“Eat the book”: Electric Evangelists 2

This second and likely last installment of Electric Evangelists (see Part 1) looks at longer works by two composers, both choosing to present religious texts simply spoken atop electronic scores. The third and fourth pieces are artifacts of pop culture, coupling SoCal evangelical eccentricity with European élan. The last composition contains no text at all.

Pierre Henry: Apocalypse de Jean

Like some rock fans in the late 1960s I was introduced to the electroacoustic maître Pierre Henry (1927–2017) via his clumsy collaboration with the British band Spooky Tooth on the 1969 album Ceremony. Billed as “An Electronic Mass,” the work was to the ear an odd choice by a group that had gained acclaim with its prior hard rock album, Spooky Two. Why, with this third release, try to rival the Electric Prunes’ Mass in F Minor from the year before? Ceremony is a disaster of a lackluster rock track seemingly conveyed via pneumatic tube across the Channel to Henry’s musique concrète laboratory—“his bog, it sounds like,” said the band’s co-vocalist Mike Harrison.1 Yet the lurid gatefold sleeve containing the LP’s six tracks was for me the opening to that New World of electroacoustic music. For years every time I’d listen to “Jubilation” (the Credo of this missa) I’d look for the dogs surely barking outside my window.

Moms and dads, beware what you foster by handing your kids the Good Book. At that time my best friend and I had discovered the subversive Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5–7). Ceremony, conventional as it is on the one hand (liturgical, albeit in the rock idiom), was the soundtrack to our recognition of the Gospels’ radicalness (absent that liturgical lens; I was a Congregationalist, he was a Baptist). Heaven forbid that we would take “Blessed are the peacemakers” to heart. (We did so, and organized against the War in high school, Class of ’73.)

A year before Ceremony, in 1968 Henry had premiered a major one-hundred-and-one-minute-long composition for speaker and electronic score, Apocalypse de Jean. It’s subtitled Lecture électronique en 5 temps (Electronic Reading Timed in 5 Parts), so it’s not a sung oratorio. The three-LP box set’s foreword by Le Monde critic and musicologist Claude Rostand places into perspective Henry’s treatment of the revelation to the evangelist John of Patmos. We all know of at least one or two images from Albrecht Dürer’s famous Apocalipsis cum figuris (Apocalypse with Pictures) of 1498, which capitalized on Europe’s, mm…, Y1.5K moment, millennialism having seized a midpoint opportunity. But Rostand lists other medieval artists depicting Apocalypse (revelation) and apocalypse (the world ravaged—by an angel no less). These include the many copies of the 8th-century Commentary on the Apocalypse by the Asturian monk Beatus of Liébana (the original being lost to time), each common in content but different in style; the 12-century high-relief tympanum of Moissac Abbey in southwestern France; and the 14th-century Apocalypse Tapestry housed at the Château d’Angers in the Loire Valley.2

Noah's Ark from Rylands Beatus
‘‘And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail’’ (Rev. 11:19, KJV). Above, Noah’s ark from a 12th-century version of Commentary on the Apocalypse by Beatus of Liébana (ca. 730–ca. 800). Known as the Rylands Beatus this is housed at the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester. It was reproduced by electroacoustic rockers Califone on their brilliantly expressionist debut album Roomsound (Perishable PER 015, 2001). Although the CD’s graphic designer and printer Steve W. distorted the ark’s relatively shallow pitched roof on the packaging to fit its tongue-and-slit format it otherwise is nicely produced on dark crimson cardstock with burgundy and silver inks.

With Apocalypse Pierre Henry isn’t, say, setting a few psalms to music à la Charles Ives, Steve Reich, or Andy Mackay. As Rostand writes:

If several pieces by Olivier Messiaen and a very few other composers concerned themselves with fragments—and only fragments—of the Book of Saint John, no one seriously set out to “read” the whole with the ambition of giving it the style, eloquence, dimensions and developments appropriate to it.

Let’s remember that Henry is contemplating human duration and destruction, originally laid out in nearly ten thousand words, a subject that today gains relevance with every scientific, mm, revelation. But John’s prophecies are so shocking they invite decoding. Rostand argues against that impulse, using the evangelist’s own words (those of an angel, adapted, Rev. 10:9)—“You must eat the little open book…”—before quoting the poet Armel Guerne (1911–1980):

Swallow all of these images as they are, without pretending to explain them as symbols laden and overladen with meanings, so that, without our being conscious of the fact, their raw life will act upon and in our lives. When we interpret a text, we move farther away from it while seeming to draw closer to it.3

Half a century later, in 2019, as we immerse ourselves in Henry’s ebb and flow of text and sound, with much space for reflection, with the present peril of fire and flood, a mission for meaning is all but moot.

Letting the electronic score provide color, Henry employs, as Reader, the actor Jean Négroni (1920–2005), who had narrated Chris Marker’s challenging still-photography short feature La Jetée (The Jetty, 1962, which later inspired Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys). In Apocalypse Négroni straightforwardly delivers a translation adapted by Georges Lévitte, who is an interesting choice. Lévitte (1918–1999) was a Ukranian Jew involved in the French Resistance during World War II. He was a translator whose family lived in Germany before he studied in France where, inspired by Jean Giono, he “returned to the earth.” (Giono in turn would inspire later environmentalists.) Lévitte “had an influential part in the revival of French Judaism after the war.”4 For Henry’s piece Lévitte translated the text from Greek, condensing it.

Apocalypse was commissioned by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs for the Journées de Musique Contemporaine held in 1968, its premiere the centerpiece of a twenty-six-hour concert that included nearly all of Henry’s oeuvre. Having studied with the aforementioned Messaien as well as Nadia Boulanger at the National Conservatory in Paris, Henry’s first instrumental compositions had premiered in 1944.5

Unfortunately the only streaming version of the full work that includes an English translation also includes distracting and deceiving visuals. And keep in mind that Lévitte’s adaptation of the text necessarily skips entire passages, for instance omitting Chapters 2 and 3, which provide a gloss on Chapter 1, but which would make for tedious listening, with explanations for each of the seven churches in Asia. The following appears to have been transferred from the LPs, so you may hear a snap, crackle, and pop in the quieter passages.

Ralph Swickard: Sermons of Saint Francis

Composer Ralph Swickard (1922–1997), a Californian, received a degree in engineering from Stanford and one in music from UCLA. After working at the famous Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Laboratory in New York he returned to Los Angeles to construct his own electronic music studio.6

Lest one deduce that Swickard created his Sermons in response to Pierre Henry’s Apocalypse, the composer explained in 1970 that “[a] number of years ago I had the idea and desire to write a musical composition based on the words of Saint Francis of Assisi.” He originally conceived of a work for baritone and orchestra, but because of his exploration into electronic music composition, the project took a turn. It may well be that Henry’s Apocalypse pushed him to consummate his own conception, but it was not its initial inspiration.

Swickard takes some space telling about his choice for narrator. He met Fr. William DuBay while convalescing from a serious illness at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica in 1965. Three years later, Swickard looked for him, thinking he’d be the perfect narrator for Sermons, but DuBay had left the priesthood, an eventual consequence of his asking Pope Paul VI to remove then-Archbishop (later Cardinal) James MacIntyre “for his failure to offer moral leadership in the civil rights crisis.” Swickard finally found DuBay “working as a forest ranger and naturalist for the California State Park System.”7

While scholars can’t even agree on the identity of Revelation’s John of Patmos, the lineage of Francis of Assisi is known but comes not through his father, who may have been a peasant without pedigree, but rather through his mother Pica. It’s suggested that she came from a mercantile family, her dowry allowing Francis’s father Peter to enter the silk business, according to biographer Augustine Thompson.8 Francis was born in 1181 or 1182 while his father was away on business. At about age fourteen he became involved in his father’s successful trade, later developing into a sort of, mm, continent [sic] playboy who attracted the attention and the friendship of his peers.

At twenty-one Francis served in the local militia, which experienced a bloody defeat, whereby he was imprisoned for a year. Another eighteen months of depression and troubling dreams followed. The antidote: enlisting in a new military venture, only to get cold feet. Upon his return to Assisi he lost interest in the family business and began a patronage of poor churches, having taken refuge in one, San Damiano, during his return. His father Peter took issue with his son’s newfound altruism. As explained by biographer Thompson, Francis’s “previous prodigality carried with it an air of courtesy and good breeding, and his hard and successful work in the business had more than paid for it. Now Francis had ceased to work […].” Beginning by giving his family’s food to beggars, he made a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter in Rome only to toss treasure before the altar, exchanging his clothing with a beggar as he left. Mortification of the flesh followed, with a sylvan sojourn, more visits to San Damiano, and eventually to a dramatic renunciation of any claim to his mother’s dowry. “Then, in a gesture that must have come easily to his somewhat exhibitionist temperament,” writes Thompson, “Francis withdrew to an adjoining room, removed the fine clothing typical of his family’s station, and stripped down to the penitent’s hair shirt he was wearing underneath.” He placed that clothing at his father’s feet and essentially echoed his Lord’s “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” (Matt. 12:48) before being made a brother of penance by Bishop Guido.

Life of St. Francis: 5. Renunciation of Worldly Goods by ?Giotto di Bondone
5. Renunciation of Worldly Goods, from the Life of St. Francis fresco series (1297–1299), which adorns the Upper Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. It’s disputed whether the artist is Cimabue (ca. 1240–1302) or Giotto di Bondone (ca. 1267–1337), the old master or the new.

Free, Francis wandered during the winter of 1206 before being mugged, and before confronting his worst fear—leprosy—caring for those thereby afflicted in return for subsistence. It wasn’t until two years later that he was approached by two men who wished to follow his example of service. And so: how to proceed? In the absence of Francis’s usual confidants, the three asked a local priest to perform a sortes biblicae (biblical lots), a sort of scriptural cleromancy in which the Bible—in this case a missal—was opened three times at random, revealing:

  1. Mark 10:17–21: Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.
  2. Luke 9:1–6: Take nothing for your journey, no staff, no bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics.
  3. Matthew 16:24–28: If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his Cross and follow me.

Ahem. (Amen.) Having received this providential mandate for a lifestyle they lived already, after about a year of contemplation Francis and his fellow mendicants sought one from the Church, from the Holy Father. And as providence would have it, on the road to Rome they reencountered Bishop Guido, who pulled strings for an audience with a Curia-insider conversant with lay enthusiasts in their motus populi. This cardinal in turn interceded for the trio, and Innocent III urged them, “Go with the Lord” but that they should “preach penance to all,” and required the group to grow “in grace and number” before “I will entrust you with greater things.” As Thompson writes, “This was not quite the commission that Francis was expecting.” Just as the appearance of his fellow penitents on his doorstep had been a surprise, so was this. “Francis never conceived of himself as telling people, even his two followers, what to do.” But preach he would, having no trouble attracting more adherents. As Thompson writes, “He preached by actions more than words.” Such words…

Cabaret Voltaire: Sluggin’ fer Jesus

While channel surfing in L.A. in the ’80s and ’90s I’d often linger at Dr. Gene Scott’s television broadcasts. He was a holy fool: chomping a fat cigar, donning any of a collection of chapeaux, on a studio set seemingly designed by Salvador Dalí. San Fernando Valley pastor Jess Moody explained Scott’s schtick by quoting scripture: “Apostle Paul said, ‘I am all things to all men that I might win some.’ Gene is trying to win people to Christ, and he is not doing it in the standard way.” In other words, come for the show and stay for the scholarship. That’s the way I looked at it. But was Scott a scholar? I don’t recall a single thing I heard.

Gene Scott photo

Scott’s similarities with Donald Trump are unavoidable.9 He lived a lavish lifestyle, with a Pasadena mansion and a hundred show horses on ranches in Kentucky and the San Gabriel Valley, traveling via chauffeured limousines and private jet. He was characterized as eluding criticism by surrounding himself with submissive yes-men. And he was a ribald, rule-breaking showman. In 1983 he refused to turn over financial records during an investigation by the FCC, which revoked the licenses of three of his four television stations. In 1987 he defaulted on a deal to buy the Church of the Open Door. A 1978 investigation of a dozen religious organizations, including Scott, was halted two years later when the California legislature enacted a law that prohibited the state’s attorney general from looking into civil fraud by such organizations. Like Trump’s 500 LLCs, Scott had “a complex web of dozens of interlocking companies.”10 As of 1994 he had a $1 million salary with an unlimited expense account. He boasted over the air that he could “probably teach Hugh Hefner a thing or two” regarding sex. And while he wasn’t accused by a former wife of rape (unlike Donald Trump), he did call her the “devil’s sister. I hate her. If I go to heaven and she’s there, I’m going to another planet.”11 Oh, and after the Open Door default he restored an historic United Artists theater downtown, spending $2 million before dubbing it the Los Angeles University Cathedral. (The building now is a boutique hotel…) Scott also was a philanthropist, a real one, who could expect favors for his largesse.

Mr. Fab, the L.A.-based deejay and musician, whose list of tracks that employ faith-based speech, which I pointed to in Part 1, writes:

I was amused to find out that two British acts, Chris & Cosey, and Cabaret Voltaire, both sampled L.A.’s infamous, frizzy-haired, cigar-chomping, foul-mouthed televangelist Dr Gene Scott. I wondered: how in the heck did they know about him? Turns out that Werner Herzog, no less, made a documentary about Scott called “God’s Angry Man” in 1981 that provided much yucks (and sample fodder) for those wacky industrialists.

Except that neither act’s songs contain audio from Herzog’s film.

Cabaret Voltaire’s “Sluggin’ fer Jesus,” which doesn’t “sample” Scott as much as let him rant, was released in April 1981, a month before Herzog’s film. Chris and Cosey’s “Put Yourself in Los Angeles,” written by Chris Carter, was issued in November of that same year and its spoken word was recorded at about the time Herzog’s film premiered, as explained below. (For further perspective, by 1990 Scott was broadcast on radio and television to 180 countries.12)

The Sheffield band Cabaret Voltaire took its name in 1973 or ’74 from the short-lived Dada den that sprang up in Zurich in 1916. I became acquainted with them via their 1978 four-song 7-inch EP, Extended Play (Rough Trade RT 003), which included the (relatively) catchy “Do the Mussolini (Headkick!)” with provocative lyrics: “White spats/ and bowler hats/ black shirts/ and perverts.” Lest the song’s title sound like a “Do the Mashed Potato” dancefloor move, CV explains it in an interview published seven months before the EP was released: “That was from a piece of newsreel where Mussolini had just been killed off, right, and there’s all the peasants standing around, and the corpses on the ground, and some geezer kicking the corpse about….”13 This is reflected in the lyric: “Tied his hands/ kick the corpse.” With historical perversity, the body of Mussolini has ties to Franciscan friars.14

Three years later, in April 1981, Cabaret Voltaire released 3 Crépuscule Tracks, named after the Belgian label that issued it, Les Disques du Crépuscule (Twilight Discs; TWI018). This was the beginning of the band’s three decades of work with graphic designer Neville Brody.

Parts 1 and 2 of “Sluggin’ fer Jesus” begins with a, mm…, chooglin’ guitar, violin, and electronics track with a distant saxophone-ish moan, which was a musical meme at the time.15 Introduced at 1:00 in Part 1 is the voice of Gene Scott engaged in his usual fierce fundraising drive for his Faith Center Church in Glendale, California (it later moved to downtown L.A.). In Part 2 Scott discusses political matters facing his church.

Part 3 repeats a brief tirade, roughly, “I’m sick and tired of hearing about all of the radicals and the perverts and the liberals. It’s time for some people to come out of the closet, fire/light the torches, and save/claim America.” This isn’t Scott’s voice. It’s uncharacteristic. “While other pastors denounce homosexuality, abortion, adultery, profanity and drinking, Scott refuses to condemn such sinful behavior,” writes Glenn Bunting in his 1994 profile of the “shock jock of televangelism.”16 And so I take back what I said up top about not remembering a single thing Scott said. What evangelist worth their salt wouldn’t want to widen the tent, to welcome sinners? What need have the stainless of sustenation?

Chris & Cosey: Put Yourself In Los Angeles

While the Hull band Throbbing Gristle is considered a pioneer of industrial rock music (its Industrial Records label contributing to this notion), the band actually formed a year after Cabaret Voltaire, in 1975. (Industrial Records eventually would release a cassette of CV’s early material, 1974–1976.) TG released its single “United” b/w “Zyklon B Zombie” six months before CV’s Extended Play, and the former shares the latter’s focus on horrors of World War II: Zyklon B (Cyclone B) is the German hydrogen-cyanide-based pesticide used by the Nazi regime to murder people in gas chambers. And so, things being what they were, at the time of TG’s breakup in May of 1981 its cofounder Genesis P-Orridge told the L.A. Times about his band’s influence on

Gary Numan, Orchestral Manoeuvres, Echo & the Bunnymen, A Certain Ratio, Public Image, Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel. They’re all people we happen to know definitely have got all our records and have listened to them and then changed styles.17

Following the TG breakup, members Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti wasted no time in releasing their debut album Heartbeat in November, leading off with “Put Yourself In Los Angeles.” As recalled by Carter, the track’s preacher’s voice was lifted in May 1981 when

it was the last few days that we were in America and TG had finished. They have those religious stations and that was from a famous one in San Francisco. I just did loads of tapes of it and placed together different phrases. It just summed up Los Angeles at the time, although it was recorded in San Francisco.18

At that time Gene Scott was broadcasting his own material 24/7 in San Francisco at KVOF-TV (Channel 38), according to Wikipedia. While it was not the only religious programming in town, a review of the San Francisco television schedule for Friday and Saturday, May 29 and 30, 1981 (TG’s concert was on Friday) convinces me that only KVOF featured religious programming exclusively and so could have been the “famous one” Carter spoke of.19 Frankly, the two voices on “Put Yourself” sound more like R. W. Schambach (which I covered in Part 1) than they do Gene Scott, but this contradicts Wikipedia.

“Put Yourself in Los Angeles” is remarkable because the articulations of its preachers are largely obscured by its, mm…, throbbing backing tracks—except for the line from which the title is taken. And so the looped harangue is a rhetorical, voluble vehicle for a particular portrait of L.A. As Carter recalled, “We went to Los Angeles and it was all totally crazy, all the TV and everything, and it was just coming at us—it was bananas.” By contrast BBC had what, like two TV channels before deregulation? Tutti was disturbed—“scared”—by “the American attitude that… if it’s there, then it’s recognized as being there, but when it’s gone, it’s dead.” But that was a confirmation of “just what I’ve always thought,” Tutti said, “one minute you could be there, and the next minute you’re not and it didn’t really matter. L.A. in particular, I’ve found to be like that.”20 And yet Gene Scott, purported to be the voice on this track, while at Stanford in the ’50s “wrote a proof of the Resurrection for Professor Alexander ‘Lex’ Miller, an agnostic,” according to his Stanford obituary.

George Todd: Satan’s Sermon

George Todd (1935–) has created several works based on human speech, including Wordscapes (1991), Glacier (1991), and Penny’s Dream (1992). But I’m closing here with his purely instrumental piece, Satan’s Sermon, purely due to its title for obvious reasons. It was created at the Bregman Electronic Studio at Dartmouth College on a Synclavier, the computer-driven instrument developed in part by Bregman’s director Jon Appleton (see my Chef Boy-Ar-Dee and the Red Diaper Baby).21

Satan's Sermon Cover

Todd taught music at Middlebury College in Vermont. He and two colleagues eventually questioned traditional musical education method, which stresses the Masters to be emulated as well as rules and models to be learned—i.e., the music of others—before one’s own discovery can begin. “We try to teach our beginning students the very first thing before they learn anything about theory, harmony, counterpoint (the usual first things): what it is to compose music,” Todd writes. “We teach them to run before they walk.” Before they have the tools to do so. “When we simply drop the idea of teaching music with a tonal bias, surprising and wonderful things happen.” Todd says the course is one he and his colleagues wished they had been able to take as students. I wish so as well; had I, I might not have dropped out of music school. Read Todd’s Music Composition As Music Appreciation.

In 1995 Todd told interviewers about his own approach to composition in response to a question about how to listen to his music.

I think musically very much the way a sculptor might think, or a painter. I don’t see my works at all except as kind of visual objects, things that move. So, all of those instruments are things that go, *tktktktktk* or *ooooooo* or *uhhh*, they’re kind of choreographed sounds.22

Todd created Satan’s Sermon in 1980, on the cusp of the modern recording studio digital revolution. (The first digitally recorded major-label pop album had been released only the year before, Ry Cooder’s Bob Till You Drop.) And so, as Todd explained at the time, “Strictly speaking […] the music is computer (digital) music—though a great deal of the compositional process involved analog devices; mixers, tape machines—and, of course, razor blades,” referring to the method of editing audiotape.

Regarding the composition itself, Todd writes:

Though the surface […] is often dense, the materials used to create the textures were very simple. Basically the piece consists of short gestures (very few of which have more than twenty notes) which have been elaborately reprocessed through the Synclavier. It took over two hundred and fifty hours of studio time to complete the work.23

Todd said that another work, Glacier, took a glacial eighteen months “to develop the materials until finally the materials had told me enough so that I knew the kind of piece that I wanted to perform.”24

The only review of Satan’s Sermon I have access to opines that the work “sounds at times like something Russian composer Mussorgsky might have done had he had a Synclavier.” “All too often, Pictures at an Exhibition came to mind the first time I heard this composition,” writes Gregory Patrick Garvey. “In the latter third […], a marching theme ominously increases, raising the specter of Modest Petrovitch wreaking havoc in the twentieth century.”25

When Todd retired from Middlebury in 1997 he turned from music to visual art, the subject of Mussorgsky’s great work. His artist’s statement for a local show of paintings in December 2003 underscores the comments he made above, but post transition.

I think my music is visual and my painting is audible. I’m always thinking in terms of rhythmic gesture, whether in time or in space. Other musical issues—texture, dynamic, harmony, counterpoint, etc., have direct analogs in painting. I see what I hear and hear what I see.

Todd elaborated, on his Middlebury College website, posted at least by 2002, since deleted, archived here:

My musical techniques can be translated almost directly to painting. Color is orchestration. Hue is loudness. Line is melody, composition is harmony. There are parallels in such concepts as background-foreground, echoing of shapes, emotional content, iconography. It seems every time I address a visual problem I find myself thinking musically. And as a composer, my music was usually based on visual models. When I am asked if I have given up composing I answer honestly that I haven’t. I just do it in a different medium.

But this was a medium in which he’d meet a challenge, being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1999, as explained in the above artist’s statement.

Affected primarily on his right side—he is right handed—he now does much of his work left handed or two handed. He has discovered that the left hand has a different personality from the right and does things that would not have occurred to him had he worked right-handedly.

“Eat the little open book”

The pieces in both these installments of Electric Evangelists comprise a small subset from my collection of recordings that involve text and sound. This is not to be confused with the genre of text-sound, aka sound poetry, i.e. the manipulation of spoken word that moves toward the musical; only Reich’s It’s Gonna Rain, in Part 1, falls in that category. This is text-and-sound.

All of the pieces here employ appropriation, from formal citations of sacred texts to fortuitous electroquotations (John Oswald’s term from Part 1). Only in one case, apparently, did the speaker or their minions object. Still, it may smack of theft. It’s one thing to write “variations on a theme by so-and-so” and another to incorporate a preacher’s speech wholesale. Or is it? (That’s an open question.)

In offering these selections I’ve seen consonance and dissonance in the musicians’ approaches—in why they bothered to feature preachers in the first place. And I’ve surprised myself. It hadn’t hit me that out of all Kathryn Kuhlman’s broadcasts Eno & Byrne chose by design or default the Story of Sodom, which, invoked in another place or time, might have justified my imprisonment or worse. I’d long forgotten that John Oswald denied any irony in pairing R. W. Schambach with Led Zeppelin. And if trotting out my stamp collection seems nerdesque, today I found that another enterprising soul has devoted a website to “sources of voice samples in music.”

I can’t justify why I thought it worthwhile to write at length about these pieces other than having recalled, after a chance conversation a few weeks ago, that I had them on my shelves. In their consideration I simply suggest, as did an apocalyptic angel, that “you must eat the little open book.”

Header image: Illustration
from Heroic Spain (1910) by
Elizabeth Boyle O’Reilly,
archived here and here,
appropriated by Walmart

  1. Cited in the CD reissue booklet for Ceremony (Edsel EDCD 565, 1998), from an interview that appears in Melody Maker, 31 Jan 1970.
  2. Rostand overlooks the fact that the original of Beatus’s Commentary is not known to exist, and that some extant copies (known as Beati) are not even illustrated (as listed at Wikipedia). Which begs the question of whether the original itself was illuminated. In addition to the four instances of medieval apocalyptic art that Rostand enumerates, and which I mention above, he includes “paintings on the illuminated manuscripts of Silos and Gerona” and “the miniature-decorated manuscript of Saint Sever” without acknowledging that all three are Beati themselves.
  3. Armel Guerne, Les Jours de l’Apocalypse (La Pierre-qui-Vire, France: Editions Zodiaque, 1967); poems and commentaries by the author accompanied by details of illustrations of the Commentary on the Apocalypse by the Asturian monk Beatus of Liébana (ca. 730–ca. 800). The illustrations are taken from at least seven Beati, as listed at 211.
  4. Lévitte biographical note at the Alliance Israélite Universelle, translated by Google; Jean Giono Wikipedia entry. See also the Alliance page for the exposition La bibliothèque s’expose : au Chambon-sur-Lignon, translated by Google.
  5. Biographical details from CD liner notes of Pierre Henry: Variations Pour une Porte et une Soupir (Harmonia Mundi 905200, 1987); Pierre Henry and Michel Colombier: Métamorphose (FFRR 456 294-2, 1997).
  6. Biographical details from LP liner notes of Swickard – Sermons of Saint Francis/Hymn of Creation • Heller – Labyrinth (Orion Records ORS 7021, 1970); Swickard, Ralph, WorldCat Identities.
  7. Sermons liner notes.
  8. Biographical details from Augustine Thompson, Francis of Assisi: A New Biography (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2012). Since Francis is an anglicization of Francesco I am following suit with his father Pietro.
  9. Biographical details from Glenn F. Bunting, “The Shock Jock of Televangelism,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, 10 Jul 1994; Larry B. Stammer, “Gene Scott, 75, Television Preacher Famous for His Unconventional Ministry,” Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb 2005, B8.
  10. Bunting.
  11. Bunting.
  12. Bunting.
  13. John Savage, “Something Strange is Going On in Sheffield Tonight,” Sounds, 15 Apr 1978; reprinted here). Three years later the band Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft released its “Der Mussolini” (not a CV cover), in which the dance connection was explicit: “Dance the Mussolini, dance the Adolph Hitler, dance the Jesus Christ.” For the, mm…, record, the “peasants” standing around Mussolini’s corpse were residents of Milan, where his body had been dumped. See “Mussolini’s Final Hours, 70 Years Ago” (unreferenced) by historian Christopher Klein, a 14 May 1945 Universal Newsreel (at 2:30), and its gruesome source footage from the U.S. War Department Bureau of Public Relations.
  14. Sergio Luzzatto, The Body of Il Duce: Mussolini’s Corpse and the Fortunes of Italy (New York: Metropolitan Books [Henry Holt], 2005; subsequent editions also, Italian original 1998); see, e.g., the tale told beginning at 108. Earlier Luzzatto writes about the Italian Civil War, which occurred during the last twenty months before the Germans surrendered in Italy, that it was “a tragedy of and about bodies” (57). On August 10, 1944 the corpses of fifteen political prisoners were dumped in Piazzale Loreto, the same place Il Duce’s body ended up (58).
  15. Cf. tracks by Pere Ubu (“Laughing“), Pop Group (“The Boys from Brazil“), and Medium Medium (“That Haiku“) for instances of this sax sound.
  16. Bunting, cited above.
  17. Richard Cromelin, “Gristle To Stop Its Throbbing,” 17 May 1981, M70.
  18. Charles Neal, Tape Delay: Confessions from the Eighties Underground (London: SAF Publishing, 2001), 218.
  19. TV Week, A Section of the San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, 24–30 May 1981.
  20. Neal, 218.
  21. Liner notes from Satan’s Sermon and Other Electronic Fantasies (CRI SD 443, 1980).
  22. “Zappa, Ducks & Voices,” Kalvos & Damian’s New Music Bazaar, WGDR-FM, 02 Dec 1995; archived here.
  23. Satan’s Sermon liner notes.
  24. “Zappa, Ducks & Voices.”
  25. Gregory Patrick Garvey, review of Satan’s Sermon and Other Electronic Fantasies, Computer Music Journal, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Autumn 1982), 80.

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