BLUE NOW Simon Fisher Turner on memory and loss

Jenny Mascia
WordsSimon Fisher Turner

BLUE NOW” is a series of live performances and six pieces of writing inspired by quotes from “Blue,” British artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman’s seminal 1993 film, created as he was dying from AIDS-related illnesses.

Taking inspiration from the quote above, Simon Fisher Turner, who composed the film’s soundtrack, reflects on creating a space in which to remember those we have lost.

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I place a delphinium, Blue, upon your grave.
Derek Jarman


Blue is a mysterious place to find oneself in, isn’t it?

Lost are we? Quiet is it?

What can you see?

Just follow your own path and you’ll always arrive there on time, wherever “there” is.

Close your eyes.

Open them.

Listen again and you’ll find I’ve moved in your mind's eye, haven’t I?

Where am I?

I’m inside you, and everyone around you, but we’re not in the same visual space are we?

Imaging and dreaming.

Diving into space.

Once upon a time I was walking down a hill with Derek in Edinburgh and he told me he had an idea for a film with no images, just sound and music. I liked this idea a lot.

I was sold. Now, how to make it?

No script, no images, and no music.

Silence. I’m definitely interested now.

Blue is the open door to infinity.

Come on in.

I saw Derek at St Bartholomew’s Hospital the night before he died. He was asleep, but I was allowed to see him, so I went up. The next day I rang to see if I could see him again, but they told me to phone Keith. So I did. Derek had died overnight. Gone.

Another AIDS victim. Another name, but this one I knew well.

Into the blue.

He lay at rest in the hospital chapel, or some room I was able to see him in. He was dressed like the Pope. Now that was a gorgeous idea, and quite a surprise to me. No dungarees now. I had an extraordinary time with him, chatted to him for a while, and then I was gone.

I still talk to him, and hear him laugh. He’s in my soul you see, deeply embedded in my core.

His blue light a heartbeat and a blink away.

Simon Fisher Turner

Simon Fisher Turner is a British musician, composer, and actor. A winner of the prestigious Ivor Novello Award, he is best known for soundtracking films by the late Derek Jarman, including his seminal 1993 film “Blue,” and for his scores for a number of reissued silent films.

Each year, WePresent invites a creative to be its Guest Curator. In 2023 we are very proud to collaborate with brilliant actor and podcaster Russell Tovey on a handful of very special art-related projects on themes close to his heart. "BLUE NOW" is the first in this series.

The animation on this page was directed and illustrated by Jenny Mascia, and 3D animated by Alice Aires.

Blue (Derek Jarman, 1993) © Basilisk Communications Ltd., enquiries regarding Blue by Derek Jarman should be addressed to