Hear No Evil – Nine Ritual Performances
Some frequently asked questions about the orchestra are ; Who are they ? Where are they from? How did they come to be called by that strange name ? The band members themselves have not been forthcoming with this information. They are reticent about their country or countries of origin. It is considered irrelevant data in order for the public to appreciate their albums and live concerts. The location of the ‘Fishtank’, where they rehearse and record their music and where they create and store their vast array of costumes and instruments, can only be guessed at.
As a result there has been rumour and speculation in the media, on radio, in the press and on the internet. According to different sources they could be variously Morrocan, Hungarian, Egyptian or Scottish .
Another idea in currency is that they originally came from another eastern european group called Onsom Blooblyay. A popular story around the band is that they are actually commemorating another much older band. According to fragments of documentation and some yellowed newspaper cuttings this band existed sometime around the beginning of the 20th century. They were called simply Fish Memory. It was not clear from where they originated but legend has it that they made their own instruments, (including a prototype water organ ), sang songs in Spanish and Japanese and had a penchant for wearing masks when they played. This legend was until recently only apocryphal – but then a small piece of 8mm film was discovered which seemed to verify a lot of the speculation. It is believed that the film is of a concert called ‘Hear No Evil’ which took place in 1913 in Paris or New Orleans. Given the obvious santeria and white voodoo influence of the footage, it is reasonable to suspect that the latter location is factually correct.
The story also goes that the clarinet player of the orchestra had some kind of bad juju experience with some chicken bones while he was preparing a ritual in his home and that the performance film fragment was part of a nine hour cleansing ritual that the orchestra undertook on his behalf . That would explain the great abundance of flowers, images of saints, the white clothes, the incense and fruit. Certainly one can see a connection between the orchestra of that time and the current Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra in the repertoire (mexican funeral music for example) and the instrumentation. Technical experts are still studying the film to this day and cannot agree on the time and place of its origin.