Title: The Faust Cycle (or The House of Dr. Faustus)
Artist: Ergo Phizmiz
Release Date: 2009
Label: Headphonica
License: CC BY-NC-SA

This section is sub-titled Operatic Laughter.  The opening of this portion reminded me of something Negativland would do: use a sample from an opera, chop it up and loop it, then juxtapose it with a really cheesy latin-style jazz piece.  This segment is then followed with the Monkey Song.

Ergo, now presumably in the middle of a dream, has come to the realization that he is a puppet, who gets to do a dance once a day. Now he is relegated to watching all manner of unusual performances around him, being unable to move since he is made of wood.  The monkey reappears, using Ergo Puppet to relieve himself.  It always seems that with the appearance of monkeys the subject turns scatalogical. 😉

After being used, Ergo is shown several short films… However, first, he is subjected to Igor Stravinsky’s standup routine which ends with Stravinksy disappearing through a picture of Caruso’s buttocks.  Then the films.

Eventually there is a filmed production of Eloise.  This stage production is about a doll being trained in opera by Dr. Faustus, or rather, someone portraying Dr. Faustus.  After the film we are presented with another Negativland style collage of operas being mixed into a new rhytmic and melodic structure, and juxtaposed with a piece of pop music.

This finally gives way to a minimalistic piece for cello and electronics (by Bela Emerson).  This is a wonderful piece, reminding me of a cross between a Karlheinz Stockhausen piano piece, and some of the works of Klaus Schulze and Rainer Bloss.

This last piece is just incredibly gorgeous.  I’ve started thinking that I want to download the music sections of this piece seperately (I know they are available on FMA), and this piece alone makes the case for having the music as a stand-alone entity.


Ergo Phizmiz: The Faust Cycle (or The House of Dr. Faustus)




Posted by George De Bruin

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