Saturday 17 October 2015

The Death of Ergo Phizmiz

Though I have wept and fasted, fasted and wept,
I grow old I grow old, I will wear the bottom of my trousers rolled,
and so on...

After 15 years and a completely life changing and very difficult year, it has become essential to definitively kill off Ergo Phizmiz, and begin my chequered career from scratch.

Thankyou for joining me for the ride. And fret ye not, there are hundreds of hours of music online, and hundreds more still unreleased. At some point we'll empty out the vaults in a massive splat of audio and video.

This blog will remain online as an archive.

A re-baptism / un-baptism took place at the recent performances of "Billiards" with Mahogany Opera Group. I will be back in further incarnations. You just wait and see what happens next.

Until then.....

Wednesday 9 September 2015

BILLIARDS - A Collage Opera - at King's College

A collage opera
Produced by Mahogany Opera Group in association with Sound and Music
Alone in his Manhattan research laboratory, Raymond Scott, the father of electronic music, is developing a machine to generate random musical patterns. When one of his devices accidentally tears a hole in the universe, it begins a fantastical space-music-history-sci-fi-gameshow encounter that brings him face to face with classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Inspired by Mozart’s love of billiards and Scott’s experiments in electronic sound, follow these extraordinary characters as they debate random chance and creating music, with some help from film-pioneer Georges Méliès, Lewis Carroll’s logic games, and composers John Cage and JS Bach.

Ergo Phizmiz’s high-octane opera-essay combines, video animation, puppetry, live singing, recorded tracks and a remix of classical and electronic music to create an exhilarating sensory event blurring the boundaries between opera and performance art. 

Billiards is a bizarre and feisty challenge to traditional preconceptions of opera.
“For first you write a sentence, And then you chop it small; Then mix the bits and sort them out Just as they chance to fall: The order of the phrases makes No difference at all.”
 - Lewis Carroll / Ergo Phizmiz Billiards

Images: Ergo Phizmiz, Impact


14 October 2015, 6.30pm - King's College London - work in progress performance Presented as part of King's College London Arts & Humanities Festival
14 October 2015, 8.30pm - King's College London - work in progress performance Presented as part of King's College London Arts & Humanities Festival

Saturday 29 August 2015

VOGEL EUROPA at Toi Toi Opera Festival, London

Ergo Phizmiz presents the UK premiere of his experimental opera "Vogel Europa" at the Toi Toi Opera Club Night, London, October 28th 2015, presented by the Helios Collective.

"Vogel Europa" is an opera using song, found-sound, mixed language, and rhythmic spoken word, taking cues from the intoned voice operas of Robert Ashley and the simultaneous sound-poetry exhibits of the Dadaists. The opera also makes direct reference to the work of Polish writer Bruno Schulz, mixed with autobiographical references and stories, fantasies, and multilingual bird-name directories from old records. Finally, we will meet the last bird in the universe and discover what his swansong is.


Saturday 15 August 2015

GALA at Grimeborn

Tomorrow, for one night only, at Arcola's Grimeborn Festival, a new production of "Gala", Ergo Phizmiz's opera on the romance of Gala Dali and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Written, Composed and Directed by Ergo Phizmiz

Starring Thea Martin, Adam Dindorf, Natalie Morgan and Teddy Court
with Jenny Moore, Serafina Steer, Sarah Anderson, Simon Clark, and Tom Woolner

Designed and Produced by Luis Carvajal

Presented by I-DA projects

Also starring Cumberbatch's steam

Tickets available rrrright here....

Some photos of rehearsals to whet that hungry palate of yours....

Tuesday 14 July 2015

GALA at Grimeborn Festival, Arcola

A new production of "Gala", Ergo Phizmiz's opera on the romance of Gala Dali and Jesus Christ Superstar, is presented in a new production, directed by the composer, at Arcola's Grimeborn 2015 Festival.


Jeff Fenholt is a twenty-one year old actor, playing the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway. Gala Dali is the aging wife and muse of Salvador Dali. GALA is the story of their affair.

This tragicomic chamber opera from 'renaissance man Ergo Phizmiz' (The Wire) plays at Grimeborn for one night only.

A highly original voice in British music, Phizmiz has created award-winning radio pieces for the BBC, original albums and, most recently, a film score. This year he became the first composer-in-residence at the Hay Festival.

"One of the most inventive composers around ... a musical equivalent to Chris Morris" – BBC Radio 3

"The musical man-of-the-moment ..." – The Times
"Thanks for your beautiful, compelling, funny, crazy stuff. I listen to you while sitting at my drawing board. Keep up the fine work!" – Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons

"I strongly advise you try and attend. For those of you unfamiliar with the work of Ergo, he is an exceptionally difficult fellow to describe, he has over the years produced a body of work that crosses over every kind of music and sound imaginable.” – Tom Ravenscroft, New Statesman

"Not so much a one-man band as a one man movement" - The Wire Magazine

"Always accessible yet always otherworldly….It’s at moments like this when the quixotic notion of Ergo Phizmiz breaking through seems more than merely a slightly unhinged dream" – BBC Music Review

"Mad but mesmerising" – The Times

"Ergo is a completely English original who I think we should cherish deeply” – Sound Projector Magazine

"Eccentric, boundary testing, ridiculously different…In some ways you could say that Ergo Phizmiz is the complete artist…” – The Kaje

"With so many claims to eccentricity in today’s pop-culture, it’s hard to differentiate talent from cliché but Phizmiz’s art places him as the real deal." – The Upcoming

Ticket Information and Times

Sunday evening at 8pm
All tickets £10

Tickets are £10 or less with Arcola Passport
Running time: 30 minutes (no interval).
In Studio 1, seating is allocated.

Tuesday 26 May 2015


Original instrumental music from the production for voice, puppetry and animation "A Fairy Tale of World War II", which premiered at Bridport Arts Centre, May 2015, supported by PRS For Music Foundation.

Saturday 25 April 2015

A Fairy Tale of World War II Press Release

World Premiere
Bridport Arts Centre, May 15th, 2015
£10 / £8 / £6

Bridport Arts Centre will host the premiere performance of A Fairy Tale of World War II, a new piece for theatre bringing together music, animation, shadow puppetry, simple automata, rhyme, sound effects, and paper collage.

In the heart of blitzed-out London, a starving little girl sees visions that ultimately lead her to Babelsberg Film Studios in Nazi Germany, where a propaganda weapon known as the "Truth Bomb" is being developed in secret. How can she stop them? What does one girl have that the entire Nazi war machine does not?

A fantastical journey through the heart of fairy tales, A Fairy Tale of World War II melds stories from classic fairy tale literature with World War II propaganda – from both sides of the channel. The original score, with inspirations from music box to music hall, whisks the audience back in time and through the looking glass.

Performed by adults and children, A Fairy Tale of World War II reflects on childhood, the horrors of war, death, and magic, playing games with cross-media storytelling as it travels through its dreamlike narrative.

The project was made possible by a grant from PRS for Music Foundation.

Sunday 12 April 2015

A Fairytale of World War II - Premieres May 15th 2015

Premiering May 15th at Bridport Arts Centre

A Shadow-Play & Picture Book by
D.W. Robertson & Thea Martin

Tuesday 7 April 2015

IN UTERO limited time download

For Kurt's birthday, Ergo Phizmiz has re-released for a very limited time (until the download link expires in a few days) his 2014 cover of the entirety of Nirvana's "IN UTERO" for toy & acoustic instruments.

The album's initial release lasted less than 24 hours (music law eh?), so this would constitute the longest release of this skronky beast.

Download the album (via a Wetransfer link) HERE.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Three new releases

Three slices of fun ...


Four MIDI keyboard-tastic creme-carmelles.


Ergo Phizmiz pretends to be Dr Dre for a day.


Elvis Herod & Ergo Phizmiz urinate on corpses.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Upset the Rhythm presents Dan Deacon & Ergo Phizmiz at Islington Assembly Hall


Monday 16 February
Islington Assembly Hall, Upper Street, Islington, N1 2UD
7.30pm | £15 | 

DAN DEACON is an absurdist composer and electronic musician based in Baltimore, Maryland. Musically influenced by Devo, Talking Heads, Scratch Orchestra, People Like Us, Raymond Scott and Conlon Nancarrow, Dan's music strives to take modern experimental composition and electronic music out of the circle of the esoteric intellectual gangs and hipster communities, placing it into the more informal "fun time". Dan's music is about community and how to organise and inspire it. With the success of Deacon’s 2007 album ‘Spiderman of the Rings’, came an opportunity for the electronic-music iconoclast to increase the breadth and depth of his entire musical project. Deacon moved from self-contained computer music to orchestral epics. His interactive live show, honed in DIY spaces, was taken to museums and concert halls. He frequently expanded his performances to include a horde of side musicians. After a string of large ensemble projects (including 2009’s ‘Bromst’ and 2012’s ‘America’) Deacon started longing for the simplicity of the days when he did nearly everything himself. Now he’s back touring in support of a new album entitled ’Gliss Riffer’, an entirely self-produced record of almost all electronic sounds, which was “easily the most fun [he’s] ever had making a record.”

While ‘Gliss Riffer’ contains all the instrumental layering we’ve come to expect, the vocals are mixed with a prominence and, at times, a clarity that have never been heard on a Dan Deacon record before. Lyrical images of lightning, oceans, lakes, and roads crop up frequently as stand-ins for freedom and self-realisation. The tracks were started on the ever-changing landscapes that greet a touring musician. This new record also marks the first time Deacon replaced his digitally realised parts with analog synthesisers, giving Deacon the opportunity to experiment in the same way he did with strings and wind instruments on ‘America’. What makes Dan Deacon such an impressive musician has always been his aesthetic directness and ecstatic energy, all of this along with the heightened ‘focus on fun’ of his absorbing live shows has finally been translated onto an album. It’s a euphoria tempered by yearning and set in defiance of life’s nagging anxiety. “Happiness takes time,” we are reminded by tremolo vocals in the middle of the supremely danceable “Mind on Fire.” The bliss on this new album is well-earned.

“After a year of film soundtrack composition, music theatre, operatic works and horspiel for German national radio, composer Ergo Phizmiz has recently returned to solo performance (but with a new lightness). Allowing whatever instruments that he’s been lent on the day to dictate his sound, and letting his set find its own path, he strips songs from his broad oeuvre to a rough-hewn, often sublime, essence. The stage becomes his studio, an opportunity for us to witness a creative act beyond performance, improvisation in its truest sense. It’s this lack of a fear of failure and an absorption in his art that makes Phizmiz such a compelling performer and continually draws comparison with our most highly regarded artists from Robert Wyatt (The Guardian) to Scott Walker (The Wire).”

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Instrumental music from "Billiards"

"Billiards" is an electronic opera by Ergo Phizmiz, developed through an Embedded residency with Mahogany Opera Group and Sound & Music, about a meeting deep in space between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (259 years old today), and Raymond Scott, the father of electronic music.

This album comprises instrumentals and alternative versions of compositions from the score. Created using harpsichord, electronics, and the works of Mozart & Scott.

The music of Raymond Scott is used with the kind permission of the splendid folks of the Raymond Scott Archive.

And see below for clips of "Billiards" in rehearsal...