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Fungicide: Music Inspired by Jeff VanderMeer's Ambergris Stories

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, October 31, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fungicide is a collection of music to accompany City of Saints & Madmen, by Jeff VanderMeer, However, the music can be enjoyed even if you are not familiar with his work. The CD is a gatefold package with 20 pages of notes, artwork and an excerpt from Jeff VanderMeer's upcoming novel, Shriek: An Afterword.

About the Artist

Robert Devereux is a Pittsburgh based musician. His music is written without any constraints of style. Any elements, from Tuvan throat singing to metal guitar, from folk to techno, have been used in his music. He composed scores for several student films, and his music has been performed at electronic and computer music concerts at Carnegie Mellon University.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Albumuth Boulevard
  2. The Exchange
  3. The Transformation of Martin Lake
  4. Uzumaki I
  5. Dradin, In Love (Part I)
  6. Festival of the Squid
  7. Dradin, In Love (Part II)
  8. Flooded Streets
  9. Uzumaki II
  10. The Cage
  11. The Man Who Had No Eyes
  12. The Exchange (Reading by Jeff VanderMeer) - Jeff VanderMeer

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 31, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: October 31, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Quail Note Records
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,023,577 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Robert Devereux is a one-man band, playing all the instruments on his album inspired by Jeff Vandermeer's lush, doom-filled, fungus-infested fantasy city of Ambergris (from Vandermeer's books City of Saints & Madmen and Shriek: An Afterword). Devereux also composed most of the music, though he gives an improbable folk origin for the music for Ambergris's Festival of the Freshwater Squid. He is eclectic as all get-out, processing flutes, piano, guitar, and even Tuvan throat-singing electronically to match sounds to moods.

Devereux's avowed intention to create a soundtrack to Ambergris, however, worked too well to interest me. I'm not a fan of most soundtrack music, with their melodies designed to create and enhance mood subtly while our attention is on the story. While it might be fine in the background, often it is incomplete without something in the foreground for it to reflect and enhance. Added to its apparently limited production budget, this made much of the album sound to me like those amateurish synthesizer soundtracks one sometimes hears on low-budget BBC miniseries or Sci-Fi channel one-offs.

Also, some of Devereux's musical experiments are ill-advised and unsuccessful, like his attempts in Uzumaki and The Man Who Had No Eyes to translate visual stimuli into music (in Uzumaki by taking sheet music and warping it, then playing the results; in No Eyes by translating the numbers corresponding to letters in the text of a Vandermeer short story directly into sound).

Still, there are points of interest here. The tracks titled Albumuth Boulevard and Dradin, In Love both achieve a rough approximation of the mood I got from Vandermeer's works, though, as I said, in a low-budget kind of way.
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Fungicide: Music Inspired by Jeff VanderMeer's Ambergris Stories
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