Monday, 31 December 2012

Ergo Phizmiz in 2012 Retrospective

Another year packed full of treats, chaos, splendour, and naughtiness.


A large slab of the year was taken up in the production of this radio piece for Bayerischer Rundfunk, an ornithological mosaic which was given a special mention for Horspiel Das Monats. You can stream and download the piece here.


The new collection of songwriting by Ergo was released in December on Care in the Community Recordings to critical acclaim:

"Always accessible yet always otherwordly" - BBC

"There are brains and vast imagination at every juncture" - Americana UK

"Cleverly and lovingly constructed" - The Wire

"One of the quiet highlights of the musical year" - MusicOMH

"Phizmiz's art places him as the real deal" - TheUpcoming

"Balancing off the wall whackiness with accessibility, Phizmiz hasn't just delivered eleven songs but eleven very good songs" - Shout4Music

"Flawless" - Pennyblack Music

The album is available to buy through all major music stockists, whatever that means, and here's the first music video from the album, directed by Simon Mathewson and Martha Moopette.

And a couple of album outtakes....


The Autonoise Collective released a limited edition of 100 cassettes of Ergo Phizmiz's "Rakedika", a new collection of electronic music created entirely from cut-ups of Autonoise's own Hacked Toys. Buy it at Autonoise.


The fabulous Illegal Art released the DVD and 7" single from the continuing collaboration of People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz (of which, exciting new things happening in 2013). The project plays with the relationships between early silent-comedy and avant-garde cinema, to an original instrumental score. You can purchase the DVD, and the 7" imminently, on


Ergo's first solo exhibition of paper and mixed media collages was presented at Depozitory on the Isle of Wight in early December to enthusiastic reception, with a performance of the seldom shown "Fulcanelli's Shoes".


The new production by Patrick Sims and Les Antliaclastes Marionettes featured musical elements by Ergo Phizmiz. The piece tours extensively in the coming year.


Continuing adventures in the sonic landscapes of cinema, focusing on the works of Karel Zeman, Piotr Kamler, and Orson Welles.


An online only EP of synthetic orchestral music, sound-collage and a cover version of John Holt's "Strange Things".


Adventures in "disposable music", which feed, as with many of Ergo's playwithexperimentalish works of 2012, into his 2013 radio piece "Boojum".


For Vicki Bennett's mammoth 744 hour long radio broadcast, Ergo sang the entirety of foru Gilbert and Sullivan operas from memory, whilst in the midst of some form of nasty breakdown caused by trying to tour a Flann O'Brien opera with no money. Listen here, if you can stand it....


One of the most detested CD releases of the year, Ergo's combination of Robert Ashley and Winner's Dinners, recorded in Poland and released on Michal Libera's brilliant Populista imprint, stuck a lollipop firmly up the bum of the so called avant-garde. Respect nothing, or death!


The one-man retrospective of opera and opera related work premiered at this year's Tete-a-Tete: The Opera Festival, and can be seen in its entirety here.


The splendid folks at Tete-a-Tete Opera commissioned a short opera about miserable neighbours from Ergo, who has lots of experience in the area. You can view a performance of the opera here.

* * *
2013 promises many treats, including the science-fiction-autobiography-radioplay "Boojum" on WDR3 in January, a string of live dates, a new project with People Like Us, a new opera about the wife of a very famous artist, and a UK tour of the new piece for theatre / animation / collage and electronic music "Gargantua".

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

"ELEVEN SONGS" - The new album by Ergo Phizmiz, released 10/12/12 on Care in the Community Recordings

"Always accessible yet always otherwordly" - BBC

"Balancing off the wall whackiness with accessibility, Phizmiz hasn't just delivered eleven songs, but eleven very good songs" - Shout4Music

After the critical success of his 2010 debut album, Things To Do and Make, composer Ergo Phizmiz returned to a string of often award winning commissions for radio (BBC 3 and 4 and German national radio) theatre and opera before coming back full circle to the melodic three minute popular song form. 

Earlier this year, over the space of a few weeks, and in typically prolific style, he refined and self-recorded a number of ideas that had been forming in his head while busy with other projects. Leaving behind the favourable comparisons to the 1960s Canterbury Sound or Vivian Stanshall of his debut and occupying less identifiable territory, the resulting Eleven Songs is a leaner, harder collection of songs that, as the title suggests, each stand in their own right. Although ostensibly the album consists of ten songs and an instrumental, Ergo considers Space Dance, a Sun Ra tribute, in the manner of Lieder ohne Worte, a song without words. 

With no default mode of music making, but versed in so many, it would be fair to call Ergo a music conceptualist. But the purposeful construction of his writing and production methods are always in the service, rather than at the expense, of the pure joy of what makes a good song. Anyone who has seen Ergo perform will instantly recognise in these songs his natural theatricality, narrative drive, and a lack of pretension that allows music to be a shared experience. This is a highly addictive album that should echo the chorus of voices that acclaimed his first album with the lament that there aren't more pop musicians like this.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

RAKEDIKA - Cassette release out now on Autonoise

A new release from Ergo Phizmiz on label of Catalan collective Autonoise.

The album is collaged from recordings of Autonoise hacked-toy workshop sound-banks.

Get the tape at Autonoise.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Outtakes from GARGANTUA

Ergo Phizmiz's "Gargantua" tours the UK in March 2013. Here are some musical bits that didn't make the final edit, or made the edit in very different ways.

Full tour dates announced soon. European tour also looking likely, and some USA possibilities.....

Hope to see you there. Come and say hello. Perhaps buy me a whisky, straight, single malt. Thanks.

Outtakes from Ergo Phizmiz's "Gargantua", an excessive entertainment or bored-game with history in electronic music, collage, animation, puppetry and performance. Premieres March 2013. Supported by PRS Foundation for New Music, Soundart Radio, UpItUpRecords, Qujunktions, Handpressed, Bridport Arts Centre, Berwick Maltings, Morden Tower.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

"Conversations With Birds" - Stream & Download

You can now listen to Ergo Phizmiz's mosaic radioplay "Conversations With Birds", which premiered on 19/10/12, as stream or download at Bayerischer Rundfunk right here.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Cinemacollages Volume 2

New sound collages on the history of cinema, comprising:

Neurotic Fantasia on Orson Welles' "The Trial" using elements of Welles' deeply strange Kafka adaptation to create a nightmare-game of estrangement and disconnectedness.

Zeman's Magic Composites using fragments of Karel Zeman's "The Fabulous Baron Munchausen" and "A Deadly Invention".

Bouncing Balls for Piotr Kamler takes tiny fragments of Kamler's "Couer de Secours" and "Le Labyrinthe".

Like this? Why not also dip into "Cinemacollages Volume 1"?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

"Conversations With Birds"

This Friday sees the premiere broadcast of "Conversations With Birds", a 45 minute horspiel on birds, language, memory, dreams and art-history in a mixture of English, German, Polish and Bird Language by Ergo Phizmiz.

Created with a stellar group of collaborators and cast members from across the gamut of artistic mediums including Juliane Meckert, Margita Zalite, Patrick Sims, Denis Kundic (aka Vernon Lenoir), Michal Libera, Martha Moopette, Dwoogie, Caroline Stupnicka, Flora Bertolli, and Oblivian Substanshall.

The piece was commissioned by Katarina Agathos for Bayerischer Rundfunk, and can be listened to by tuning in at 9pm German time this Friday 19th October.

Do tune in....

Thursday, 4 October 2012

"The Faust Cycle" now on Ubuweb

"The Faust Cycle", the epic 14 hour adventure for sound by Ergo Phizmiz (made between 2006-2009 and originally released on Headphonica), has now been added to the archives of Ubuweb.

Direct link here.

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Keystone Cut Ups, by People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz. DVD, 7" and Digital Download available now!

We’re very pleased to announce the release on Illegal Art of a DVD, 7″ single and digital audio album!
When People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz premiered The Keystone Cut Ups at the Berwick Film and Media Art Festival in 2010, it was met with praise and wonder. Invoking a dreamlike atmosphere from the pairing of surrealist avant-garde cinema and silent-era comedy films with the quirky, yet emotionally resonating soundtrack carved out a unique sector of musical entertainment. This project stands tall as a statement against an industry that often flounders in its own creative bankruptcy.

Until now, this experience has only been available to those fortunate enough to see it performed live. But this October, people all over the world can see what all the hype is about for themselves when Illegal Art releases The Keystone Cut Ups on DVD, as well as just the musical portion as a digital download and as a 7′ single.
All prices below INCLUDE shipping within stated price.




The Keystone Cut Ups will play all regions, worldwide.
MOON MAGIC 7″ SINGLE by People Like Us & Ergo PhizmizAvailable to purchase from 13 October 2012
Actual release date: 13 November 2012Illegal Art IA702
“Moon” and “Magic” is a AA side 7 inch single, also on the Illegal Art label. Both tracks are taken from The Keystone Cut Ups DVD.

With this release, Illegal Art continues to embrace a pay-what-you-want business model for high-quality downloads. All label releases over the last five years have been issued (or reissued) under a the flexible payment system. People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz also have a history of offering free downloads of entire projects, both new and old.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

New Ergo Phizmiz free EP "STRANGE THINGS" - A Journey in One End, Out The Other

A Journey in one end, out the other, that is, in one end out the other of John Holt’s song “Strange Things”.

Music entertaining itself by time-travel and playing with itself,  with a touch of eroticism.


This little album is didaktikedited to Sir Banana and Lady Bufetowa

Monday, 17 September 2012

"VESTIBULE" - Single edition, double 10" vinyl and cassette pack

For sale, a single-edition music release comprising 2 x 10" vinyl, one 45 minute audio cassette, and one 20 second loop cassette. Entitled "Vestibule", the release is based on Ergo Phizmiz's performance from the 2006 Bestival, and has slowly formed into its current state since then.

One record contains remixes of Gagaku music, recomposed orchestral music, and a combination of the two.

The other record is a mishmash of beats, bad hip-hop acappellas over said beats, recomposed opera, and Japanese Noh Theatre.

The loop cassette is a montage of Hungarian vocal music and electronics.

The 45 minute cassette is a combination of an array of sonic elements, including sound-poetry, film soundtracks, and electroacoustic compositions.

"Vestibule", then, is a release best experienced with two turntables and two cassette decks in front of you. Designed for simultaneous listening and constant chance mixing, it's a release for infinite permutation. There's no one way of listening to it.

The pack will arrive as you see it above. Both records are packaged in cardboard, elastoplasts, watercolour paint and gramophone needles.

You want it? Contact ergophizmiz at gmail dot com and name your price ..... 


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Ergo Phizmiz News September 2012

Greetings my sweet and sexy peas. Welcome to the new splurge of Ergo Phizmiz news....

The new single from Ergo Phizmiz "Time To Think It Over" is an outtake from the forthcoming album "Eleven Songs". The single is released download-only on Care in the Community Recordings this month. The album is released on December 3rd. Poptastic.

October 19th on Bayerischer Rundfunk sees the premiere broadcast of the new radioplay from Ergo Phizmiz. "Conversations With Birds" is a labrynthian game of language, opera, history, travel and literature.

Illegal Art are releasing a DVD of People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz "The Keystone Cut Ups", a montage of silent-comedy and early avant-garde cinema with an original instrumental score. A 7" single of two musical cuts ("Moon"/"Magic") is also imminent.

Autonoise are releasing an edition of 100 cassettes, "RAKEDIKA". Subtitled "games for music to play with toys", the album is made entirely from edits of Autonoise's own hacked toys.

If you are near Lausanne at the moment, head to Theatre Vidy to see "The Old Man Of The Mountain" from Patrick Sims & Les Antliaclastes Marionettes, featuring music by Ergo Phizmiz, Ata Ebtekar and Oriol Viladomiou. The work also tours extensively in the coming year.

Taking up the majority of time at Phizmiz Towers & Atelier Royale is the production of "GARGANTUA", the new work for theatre by Ergo Phizmiz. Combining electronic music with vocals, puppetry, collage, dance and animation, the work is a hallucinatory encyclopedic voyage on the high seas of time and space. 

Inspired by Rabelais, but referencing, well, pretty much everything, it's set to be a unique sensory adventure. It tours the UK in March 2013, with a planned European tour for late 2013.

Supported by PRS Foundation, Qujunktions, UpItUp Records, Bridport Arts Centre, The Waiting Room, and Soundart Radio. The work, as per usual, was rejected funding from the Arts Council - there is a huge crowdfunding campaign planned to take off in the coming weeks, so if you can chip in, please do.

Thanks for reading .... I blow you big wet sloppy kisses across an apocalyptic landscape of knives, forks, spoon, and stones....

Friday, 14 September 2012

"Time To Think It Over" - New single by Ergo Phizmiz

The new single "Time To Think It Over" by Ergo Phizmiz, an outtake from the forthcoming LP "Eleven Songs". The single is released September 2012, the album released December 3rd on Care In The Community Recordings.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Friday, 31 August 2012

More Ergo Phizmiz In-Sync

Ergo Phizmiz's Creative Commons licensed music continues to be used regularly  as soundtracks for a stunningly diverse range of short films online. Dip into the below videos ..... bacteria, rock-climbing, dogs, giants, state-fairs....

Pink Bacteria Dance from kynd on Vimeo.

The Rhino Roof! 7b+ (Enhanced) from Jesse de Vries on Vimeo.

auf der alm II from Frank Gassner on Vimeo.

dog s (Enhanced) from Stephen Marin on Vimeo.

Antwan E (Enhanced) from Mike Jones on Vimeo.

SKYPIX - Gundam stand from SKYPIX-Astrodolly on Vimeo.

krisenstatement from Corinna Eigner on Vimeo.

State Fair from J-F Vergel Photography on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

"Papalaka Papalaka" - A Spoken-Word Audio/Video Opera by Ergo Phizmiz

A spoken-word audio/video opera by Ergo Phizmiz, with text entirely snipped from the writings of Noel Coward. The audio is created from Ergo's collection of gramophone records, a sample from Monteverdi's "Combattimento de Tancredi", a wooden kitchen door, and Ergo's "Hallucination Duets".


"The Impulse to Shoot at Every Shadow" by Ergo Phizmiz from Ergo Phizmiz on Vimeo.

Text-Collage, Sound-Collage & Production by Ergo Phizmiz

Voices by Ergo Phizmiz, Flora Bertolli & Martha Moopette

* * *

When the curtain rises the stage is in darkness.
There is the sound of voices. Enter Young Man
followed by Young Woman. He turns up lights,
disclosing a comfortable little study with
a sofa, armchairs, books, etc.,
and the remains of a fire in the grate.


In January I went to Paris and breakfasted daily, curtains of wisteria
and serried ranks of snow capped mountains.

For the whole of the following year I did not work, my cough rapidly disappeared,
and then in a moment their colour and vitality faded.

Some little question of English grammar I bit her arm right through to the bone.

I drilled resonantly, a slight strain, you play exclusively in your mind,
I may add, that was not entirely free from superciliousness.

To this day we still meet occasionally and have a good time, but
the paths back into the past are long and tortuous, and new faiths,
like new policemen, were sick and tired of it.


My last link with familiar life, disappearing down the

M & F
handbags, hats, coats, sandwiches, apples, oranges, shoes, stockings, and bits of fur,
a tinny piano, too many chairs, a few mottled looking glasses,
always a pervasive smell of last week's cooking.


Small miserable groups of people huddled in corners.
I had still one more battle. Cockie in his box,
Mother to greet us blind in a dirty kimono, nor could
I have chosen a more thoroughly unsuitable place.

Conducting a furtive, illicit detail, but the climax
was always the same.

I soon became bored and wanted to go home,
made up into dark little rooms and passages,
and one could see across miles of marshes,
a square edifice wearing perkily a pink corrugated tin roof,
falling to pieces,


The noise is deafening – the chorus in various travelling dresses
are clustered round the low counter, trying to get the baggage examined
quickly, and talking, and shouting.
Young Englishman strolls languidly in.


M & F
there were two small ponds, five poplars,
a ramshackle garden consisting almost entirely of hedges,
and an ancient, deeply green orchard with thick grass
and low growing apple trees, hats, coats, sandwiches,
apples, oranges, shoes, stockings, and bits of fur,
a tinny piano, too many chairs, a few mottled looking glasses,
always a pervasive smell of last week's cooking,
two small ponds, five poplars, a ramshackle garden.


I was suddenly conscious-smitten by the sight of a poor old gentleman,
raspberried with the utmost fervour, although far from assured,
had at least been enough to procure me a dignified pose.

It was the result of careful thought, only for the sake of the salary,
seemed to be a static, over-cautious mania for travel and change,
but to me it wasn't foolish at all.


She takes the breakfast-tray from side table and rests it on her knees.
She proceeds to pour out coffee, she sips some of it
and then begins to eat a little toast. The telephone rings again.
She takes off receiver and speaks with her mouth full.


It is patronising, of course, to a certain degree,
but not consciously or disagreeably so;
I managed tactfully to erase some of the bloodstains.
As a new animal I received many surprising visitors in my cage.

My vision of myself at eight and twelve and sixteen is clear.
I know how I looked, of course.
Superlatives flew through the air, richochetting off mouldering midsummer.

Even Irene forsook me for a while.


I used to get packets of bacon on credit, restraining
the impulse to shoot at every shadow cast by the street lamp.

Her failure lay within herself, in her abrupt pride, and
sudden sharp intolerance, and her inability, when in certain moods,
to accept the small change of friendship, even from those
who loved her dearly,

M & F
deeply green orchard with thick grass
and low growing apples trees, hats, coats, sandwiches,
apples, oranges, shoes, stockings, and bits of fur,
a tinny piano, too many chairs, a few mottled looking glasses,
always a pervasive smell of last week's cooking,
two small ponds, five poplars, a ramshackle garden.


Black out. Close tabs.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Music for Merz & Barn Vs Opera for Mills & Boon

Recorded live at Cafe Oto, London, in July 2012, "Music for Merz & Barn vs Opera for Mills & Boon" imagines a boxing match of aesthetics at the end of the universe, refereed by Marlene Dietrich.

Contributors to the boxing match are: Kurt Schwitters "Ursonate", field-recordings from the Elterwater Merzbarn, the Marlene Dietrich song "Lili Marlene", extracts from Mills & Boon novels, Russian church bells, Monteverdi's "Combattimento di Tancredi", and Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time".

Ergo performed on voice, piano, music-box, glass, laptop, turntable. He also threw shapes. What else would you expect?

The performance evening was curated by

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Ergo Phizmiz "Music for Theatre, Film & Radio" released for a limited time via Pay-With-a-Tweet

Twenty-four choice choppings of instrumental music by UK based composer, collagist, writer, film-maker, imaginary raconteur, and fancy-footworker. Recorded between 2009-2012 for radioplays, short films, theatre, and opera.

This release will be available for a limited time only, in the run up to Ergo Phizmiz's appearances at 
Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2012 and Interzone Theatre's "The Grinder" project, which is written by Ergo Phizmiz.
It is available exclusively via the Pay-With-a-Tweet service, and why not eh?

Booking for Ergo Phizmiz: "Queen of Names"

Booking for Elvis Herod's "Mike the Headless Chicken"

Booking for "The Grinder"

Monday, 9 July 2012

Ergo Phizmiz sings Gilbert & Sullivan

In December 2011 Ergo Phizmiz recorded four Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, acappella, from memory, for Vicki Bennett's mammoth 744 hour radio-broadcast "Radio Boredcast".

These recordings, along with the rest of the Boredcast, is now archived by the ever marvellous WFMU.

"Around the age of 11 or 12 I became obsessed with the comic operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan. This fascination lasted around 3 years. There were posters of W.S. Gilbert (the "S" stands for Schwenck, rather spectacularly) and Arthur Sullivan on my bedroom wall.

For years the thought of returning to their works "from memory" has been at the back of my mind. My very boring contribution to Radio Boredcast is "acappella" versions of the G & S operettas "HMS Pinafore", "Iolanthe", "The Pirates of Penzance" and "The Mikado".

Some of them I know better than others. In the cases where I didn't know the melodies, I made them up or roughly talked through them. I also decided to not use different voices for characters (these recordings are my second takes - the first takes sounded like The Goon Show and to be honest I had far too much fun doing them for it be genuinely boring), and to omit stage directions, so we are left with a very boring barrage of Victorian words, tuned and untuned, from my tired, monotone voice."

Ergo Phizmiz sings "The Mikado" 

Ergo Phizmiz sings "The Pirates of Penzance"

Ergo Phizmiz sings "Iolanthe"

Ergo Phizmiz sings "HMS Pinafore"

Ergo Phizmiz is a composer, writer, and multimedia artist. He makes pop, theatre, installations, opera, radio-art, radioplays, sound-collages and performances. He lives in Bridport, UK, and has a headache. He never wants to perform Gilbert & Sullivan again.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

THE GRINDER - Augmented theatre by Ergo Phizmiz & Joel Cahen

Written by Ergo Phizmiz
Creative direction and sound design by Joel Cahen

The Grinder is nourished by our information, our thoughts, our tweets, our images, our videos, our sounds and our dreams. Within The Grinder all this information exists in a state of perpetual alchemy, as 0s and 1s, as flesh/meat, as hallucinations, as fragments of sounds, as shards of vinyl, toys, texts, paper, machinery, microchips.
Everything within it exists in a constant state of permutation, existence and non-existence, as The Grinder explores and reflects every ever-increasing possibility in upon itself. The entirety of the internet is set to feed into The Grinder which, due to it's existence between the physical and virtual, occupies no fixed abode.
Until now. A triumphant feat of hacking has left The Grinder temporarily locked in one physical space. You will follow a chain of events across a series of locations, with a wide range of permutations and possible routes, incorporating clues and strange characters on your way to discovery.
The Grinder takes place in Clerkenwell and Bethnal Green
Audience will need an iPhone or Android smartphone.

Interzone Theatre is a covert performance platform for an audience of one.
It is an exploratory theatrical experience where the buildings, parks and waterways serve as a backdrop and passersby unwitting extras in a psycho-geographical interactive journey through the cityscape. Passersby become unwitting extras as the audience tries to decipher who is a character in the narrative and who is not, they might see the dots but only the audience can connect them and see the narrative unfolding with each zone they step in.
Interzone Theatre is based on sound design to convey the story. Sound gives context to a scene and gives the audience access to a parallel world superimposed on familiar locations and daily interactions.
Interzone Theatre requires an iPhone or Android smartphone. You are given headphones and a start point, its up to you to find out the ending.

Newtoy production

Part of Shoreditch Fringe Festival and CREATE 2012.