From Milk magazine -
Paola: What's the first memory you have of Harry?
Allen: I heard about him before I met him, from Jordan Belson, who lived on Montgomery Street up the block from me in San Francisco, a filmmaker who had learned a lot from Harry. Harry originally came from Seattle, then in Berkeley as part of what was called "the Berkeley Renaissance" in 1948 around Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer, and other poets studying medieval history. I don't think Harry was matriculated, but I think he had worked with Kroeber, I'm not sure the anthropologist. While we were sniffin' ether, Jordan told me about Harry, this polymath brilliant fellow who'd invented the machinery for making light shows and had left that behind when he left San Francisco. The people working on rock concert light shows developed their multimedia Fillmore West wall-collage projections from Harry's equipment, including the idea of mixing oils or colors on a mirror which was then projected on the wall: liquid psychedelic flowing moving images.
He told me enough about him so that when I was in New York later in 1959 I went to the Five Spot to listen to Thelonious Monk night after night. The Five Spot was then on the Bowery a regular classic jazz club where once I saw Lester Young, and Monk was a regular for several months. And I noted there was an old guy, with a familiar face, someone I dimly recognized from a description, slightly hunchback, short, magical-looking, in a funny way gnomish or dwarfish, same time dignified. He was sitting at a table by the piano towards the kitchen making little marks on a piece of paper. I said to myself, "Is that Harry Smith? I'll go over and ask him." And it turned out to be Harry Smith. I asked him what he was doing, marking on the paper. He said he was calculating whether Thelonious Monk was hitting the piano before or after the beat trying to notate the syncopation of Thelonious Monk's piano. But I asked him this track record of the syncopation or retards that Monk was making, never coming quite on beat but always aware of the beat. He said it was because he was calculating the variants. Then I asked him why he was interested in Crowley, magic, in numbers, in esoteric systems, Theosophy, and was also a member of the O.T.O. He had practical use for it. He was making animated collages and he needed the exact tempo of Monk's changes and punctuations of time in order to synchronize the collages and hand-drawn frame-by-frame abstractions with Monk's music. He was working frame-by-frame so it was possible for him to do that, but he needed some kind of scheme.
American Magus / Harry Smith: A Modern Alchemist
Harry Smith - Ian Simmons looks back at the eccentric career of Harry Smith - filmmaker, musicologist and magician
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
From Milk magazine -
- Cartoonist Alan Moore, the Guy Fawkes Mask, and Occupy Wall Street
- 'The History of Oil - by Robert Newman
- Can Dialectics Break Bricks?
- Riots or revolt? - An insight into why Greece is now in flames
- Salvador Dali expounds on his 'Paranoiac Critical Method' philosophy
- The Last Roundup
- The Merchant of Death: Basil Zaharoff
- UPDATED: Warriors out of their minds: Drugs of choice for super soldiers
- Holocaust Deniers - a growing club
- Smokey the Bear Sutra by Gary Snyder
- Twilight of the Psychopaths
- The Bankers' Manifesto of 1892
- Jacques Ellul on Propaganda
Last Month's 13 Most Viewed Entries
- The pineal gland: Interface between the physical and spiritual planes?
- Uganda: Devil worship
- Obama and the Anti-Christ
- '1984: Grace Commission Report under Ronald Reagan showed IRS is a fraud that collects taxes for the Banking Dynasties'
- The Illuminated Ones
- Martial Law declared in United States
- Illuminati Occult Symbolism in The 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony
- Israeli women take off clothes for Egypt “nude revolutionary” blogger
- The Bollywood star who nearly became Pakistan's First Lady
- Belgian Police brutality in action! Warning- this is upsetting
- Gregg Braden - A Field Exists That Connects Everything Together - The Ether Field
- Noble Gas Engine
- Hopi and Tibetan Buddhist Prophecies - The Connection