
  9. Regina Spektor – Samson
  10. Albinoni – Adagio in G Minor
  11. Rufus Wainwright – Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk
  12. Wagner – Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
  13. Samuel Barber – Adagio for Strings
  14. Barry White – Love’s Theme
  15. Yndi Halda – We Flood Empty Lakes
  16. The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows
  17. Tchaikovsky – Manfred Symphony
  18. John Adams – The Dharma at Big Sur
  19. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
  20. Elgar – Nimrod (Enigma Variations)
  21. Ani DiFranco – You Had Time
  22. Purcell – When I Am Laid In Earth (Dido and Aeneas)
  23. The Beatles – Blackbird
  24. David Bowie – Quicksand
  25. Sibelius – Symphony No.5 in E Flat Major
  26. The Shins – New Slang
  27. Linda Perry and Grace Slick – Knock Me Out
  28.  Loudon Wainwright III – Carrickfergus
  29. Radiohead – No Surprises
  30. Lana Del Rey – Radio
  31. Beethoven – Symphony No. 7
  32. Camera – Break/Hands
  33. The Decemberists – January Hymn
  34. The Unthanks – Farewell Regality + Here’s The Tender Coming
  35. Schubert – The Shepherd on the Rock
  36. Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending
  37. The Pixies – Where Is My Mind?
  38. Joanna Newson – Jackrabbits
  39. Jarvis Cocker – Running the World
  40. Erik Satie – Gymnopedie No. 1
  41. Wang Fan – Give My Body To