[BadPanda088] Ergo Phizmiz – Anna Boom
The Guardian introduced him this way: “we can’t decide whether he’s the new Viv Stanshall, a young Eno, a British Zappa, or a replacement for Frank Sidebottom”. The Times defined him as “the musical man of the moment”. For sure mr. Ergo Phizmiz is one of the most defiantly uncategorisable artists in the world.
He already released more than 50 hours of free and genial projects as opera, radio-art, puppet films, theatre scores, cinemacollages, film soundtracks, cover versions, sound-poetry, electroacoustic and more.
He has worked extensively with UK collagist People Like Us, and has also collaborated with The The, The Bees, Safety Scissors, Frankie Boyle. Martha Moopette, Oblivian Substanshall, and Christian Marclay.
Anna Boom features Erik Bumbledonk and Ergo Phizmiz appears courtesy of Care in the Community Recordings; video by Jared Brandle.
Where do you live actually?
Bridport, by the sea and a town and a big hill with some funny trees on, in South-West England
What is the last thing you ate?
A spanish churros from the lady round the back. And if that doesn’t sound rude I don’t know what does.
Your addiction ?
Er …oh …… ah …….
What do you collect?
One thing at a time. Accumulations of everything I can get about whatever it so happens I’m taken by at the time, usually a few months at a time. I have too many collections to name, many of which eventually I’ve got rid of and we always run out of space.
What is your favorite word?
“Outside of a dog a book is a man’s best friend. Inside a dog it’s too dark to read”. Groucho
Always really hard pushed with having to pick one of anything. Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”, Basil Rathbone in “The Silent Claw”, Bunuel’s “Tristana”, Vincent Price in “Theatre of Blood” and “The Abominable Dr Phibes”, Karel Zeman’s “Baron Munchausen”, Spike Milligan’s “The Great McGonagall”, Herzog’s “Fitzcarraldo”, Powell & Pressburger’s “The Red Shoes”, Jiri Trnka’s “The Devil’s Mill”. That’s about as minimal I can go with picking a film.
Again can’t really pick one. Arthur Conan-Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes canon, Edward Lear’s Collected Poems, Burroughs final trilogy, Simon Louvish’s “Laurel & Hardy: The Roots of Comedy”, Flann O’Brien’s “The Third Policeman”, Roald Dahl “The Witches”, Rabelais “Gargantua & Pantagruel”, Beckett’s “How It Is”, Lewis Carroll / Martin Gardner “The Annotated Alice”.
Which song do you listen when you wake up?
Always different. If it’s really early (particularly school mornings), I’ll go with something like The Beau Hunks playing Laurel & Hardy music.
A song you wish you wrote yourself?
The Birdie Song.
The song to be played at your funeral?
Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”, played on panpipes with midi backing. I also plan to be exploded, rather than cremated.
A song for relaxing on a beach?
The waves’ll do nicely.
Your sunday morning track?
“John Lee Was a Hooker” by Twisted Gripe.
Don’t really have one. I try not to use the web a lot.
What do you think about “music industry” situation?
It’s all at a very strange point. Obviously the music industry is dying, but I’m not sure of this oft repeated statement “Everyone has the right to free music”. On a fundamental level I agree – as I would agree also that everyone has the right to free food, art, housing, and so on. I’m not fully understanding why music is becoming something exempt from the unfortunate capitalist situation.
Kenneth Goldsmith’s article in The Wire a couple of months ago, about free music and the necessity of it, pointed to something that I find deeply disturbing – that as well as the money-based devaluing of music, the ready availability of music for free also leads people to value the art itself less.
I have two kids, and am constantly chasing work. What I do is far too intense as a practice to be a hobby, or something I can fit in around another job and my family, so one way or another I have to make money from it. As, unfortunately, we need it to survive. I have never had anything resembling financial security, and some months we have no money at all and in a constant spiral of borrowing, and so on.
So I don’t know. Obviously, I’ve given away about 50 hours or more of music. But I begin to wonder if it was the right thing to do. I’m not saying that “the music industry” are doing anything right, as they’re not, but equally I don’t think the philosophical rejection of anything associated with money as regards to music is the answer either. In many ways it’s playing into the hands of the politicians and businesses, who have been reducing the cultural value of music steadily. If eventually music is a hobby, and impossible to make a living from, then what?
What do you think about Creative Commons?
I think it’s marvellous and makes perfect sense.
The only problem I encountered with it happened recently, when the very right-wing UK Independence Party used my music on their propaganda video. This was a big problem for me, and (with help from Headphonica) we had to request they remove my music – which I’ve never dreamt of doing before as I’m very open to how my work is used.
I wonder if CC should have some kind of stipulation as regards use by political groups. I think to have your work associated with political groups can be quite a damaging association.
Errrr…..again I don’t go to lots. In terms of impact, probably The Fall.
Favourite place on earth?
Very fond of Marseille. You can feel the history of prostitutes and opium dens, plagues, puppet theatres hidden in strange alcoves, amazing cross section of people from Italy, Spain, France, and Africa. Great place.
Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?