LLPU Banner

Mirror Man Act 1 Cover Mirror Man
Act 1, Jack & The General

Produced by David Thomas.

Cooking Vinyl COOK CD175 (US & UK) 3/22/99 cd.

Order the Mirror Man cd from Ubutique
"....this world shrunk
to one lone brakeman's face
stuck out of darkness -
long white forehead
like a bleached skull of cow -
huge black sad eyes -
high-peaked cloth cap, grey-striped
swings his railroad lantern high, close up
as our window whizzes by -
his figure splashed upon it,
slanted, muezzin-like,
very grave, very tall,
strange skeleton -
Who stole America?
Myself I saw in the window reflected"

'Starting from San Francisco' by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  1. Mirror Man Sees
  2. Mirror Man Speaks
  3. Lost Nation Road
  4. Flying Dutchman Of The Interstate
  5. Ballad Of Florida
  6. Montana
  7. Ribbons On The Road
  8. Morbid Sky
  9. Nowheresville
  10. Shadows On The Face
  11. Memphis
  12. Over The Moon
  13. If The Deer Blinks
  14. Bus Called Happiness
  15. Weird Cornfields

mm art Mirror Man
Act 2, Bay City

Produced by David Thomas.

Available only as audio download from, $10.

  1. Bay City (4:04)
  2. Letter Home #1 (:56)
  3. Ghosts (9:11)
  4. Letter Home #2 (1:17)
  5. Man In The Dark (7:28)
  6. Black Coffee Story (2:45)
  7. Black Coffee Song (9:48)
  8. Surf's Up (8:20)
  9. Three Things (8:41)
  10. Epilogue (2:44)

bc art Bay City
David Thomas and foreigners

This cd is essential to Mirror Man, it was conceived as background / back story material.

Order the cd from Ubutique
Links and Background:
ReviewsFAQThe theatrical productionThe librettoProduction notesManifesto

Mirror Man is a kind of music cum theatre cum storytelling. It was commissioned by the South Bank and performed April 3 1998 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, as part of the David Thomas: Disastodrome! festival. David Thomas wrote, directed and conducted. The backbone of the Pale Orchestra is the duo, Andy Diagram & Keith Moliné, who feature in David Thomas and two pale boys.

Mirror Man, Act 1 was recorded at the production's 1998 premiere. Mirror Man Act 2 was recorded during the production's UK tour in 2001 and is revised from the original. Bay City by David Thomas and foreigners is a companion album that represents various stories that were not included in the productions for reasons of time.

The stage is littered with gutted refrigerators, a mangled shopping trolley, traffic cones, reflector tape, a bathtub, cannibalized bits of engines, and scrap metal. Suspended overhead stage right is a washing machine, gutted. A light shines inside. Overhead stage left, turning slowly in the air, are two oversized, double-sided traffic signs that read:

Avoid Trite & Unnecessary Talk
Eat Oranges & Live
Be Alert
Sorry, please locate and use Aisle 1900

There are no landmarks. The backdrop is a scrim. Shadows and lights on the scrim are in constant, lateral motion; sometimes in one direction, other times in both.

From stage left, from time to time, comes a flickering suggestive of neon in the wilderness, islands of light in the darkness. Or a carnival at night. Between lights and darkness is a twilight zone, the grassy ring that surrounds every carnival, the wasteland that buffers the darkness at the edge of every town, the space between here and there, memory and place. Detached you float. This is the light in which Mirror Man begins and finishes. A fractured soundtrack is heard as if in the distance. The light at the beginning is as dawn, angled and soft. It moves overhead, briefly, bright and without shadow and from there proceeds to twilight.

The players and singers are arranged in a broad semi-circle suggestive of a minstrel show. The singers are characters who are passersby, travelers through, residents in transit. Each steps forward to tell his or her story. Some are linked.

Far to stage left is the radio announcer setup: microphone on a studio boom, stool, and an "On Air" light. Bob Holman's poetic narrative is delivered from here. His voice projects from speakers at the back and to the sides of the auditorium, disembodied and "on the air." David Thomas' narratives are delivered in more intimate contact with the characters, as an observer or as a character himself.

The Pale Orchestra for Act 1, conducted by David Thomas is
David Thomas: singer, melodeon
Bob Holman: poet
Linda Thompson: singer
Robert Kidney: singer
Jackie Leven: singer
Daved Hild: singer
Jane Bom-Bane: singer
Keith Moliné: guitar
Andy Diagram: trumpet
Peter Hammill: guitar, keyboards, harmonium
Jack Kidney: harp, tenor sax
Chris Cutler: drums

The Pale Orchestra for Act 2, conducted by David Thomas is
David Thomas: vocals Linda Thompson: vocals
Jackie Leven: vocals
Robert Kidney: vocals
Bob Holman: narrative
Daved Hild: vocals
Keith Moliné: guitar
Andy Diagram: trumpet
Jack Kidney: sax
Chris Cutler: drums and electronics

Production Notes, Act 1
Mixed by David Thomas.
Mix engineered by Paul Hamann at Suma. Sep 15 & Dec 15-18 1998.
Recorded Apr 3 1998 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, on a Tascam DA38 8-track digital recorder.
Live sound mixed by Dids.
"Montana" repairs recorded by David Thomas in his kitchen, except Peter Hammill's harmonium which was recorded in Bath. Portions recorded at The Ritz rehearsal studio, Putney, 7/18/98, and The Knitting Factory, 9/11/98.
Package designed by John Thompson.
Photos by Kathy Thompson.

The cd for Act 1 runs 65 minutes without natural breaks. The 11 track points are located according to a numerical system that serves to drop the listener close to hoped for locations. The recording was made on an 8-track Tascam DA-38 digital recorder.

Production Notes, Act 2
Produced by David Thomas. Mix engineered by Paul Hamann at Suma. Recorded live at Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton, May 27 2001 and at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, May 26 2001.

Publishing Details:
"Mirror Man Sees" (Thomas), "Mirror Man Speaks" (Holman), "The Flying Dutchman of The Interstate" (Hild - Moliné - Diagram), "Ribbons On The Road" (Bom-Bane - Moliné - Diagram), "Morbid Sky" (Thomas - Moliné), "Nowheresville" & "Weird Cornfields" (Thomas - Moliné - Diagram), Shadows On The Face (Kidney - Moliné - Diagram), and "If The Deer Blinks" (Thomas - Moliné - Diagram - Cutler) are published by Hearpen Music, administered by Bug Music. "Lost Nation Road" & "Bus Called Happiness" (Cutler - Jones - Krauss - Maimone - Ravenstine - Thomas), "Memphis" & "Montana" (Jones - Krauss - Temple - Thomas - Yellin), and "Over the Moon" (Feldman - Jones - Krauss - Maimone - Thomas) are publishing by Ubu Projex, administered by Bug Music. "Ballad of Florida" (Carney - Hild - Kramer) is published by Tess Music.

Release History:
Thirsty Ear thi 57068.2 (US) 6/22/99 cd.
Bomba BOM22097 (Japan) 4/25/99 cd.
Penguin COOKCD175 (Greece) 4/99 cd.
Musidisc 128 832 (France) 6/4/99 cd.

Back to the Top

Main Pages at the Home of Ubu Projex:
CalendarContactsHomeReferenceProtocolsUbutique (Shop) • Press Center

garage icon
An Irony-Free™ Site

Copyright & Terms of UsageSite MapAbout Us
Twitter: @ubuprojex • Pere Ubu Facebook: official.ubu