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Astrid Young - iST

A text inspired of the atmosphere of iST's CD (buy it)

 


In the half-light stained with bloody stars, only the gleam of your glance allows me to read the stories of iST. Shuddering pages which are hung over a marsh in which drinks the hydrocephalic prowler, guardian of this scene. Music !

Bleed : Lying down in bed, Astrid feels her lover hands firmly and inexorably descending from her face towards her throat. Chained to his kisses, to his embrace, Astrid smiles at him. The determined hands stop at her throat. A vermilion trickle flows from Astridís nose. Sheíd like to say to her lover that a toy doesnít bleed but her voice is choked. The bed whirls round in all directions and falls unrestrained, endlessly at a frantic speed. Not far from there, a narrow platform, where the three members of iST play, is doing the same thing. Involuntarily, Astrid slips off the bed taking the sheet with her and uses it as a parachute. Before long she lands on an earth thatís soft like jelly. She gets up and tries to flee but the guardian blocks her way and from his deformed face comes a word : "Kapu", in a harsh groan. Astrid tries to calm him down by giving him the silk sheet. The guardian raises his threatening arms. Astrid doesnít stay long. The guardian puts the softness of the silk Astrid gave him to his cheek.

16 mm : Astrid takes refuge in a movie theater. As she enters, someone gives her an empty bottle. She would like to understand, but she doesnít stay too long and she is now part of the audience. An old black and white movie is showing. Astrid sits down without thinking and starts to stare at the screen. The scratchy film touches the still tender hearts. IST is the accompaniment. The scene shows a couple pulling each other close, like magnets of opposite polarity. Tears run down Astridís cheeks. They flow past her trembling lips, roll on her chin and fill the bottle she holds in her hands. The kiss is imminent. She cannot refrain from shouting. We receive this frozen cry like a knife blade. Rewinding back to the moment when the couple pulls together. Astrid, shouting, runs towards the exit. Outside, the guardian obstructs the exit. "Kapu". Astrid offers him the bottle filled with her tears. The guardian smells it and pulls a face - revealing his filed teeth. Astrid goes back into the audience, falls on her knees, closes her eyes and puts her fingers in her ears. Nothing is changing. The scene is forever in her head, now. Astridís cry, like a multitude of sewing needles, chills the audience to the bone. The guardian plays, like a child, watching at his fingers growing bigger when he looks with amazed eyes at his hairy fingers through the bottle of tears.

Drag Race Face : Now, Astrid, like some Paniolo, rides a roaring customized horse. Along the way, the big tires burn up the road. Impossible to turn back. A spark reaches the side of the road where iST plays. Caught in the fire, iST remain unperturbed and continue their frenzied music. Astrid runs towards her lover, to the love he gave her. She never suspected such high intensity love possible. Astridís bowels are still trembling. None of her previous lovers had loved her like this. Her brain is burnt forever. Her love is a Poka-Lolo multiplied over and over. The road is infinite. The leaves slap Astridís face. She accelerates. The needle of the speedometer is at its maximum. The glass break on the speedometer. Prisoner of her obsession. Astrid doesnít see that the road stops. Does she know that sheís falling ? No. It will soon be the end of her run. Look out ! Astrid falls into a taut sheet which hung vainly out to dry in this marshy country. The motorbike was not as lucky, itís lying down on the ground giving its last dying breaths, after which it is swallowed by the quicksand. Astrid is face to face with the guardian. Astrid, although she can say "Kapu" too, isnít against new experiences. Right now, however, sheís sickened but she hasnít really the choice. She comes to him offering him her body. The guardian doesnít know what to do with this unknown nudity that he finds repugnant. So, he chases away Astrid.

Lemming Song : Astrid, exhausted, finds refuge in the shadow of a hillock in which a colony of lemmings goes about its daily life. A lemming stops digging, an unusual thing for a lemming. An incredible rush appears in the line of lemmings blindly following him. The troublemaker addresses his followers. Follow me my friends. Good lemmings that you are, I will lead you to the sea. Go if you want to. The reflections of the straw-coloured moon on the sea will blind us from the danger. Get out of our way or get back to work. My friends, I canít live without you. Doesn't the course of the sun enlighten your mind ? Take the joystick of your own life ! Donít wait any longer. Follow me to the sea. iST plays on the mound. The bass drum is a wheel, spinning with the effect of the little lemmingsí legs. Our adventurous lemming, alone, finds himself on a cymbal. The whack of a drumstick catapults him onto Astrid who is asleep. At once, Astrid leaves the dream. Close by, squatting on a rock, an imposing dark form with two piercing eyes discover her. In one bound, the guardian is next to her. Astrid gives him the lemming which is still stunned, and she tells him that the lemming is good to eat. The guardian screams. Astrid runs away. The guardian fondles the lemming. The bulky eyes of the monster meet the small eyes of the animal. Something happens between them. The guardian puts the lemming on his shoulder.

Mars Hall : Astrid leans over towards the painter. She plunges a finger into the open wound from which blood bubbles away. New feeling. Strange feeling. Astrid takes pastels and some Ingres paper. The trickles of blood she paints are compact, thick. They stand like elegant trees of a forest streaming out from an earth that had no choice but to generate them. Astrid found her lover again. She remembers that. You are with a woman. Another woman. As beautiful as me. You didnít notice me. I follow you secretly. Elevator. You go up to see the panorama. Empty hall at this hour. Red Mars and its tiring scenery of aggregates. Its sky is red also but dirty as a muddy veil of mist than nothing ever breaks through or washes away. Languorous love kiss. Suddenly you move away from her, your mouth is covered with blood. I donít understand. The girl falls down with a dull thud. You stand close to her and you look at her. I donít understand anything. You turn over. You didnít seem to have noticed this painter who fixed the landscape on canvas. I did. You go to him, determined. Itís at this time that I see the knife in your hand. I stay in the shadow, paralysed. Time goes by. I am alive. You didnít see me. Astrid considers her finished pastel. The different layered views seem to give the feeling of rising upward towards the top from where blood springs. A crude but diffuse light hurls us into the heart of the scene. I remember being passionately fond of a European forest. iST played there. Called elevator is just coming. The guardian stands in front of Astrid who offers him her red pastel stick. He licks it and spits. Astrid goes to the backstairs, climbing seventy five floors while repeating the whole time : "Bunderbos".

Danís Chest : How is it that the guardian is also on Mars and should he know Danís secrets ? those are the questions that come to Astridís mind as sheís climbing the last flight of stairs. At the top of the stairs, a hand violently pins Astrid against the wall. Hello Dan. Happy to see you again. Dan is in fetus position on the bed. Astrid is close to him. Dan, I found your trace, your room. I enter to wait for you. A chest, so big that someone can stand inside, made of rough and mahogany wood, interests me. I open it. I slip inside. The chest closes. I see a light near my feet. A hidden door. A stair goes down. I go down it. I arrive to what seems to me to be another planet which could be Mars. I see you at once. Curled up in the bed, Dan gives a sickly cry while listening to Astridís story. He knows whatís coming, what heís done. The bed slowly keeps on drifting on the mirror-lake. It wanders, like "Les enerves de Jumieges" on the Seine river, at the mercy of the waves. The band iST plays on a thin small island. Astrid asks Dan to stare right in her face. Dan is in pain. He chose a painful short cut to live his life. Astrid bends Dan to the surface of the mirror-lake to show him who he is now. Dan falls down. He breaks the mirror-lake as if he was a hammer. Dan doesnít reappear. Astrid calls, holding out her two hands towards the gaping hole. Astrid takes a piece of broken mirror and while hoping to see Dan again, inspects it. Some drops of blood bead on it. My friend, my friend. A mass seems to come close to the surface. Astrid is delighted. But itís the guardian who appears. He clings to the boat-bed, and catches Dan knife. Astrid confronts him with the breaking of the mirror. Frightened by his own image, the guardian rushes out into the black water. Astrid is alone in this lugubrious scenery. Only a tiny cracking breaks the silence. Itís the mirror-lake which forms again.

Butterfly Species # 42343 : Astrid, hidden, watches all the guardianís actions on her camcorder screen. Close up shot of the guardian who sharpens a piece of wood with his new knife, in the light of some glowing embers. Wide angle shot of the lagoon and the outline of a sinister fragment of the moon. Dan still hasnít reappeared. Something, other than the usual bats, is moving in this landscape. Astrid focuses. Close up shot of the object. Itís a mothman, itís flight lumbering and miserable, that moves towards the guardianís fire. Astrid switches on the brilliant light of her camcorder. The mothman diverts his trajectory and lands close to Astrid. They take cover. The guardian, intrigued, is already in the zone. Astrid points out to the mothman, whose name is David, the guitar which he has on his back. David forces himself to tell his story. Iíve come back from the country of the light. I manage well with my guitar and I have there a kind of success. Over there, you have to start by going through the rite of selling your soul. To play my music, I had to take off my wings because theyíre too dark. Hollywood sells dreams and bursts the dreams. In majestic wings beats, David carries Astrid towards a coffee shop where his girlfriend is delighted to see him again. However, she knows she wonít join her David in Hollywood. Forward travelling shot of the small stage of the coffee shop where iST plays. The few customers have their back turned towards them. They look at the latest fashionable pop video on a screen. David, your hopes melted away with the sun. You dug and filled three grooves. So what ? A sapphire will never caress them, a diamond will never enrich them. Your girlfriend wants to live here with you but can you accept this idea ? David gives his guitar to Astrid who refuses to take it. David insists. Astrid is outside with the guitar facing the guardian. She smiles at the sight of him. If she didnít meet him right now, she would have been extremely surprised. Cut.

Massacre At Central High : Astrid comes to the Central High village. She hears a tragedy has just taken place. A wave of emotion has unfurled on the country. Poor children. During the break, two children wander from the school complex. They are Tieman and Skyman. In ambush, they spy on nasty monsters coming from another galaxy who develop their massive destruction weapons, and which hold the band iST prisoner. Tieman and Skyman counted them. There are twenty three. The children exchange knowing smiles and, like super-heroes, take their fluorescent ray laser guns out of their capes. This monster with tentacular arms and this one with the dusky hair have had it. Thatís two less, twenty and one are left. The cyclops dwarf is agonizing in turn. Twenty left. The general panic among the monsters doesnít allow them to react efficiently. Still three less. Among the assailants, victory is assured. Suddenly, members of the evil coalition insidiously attack the two children. Severely manhandled by sinister, enraged monsters, they are disarmed and led to the headquarters located behind the moon. These two children wonít see Central High again for a long time. Among ammunition and cases left by the two children, Astrid picks up an half-eaten package of cupcakes and hangs it over its shoulder. Three seconds are enough so that the guardian appears and takes it. Without turning back, Astrid joins the schoolyard down below where the charming portrait of the six souls which taken before their time precociously is already hung on the front of the building.

Spaceship : Astrid walks along the banks of the mirror-lake. Like a ripe fruit, Dan falls, at her feet, from a tree where he had taken refuge. The reunion is hot. Of course, they need it and they had it ! Dan is a different lover, as if his soul had been washed during his bath in the mirror-lake. Astrid has everything she could wish. She explains to Dan that her spaceship is very close to here, but itís on the guardianís territory, and he forbids her access. Astrid points out a star in the sky. There is a planet which is dedicated to art, sex, music and magic near this star. From here, that star seems rather cold and bloody. But beyond the atmosphere of this cursed planet, this star shows its real face to its sincere friends. It will radiate thousand bright fires if you want to join me. Both move towards the spaceship. On the way, they meet David and his girlfriend. They invite them to leave their clothes, to leave all that reminds them of this world and to follow them for a new star. The guardian blocks the way to these four stark naked humans. Astridís nudity, which has been twice exposed to him, interests the guardian. But this time, Astrid isnít having any of it. She offers him a daisy that Dan had put in her hair. The guardian lets them go through towards the spaceship. Astrid looks at her star once again. A long way to reach this galaxy. Astrid sees this dirty-looking sky bursting with a thousand stars. She shrugs her shoulders. Or even this star of third kind. The guardian smells the daisy, and murmurs, a tear in his eye : "Mahalo. Mahalo nui loa". In front of the band iST, the guardian dances voluptuously, holding the flower delicately as if it was a person.

Silence : The airlock of the spaceship is closed on Astrid and her friends.

Drag Race Face (Astrid, solo, acoustic) : Astrid gets the spaceship ready to fire off . The guardian and the band iST wave them bye-bye. The vibration of the engines shakes the spaceship. The passengers are stuck in their seats. Astrid holds her hand out to Dan. Now she needs his love, as the most incredible that she has experienced. But Dan turns down her wishes because heís trying with all his might to withstand the violence of the force thatís crushing him. The spaceship starts to pull itself away off the ground. The plants in the marsh cling obstinately to the spaceship, which finally succeeds taking off with a jolt. Astrid gets on to Dan again, but he still neglects her need. The spaceship reaches the thick crust of the sky made of a viscous consistency, difficult to penetrate. The spaceship begins to rip the surface. The penetration is laborious. Astrid gives an acceleration. The sky, in reaction, pushes back the spaceship. Astrid begins the operation again. An opening has been made, the drag will be less significant this time. Indeed, the spaceship begins to leave this sticky membrane. But suddenly its advance is blocked. From the marsh, a plant still holds it back at the level of the spare tank. Now, it pulls the spaceship towards it. The spaceship moves back. Astrid wishes that Dan would take her in his arms. Dan doesnít think of doing that. Astrid pushes flat out the engines. No change is noticed because the plant branches out and for this reason the power of its hold increases. The spaceship pushes further into the sky. The sky reacts. It spits the spaceship far from away it. Now the spaceship swims towards that star. Or this one.

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Spiders From Venus
(David Bowie covered by women) :

Modern Love (David Bowie) : Three passengers of the spaceship are already in hibernation. Astrid has orders to verify by herself the validity of the last parameters. She remembers the clip which was shown in the coffee shop, over there on this planet that she sees moving away so quickly through the porthole. She takes her twelve-string guitar, and holds close to her her Pignose lap slide, her percussions and her organ. She begins to play all these instruments and mix them with parsimony, the acoustic way being the Master. She plays for a sleeping Dan and her friends. She plays for herself. The more we remember a happy and restless Bowie with his wonderfully light Modern Love, the more Astrid send us the shivers, as her Modern Love is a ballad in which the modern love isnít obtained without being hurt. The pain ensuing from these wounds, although itís held back, hurts us too. Astrid, I bleed. Her sad glance is amused. She opens a bottle of wine. The contents spread throughout the cabin in multiple volatile clusters. Astrid has fun gathering them with her mischievous lips. The spaceship moves away going towards that star.

Denis (Rusty Words) (February 1, 2004)
© IDDN 2005
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Thanks to Philippe Tenaud for the translation help.

Thanks to David's checker/arranger
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Note :
The Astridís pastel is here : http://www.astridyoung.net/art/index.php

Vocabulary :
Bunderbos : Very beautiful forest in the Netherlands.
HawaÔens words :
Kapu : Forbidden; taboo; poison; keep out; or do not touch.
Mahalo : Thank you.
Mahalo nui loa : Thank you very much.
Poka-Lolo (pah-kah-low-low) : Literally "Burn-Brain" or more familiarly "nickname of Marie-Jeanne".
Paniolo (pan-nee-OH-low) : Cowboy.

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My original text