Collaborations rarely culminate so succinctly as evidenced in the case of Francois Louie Camille, Christof Christofovich Tuninsky and Dee Harris – all masterful musicians and scholars of the absurd. Here, in what will be the first in a series of releases from Liar Leaver Records, is a truly remarkable and stunning work of beauty and imagination entitled Cardboard Amanda. This music was inspired by the true story of a brilliant scientist and inventor Dr. Amanda Mueller’s complete fall into madness that ended in her suicide (she literally threw herself away in the trash).
François Louis Camille: violin, cello, string bass, lute, banjo, percussion
Dee Harris: indian slide guitar, banjo, harmonica, djembe, percussion
Christof Christofovich Tuninsky: vocals, clarinet, piano, kalimba, percussion
Francois Louie Camille, a musicologist, composer and botanist, first discovered the fascinating details of the Mueller case before leaving his home in French Algiers for the United States in 1997.
“I had become obsessed with this story and decided to lay the ground work for a musical project that would help to illustrate the various pathos inherent in the demise of this woman’s life and subsequent death. I knew that in order for the project to take shape, I would need to contact my old friend Tuninsky whom I had met at the Tbilisi Music Conservatory in Georgia in 1987 to help me bring the project to life”.
Christof Christofovich Tuninsky, an Olympic silver medal Belarusian gymnast (1977) and renowned scholar of the works of obscure Russian composer Oleg Vronsky, had been contacted by Camille after arriving in New York on a student visa. Tuninsky, himself a pianist and woodwind specialist found time to contribute to the project while working as a day laborer.
Dee Harris, a personal friend of Tuninsky and an expert on the music of India, is himself an eclectic musician and solo artist. Harris contributed his outstanding and diverse musicianship to this very interesting musical project.
The result of this collaboration is a strange journey through dissonant and beautiful musical landscapes that are so often intertwined with an unsettling eeriness. Musical textures take on an almost schizophrenic personality. There is startling poetry written by Dr. Mueller herself, performed by a certain Cecil Grungard, himself a beneficiary of Dr. Muellers voice box (the Epsilon 327) that she herself had surgically implanted in his larynx.
The very diverse compositions are sometimes complicated and require an alert ear in order to appreciate the many rhythmical intricacies created. The variety of musical sonorities blended together give an unexpected, uneasy feel that ultimately lends itself to a gratifying cacophony of sound and fury.
Cardboard Amanda is a very unique and fascinating listen that should not be missed under any circumstance by the open-minded listener on the lookout for a new musical treasure. Cardboard Amanda is available exclusively in a limited edition digipak at rerusa and waysidemusic and metropolis