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DJ Spooky Donates Beats to Demon Dreams

About a month ago, I had the pleasure of running into Paul D. Miller AKA DJ Spooky at The Tank for Jose Bold's hilarious satire musical, SPIDERMANN. We got to talking, and he invited us to his wonderful performance at the opening night of the Korean American Film Festival New York, where we were treated to his live re-scoring for iPad and strings of the Korean film classic, Madame Freedom.  

In September of last year, we were hammering out the details of our first playwright spotlight with Tommy Smith, and the second play we decided to do was Demon Dreams, a story theatre update of traditional Japanese Noh stories. The play was inspired by one of the stories in Akira Kurosawa's Dreams*, "The Weeping Demon," itself a retelling of a traditional Buddhist fable. In the dream, a man meets a demon on a hillside after the human race has all died out or been transformed into demons by nuclear fallout. Where Kurosawa's tale ends as a nightmare, Tommy took a step further and gave the story a sense of hope. 

When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan a few weeks ago, the context in which we were producing this play suddenly became very different. As reports of nuclear meltdown came across the Pacific, what had seemed an innocuous enough setup for a fanciful play suddenly had a very real gravitas. Rather than scrap the show, we decided to take the opportunity to use the show as a platform to raise money for rebuilding efforts in Japan. 

We were looking for some good original hip-hop instrumentals for the show, so I reached out to Spooky and asked if he could recommend any up and coming artists who might donate some music to the show. He stepped up in a way that was totally unexpected and incredible and has personally donated his sound design and beat production services to the show. We could not be more excited to have his incredible talent as a part of this production, and more thankful to him for being so generous in sharing it with us. 

For more on Spooky and to keep up with his many fantastic projects, you can visit his website or follow his delightful tweets, and if you're inclined to that sort of thing, we definitely recommend his DJ app for the iPhone and iPad. If you happen to be in Paris this weekend, he'll be lecturing and performing at Gaîté Lyrique, or if you're in NYC you can catch him on the panel discussion Designing Activism: Graphic Arts, Propaganda, and the Green Movement at Gallapagos on the 26th. 

*If you've never seen Akira Kurosawa's Dreams, go to Netflix RIGHT NOW and watch it on instant. It defines the phrase "visually stunning." 

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