I have a small role in this so I thought I’d big it up. I know Mr. Phizmiz through various encounters but primarily from 6 days of fun on the autobahns for the Gagarin Anniversary Tour in late 2008, and I consider him to be one of the most gloriously silly people I have ever met. I really ought to have done some kind of tour diary bizniz about that tour but one memory that sticks in my head was the last night in Mannheim, as tired and emotionally worn out as I’ve ever been and absolutely desperate for sleep, but kept awake (and in hysterical laughter) by a sustained rally of ideas between me and EP for a play/short film about a guy having a wank on a coach. I suppose I should say that the idea arose out of a true story and I was there but this was many years before the tour and I was not the wanker in question. The annoying thing, typically for these kinds of ideas, is that I can’t remember any of the stuff that was so bloody amusing.
Anyway, Ergo is a man of many talents, and someone who humbled me by knowing a staggering amount about arty stuff that wasn’t just music since 1960, which is how I roll, I suppose. The whole spectrum of the arts seems to be constantly being absorbed through his skin, as he’s incredibly busy and isn’t just lying there on a couch reading Wikipedia. I laughed the other day when I saw he had dedicated something he’d done to Morecambe & Wise, among others, but then I realised this was a serious tribute. But yes, for all his varied talents, which he lists as “Composer, Writer, Artist, DJ, Radio-Artist, Film-maker, Installation artist” I have to say I’m personally most impressed by what he does with radio. I recently tried to do some radio stuff and I found it bloody hard, even though I was given a completely free hand, but Phizmiz seems to have a natural facility for it. I should write something that does him more justice but I want to get various bits of umbusiness out of the way today so I’m just trying to get a bit more hype in the hyperlink innit.
The Faust Cycle
or, The House of Dr Faustus
-Released 1st January 2010 on Headphonica –
Written, Composed, Performed & Produced by
James Nye, Martha Moopette, The Travelling Mongoose
One afternoon Ergo Phizmiz finds himself lumbered into delivering a parcel to the house of legendary alchemist and necromancer Dr Johann Faustus who, since the events of some time ago for which he is renowned, has entered into a rather quieter life in a vast, labyrinthine house, with hundreds of lodgers running the gamut from artists, birds, bird-people, walking fictions, ventriloquists, a Cassowary, running chairs, walking gramophones, and myriad automata.
This enormous dream fable, told through speech, songs, collage and sound-design, is the result of over three years delving down various rabbit-holes, and features collaborations in a range of contexts with artists of many disciplines, including Jack Phoenix, Margita Zalite, Pete Um, Angela Valid, Bela Emerson, Martha Moopette, Amie Willingale, and Zenith Pitts.
In glorious radiophonic technicolour, it is a musical-comedy of disorientation and magick, somewhere between nightmare and the half-remembered childhood whimsy of an insomniac music-hall artiste.
Download the entire 15 hours, complete with magnificent artwork from Moritz Grunke and friends, free, from the marvellous Headphonica.