Monday 30 September 2013


A - take three composers. Place them in a room together, late at night.

B - give three said composers a really, really badly recorded version of the first 8 tracks from Augustus Pablo's "East of the River Nile" in headphones, and then three aforementioned composers attempt to play the album over the top on the fairly arbitrary selection of instruments in Atelier Royale.

C - then take off Augustus Pablo's "East of the River Nile", and ask three aforementioned composers to play something else over the top of their first layer of attempting to play over "East of the River Nile".

D - Discover cheap Vodka and Sambuca. Do vocals, with whatever words are hanging around, one at a time.

E - release it on the internet, hoping at least one listener will die whilst listening (will it be you?).

Dedicated to Jah Wabbles.

Thursday 26 September 2013

STICKY WHITE GLUE (2003) broadcast on Basic FM

The marvellous Basic FM are broadcasting Ergo Phizmiz's 2003 radio collage series "Sticky White Glue" this Friday from 0500-0800 and next Friday from 0500-0800 (UK time).

“Ergo Phizmiz’s Sticky White Glue, a twelve-part series of sound montages–voices, music, and plunderphonic juxtapositions of the two–reminds us why radio has been described as “schizophonic,” packing more disembodied sounds and voices than the ear can process” – Artforum magazine.
This series “Sticky White Glue” first aired 2003-2004 on Resonance FM, London, and was repeated 2009 on Soundart Radio, Dartington.
Segments of the pieces were also broadcast by Kenny G on WFMU. It is a fanciful play-around with the juxtapositions of instruments & voices with sampling and digital composition, and features as its main protagonists Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy.
Composed, Performed, Edited, & Produced by Ergo Phizmiz
With contributions from Erik Bumbledonk, Martha Moopette, The Travelling Mongoose, Ion Katphlap, Nayana Rose

Tuesday 24 September 2013

"The Postman Sometimes Rings Twice or Not" (Children's Poem)

Dedicated to
without whom
I would have

and greetings from Imaginary Jamaica


"The Postman Sometimes Rings Twice or Not" 
by Ergo Phizmiz

Knock knock.

Who's that at the door?

Peep through the letterbox - dark blue shorts,
                                                    and little hairy knees.

                                                    It's the Postman!

                                                    If you please, what has the Postman brought for me?

For Mum - some bills,
For Dad - some bills,
For both - some brightly coloured junk
                                             that no-one wants

                                             in short a dire lack of thrills.

For Uncle Bob a calendar of
                                                   aeroplanes and
                                                   other things that
                                                   in World War Two.

For baby sister?
                                  Postman must have missed her.

And finally, to little me,
what could these curious parcels be?
Fastened tight with tape and string,
postmarked Canberra, Peking,
Las Vegas, London, Hollywood,
and other places just as good.

Now take the scissors, cut away the string
unpeel the sellotape
(and such delicious sound it makes)
then empty all the polystyrene rocks
and see what lurks in each and every box.

Now is the time, so come and see, what has the Postman brought for me?

An ancient clock that measures stars,
some baby mice in honey jars,
a typewriter, a ship and crew,
entire contents of a zoo
including: Marmosets, Barn Owl,
Muscovy, and Guinea-Fowl,
Elephants, Giraffes, and Mice,
and all the Birds of Paradise,
a blackboard, and a robot who
will clean your room from 9 till 2,
a brand new pair of stylish shoes,
one of those dolls that wees and poos,
a Persian Cat, a brand new Gran
that isn't grumpy, then a can
of fruity fizzy sugar drink,
a new schoolbag that isn't pink.

Hold your horses there, you say
the Postman brought all this, but where
in his little trolley-red
did he put all that you said?

That is ....

          An ancient clock that measures stars,
          some baby mice in honey jars,
          a typewriter, a ship and crew,
          entire contents of a zoo
          including: Marmosets, Barn Owl,
          Muscovy, and Guinea-Fowl,
          Elephants, Giraffes, and Mice,
          and all the Birds of Paradise,
          a blackboard, and a robot who
          will clean your room from 9 till 2,
          a brand new pair of stylish shoes,
          one of those dolls that wees and poos,
          a Persian Cat, a brand new Gran
          that isn't grumpy, then a can
          of fruity fizzy sugar drink,
          a new schoolbag that isn't pink.

Surely an enormous drag,
all this inside a Postman's bag?

                    I sat and thought, and shook my head,
                    (I may have turned a little red).

                              Strange things happen, yes it's true,
                              (though maybe more to me than you).

If you question how the Postman fit these items in his baggy,
then permit me to reveal to you the cause.
If your Postman's bag defies the laws of physics then it's obvious
the Postman really must be Santa Claus.

Saturday 14 September 2013

UOEIA * the histories of yodelling - UK Tour October 18th-22nd 2013

UOEIA * the histories of yodelling, from Swiss Family Phizmiz. 

UK mini-tour October 2013

18th LIVERPOOL Mellomello
19th WHITBY Musicport
21st GLASGOW The Old Hairdresser's
22nd LONDON The Old Dentist's

A production of DePlayer, based on books by Bart Plantenga.

Yodelling: the crack in the human voice when pushed to its limit, the plaintive wail of man against mountains. From the Pygmy tribes in the jungles of Africa, to the mountains of Switzerland, or the plains of the Wild West, to frantic Persian ululations and yelps, yodelling is a worldwide phenomenon that betrays its perceived image as a benchmark of kitsch.

In “UOEIA: Favola in Jodel”, Ergo Phizmiz presents the history of yodelling through music, masks, puppetry, collage, and animation. Based on the books “Yodel in Hi-Fi” and “Yodel-Ay-Eee-Ooo” by Bart Plantenga, and performed by Swiss Family Phizmiz, UOEIA invites you through time and culture, yodelling from cavemen to the modern age.

Friday 13 September 2013


EXCAVATING THE INTERNET. Produced at Westminster Kingsway College by Leon Shields, Angelika Wrzesinska, Mia Wolsey, Lauren Nichols, Ryan Harris, Jonathon Perez, Alexander Watson, Boris Bailey, Marvel Chikoto, Carlaina Gawler, Yasmine Trent, Nikisha Musa, Jakub Baczewski, Morlai Sesay, Charlotte Cherry. Workshop faciliated by Ergo Phizmiz.

Monday 9 September 2013

Great review of "All Our Clocks Are Dying: Prepared Piano Improvisations" on Cerebral Rift

Many thanks to the Cerebral Rift for a great review of "All Our Clocks Are Dying: Improvisations for Prepared Piano".

"Each of the tracks has a different preparation for the piano, and the structure and musical concepts of each of the pieces is phenomenally realized.  The only living, producing recording artist that I think could even come close to this level of work would be Tom Waits." 

Read the full review HERE.

Thursday 5 September 2013

All Our Clocks Are Dying: Improvisations for Prepared Piano

Four improvisations for Prepared Piano.

(Making Jack a Dull Boy * Pot Bellied March and Rumpus * All Our Clocks Are Dying * The Long Knife Disco)

Recorded in the living room, Thursday 5th September 2013.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

GESTURE PIECE by Vicki Bennett, featuring music by Ergo Phizmiz & others

GESTURE PIECE (2013) by Vicki Bennett from Vicki WFMU on Vimeo.

Gesture Piece is a new Pixel Palace commission in development by artist Vicki Bennett (also known as People Like Us). Vicki has collected scenes from hundreds of films containing gestures or instructions, from classic black and white cinema to recent releases. She edited them together to make a 15-minute film consisting of seven chapters, and invited seven sound artists to create a unique film score for each section. The result is a fascinating and witty reinterpretation of familiar film footage, with scenes arranged in incongruous, surprising and often very funny combinations. Gesture Piece was commissioned by Pixel Palace, Tyneside Cinema's digital art programme and supported using public funds by Arts Council England.
Soundtracks by :
Andrew Sharpley [00:06]
Matmos [01:02]
Wobbly [05:08]
Gwilly Edmondez [07:48]
Dave Soldier [09:38]
Jason Willett [11:02]
Ergo Phizmiz [13:23]
To find out more about Gesture Piece, please visit
Background info at
Press info at

Monday 2 September 2013

"Lily Jamelia Gilliam in the Courtroom of the Nits" - A Children's Story

Lily Jamelia Gilliam was, being a sensible girl, altogether rather surprised to disappear temporarily into her own hair.

It wasn't that she was a dirty girl. She brushed her teeth religiously, and showered every morning, just like her persnickety, "clean freak" of a Dad.

In fact, she prided herself on her personal hygiene.

It was just her hair.

She had "that kind of hair".

The hair that flows like a river of gold from the heads of damsels in castles?

Not quite. Old photographs revealed a long blanket of auburn, ochre and blonde hues.

Then came the nits.

Nature's biggest gits.

One Summer morning, a pair of scissors struck, and the multi-hued mop was cropped to a humble bob.

(Lily Jamelia Gilliam had since recognised that, rather than cutting away her Princess-like elegance, the new hairstyle had rendered her all svelte and grown-up, like a lady from an old film).

Yet, despite this mutilation, the head-lice had not conceded defeat.

Lily Jamelia Gilliam rubbed her eyes.

A room of brownish rope, from which is weaved a throne. Behind her, hundreds of little figures point and chatter. From the throne, the sudden crack of hammer upon table.

Lily Jamelia Gilliam is in a court-room. A court-room of her own hair.

"Would Lily Jamelia Gilliam take the stand."

Lily Jamelia Gilliam walks past nits with pens in their hands, and shirts and ties, like the sort of people you always don't like in old films.

In a booming voice, the High Judge of the Court of the Nits intones gravely...

"Lily Jamelia Gilliam, you have been found guilty of the attempted murder of my brothers, my sisters, and, once or twice, myself."

"But, please your honour, it was not me, it was my mum."

"Regardless, it is YOUR head. You have been sentenced to DEATH BY NITS."

At this point, Lily Jamelia Gilliam realised that, by stepping into her own hair, she had defied countless laws of physics, and broken the fabric of space and time for the first time in human history.

And Lily Jamelia Gilliam won the Nobel Prize for Science.

And Lily Jamelia Gilliam wrote a book on interspace, interdimensional travel.

And corrected many of history's biggest errors.

And solved the problem of world hunger.

And, by opening up the fabric of the universe, created a logical end to all wars.

And, most importantly of all, by introducing the idea of interspecies communication, was able to make head-lice understand that they should only alight on the heads of really awful people. Instead of on the head of lovely, bright girls, like Lily Jamelia Gilliam.