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February 07, 2007

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SmileyChewtrain

Please Please solve this Mystery!

Freeeedom

I have scoured the internet for info on Halper for years... he must be hiding in a hole with Daisuke Tobari. I remember a cover of this song from a Ptolemaic Terrascope compilation from several years ago. Of course, there is also my cruddy version at www.myspace.com/freeeedom

recordgeek

THANK YOU!!!!

Domenica

I watched this short film earlier tonight, and it was really beautiful. It amazed me that that music was recorded in 1949. It totally sounds like a lo-fi tape recording from the 1990's home recording renaissance.

Ecolli

Thanks for the info, I had been really into the Terrascope cover on the comp Dawn of a New Era (POT 25) since I first heard it a few years ago. It was great to hear the source. The cover is by the Lazy Spun and it is called A Puce Moon. The notes talk about the Anger film, and I assumed, wrongly, it was the original since I had not seen the film.

Sam

When I saw Puce Moment for the first time at the NYFF last fall, the soundtrack (and the film) entranced me, but not until now did I realize that I'd already heard part of it thanks the Lazily Spun... no wonder it stuck in my subconsciousness so much. And to Domenica, the recordings are definitely not from 1949. Anger often re-edited his films and used different soundtracks. According to an old post on the Frameworks list, the original soundtrack was by Verdi. Sitney's book Visionary Film says that Puce Moment, itself a fragment of an uncompleted film, was pulled from distribution in 1963, so I'd imagine that was the last time Verdi was used. Sitney later writes: "The first sign of the rejuvenation of [Anger's] film-making in the 1970s was his completion of Invocation of My Demon Brother, which includes material from the original Lucifer Rising. Then he released Puce Moment, synchronized to a new song...." Assuming this refers to Halper, this dates the current soundtrack to the late-'60s/early-'70s, just as it sounds. The Lazily Spun probably heard it on the VHS release of the Magick Lantern Cycle, judging from the reference to the MLC in the notes of the Terrascope compilation.

I'd love to find out more about Halper. Who knows, maybe the name was just an alias for someone on the run from the law: the history of Anger's films are filled with such stories, and being associated with him often destined you to an outrageous, tragic, and mysterious fate, or so it seems sometimes.

Jeff Gregory

I shouldn't even post this. I met Kenneth Anger once at Scarecrow Video in Seattle about ten years ago. I actually asked him about the music for Puce Moment and he went into a fairly descriptive answer, but I couldn't tell you much now. He must have mentioned Halper by name but I wouldn't know that if I hadn't seen the name here. The best I can recollect is that it was a friend of his who didn't really record much else. Sky TV was there to interview him, maybe something was still recording when he answered my question.

Ilona

In college in the early 1990s a close friend and I would spend hours in the film archive viewing Puce Moment/ Kustom Kar Komandos, etc. In order to get a copy of the sound track we snuck in a cassette deck to the room. I will have a scratchy tape of "I am a hermit". We always wondered who was responsible for the soundtrack, my friend told me a few years ago that he had found that this was not the original sound track, originally it had had a classical sound track. I just think it's wonderful we're not the only ones obsessed with this soundtrack. Yes I am a hermit, my mind is not the same, yes I am a hermit, and ecstacy is my game. Indeed.

Snarfyguy

I saw Puce Moment at an Anger retrospective in Rhinebeck, New York in 1981 or so and I recall the soundtrack was opera music (Verdi apparently, although I didn't know that then).

I'm not really sure what Sam means above by saying Puce Moment was "pulled from distribution in 1963," but it was being shown with the old soundtrack at least fifteen years after that, with or without Anger's intent.

Incidentally, a guy claiming to *be* Kenneth Anger got up after the screening and delivered some kind of incomprehensible rant that I found a bit scary as a teenager. And although it seems much more likely to have been an imposter rather than Anger himself, nobody in the audience really seemed to be sure.

Big Eats

I am so glad to find out at least a little more about this song, and to know that you guys have the mp3. Thank you WFMU!

THE LOST CABINET

J.H WROTE THESE SONGS IN EDINBURGH CIRCA 1969,WHEN THEY WERE RECORDED????
J.H WAS THE REAL OCCULT DEAL!!!
HE MADE MANY THINGS HAPPEN!!!!
HE PISSED OFF SOME HIGH BEINGS!
OTHERS LOVED HIM AND PROTECTED HIM!
I GUESS ANGER WAS ONE OF THOSE.
HE DID AT THE TENDER AGE OF EARLY 20 SOMETHING!
RETIRE FROM THE WORLD,AND THEN LIVED UNDER THE PROTECTION OF A TIBETAN LAMA.
HE AT ONE POINT HAD A BAND CALLED DEVOLUTION,CIRCA 1969-1970.AND PLAYED IN MENTAL HOSPITALS ETC IN THE EDINBURGH AREA OF SCOTLAND.

Helper

Music by Jonathan Halper is from 1966. Before that Anger used Verdi's music for soundtrack of his Puce Moment film.

nebula

we the band Nebula recorded, my old life behind on the b side of their single "do it now". they called it "cosmic egg" because didnt know who recorded it or what it was called. learned it off the puce moment film. its been done check it out if you can find it anywhere .

Jarrod

For anyone interested, there is a blog post from 2012 of an old associate of Jonathan Halper, from; http://www.wowvondahlenberg.com/1/post/2012/04/1971so-no-supprise-to-meet-jonathon-back-stage-at-the-ravi-shankar-gigafter-sitting-on-the-floor-cross-legged-in-the-half-lotus-position-just-five-feet-away-from-the-master-for-the-whole-gigjust-as-i-ran-into-him-backstage-at-the-cat-stevens-g.html

"1971..So no supprise to meet Jonathon Halper back stage at the Ravi Shankar gig, after I sat cross legged in the half lotus position, just five feet away from the master for the whole gig....just as I ran into him backstage at the Cat Stevens gig. 22/04/2012
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1971..So no supprise to meet Jonathon back stage at the Ravi Shankar gig....after sitting on the floor cross legged in the half lotus position, just five feet away from the master for the whole gig....just as I ran into him backstage at the Cat stevens gig. But this reminds me, Jonathon for all his mysticism and magical thinking ''My mind is not the same'' was no slouch when it came to self promotion...he in fact ran a fanzine for a while if i am not mistaken...and was trying to interview Cat Stevens for his fanzine. There seems to be some tension about revealing these things about someone who has changed and moved on...but the truth is the truth and history is history....and my art is my art. So read it here for the first time..... Jonathan had a band called 'Devolution' although mainly he played solo, and performed at local mental health institutions like asylums and stuff...but as I say he was no slouch, and shortly after the Ravi Shankar gig, he put on a gig, i can't remember where it was, I think not the Traverse theatre, as in my memory it was too big for the Traverse...but he leafleted and got all the Edinburgh musical cognoscenti to attend.....but being simultaneously shy...he didn't put on his best performance and they all left after the first song, or at least before the end of the second song. But those folk whoever they were, will not admit to walking out of a gig by a man who became a legend and added his tunes to the films of the inventor of the music video; will they! This short clip above is from three and a half years earlier; but if you are quick you will see Jimi Hendrix in the audience. "

S.

There's been a recent 45 pressing of Halper's songs. I'd always assumed it was Anger under a pseudonym. The song titles, as they are inscribed on the 45 are "Aquemin Rising" and "Nobody in America Knows Their Myths."

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