3. Louse & Flea

The Little Louse and the little flea is a ridiculous yet tragic tale, one that illustrates how we often panic in an emergency and thus meet our maker, primarily from running in circles and fretting as the waters rush over us or the walls close in. I have used clips of the text from this story and layered them, then added in the ending text. I used this story in one of the more outrageous performance art pieces I created and performed in the mid 90s while studying at CalArts. The scene involved me sitting on the edge of a folding table in a power suite yelling the story at a rat that was trapped in a fish bowl while sounds of cars on a race track drowned out my voice.

Source recordings: voice, piano, water and guest artist Nils Frykdahl.

The Little Louse and the Little Flea – The Brothers Grimm


  1. Merlin, I love this work, as I have loved your work in the past. The Wolf is my current favorite — it’s just a wonderful montage of voice and mix of sounds. I love hearing the voices of children in it. But Spinning is also captivating. These pieces deserve attention — they manifest such artistry and charm without being in the slightest bit cynical, which permeates so much art these days. Your work enchants, and all enchantment refreshes the soul. Thank you. More more more, please!

  2. Liz Costello says:

    I love this one– the large and small of it. The way the animate and inanimate are all alive! I only want it to be bigger! Longer! I demand more and run as in an emergency, seeking MORE!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *