We use cookies on our website to provide you with the best experience. Most of these are essential and already present.
We do require your explicit consent to save your cart and browsing history between visits. Read about cookies we use here.
Your cart and preferences will not be saved if you leave the site.
Out of stock


Highlights of Vortex

Label: Folkways Records

Format: Custom CD

Genre: Library/Soundtracks

Out of stock

*2024 stock. Custom CDr* The brainchild of visual artist Jordan Belson and electronics polymath Henry Jacobs, the Vortex Experiments ran from 1957 to 1960, first at San Francisco’s Morrison Planetarium and later at the SF Museum of Art. The very name of these events announced their aim: a swirling totality of sensory experience. Around Belson’s richly-colored visuals – making use of the planetarium’s entire dome and featuring luminous, sharply geometric imagery projected through an array of devices – Jacobs ringed a system of roughly 40 multidirectional loudspeakers, each of which could be precisely controlled to produce, in the words of one reviewer, “a living theater of sound and light.”

A landmark recording in the history of electronic tape music and an engrossing artifact of proto-psychedelia, Highlights Of Vortex gathers recordings designed for the Vortex system by Jacobs and collaborators David Talcott, William Loughborough, and Gordon Longfellow. Source material including free improvisation, field recording, classical Indian instrumentation, West African polyrhythms and musique concrète is transmogrified through tape manipulation, atomizing swathes of reverb and delay, and other live and recorded effects, making dramatic use of the monumental Vortex soundsystem. An unprecedented marriage of image and sound, Vortex Experiments exercised immeasurable impact on the imagination and practice of countless experimental visual and sonic artists so this album is a must for fans of such visionaries as Stan Brakhage, Tony Conrad, and Jack Smith.

Cat. number: F-6301
Year: 2000

Facsimile edition of the LP issued in 1959. Released in a jewel case without front cover enclosed in a cardboard slip cover with five black & white photocopies of the original front cover and liner notes. Back cover misspelled some tracks while the facsimile liner notes shows the same tracklisting as the LP. Slightly different track times are given on this back cover. "Electronic Kabuki Mambo" was used, initially, as a score for the play, "The Orange Seller" by David Westen Hunter, then later presented at Vortex. Both of Gordon Longfellow's works were introduced in performances of the Vortex Sound Experiments.

More by Various