It’s 2008 and Bristol’s Venn festival is throwing bands and genres into happy faces for one final year. Between (I think) Moha! and Infinite Livez, a break at the tiny Scout Hut finds a hall space turned into some sort of possessed forest, where cracked spectacles and toy instruments hang from the ceiling and hidden laptop noise oozes from behind layers of fake leaves. It was great, obviously, but installation art is not the only treat that Ergo Phizmiz can dish out. He’s a ridiculously prolific chap, variously turning out radio programmes, bizarro operas (including ‘The Mourning Show’, in which “radio DJ Chris Evans is driven to insanity and plummets to his death in the misguided belief he is a bird”), acoustic covers of Prodigy albums, toy instrument covers of Velvet Underground albums, as well as a mention in John Peel’s autobiography. This latest opera doodah is a twisted version of an absurdist Flann O’Brien novel “in which electronic music, puppetry, stagecraft, and animation collide into an intense unity”. Sometimes these previews write themselves, eh. Sometimes you can see national treasures for six quid. See this or be forever a stinking cadaver.
Ergo Phizmiz’s The Third Policeman
Wednesday and Thursday, 9 and 10 November 2011
Qu Junktions is jazzed to present a big project from wild card composer Ergo Phizmiz.
The Third Policeman is an electronic neur-opera based on Flann O’Brien’s perplexing masterpiece. Part thriller, part comedy, part science-fiction, this radical adaptation combines stagecraft, animation, and distinctive, unforgettable music into an astounding composite for the ears and eyes. Expect bicycles, murder, atomic theory, typewriters, infinity, and sweets.
Ergo first locked tusks with Qu at Venn 2008, when he produced Forest, an amazing bespoke installation that saw him take over a scout hut to conjure an enchanted Bavarian woodland made of twigs, cutlery, mechanical birds and constant, ever-evolving sound. Now he’s back with something grander and stranger yet.
The Third Policeman is a truly 21st century artwork, using a wide array of creative methods and approaches in handmade and digital art to bring Ergo’s idiosyncratic take on Flann O’Brien’s already idiosyncratic world to life.
Created in collaboration with a host of artists who can only be described in today’s incessant jargon as “outsiders”, and performed by a cast of non-trained singers and comedians, with visual influences from Eastern European animation and musical references ranging from British dance bands to intricate electronic music, it will be an unforgettable and unique sensory experience.