Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Melomaniac

Music is a fire that combusts
upon itself and tears apart the heart
exploding universes in a row
the end is the beginning and the start
of timelessness and rapture overwhelmed
the passion of a bow upon a string
a knock on wood or any other thing
to bang two stones together can erupt
the lava churning through your tangled veins
which nothing in the cosmos can corrupt
for in the darkness, only sound remains
for all your science and society
and all your longings, talk of you and me,
then when the organ blasts across the space
the tones that spread the stars across your face
the pipes blow out the candles and suppose
that music roots from where the mandrake grows
and climaxing a cadence in the rafters
priest, porn star, pianist, happy ever afters
the sounds that emanate drive me insane
I am the fire, the love, la melomane.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Reverend C.L. "Dodo" Dodgson

aka Lewis Carroll
the third point in the Billiards triangle

(appearing, probably, as hand-drawn animation?)

"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."

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Referees Song during Dream sequence

Night serene
slip into the spiral of a dream
wheels spin slow
round all that you know
stars like balls
reflecting the roundness of it all
minds are quite
fantastic at night

Skiing and chasing
a rhino and a man
I know over a
landscape of roses
the moral I suppose

Dreams are what your mind does 
when you leave it alone, 

Night is right
for fire when thoughts are set alight
stars that flame
whatever their name
dreams that flicker
fizz and fly away
into the coming light
that drains away the magic night.

to the tune of "A Little Bit of Dreammusik"

The Rhythms That The Balls Produce

Wolfgang Amadeus vexes over
a train of thought that stuck in
to a rut the notes won't budge
and all his melodies are sludge

But when his brain has gone to shards
he finds the game of Billiards
a tonic for his malady of musical
and in his introspection
balls are bouncing
bounding and rebounding
off each other and
the rhythms that the balls produce
are of inestimable use
to Wolfgang Amadeus.

to the tune of "Papageno Drunk", sung by the referee, or referees...

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

BILLIARDS structure now....


In which Raymond Scott, assisted by a chance-music machine, creates a tear in the fabric of space and time. Then all goes dark. Until Mozart is summoned, and steps into the Billiards room.

Act I
In the Billiards room, Mozart, struggling for an idea, is banging balls together. He entertains the spectators with a treatise on chance, balls, games, and composition. 

We witness the other side of the tear in the universe created by Raymond Scott, then all goes dark, and two balls suspended, vibrating in mid-air manifest the trill in the piece of music Mozart is attempting to compose, catalysing the completion of the composition.

- Interlude - 
In the madhouse, Antonin Artaud has become convinced the Lewis Carroll travelled in time to plagiarise the text of Jabberwocky from him.

Act II
Raymond Scott composes "In an Eighteenth Century Drawing Room", closely based on a composition of Mozart. It transpires that, due to the tear in the universe, Mozart actually plagiarised the piece from Raymond Scott.

The machines of Raymond Scott lead into a game with music and mathematics. Lewis Carroll manifests and takes notes on the music machines, then disappears.

- Interlude -
An Opera for dividing cells

Act III "The Melomaniac"
Mozart, alone, is looking into an Edwardian peep-show machine. An intense text and video collage ensues, we are seeing what Mozart is looking at in the machine, combining ideas and images of religion, dramatic music, the orgasm, sex, transcendence, passion, and gurning musicians. Mozart masturbates, and the Queen of the Night aria is besmirched.

Raymond Scott makes love to an electronic music machine then, in climax, becomes one with the machine, flies into space, into the stars.

- Interlude -
John Cage composes Atlas Eclipticalis, mapping the stars onto music paper.

Act IV
We all know that the most pleasant way to spend time after an intense sexual or religious experience (or both) is in sleep and dreams.

John Cage narrates the sleeping Mozart through a starlit trail on dreams and the imagination.

The Raymond-Scott-Erotico-Musico-Machine is flying around the planets, in bliss.

- Interlude -
Back on earth, John Cage is picking mushrooms.

Act V
Mozart wakes up.

And then, suddenly, the universe was torn.

And all went dark.

Then Mozart is in the middle of the Billiards table, rolling around on balls.

Then Mozart's head explodes, in glorious technicolour.

And the audience receive an approximation of all of Mozart's ideas simultaneously. And everything else too.

The Raymond Scott-Musico-Machine flies into the centre of the sun at an incomprehensible frequency and sets off the Big Bang.

* * *

Billiards - Act I - First compositions

Monday, 24 February 2014

Two Harpsichord Miniatures on Mozart

These two short sequences of music will form the basis of the first scene in Billiards, in which Mozart delivers a treatise on composition whilst rolling about on giant balls.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Mozart Manifest

Wolfgang Amadeus stands up
lifts both his musicians hands up
stretches, stops composing tunes
and steps into the Billiards room.

Wolfgang Amadeus lurches
over table where he perches
takes the cue and shoots a ball
and doesn't pocket one at all
likes to bang the balls together
colours run around forever
bouncing circles clack and click
behind the force of wooden stick
light reflects about the spheres
and music comes to Mozart's ears

Wolfgang Amadeus sleeps
and dreams of balls that in the night
will clatter round about the sky
and twinkle in the heaven's bright
and all the music of the spheres
rebounds about in Mozart's ears.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Billiards OVERTURE on a big piece of wood

The Birth of Opera

MC You Do The Mathewson has been busy giving birth to opera...

Ergo Phizmiz - The Birth of Opera from simon mathewson on Vimeo.

Music Music Music

On January 17th, the Overture to Ergo Phizmiz's BILLIARDS will be rehearsed and presented in London. Venue tba imminently.

Choice cuttings from recent e-mails...

The piece we are making is the Billiards Overture.

It's in three sections.

(1) Exquisite Corpse
(2) Funballs
(3) Music Music Music (possibly title of this bit will change)

All the sequences use sound-collage, video-collage, shadow-puppetry, voice, lip-sync, violin, harpsichord.

First a brief prologue, where Raymond Scott is tinkering with machines in his workshop. He accidentally generates a well-known phrase of Mozart on a chance-music machine. The universe explodes.

In "Exquisite Corpse" the rules of the game of Billiards are introduced, to a sound-collage music score which is a game of heads-bodies-legs with all of Mozart's overtures, chronologically, using common factors between them to interlink.

In "Funballs" we introduce Mozart, who plays Billiards and composes music simultaneously. The Billiard balls and the music shoot off into space and become stars.

In "Music Music Music" Omar Khayyam is watching the stars, then proceeds to play them as a musical instrument. Kepler's Music of the Spheres is referenced, as is Cage's Atlas Eclipticalis. We'll probably come to an end with the voice of Cage, sounding like a children's storyteller.

A brief epilogue, the universe implodes back into Raymond Scott's electronic music-machine.

Animation Sequences....

Manic edits of Billiard balls

Photographic details of sheet music

The universe exploding from inside an electronic music machine

Billiard balls on a table, in the shape of the Great Bear, turning into stars

Billiard balls shooting off into space

Music notes flying through space

Spinning planets

Spinning numbers

Victorian / Edwardian heads-bodies-legs books animated

Constellations of stars, different stars, one a time, light-up brighter

Billiard balls moving around a table, then forming into the world "BILLIARDS"

Raymond Scott's music machines (extremely fanciful versions of them)