Exclusive Digital Single From People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz

We are pleased to announce two brand new downloadable tracks from People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz, available to the web exclusively from WFMU’s Free Music Archive and Beware of the Blog. The Music to Run Fast By digital 7” is based around the idea of “The Chase”, where Vicki and Ergo sourced from and collaged as many fast moving sounds as they could possibly think of! This music was originally conceived for a live soundtrack to Christian Marclay’s film “Screen Play”, performed by WFMU’s delightful duo in London last year. It was then developed into “The Chase” episode of their “Codpaste” podcast on WFMU. Check out more very fast music from People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz in the Codpaste archive at http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/25405
Download the mp3s at the WFMU Blog .

If you own a horse then do take this on your ipod next time you go out for a trot.

“Screen Play” by Christian Marclay, performed by People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz

“I composed a silent collage of found film footage partially layered with computer graphics to provide a framework in which live music can develop. Moving images and graphics give musicians visual cues suggesting emotion, energy, rhythm, pitch, volume, and duration. I believe in the power of images to evoke sound.”
– Christian Marclay

By Christian Marclay

Trio I: Vicki Bennett, Ergo Phizmiz
Trio II: Steve Beresford, John Butcher, Roger Turner
Trio III: Blevin Blectum, J G Thirlwell

“Having combined excerpts from Hollywood films to cacophonous effect in previous work, Mr Marclay leapt back in film history, making a demonically spliced silent movie whose visually noisy pulsing black and white sequences were complicated by computer animations of bright, jumpy abstract dots, stripes and shapes reminiscent of work by John Baldessari. It was an extraordinary evening of looking and listening.”
Roberta Smith, The New York Times

Forming part of The Wire 25 anniversary celebrations marking 25 years of The Wire magazine and co-curated by Electra, London & New York based visual artist and composer Christian Marclay presented the UK premier of Screen Play, a moving image musical score in which found film footage is combined with computer animation to create a visual projection, to be interpreted by live musicians in an evening length performance.

In the tradition of graphic scores, Marclay designed a “video score” combining found footage and computer animation to be interpreted by three small groups of musicians, to initiate performances while leaving ample room for interpretation and improvisation. For the London performance, Marclay assembled three groups made up of a wide-ranging collective of musical talents, including Vicki Bennett, Ergo Phizmiz, Steve Beresford, John Butcher, Roger Turner, Blevin Blectum and J G Thirlwell.

Screen Play follows The Bell And The Glass, Marclay’s first experiment with the use of video projection to convey instructions to musicians, which was commissioned by the Reloche ensemble and performed at the Philadelphia Museum Of Art in 2003.

First, a pretty bad recording from the mixing desk of the concert…
People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz – Live Score to Christian Marclay’s Screen Play, Bush Hall, London

“I never heard it performed like THAT before…” – Christian Marclay

And then the raw tracks that People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz composed for the live score. You may notice that these experiments then went on to be developed in Codpaste, and then Rhapsody in Glue.

Enya With Her Accordian
Honeysuckle Bollocks
Be My Baby Beat
Chase 1
Chase 2
Chase 3
Chase 4
Chase 5
Chase 6
Screen End
Screen End Opera
Fashionette by The Piccadilly Players

Codpaste podcast on WFMU

This is the archive page of People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz’s podcast “Codpaste”. Playlists and archives can be accessed indefinitely at http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/CT.  The album Rhapsody in Glue is now available for FREE download at UbuWeb.

Please read on…

Episode 1 – 3rd December 2007 – Cartoon Music

Vicki and Ergo ride their little bicycles with square wheels and honky hooters and tell you about their love of this funny music. Features, amongst others, the music of Carl Stalling, Roger Roger and BBC Radiophonic Workshop, all collaged with conversation and ridiculously pointless repetitions.

Episode 2 – 10th December 2007 – The Chase

Ergo and Vicki show you how fast they can juggle without dropping everything, or at least make very fast music. They play you some of their very favourite speedy rhythms, generally all at the same time, then when it’s finished they start it all over again. Features amongst others, different versions of William Tell Overture and Hungarian Rhapsody, and also the misc of Spike Jones, The Comedian Harmonists and Offenbach.

Episode 3 – 17th December 2007 – Hooked On Classics

In which Vicki and Ergo revisit the 1970’s phenomenon of Hooked On Classics, classical cover versions as well as all things light, orchestral and popular. Features a medley of the best of this fine mulch of classical music with a disco beat, as well as some tangential visits to the world of amateur orchestras. Features Portsmouth Sinfonia, The Swingle Singers, John Oswald and Wendy Carlos, amongst others.

Episode 4 – 24th December 2007 – ThEdit

All about the wonderful world of editing and cutting up of sounds. Ergo and Vicki talk about their favourite editors of life, and demonstrate how one can mess up sound so easily and to such good effect. Features the work of William Burroughs, Negativland, Language Removal Services and cut ups of BBC Radio.

Episode 5 – 31st December 2007 – Fwms Bo Wo

Features some of the best explorers of sound poetry, and general transformers of the spoken word. Is this nonsense? Is it music? Are we serious? Ultimately we don’t know but we really enjoy it, and this is a fun introduction to a kind of audio art that all too often is alienating. Features, amongst others, the work of Jaap Blonk, Leif Elggren & Thomas Liljenberg, Christian Bok and Stanley Unwin.

Episode 6 – 7th January 2008 – Snow Day

People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz examine their obsessions with the classical piece Troika (Sleigh Ride), Queen, Rod McKuen and songs about the weather, plus Vicki tries to mix Mrs Miller with B.J.Thomas and wonders why it didn’t turn out too well.

Episode 7 – 14th January 2008 – Banjos, Pots, Pans and Squeezeboxes

In which Vicki and Ergo discuss the combination of sampling, live instrumentation and voices. Features Wendy Carlos, Sun Ra and Esquivel, amongst others.

Episode 8 – 21st January 2008 – Collage

When does it stop being completely isolated from the rest of the universe and step into the world of collage, adding another patch to the huge quilt of sounds that have gone before? People Like Us “start at the very beginning” and try to find out. Features sounds from Noah Creshevsky, DJ Earlybird, Brion Gysin and Kid Koala, amongst many others.

Episode 9 – 28th January 2008 – I Can’t Tell A Waltz From A Tango

Can you? Vicki and Ergo offer a masterclass in the key of E Minor on all things that you can’t dance to. Features the swinging sounds of Percy Faith, Charles Barlow & His Orchestra, Johann Strauss II and Ferrante & Teicher.

Episode 10 – 4th February 2008 – Nana Mouskouri

Why on earth is it called this? Well, this episode is all about those themes and songs that are just so catchy that we just keep returning to them. Includes such delights as Bert Kaempfert, Lenny Dee, The Swingle Singers, The Comedian Harmonists, and of course Nana Mouskouri.

Episode 11 – 11th February 2008 – Sing Song

In which Ms. Us and Mr. Phizmiz play all their favourite songs and think about how artists fit in with the world of popular music, almost by accident at times. Features, amongst others, the fabulous works of Noel Coward, Winifred Atwell, The Ronettes and Xper. Xr.

Episode 12 – 18th February 2008 – Comedy

Funny ha ha or funny peculiar, either way, we love that music with a sense of humour, a sense of the surreal and absurd. Vicki and Ergo reflect on the aftermath of chancing a visit to a village hall full of leaping lederhosen. Listen to, amongst others, Mary Schneider, Liszt, The Goons and a bunch of WFMU DJs.

Episode 13 – 10th March 2008 – Easy Listening

No, don’t switch off, you like it really, don’t you. Easy Listening, it’s nice. Hear the beautiful noises of Glen Campbell, Esquivel, Nelson Riddle and Martin Denny.

Episode 14 – 17th March 2008 – Finale

http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/26515 – and at the WFMU blog
The final podcast of Codpaste – a 96 minute mix of the best of the show, which when we play it back, we’re quite amazed at how much we fitted into this series in such a short space of time.

What it’s all about

“Codpaste” is a weekly podcast series in which the two artists People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz will attempt to compose collage music from the very beginning, in a “work in progress” style, attempting to open up the creative process.  The theory is that it is rare to see compositions made from the outset, and usually the audience are only invited in once the piece is finished, done and dusted. It could be that new light may be shed on the creation of art if the curtains are opened and the audience are given access to the raw, the imperfect and the wrong as well as the polished and the finished. This is what we hope anyway!

From 3rd December 2007 WFMU will be hosting the podcasts of: (i) audio sources, the tracks used as the basis for the collage in the episode, (ii) sketches, mixes and collages combining track’s elements, with added instrumentation, electronics, vocals, etc, and (iii) fragments, layers, and multitracks of the collage compositions.  These elements will be tied together by snippets of light-hearted, tangential conversations and introductions and occasional mental overload and verbal meltdown.

The previous collaboration “Boots!” experimented with combining free digital downloading with more traditional formats and forms of distribution (record and CD through record stores), and came to the conclusion that the “gift economy” does work – with evidence of increased mail order sales and reports from stores hosting the record that customers also bought things at the same time.  As a result, we will compile these weekly programmes into a mp3 album of the same name (“Codpaste”), taking selections of the free podcasts, shaping them into a finished pod-album format, for sale on iTunes. Once the project is completed, all elements will be hosted in perpetuum at WFMU’s Free Music Archive, allowing the good work to continue once the artists are done with it!

It is a rare and new thing to be making work-in-progress in front of an audience – and hopefully will prove to be both fun and an inspiration for artist and listener (and ultimately listener as remixer), and a vital exploration of unique ways of making work in a market more than saturated with products.

Background on the collaboration

Since 2002 People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz have collaborated on a number of compositional projects; including a radio show, two albums and two live performances; “Boots!” and “Screen Play”.  “Screen Play” was a live soundtrack for Christian Marclay’s film of the same name, performed as part of the Wire 25 celebrations in London in November 2007. “Boots!”, a year-long project (2006-2007), was presented online as a free downloadable 5-hour long archive (at UbuWeb), including compositional elements dissected into component parts, demonstrating creative processes that led to finished works, making it remixable by downloader.  The project received radio play on BBC Radio, Channel 4 Radio – plus 450 subscribers to our subsequent 10″ record – “Honeysuckle Boulevard”, and an additional 200 who were too late to participate.

You can subscribe to People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz’s other solo podcasts, also on WFMU, at DO or DIY with People Like Us and The Phuj Phactory with Ergo Phizmiz.

Codpaste timeline

July 2007 – So it begins: collecting sound sources and visual material, discussing structure, audio collaboration begins
The simultaneous collecting and making of work.  The podcasts will to go out as the artists are making the work, so that the outlet is time sensitive to the creation.  The creating and outputting will be going on throughout the following stages until completion in March 2008.

3rd December 2007 – Weekly podcasts begin on WFMU
A weekly podcast will go out at the same time each week – subscribe through http://wfmu.org/podcast, with playlists and other information added both on this website and also http://wfmu.org/playlists/CT

March 2008 – Develop the material into an album
The artists will steer the collaborative material in the direction of it being collated in “album” form.  So in other words, this timeline contains a number of simultaneous and overlapping events – the making of material, outputting and collating.

May 2008 – Releasing the album plus hosting elements on WFMU’s Free Music Archive
The album, entitled “Rhapsody in Glue” is now available at bleep.com! Watch this space for bonus tracks which will be hosted at WFMU’s Free Music Archive shortly!

15 May 2008 – Rhapsody in Glue – digital album release

Following the success of the critically acclaimed “Perpetuum Mobile” CD of 2007, renowned UK collagists / composers People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz reunite for “Rhapsody in Glue”, a cycle of bricolage-ballet-music, skewed-waltzes, and skewiff-pop.
There is a story behind every album, and with “Rhapsody in Glue” we find a unique approach to constructing a record. Both long-term contributors to New York radio station WFMU, People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz decided to publicly tear apart their respective practices and create an album “in the open”, presenting on a seafood-filled-platter the process of collaborative collage composition – informally discussing and jabbering nonsense to one another, resulting in the “Codpaste” free podcast series. “Rhapsody in Glue” is the culmination of the ideas explored in the podcast series.

“Rhapsody in Glue” continues in the bizarre ballroom vein of their previous efforts together, however, increasing the sonic palette into textural depths previously uncharted in their work. If “Carmic Waltz” is an expressionist painting by aged ballroom dance teacher who’s eaten the wrong kind of mushrooms in her soufflé, then “Gary’s Anatomy” is a slice of pure absurdist pop shot through with slabs of exotica and Ethel Merman. Recurring through the record is an apparent obsession with Prokofiev’s “Troika (Sleigh Ride)”, which merges and mashes with Burt Bacharach and Queen on “Snow Day”‘ and lapses into pure fantasy on the almost entirely acoustic “Withers in the Whist”, jarring with Ergo’s strange, Victoriana obsessed lyrics. Then on “Dancing in the Carmen” we discover what happens if Nana Mouskouri is thrown into a pot with Peggy Lee and let simmer for 10 minutes, whilst “In The Waking” shimmers along on multitracked guitars, meandering melodies, and music boxes.

Rhapsody in Glue is available exclusively at budget price from http://www.bleep.com

3 June 2008 – Digital Single derived from Codpaste on the WFMU Blog

We are pleased to announce two brand new downloadable tracks from People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz, available to the web exclusively from WFMU’s Free Music Archive and Beware of the Blog. The Music to Run Fast By digital 7” is based around the idea of “The Chase”, where Vicki and Ergo sourced from and collaged as many fast moving sounds as they could possibly think of! This music was originally conceived for a live soundtrack to Christian Marclay’s film “Screen Play“, performed by WFMU’s delightful duo in London last year. It was then developed into “The Chase” episode of their “Codpaste” podcast on WFMU.

If you own a horse then do take this on your ipod next time you go out for a trot.
Download the mp3s at the WFMU Blog or at UbuWeb

Teaching Pack

We have produced a teaching pack to accompany the Codpaste series, in pdf form. Don’t forget you don’t need to subscribe now the series is over – just go to http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/CT to listen along with this!
Download the pdf here (30mb)
Creative Commons License
Codpaste – Peaching Tack by People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.peoplelikeus.org/piccies/codpaste/codpaste-teachingpack.pdf

This project is supported by Arts Council England and WFMU.

click on thumbnails for larger downloads ONLY use for joint advertisements for both artists