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Book details
  • Genre:DRAMA
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:70
  • eBook ISBN:9781483501574


by Derek Strahan

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Soprano Claire Sinclair complains to her composer boy-friend, Dylan Shaw, that art reviewer and musicologist Professor Livak Rigor has tried to blackmail into appearing in one of his university productions by threatening her with bad reviews if she doesn’t. Annoyed, Dylan confronts Livak during a live TV event accusing him of various kinds of bias and manipulation. Claire, now furious because Dylan has ruined her chances with Livak, leaves him. Dylan conspires with his wily manager, Sven Thorlberg, to fake his own death so as to increase the financial value of his music. Three years later Claire is an internationally famous soprano, and Dylan is busy composing in secret on Soladore, an obscure Pacific island. TV journalist Eve Longburn suspects Dylan may not be dead for various reasons including the increasing modernity of newly discovered “old” works that Sven keeps publishing. She girlie-bonds with Claire and together they discover a clue to Dylan’s whereabouts in one of his recently published works. Meanwhile Sven, getting nervous about the possible discovery of their fraud, assign to enforcers Wally and Crunch the task of assassinating Dylan. All participants converge on Dylan’s beach hut at Soladore, but impending confrontations re interrupted by a hurricane, forcing them all the take shelter in the island’s only church, Surprising outcomes eventuate.
Dylan Shaw is a successful commercial composer. His move to writing “serious” music has met resistance from academia, especially from influential musicologist Livak Rigor, who is also a music reviewer for a mainstream newspaper. Dylan’s girl friend, soprano Clara Sinclair, complains that Livak has threatened her with bad reviews unless she agrees to join the cast of his University opera production. Dylan retaliates by attacking Livak during the live TV broadcast of a music recital. Clara quarrels with Dylan for “ruining her chances” with Livak and leaves him. Upset, Dylan confides in his manager, the wily Sven Thorlberg. He laments that he would earn more money from his music if he were dead: then, taking his own idea seriously, persuades Sven to help him activate the outrageous scheme. Three years later, after Dylan’s supposed drowning, we find him composing in a beach shack on an obscure Pacific island, Soladore, sending Sven new works to pass off as early ones and earning better money from them. The fact that Dylan’s body was never found intrigues TV arts presenter Eve Longburn. She finds another clue embedded in a piano piece by Dylan which spells out the name “Soladore” in code, which island she knows from her hippie, surfing past. She shares with Clara her suspicion that Dylan is still alive. Clara, now an internationally famous soprano, gossips to Livak. They tease Sven about the “rumour” that Dylan is not really dead. Alarmed, Sven arrangers with two enforcers, Wally and Crunch, to have Dylan’s “accidental” death made permanent. Eve, Clara, Livak, Sven, Wally and Crunch converge on Dylan’s beach shack at Soladore. Eve, getting there first, assures Dylan she does not want to exploit his situation for a hot story. She wants him to escape with her to another island. Wally and Crunch arrive on assignment. Clara and Livak turn up to gloat. Clara is enraged to find Eve already there, and in bed with “her man”. Wally and Crunch are outraged when Sven also shows up. They feel Sven is in breach of contract. Warning of an impending hurricane sends them all racing to take shelter in the island’s only church. Here, amid lightning, thunder and howling wind, an obscure struggle is seen to take place between Dylan and Crunch, silhouetted against a plate glass window. At its climax, a large heavy Cross falls on Sven, with Crunch on top clinging to it. Sven is dead. The plate glass window is smashed. Dylan has vanished again taking with him Livak’s desired pleroma: that Dylan remain obscure, unknown and forgotten.
About the author
Derek Strahan was born in Penang, Malaysia on May 28th 1935, and spent his early childhood in colonial Malaysia. He was evacuated with his mother and sister to Perth, W.A. when Singapore fell to the Japanese in February 1942. In 1946 the Strahans settled in Northern Ireland and Derek completed his schooling in Belfast. In 1952 he attended Cambridge University on a scholarship studying for an arts degree in modern languages. (French and Spanish). He also further developed his interest in theatre cinema and music, and acted in a number of university productions. He graduated in 1954 and worked in London for the next six years as relief teacher, actor, singer-songwriter and assistant film director making commercials. In 1961 Strahan returned to Australia and settled in Sydney for 2 years. He then worked in TV in NZ from 1964 to 1966 writing and directed documentaries. The year 1967 was spent in the UK, visiting family and teaching. He then returned to Sydney and has remained here. A period of teaching for the NSW Department of Education in Sydney (1968–70) was combined with writing music for numerous wild life documentaries and writing songs for live performance and on TV. He has remained in Sydney where he functions in several aligned capacities as opportunities arise: writer, composer of film and concert music, film director, film and record producer and actor. As a writer Strahan worked for 3 years (1964-66) scripting and directing documentary film features for New Zealand television including a 6-part series on Sir Edmund Hilary’s aid work in the Himalayas. He then worked for 5 years as contract scriptwriter for the TV serial “Number 96” (1970-75). He also wrote episodes for “Cop Shop”, “Glenview High”, “Chopper Squad”, “Carrots!” (a children’s’ program on Channel 7), and “Flying Start” in 1986 (ABC program on small business). He also scripted corporate videos for Broadcom. He has written libretti for 3 major vocal works: "Rose of the Bay", a song cycle commissioned by Mezzo-soprano Lauris Elms AM OBE, premiered at the Sydney Opera House (1987) and recorded by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; "Eden in Atlantis" a 25-minute Scena. premiered by soprano Liza Rintel at the Joan Sutherland room, Opera Center, Sydney, both released on CD, and "Calypso in Exile" for soprano and wind quintet. Three feature films have been produced from his scripts “Leonora” (1985), released on video, cable in US & Europe, and shown on Channel 9 in 1996; “Fantasy” (1990), Columbia Tri-Star video, and “Inspector Shanahan Mysteries – Cult of Diana”(1992), shown on Channel 9 in 1996. He directed “Leonora” and co-directed “Fantasy” with Geoffrey Brown for Combridge International, and also wrote music for these three features. His 1-Act play “Triple Six” was staged as a drama student qualifying production at Newcastle University in the early 1990s. In between scriptwriting projects he has written a conserable body of music for film and concert performance much of which has been released on CD and is frequently broadcast. Theater plays are posted at BookBaby: “Eden In Atlantis” “Takeover” “Bullet-Proof Pyjamas” “Sodom and Tomorrow” “Preface to Meet The Fractals” “Meet The Fractals” “Pleroma” “Everything Else”.