it’s just like you, a cold light
burning on the edge of memory
we are still on the road at night
forever lost, two empty vessels
making echoes for the future
your skin is a chamber of secrets
in one season, we wax and wane
with flavors of a setting sun
dotted with saguaros and silences
taking liberties with our hearts
let me sleep, my tired bones
left me in February’s cold stare
holding imaginary conversations
in our dreams, we bleed like veins
cut by jagged porcelain shards
your face, obscured by time
haunts too many waking hours
spent waiting for the moonlight
on rooftops, a lone canary sings
“Written on Skin”, George Benjamin (2012) - extrait AixFestival Extrait de l'opéra “Written on Skin” de George Benjamin, créé au Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2012 Extract from the opera “Written on Skin” by George Benjamin, created at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2012.
Written on Skin – George Benjamin
Direction musicale / Conductor : George Benjamin
Mise en scène / Stage director : Katie Mitchell
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Avec / With : Barbara Hannigan, Bejun Mehta
Création mondiale – Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 2012
Date:14th–16th century Geography:Tibet Culture:Tibetan Medium:Carved wood, skin, gesso, gilding Dimensions:Height: 42 15/16 in. (109 cm) Classification:Chordophone-Lute-plucked-unfretted Credit Line:Purchase, Clara Mertens Bequest, in memory of André Mertens, 1989Accession Number:1989.55 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Images and description from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “The ancient “silk route”, running from the Mediterranean to Sian in east central China, made Central Asia a meeting place of many cultures. This lute, an extraordinary example of musical exchange between East and West, is similar to instruments played by angels depicted in seventh-century Buddhist cave paintings. It offers some insight into the development of the modern sgra-snyan. The body, with two skin-covered chambers, is a rare example of an archaic transitional form that seems to point to the Afghan robab, and various Himalayan lute types. Decorative elements, such as green-colored skins, like those of the damarn, and the portraits of Buddha and musicians, rendered on painted ivory with gold leaf, are typical of fifteenth-century Tibet. The back, fingerboard, and pegbox reveal cartouches and palmettes reminiscent of seventeenth-century Persia. Tin leafing shows through as a silvery underlayer in a worn section of the instrument. Painted gesso adheres to the surface, the result of an ancient gilding process known as adoratura. Originally, there were six strings attached to this instrument, but the pegbox was shortened to accommodate five, with a possible sixth string attached to a side peg. Despite the appearance of Buddha and his musicians, the sgra-snyan was not used in religious settings, but accompanied secular song.”
I'VE HAD ENOUGH ABOUT THE MICHAEL JACKSON LIES SPREAD AROUND.
It’s slander I tell ya’! I HATE how they treated him when he was alive, saying he was a child molester, that he changed the color of his skin by bleaching it, saying he was homosexual, saying he was a fake, that he didn’t have pride over being an African American. That was bullshit. Tabloids and lies and rumors spread by the media. Now that’s he’s not here with us we (THE FANS) thought he was going to be left alone, but that’s not the case. People still say he raped kids and payed the families money to shut up and not keep accusing him. The COURT LEGALLY SAID IN 2005 THAT HE WAS INNOCENT OF ALL THE ACCUSATIONS THAT WERE DIRECTED TOWARDS HIM. All those kids parents abd family members wanted was MONEY, because they knew Michael had money and they used Michael’s helpful side AGAINST HIM. I just can’t believe people still believe that crap. It’s not true. He didn’t rape kids, he was just taking care of them and spending time with them. He didn’t change the color of his skin, he had vitiligo a skin disorder that changed the pigmentation of the skin. He wasn’t homosexual, for GOD’S SAKE HE MARRIED 2 BEAUTIFUL WOMEN AND HAD CHILDREN WITH ONE. He did pride himself over being African American, did you know that he had over 2 dozen books about African and African American history and said in a speech that he loved being black. He didn’t sleep in an oxygen chamber, he got in there to see how it felt to be in there and some random foe took a photo of him and sent it to a news reporter, the oxygen chamber was for the sick children in the hospital, NOT FOR HIM. He was a different person with a different heart and that’s why people couldn’t understand him and they can’t understand him now. That’s why ya’ll lie. Shame on society, shame on everyone who believes the lies siad about him. I just have had enough of you. That’s all. Bye.
No matter how serious life gets, you’ve still got to have that person you can be completely ridiculous with. A friend like that is hard to find, harder to leave and almost impossible to forget - Chamber of Luxury
A cult to an evil/mad god has preformed
a series of violent rituals to invoke her/his presence,but instead
gained the attention of something else. A creature of pure madness,
something from a chaotic realm, that rules over a small pocket
The dimension is spilling over the
countryside, warping wildlife and structures into new maddening
versions. Trees have eyes instead of leaves, deer have snake
antlers and worm-like fur, fields of wheat and corn are now wiggling
fleshy tentacles. Madness is also taking over people as they descend
into insanity, becoming violent murderous cannibals. Towns burn as
entire patrols of the mad push the region into anarchy and the
players must find the source before it sweeps the nation.
1 - at the epicenter of madness within
a glen of red grass and trees stands a lone red and black checkered
log cabin - it should feel serene and only slightly off compared to
its surroundings, the last step of sanity
A - the windows are red stained glass
and if anyone peers inside, they will see room 2
B - the door is made of alternating red
and black logs and is unlocked.
2 - inside the cabin is only one room
of wood floor and walls. A fireplace is ablaze with burning logs and
a figure covered in white linen sits in a rocking chair with one arm
dangling out, pointing at a bearskin rug on the floor.
A - if player remove the linen, the
figure should be a well known NPC, their face locked in an oversized
smile and a dead stare, focusing on only one player. It’s not really
the NPC and can’t do anything but point and smile, but can be killed,
moved, etc, should the players desire.
B - under the bear skin rug is a normal
wooden door built into the floor that opens to room 3
3 - a wooden hall descends like a pit X
meters to another wooden door. Rows of red stained glass windows line
the hall and a few torches burning bright red beside them light the
A - although the hall drops like a pit,
when the players go inside, gravity shifts locking the players onto
the floor of room 3, making room 2 look like a pit.
B - the windows can be gazed through.
On the other side can be any number of things, like a mirror image of
the hall, including the players copying even there movements, a sea
of blood with floating eyes, a multitude of demonic creatures staring
If the players break the widows, they
shatter, revealing only a wall on the other side.
C - when the players near the door,
words scratch into the wood: “Warning, you are about to leave all
4 - half of a wood cabin room that
break apart into a vast void of red stormy lighting clouds in all
directions. A few clumps of rocks float above the infinite pit,
creating a walkway into the storm. Voices moan, graon and yell within
A - the voices will repeat anything the
players have said in the past, preferable things they said in
private, exposing their secrets or mimicking their fears. This is
where you try to get under the players’ skin, make it personal to
each player, bring up past wrong doings, etc.
B - the players must jump to each clump
of floating rocks, but each group becomes further and further apart,
making it harder and harder to reach, forcing higher and higher rolls
If a player falls, they descend into
the clouds, which can be any number of meters below them, from there
you can choose one of the options below: They fall through the clouds and come
out above the cabin, crashing onto the roof. They can fall through the clouds on the
bottom and come out on top, crashing onto the stone piles. They can fall forever and are
considered dead. They can fall in a loop till a player
pulls them out of free-fall.
C - as players move through this area,
roll randomly for a lighting strike. If players are hit, they will
take X D6 lightning damage and suffer the effects of confusion,
insanity, fear, etc., any type of mind altering effect or spells
5 - as players ascend into the clouds,
they come across a stair way of solid fog that brings them above the
clouds to a desert of red and black sand stretching endlessly. On a
hill in the distance is a marble pool and 4 marble columns. In the
sky, fat and bloated, are all the creature and people the players
A - as the players traverse the desert,
wind picks up and blows into things they have done in the past.
Again, like in part 4, but instead of voices, it’s now the visual
version. Did they murder, did they pocket that gem they said they
didn’t, everything becomes exposed here.
A little while later, the wind blows
again and this time it becomes their worst nightmares, karma as if it
were to punish the player for past misdeeds.
Players must roll for fear/insanity or
some mind altering spell or effect of your choosing.
Once a player fails, they also see the
other players as their fear and must fight to save themselves. At
this point, encourage some in-party fighting. After all, this is a
place of madness.
B - the pool in the hill is filled with
blood and contains a wooden door at the bottom with another smaller
wooden door in the center of the first one.
Going into the blood has no effect
other than it’s blood.
Opening the larger door brings players
back to part 2 in the cabin as if they were just entering,
Opening the smaller door brings the
players to part 6.
6 - a small room of soggy fleshy
material. Within the walls, there are a number of small skin flaps
that act as doors. On the ground, inked into the skin, are the words
“chamber of dreams and nightmares”.
A - when a players puts their hand on a
skin flap to open it, a voice rumbles from within: “What is your
If the player makes no wish, then when
they open the flap, it is empty and will no longer work for the
reminder of the time the players spend here.
If they do make a wish, one of two
things can happen: either it can be their dream or their nightmare
If a dream, give the players to a
degree anything they asked for ,magic items / gold / stat increase /
experience. If they ask for a plus 5 sword and are level one, give
them plus 1. If they ask for a million gold, give them what is
appropriate for their level.
If a curse, take away what they asked
for, but also keep it appropriate to their level. If they want
strength but are level 1, take away 1 point for a week. If 20th
level, take several points permanently. If gold, take maybe 50 if
they are first, but 1000s if they are 20th, etc.
The dream/nightmare ratios should be
about 75/25 in the players favor, after all you, want the players to
The very last skin flaps they look into
leads to part 7
7 - after crawling through a wet fleshy
tunnel, is opens to a large human mouth. Past the rows of teeth, the
tongue quivers soft and moist. The uvula pulsates and the throat is
reddened, agitated flesh leading to blackness.
A - once the players step inside the
mouth, the uvula bursts open and the creature of madness comes out.
This creature can be anything re-skinned to look like anything. Maybe
it has ogre stats, but appears as a mound of hands, or a dragons who
appears as their grandma’s sweater, anything. It doesn’t have to make
sense, this place is madness.
The creature has one extra ability,
maddening laughter: the creature laughs continuously and is
infectious. Every round the players must roll not to start into
If a player fails, they are considered
stunned till they roll out of the effect. Also while under the
effect, after the first round, they starts to spasm, taking X D6
damage per round till they roll out of it.
B - the throat leads to the chimney or
part 2, landing in the fireplace which can or cannot still be lit.
When the creature dies, the dimension
starts to fade, or does it? Are the players cursed with permanent
madness, seeing illusion and hallucination? Do voices whisper to them
in the night? Do figments try to barter for their souls? Do the
players now permanently see another world around them, always trying
to break through? Does the land recover or does it only create more
cults and followers of madness to arrive? Do the players come back to
a place that snapped, cities ablaze and hordes of savages running
across the country side, killing and eating everything they find?
This can be as complex or simple as you
like, after all, it’s about having fun.
So till the next time, enjoy and hope
to see you again.