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

The subtitle for this section is The Bird Machines.  I listened to part of this section over the weekend, and the whole thing again today.

This section starts with Ergo waking up in a hallway, observing Marcel Duchamp teaching a group of small birds.  A gramophone approaches, music playing, baboon like legs clanking against the floor.  Ergo watches from a corner, not wanting to interrupt the happenings.  He watches as the gramophone changes records via it’s fused in record changer.  The new record is “Dr. Faustus Book of Birds”.

The selection that is presented next is a musical interpretation / narrative of this selection of birds.  When the record ends, a book is extended from the bell of the gramophone.  Upon opening the book, Ergo finds himself in another hallway full of doors, with a film projected at the far end.  He looks through the peep holes in the doors, which is accompanied by a rather lengthy sound collage. There is a narrative about ducks, followed by another sound collage, before going into a song.  When the song concludes we are taken into another lengthy sound collage: first of birds, then bells, chimes and carnival music which concludes this section of the piece.

My attention to detail may not be quite as great in this section, as I said I listened to it twice, but was so lost in the collages and the musical interludes that I didn’t pay as much attention to the narrative relationships.  The  one thing that I did notice was the restoration of Ergo to the main house now, instead of being in the sewers or the ballroom.

The other thing that impresses me in this section is the emergence of the birds.  I’ve been thinking that many of the creatures and animals have some form of symbolic meaning.  Obviously, this is all the stuff that dreams are made of, but frequently dreams are a manifestation of our real lives.    No matter what, these narratives are thickly layered with all sorts of things that can be interpreted.  But the task of trying to assemble and interpret all of this would be a daunting task.


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




Posted by George De Bruin

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