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Festival of the Squid

from Fungicide by Robert Devereux

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This is an example of the parade music played during the Festival of the Freshwater Squid.

Fictional explanation: To capture the proper feel for the music of Ambergris, instead of writing a new piece, I adapted a traditional song, Festival of the Squid.

While browsing at a used record store, I came across a collection of Moroccan music: Traditional Moroccan Music, Volume II (on Quail Note Records, 1954). What caught my eye was a track called Festival of the Squid. It was song that was played to accompany the annual Squid Festival that takes place in a few remote villages. I felt the music fit the feel of Ambergris, so I decided to come up with my own arrangement to use.

After I started working on the arrangement, I found two disturbing things about the record. There was a second groove on the B side of
it. This means there were two possible sets of music that were on the B side. The first was normal Moroccan music. The other groove had something indescribable. The only comparison I can make is to Adaptation and Survival: The Insect Project by the Tribes of Nuerot.
On that, the music was assembled entirely from samples of insects and is some of the creepiest music I’ve heard. This second groove was quite similar, it was very creepy stuff. What is even more disturbing is it was made before samplers and computer music. I have no idea how they were able to get the sounds they produced, and I’m not sure I want to.

When I found this, I looked much more closely at the record, hoping the notes would give some information about the second groove. This is when I found the second disturbing thing. This was a photograph of some of the musicians featured on the album. Several of the musicians had clothing decorated with odd symbols. I recognized one of the symbols as a duplicate of the “Mushroom Dweller” symbol. Initially, I thought Jeff had made up the symbol himself, but finding the same symbol on a record from the 50’s was rather creepy, especially in conjunction with a song dedicated to squid and the creepy music on the second groove.

Quail Note Records has been out of business for many years, so I was unable to contact them about the second groove, or the origin of the symbols. My attempts to research Moroccan symbolism has also been fruitless.

Real Explanation: I tried to imagine King Crimson as a marching band.


from Fungicide, released October 31, 2003


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Robert Devereux Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I grew up in the woods of Maine, and now I live in Pittsburgh. I used to make electronic music, but I stopped writing after some strange experiences in the Australian outback.

I like to make and repair things. I knit, make shoes and leather goods, and repair clothing. I also make digital artwork.
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