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Date: Wed, 03 May 89 13:58 PDT
Subject: Sat In Your Lap
>While I noticed that Kate was quite dramatic with her expressions in several of the videos, I thought the bug-eyed stance in Sat In Your Lap rather ridiculous looking, to say the least. Probably the only bad thing I found in all of them...
Bad? Unless you consider the reason for Kate's blank, empty stare throughout Sat In Your Lap. She obviously did that very deliberately--she has never used quite that kind of vapid expression in any other performance, just Sat In Your Lap. Could it have anything to do with the theme of the song?
-- Andrew Marvick
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 90 09:06:27 +0100
From: Andreas Bjorklind <abj@IDA.LiU.SE>
Subject: MusikDramatik (4/89) article
Article from the Swedish "serious" magazine MusikDramatik's (Musical drama) fourth issue 1989. It is written by Ola Stensson. The translation is mine, with help from Ms. Carina Skytt.
"Much can be included in the conception of musical drama --eg rock videos. Might this be an art form belonging to the future? Ola Stensson have studied one rock artist with artistic ambitions -- Kate Bush."
"There is one enormously vital art form that have been ignored in Swedish arts pages during the eighties -- the rock video. It is possible that this means of expression already has changed our perception, our view of a dramatic course of events, our sense of rhythm, and also our view of man.
The rock video is nothing new -- it's nearly as old as the form of music itself. The interesting thing is that while this music has stepped back after the reshaping years of 1966-1971, rock, in it's capacity of visual medium, has developed and is at the moment most creative, vital, and often experimental. The situation today is really paradoxal. Sometimes it can almost be as if Harry Kupfer should produce Laurel & Hardy film.
There are exeptions where music, lyrics, and visuals are a synthesis, and where we are at the Complete Work of Art. An example of an artist with ambitions as well as means of creating something like this is Kate Bush. It's not a question of comparing her to Wagner, Alban Berg, Karl-Birger Blomdahl, or someone else with their ambition. But, she is an example of what could be done and what always can be done. Most of the innovation remains.
Kate Bush is English, and was born in 1958, made a hit in 1978 with "Wuthering Heights", a song based on Emily Bronte's novel. She has since released six albums. The music is sometimes superficially very difficult to access, with complicated arrangements and dared shifts in rhythm, especially on the LP "The Dreaming" form 1982. This dosen't hinder a strong influence from folk-music, not the least the Irish, like in "Hounds of Love" (1985) or the Bulgarian as in "The Sensual World" (1989).
If you go through Kate Bush's videos from the beginning you find a development that pretty well correspond to the one her music has undergone. Here follow some examples.
In the beginning it was not a matter of illustrating lyrics and music. It was more a matter of pure promotion ((emphasized in the original --Andreas)). If one, as an example, choses videos from Kate's first album one finds her videos decorative, elegant, but dramatically highly stylized. There are exeptions, though, like "Hammer Horror" from the second LP "Lionheart". The lyrics are about the depression that always seems to lurk in the singer's soul, and hinders the I she shows among the people. Kate performs with an aura of innocence, she wears brightly coloured flowers, but she is wearing black clothes and is constantly followed by another black clothed figure that imitates her movements. After a while she throws the flower decorated hat away and the black shadow gets more power over her. They enter an erotic dance, which ends with the black clothed masqued shape strangling its victim.
This is perhaps the first Kate Bush video where the producer's ambitions were beyond creating a mere promotion. Kate's ideas are now developing, and the result is shown in full by the 1982's "The Dreaming", where an enormous amount of work has been concentrated on her visual language. The result is very gifted and most peculiar. Take, for example, "Breathing". Kate is here enclosed in a transparent bubble, which strongly reminds of a womb. She tries to break out of this bubble, but succeeds only in moving it. She imitates the embryo's movements in the amniotic fluid "I've been out before. But this time it's much safer in.". Suddenly the bubble starts rotating and rolls without control. It bursts, and a birth takes place in strong lights like from an atomic explosion. In the next sequence one sees Kate wade out of a river (the water returns as a symbol) together with other survivors -- breathing ((emphasized in the original --Andreas)) -- and the A-bomb mushroom shrinks. So, life is appearently possible, even for the one who manage to break free from herself.
A very sophisticated video, not only technically, is "Sat In Your Lap". The lyric is philosophical and deal with the impossiblitity about knowledge. Kate roller-skates, in a cone-formed idiot hat, together with similiarly clothed people. In come fools and heathens in brutal bull masks. The urges and the joking is reality, we don't have any other knowledge. Kate is now clad in "the White Ballet's" attribute, and dances on the clean parquet, as the Cultural Human surrounded by reality.
"The Dreaming" is one of her most famous videos, and is taking place in a dreamt Stonehenge landscape, obviously located on another planet. Kate falls out of the sky in a space suit. But everything from her original civilization seems to have been forgotten, since she starts working on a rock with a wedge and looks watchfully around like a human -- a prehistoric human -- surrounded by a thousand dangers. A laser beam cuts through the landscape, and she caresses it with her hands. Thus she and the "primitive" aboriginies conjure on the planet a thunderstorm, which buries them in sand. But one of the beings, previously mute, can suddenly speak. So, the human doesn't change. The primitive can develop, and the civilized can go back, but a change is in fact not possible.
"Suspended In Gaffa" has a abandoned stable as the scene. "Can't have it all" is a maxim in the lyric, which is illustrated by Kate building a bird out of nothing -- out of the thin air -- which then flies. In the end the bird is captured, but it's not a usual bird, not of flesh and blood, but consisting of one feather which is caught by the wind. "I'm much more of that girl in the mirror between you and me" -- so it's her own view of herself that hinders her real contact with other people. In the end a mother figure appears in this stable. This mother is real and doesn't disappear when Kate hugs her.
These songs about no contact and ignorance about the reality, were in some sense exchanged by sturdiness in her next album, "Hounds of Love".
The conclusion is: Don't be afraid of the rock culture, and, particularly, don't be afraid of the Bush lass. She has much to give us, regardless to which generation we belong. And the rock video, as has been said, is a very vital part of musical drama which we now must not look down on. Don't content yourselves with reading about this: See it and form your own opinion!"
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 90 10:46 PST
Subject: Re: Musik Dramatik article
Sincere thanks to Andreas for transcribing the Musik Dramatik article on symbolism in Kate's videos. Some of Ola's observations were very interesting, though several were unfortunately flawed by a mis-interpretation of the English lyrics of the song. (It isn't "obvious", for example, that the setting for the video of The Dreaming is "another planet". In fact, that seems very unlikely. It's far more likely that the intended setting is Australia--a weird, horrifying alter-Australia, perhaps, but still Australia.
Date: Thu, 10 May 90 08:20:13 EDT
Hello there fellow Love-Hounds--
The final KT item which I found was a new VIDEO (yes, you heard me right) called Kate Bush: The Collection. The cover is black and has a head-and-shoulders shot of Kate in her Wuthering Heights white gown. What this tape consists of is any and possibly every TV show clip that Kate ever appeared on, including the old SNL with Eric Idle introducing her. A lot of the items are things I've never even heard of, such as something called the Old Grey Whistle Test (?), Razzmatazz, etc. There is even one clip taken from a COOKING show, where Kate introduces the hostess to the joys of vegetarian fare as the two of them chat in Kate's garden.
Unfortunately, there are some bits which have less-than-terrific quality, but being PAL converted, what do you expect? The content of the video, to me at least, more than makes up for the lacking quality. There is one bit where Kate is sitting with the show's hostess in front of a lot of school-age children, where she discusses the video for Sat In Your Lap, and she proceeds to pull out a series of props from the video and put them on the kids' heads: the jester's cap, the dunce cap, and the bull horns. She even pulls her ballerina tutu out of her bag of tricks. It's quite cute to watch her interacting with the kids.
That's all for now. Big woofs....
All the best,
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 92 15:37:56 +0100
From: Ulrich Grepel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Army Dreamers Mrs. Mopp performance on 3sat
Hi all Katefans,
and, seen Kate on 3SAT? It was not only the Mrs. Mopp performance of Army Dreamers, it also was the Babooshka performance of the same date. By the way, the programme originally ran on September 13, 1980, just for those who do day-by-day biographies of any kind.
P R o c k p
Phew! That was thrilling. The programme was announced for the time from 14:15 to 14:55. At about 14:35 Kate performed Babooshka. Then off the stage. Sh.t! Only Babooshka! No Mrs. Mopp! But then: On 14:53 she came again, this time as Mrs. Mopp... Now: Would they cut her off? No, the show actually ran until after 14:55. There was even enough time for Rod Stewart to BEGIN his performance. He was more or less cut off! Luckily we are the Katefans, not the Rodfans...
Can anyone tell IED (or are you actually reading this?) that he should swap entries 45 and 46 in his video list in the GARDEN02 file? You're always trying to be the most exact Katemaniac...;-) BTW: There are actually three (not two) guys dancing with her.
Now I have a question: Might it be the case that the photo of the Mrs. Mopp appearance that is printed in the book 'Kate Bush - The Whole Story' by Kerry Juby between pages 52 and 53 is from another source? Look at Kate's hair, it is looking different! In the RockPop performance it is pulled out of the headscarf, in the photo in the book it is not.
On to The Dreaming songs - "Sat In Your Lap"
written by Love-Hounds
compiled and edited
Sept 1995 June 1996