Thomas Ligotti, The Clown Puppet LP - Read by Jon Padgett, score by Chris Bozzone
Puppet nonsense variant - Transparent brown mix vinyl
* 150 gram vinyl
* Deluxe heavy weight tip-on gatefold jacket.
* 4 page booklet with new essay my Michael Cisco
* Liner notes by composer Chris Bozzone
* 18" x 24" promotional poster.
* Newly commissioned art by Jason Barnett.
Thomas Ligotti's The Clown Puppet, read here by Jon Padgett and scored by Chris Bozzone, is evidence of what the writer refers to in the opening moments as "the most outrageous nonsense." "The impeccable chaoticism" which imbues each and every one of Ligotti's works can take the form of a grand, nationwide – if not worldwide – conspiracy or a singular, intimate encounter, and it is behind the counter of Mr. Vizniak's medicine shop that the listener of The Clown Puppet encounters the latter.
Padgett's reading of The Clown Puppet takes Ligotti's omnipresent narrator to new heights of enervated ranting. The sheer frenetic energy of the narration is that of a man desperately attempting to convey an important event to the listener as quickly as possible. Never does Ligotti as writer ramble nor does Padgett as reader falter, however. The detail of the events are clear and crisp in their horror, and the reading clipped, with every word enunciated with precision.
One can see the puppet thing hanging there in front of them, "with its pale and pitted complexion, its slightly pointed nose and delicate lips, and its dead puppet eyes," gazing at them with a look which seems to see nothing, and yet everything. It's a feeling of being utterly lost and wondering just what is pulling one's own strings.
Bozzone works here in the sublime combination of piano, picked acoustic guitar, and swirling synthesized electronic sounds which has become the hallmark of his work for this label. The former pair of stringed instruments serve to craft the sense of heightened or lessened tension, as the story requires, while the near-constant electronic sounds craft an all-encompassing atmosphere of distress. The mechanically created sounds of the synthesizer point to the puppet itself, though we are far less certain of its creator than we are that of the music.