Doctor Foster

“I’ll tell you the bravest tale how a conjuror served me. You know Doctor Fauster?”

“Ay, a plague take him.”

The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus

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Today sees the release of the fourth and final single release from my forthcoming album ‘Maxim’ with No Spinoza; Doctor Foster. It is another reimagined nursery rhyme, delving into the odd tale of an ancient bewetted physician. It’s one of my favourites from the record with some lovely string arrangements, as augmented by the magnificent mellotron residing down at Echo Zoo Studios. Speculation as to the identity of Doctor Foster has variously pointed the finger at King Edward I, Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud, and – my favourite – Marlowe’s Fauster where he is named by a Carter as ‘Doctor Fauster’ and cursed for eating a whole cart-full of hay. Moments after having entered with the immortal line, “What ho, hostess! Where be those whores?” Different times.

It was a lot of fun making the video for this one, repurposing a few interweb archival finds. The primary story reworks some of a beautiful original short film “우리다. Urida” by California-based artist Eun Bi Chang under Creative Commons Licence CC BY-SA. Do go and visit Eun Bi Chang’s website to explore more of her wonderful films and photography. Inspiration was also drawn from the unmistakeable BBC weather symbols, true icons of modern design. The now ubiquitous rainclouds were designed by Mark Allen, a student at Norwich University of Fine Arts, for a graduation project. Allen apparently drew inspiration from the similarly iconic 1972 Olympic pictograms which were then retained for all subsequent Games. The BBC adopted Allen’s iconography in 1975, in exchange for £200 and “a small percentage of license fees“. I hope for his sake that the percentage wasn’t too slim.

The track has been enjoying some BBC radio play, a nice feature on Scottish music blog Podcart, and a shortlisting for Fresh on the Net’s Listening Post with a feature on the ever-great and ever-green Tom Robinson’s 6 Music Show too. I hope you like it.