A Visual Music primer

by

Visual Music
Sensory Cinema 1920s – 1970s

Fri. April 9 – Wed. April 14, 2010

Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave, Seattle WA 98122
Series web site:  http://sensorycinema.org/

Read a preview at Capitol Hill Times

Northwest Film Forum  and The Sprocket Society , in association with Center For Visual Music (http://www.centerforvisualmusic.org) , are proud to present this special series celebrating the history of Visual Music.

This is a rare opportunity to see restored film prints of work by such master animators as Oskar Fischinger, Mary Ellen Bute, Jordan Belson, Robert Breer and many others on the big screen. In addition, we’ll host a panel discussion on Seattle’s own history of visual music in the 1960s and early ’70s.

Series curator: Peter Lucas.
“Sixties Synaesthetics” program co-curated by Spencer Sundell and Peter Lucas.
This program is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment For The Arts.

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 8:00 PM
OPTICAL POETRY: OSKAR FISCHINGER RETROSPECTIVE
1926-1947, 35mm
Advance tickets – http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/101585

Fischinger needs no introduction.  Or put another way, if you don’t know who he is then you definitely should attend this program to see some of the best and most influential abstract films ever made.  Featuring restored 35mm prints of Circles (1933), Composition in Blue (1935), Allegretto (1936), Radio Dynamics (1942), Motion Painting No. 1 (1947), and many other rarely seen works. Plus: a special screening of a 35mm Cinemscope composite film recreating Fischinger’s multiple-projection performances, R-1, A Form-Play, (ca. 1926-33).  (Program presented in association with Center for Visual Music and The Fischinger Archive.)

Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 8:00 PM
SEEING SOUND: THE FILMS OF MARY ELLEN BUTE
1934-1952, 16mm
Advance tickets – http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/101589

Introduced by Cindy Keefer, Director of the Center For Visual Music

An unjustly neglected pioneer, Bute made a series of Visual Music films which she called “Seeing Sound,” some of which were screened regularly at Radio City Music Hall, New York in the 1930s. This program features all 14 of her remarkable short abstract films, including some rarely-seen films: Rhythm in Light, 1934; Synchromy No. 2, 1935; Dada, 1936; Parabola, 1937; Escape, 1937; Spook Sport (animated by Norman McLaren), 1939; Tarantella, 1940; Polka Graph, 1947; Color Rhapsody, 1948; Imagination, 1948; New Sensations in Sound, 1949 (RCA Commercial); Pastorale, 1950, Abstronic, 1952 and Mood Contrasts.  (Program presented in association with the Center for Visual Music, in association with Cecile Starr and the Women’s Independent Film Exchange.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 8:00 PM
JORDAN BELSON, FILMS SACRED AND PROFANE
1959-2005, 16mm & DigiBeta
Advance tickets – http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/101593

Introduced by Cindy Keefer, Director of the Center For Visual Music

Jordan Belson studied painting before seeing films by Oskar Fischinger and the Whitney brothers in 1946. Since then, he has made more than 25 breathtaking abstract films ranging from precision geometrics to seemingly impossible imagery that has led many to refer to his work as “cosmic cinema.”  The program features rarely-seen works, including Allures (1961), Samadhi (1967), a newly-preserved print of Chakra (1972), Light (1973), Music of the Spheres (1977/2002), and Epilogue (2005).  (Program presented in association with the Center for Visual Music.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 7:00 PM
SEATTLE PSYCHEDELICS
Advance tickets – http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/101596

A panel discussion, moderated by series curator Peter Lucas, explores the little-known history of experimental films and light shows in the Seattle area in the late 1960s and early ’70s, and celebrates the pioneers of this funky, techno-folk multi-media art form.  Panelists including Seattle historian and editor-publisher of the ’60s counterculture paper Helix, Paul Dorpat; media arts scholar Robin Oppenheimer; and artist and member of Seattle’s Union Light Company Ron McComb will discuss the films and events, the techniques and makeshift equipment used, and present slides and rare footage from the era.

Wednesday, april 14, 2010 at 8:00 PM
SIXTIES SYNAESTHETICS
1961-70, 16mm
Advance tickets – http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/101600

A selection of highly original short works by artists who shattered the boundaries between visual and sonic through the creative use of optical printing, animation, electronics, and editing.  Featuring: a newly-restored print of Jud Yalkut’s Turn, Turn, Turn (1966), Scott Bartlett and Tom DeWitt’s landmark “electronic film” OffOn (1968), Robert Breer’s Blazes (1961), Storm DeHirsch’s Peyote Queen (1965), Barry Spinello’s Six Loop-Paintings (1970), and culminating with Tony Conrad’s legendary (or perhaps infamous) The Flicker (1965). SPECIAL ADDED ATTRACTION:  A extremely rare “Auroratone” film made ca. 1942 by Cecil Stokes, with abstract crystalline visuals combined with, yes, Bing Crosby.  (Program co-curated by Spencer Sundell and Peter Lucas.)

(This preview courtesy of Spencer Sundell)

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