Do Invertebrate Musicians Have a Union?


“Roussel’s notorious Impressions d’Afrique, an adaptation of his 1910 prose fantasy of the same name, with its contest of “The Incomparables Club’ including the debut of the Earthworm Zither Player- a trained earthworm whose drops of mercury-like ‘sweat’ sliding down the chords of the instrument produced sound-”

-from “Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present” by RoseLee Goldberg


“Snails and Lasers for Patricia Highsmith” uses the mystery writer’s snail obsession– she supposedly kept hundreds of them as pets, and she wrote about them in works like the short story, “The Snail-Watcher”– as the slimy composers of that piece. The technique: A laser was pointed at a light-sensitive theremin; snails were let loose within the theremin’s range, fucking with its pitch. The result is an ominous, hard-boiled brushed jazz piece accented with what sounds like a harpsichord flourish. It eventually turns into a bleakly paranoid theremin landscape as the snails frolic in slow motion.“

-from Brandon Stosuy’s Pitchfork review of Matmos’ “The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast”

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