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headphonica : The Faust Cycle

Released on
Catalog number
Playtime: 14:11:06 - 320kb/s - 1.56 GB
Date released
Date published
2010/01/18 11:16h



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Release Notes

The Faust Cycle

or, The House of Dr Faustus


Written, Composed, Performed & Produced by

Ergo Phizmiz


Project consultants

James Nye, Martha Moopette, The Travelling Mongoose



One afternoon Ergo Phizmiz finds himself lumbered into delivering a parcel to the house of legendary alchemist and necromancer Dr Johann Faustus who, since the events of some time ago for which he is renowned, has entered into a rather quieter life in a vast, labyrinthine house, with hundreds of lodgers running the gamut from artists, birds, bird-people, walking fictions, ventriloquists, a Cassowary, running chairs, walking gramophones, and myriad automata.

This enormous dream fable, told through speech, songs, collage and sound-design, is the result of over three years delving down various rabbit-holes, and features collaborations in a range of contexts with artists of many disciplines, including Jack Phoenix, Margita Zalite, Pete Um, Angela Valid, Bela Emerson, Martha Moopette, Amie Willingale, and Zenith Pitts.

In glorious radiophonic technicolour, it is a musical-comedy of disorientation and magick, somewhere between nightmare and the half-remembered childhood whimsy of an insomniac music-hall artiste.

Please note – “The Faust Cycle” is not, necessarily, suitable for sensitive ears at times, containing, as it does, some naughty words, some sexy references, and a healthy smattering of scatological excess.


Chunk 1


“Divination” & “Dick & Liz Expound”


00:00 – 01:38 - Featuring “Little Octet for Assorted Tubes & Cones” by James Nye


“The Legend of George Scrape”

01:40 – 02:41 - Ventriloquist performed by Zenith Pitts

George Scrape story devised with James Nye & Martha Moopette


“From The Toilet of Despair”


02:42 – End - Improvised by James Nye & Ergo Phizmiz



Chunk 2


“Culinary Philosophy”


00:00 – 00:52 - Additional music by James Nye & Margita Zalite


00:52 – 00:58 - “Little Octet for Assorted Tubes & Cones” by James Nye


00:58 – 01:18 - “An Evening in Hell” – Piano work

Composed, Performed & Produced by James Nye


“Operatic Laughter”


01:18 – 01:46 - Additional music by Margita Zalite


01:47 – 02:16 - Dr Faustus Actor performed by Pete Um

Eloise performed by Margita Zalite


02:16 – End - Improvisation for Cello & Electronics by Bela Emerson



Chunk 3


00:00 – 00:01 - “An Evening in Hell” by James Nye, reprise


00:01 – 00:26 - “Hell Kebabs” – Electroacoustic work

Composed, Performed & Produced by Angela Valid




00:26 – 00:52 - Text developed with and performed by Martha Moopette

Trumpet by Mark Upton

Improvisation for Cello & Electronics by Bela Emerson


“Chronicles of the Suspicious Gentleman”


00:52 -01:14 - “Fever” performed by Margita Zalite

“Madiana” composed & performed with Aaron Islamb




01:14 – 01:45 - Additional vocals by Margita Zalite

Featuring “Little Octet for Assorted Tubes & Cones” by James Nye


01:44 – 02:00 - Recordings of “The Faust Cycle” workshops at

Quay Arts Podcasts edited by Simon Perry

Workshops facilitated with James Nye


“Kinetoscopes & Dung”


02:00 – End - Trumpet by Mark Upton

“An Evening in Hell” by James Nye

Foley created with The Travelling Mongoose

Interpretations of Erik Satie’s “Le Tango Perpetuel” created with James Nye

Violin solo improvised by Amie Willingale



Chunk 4


“The Bird Machines”

00:00 – 01:30 - Featuring “Little Octet for Assorted Tubes & Cones” by James Nye


“The Abduction of the Object”

01:28 – End - Improvisations by James Nye & Ergo Phizmiz

Eloise performed by Martha Moopette & Rebecca Robertson

The Inventor performed by Zenith Pitts

Chunk 5




00:00 – 00:43 - Voice of the Vine performed by James Nye


“The Invention of Birds” & “The Circus of Delightful Misery”


00:43 -02:56 - Interpretations of Erik Satie’s “Le Tango Perpetuel” created with James Nye

“Secrets” monologue written & performed by James Nye

The Voice of Faustus performed by Zenith Pitts

Field-Recordings by The Travelling Mongoose

Insect Recordings by Irene Moon



* * * * *



Contains interpretations of music by

Claudio Monteverdi Carlo Gesualdo Melchior Franck Thomas Ravenscroft The Four Tops Peggy Lee Erik Satie Sergei Prokofiev Jacques Offenbach Arthur Sullivan Georges Bizet Camille Saint-Saens J.S. Bach Charles Tennier Giuseppe Verdi Argentian Tango from “Un Chien Andalou” Cole Porter W.A. Mozart Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby

Contains samples too numerous to name…



Written & Recorded 2006-2009

Ventnor, Newport, East Cowes, Ryde, Freshwater, Buckfastleigh, Brighton, London (UK) La Ferriere aux Etangs, La Noe de Fendrement (France) Tirgu-Mures, Transylvania (Romania)

Thanks to

All the artists involved, Kate, Talulah & Autumn, Jeremy Court, David Fenech, Felix Kubin & Gagarin Records, Vulnavia Vanity, the Faustus of the West Country, Sal & Simon, Matt Johnson, Soundart Radio, Chris, Lucinda, et al, WFMU, Zoe & Storm, Vicki & Peter , Sid & Maz, Jo Hummel Newell & all at Quay, Penny King & Angela Unsworth, Steven Streight, Chinky Bolin, Soleilmoon, Doyouspeakenglish Radio, Proot Records, Patrick Sims, Sarah & Peter Nelson, Satanicpornocultshop, Tomomi Adachi, Erik Bumbledonk, Anthony Locke, Moritz Grünke Dedicated to Joseph Cornell Ken Campbell Morecambe & Wise


Supported by" href="" target="_blank">Arts Council England" href="" target="_blank">Vaguely Marsupial Productions


Soundart Radio" href="" target="_blank">VentnorBlog" href="" target="_blank">Quay Arts">" target="_blank">BüroPluspunkt



Weblinks Ergo Phizmiz


James Nye


Angela Valid


Bela Emerson


Margita Zalite


Martha Moopette


Pete Um


Mark Upton


Amie Willingale


Aaron Islamb


Simon Perry


Elements of The Faust Cycle were presented as works in progress on WFMU (, and Soundart Radio (, who also broadcast the premiere of the entire work.

Instrumental excerpts have been released as “Music From The House of Dr Faustus” on the FMA

Cover Art by Moritz Grünke (">" href="">" target="_blank">">

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