2007-03-26 9H:00 Beirut

Difficult situation. I got an URGENT mail from Bob last night. He was packing up to take off to the airport and could not find his passport. Then he remembered sending it to the government passport office to get new pages added in…and it never came back. So he could not get on the plane, had to cancel the ticket (not being reimbursed, just getting a credit on British airway for a year) having to spend money to get a quick passport, buy a new much more expensive plane ticket with a crazy itinerary, etc.

The question boils down to: «Are we going to pay to do this gig together or I am going to do it alone with recorded music he would send me through the Internet?» This is currently being discussed between us and Irtijal.,, When I got the URGENT message, it remembered me the Guelph Jazz Festival three years ago, when I got a late night phone call from Bob, his boyfriend just had a motorcycle accident and was between life and death at the hospital and he could not make it to the festival. I really was afraid that something dramatic had happened again. What is happening is unhappy but not dramatic!

So, ironically, I might be facing the Lebanese reactions to our piece alone. Having already lived through a similar situation, Bob got really nervous about this questioning. I remained cooler but could not avoid finding it legitimate and appropriate. Back in November, my suggestion was to show a demo of our piece to all the Lebaneses whom we knew. So we sent DVD’s around, to Irtijal, to my old friend Robert Daudelin who lives in Beyrouth, I have shown it to Etel Adnan (a Lebanese poet living between Beyrouth, Paris and San Francisco, an old friend of Bob). The reactions were all good. But Bob kept being nervous about it. I understood it also had to do with segments of the piece involving images of dead children which were really very brutal. The last changes I did to the piece (using less preanimated material, adopting a more spontaneous and intimate approach made possible by the use of a dry erase markers tablet) did put everything in a more intimate emotional light.

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