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Harry Everett Smith

Harry Everett Smith

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Harry Everett Smith was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 archivist
Archivist
An archivist is a professional who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, maintains control over, and provides access to information determined to have long-term value. The information maintained by an archivist can be any form of media...

, ethnomusicologist
Ethnomusicology
Ethnomusicology is defined as "the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts."Coined by the musician Jaap Kunst from the Greek words ἔθνος ethnos and μουσική mousike , it is often considered the anthropology or ethnography of music...

, student of anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, record collector, experimental filmmaker
Filmmaking
Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, directing, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a theatrical release or television program...

, artist
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

, bohemian
Bohemianism
Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits...

 and mystic
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

. People who know his work as a filmmaker are often unfamiliar with his 1952 Anthology of American Folk Music
Anthology of American Folk Music
The Anthology of American Folk Music is a six-album compilation released in 1952 by Folkways Records , comprising eighty-four American folk, blues and country music recordings that were originally issued from 1927 to 1932.Experimental filmmaker and notable eccentric Harry Smith compiled the music...

, while folk music enthusiasts often do not know he was acclaimed as being "the greatest living magician" according to filmmaker, Kenneth Anger
Kenneth Anger
Kenneth Anger is an American underground experimental filmmaker, occasional actor and author...

.

Anthologist of American folk music


The Anthology of American Folk Music
Anthology of American Folk Music
The Anthology of American Folk Music is a six-album compilation released in 1952 by Folkways Records , comprising eighty-four American folk, blues and country music recordings that were originally issued from 1927 to 1932.Experimental filmmaker and notable eccentric Harry Smith compiled the music...

 was a compilation of recordings of American folk and country music commercially released as 78 rpm records between 1926 and 1932. The anthology was released in 1952 on Folkways Records
Folkways Records
Folkways Records was a record label founded by Moses Asch that documented folk, world, and children's music. It was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1987, and is now part of Smithsonian Folkways.-History:...

 as three two-LP sets. In 1997, the album was re-released as a boxed set of six compact discs on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Folkways Records
Folkways Records was a record label founded by Moses Asch that documented folk, world, and children's music. It was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1987, and is now part of Smithsonian Folkways.-History:...

. In 2000, a fourth installment of the anthology, conceived of in the 50s but abandoned, became available on Revenant Records
Revenant Records
Revenant Records is a record label based in Austin, Texas, which concentrates on folk and blues. Revenant was formed in 1996 by John Fahey and Dean Blackwood...

 in 2000.

This document is generally thought to have been enormously influential on the folk & blues revival of the '50s and '60s, and brought the works of Blind Lemon Jefferson
Blind Lemon Jefferson
"Blind" Lemon Jefferson was an American blues singer and guitarist from Texas. He was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s, and has been titled "Father of the Texas Blues"....

, Mississippi John Hurt
Mississippi John Hurt
John Smith Hurt, better known as Mississippi John Hurt was an American country blues singer and guitarist.Raised in Avalon, Mississippi, Hurt taught himself how to play the guitar around age nine...

, Dick Justice
Dick Justice (singer)
Dick Justice was an American blues and folk musician, who hailed from West Virginia, United States.Born Richard Justice, he recorded ten songs for Brunswick Records in Chicago in 1929. Unlike many contemporary white musicians, he was heavily influenced by black musicians, particularly Luke Jordan...

 and many others to the attention of musicians such as Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

 and Joan Baez
Joan Baez
Joan Chandos Baez is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician and a prominent activist in the fields of human rights, peace and environmental justice....

, and featured such legendary acts as The Carter Family and Clarence Ashley
Clarence Ashley
"Tom" Clarence Ashley was an American clawhammer banjo player, guitarist and singer. He began performing at medicine shows in the Southern Appalachian region as early as 1911, and gained initial fame during the late 1920s as both a solo recording artist and as a member of various string bands...

. The Harry Smith Anthology, as some call it, was the bible of folk music during the late 1950s and early 1960s Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village, , , , .in New York often simply called "the Village", is a largely residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City. A large majority of the district is home to upper middle class families...

 folk scene. As stated in the liner notes to the 1997 reissue, the late musician Dave van Ronk
Dave Van Ronk
Dave Van Ronk was an American folk singer, born in Brooklyn, New York, who settled in Greenwich Village, New York, and was eventually nicknamed the "Mayor of MacDougal Street" ....

 had earlier commented that "we all knew every word of every song on it, including the ones we hated."

Smith edited and directed the design of the anthology, including the cover art, which featured a Theodore de Bry etching of a monochord
Monochord
A monochord is an ancient musical and scientific laboratory instrument. The word "monochord" comes from the Greek and means literally "one string." A misconception of the term lies within its name. Often a monochord has more than one string, most of the time two, one open string and a second string...

 which Smith had taken from a mystical treatise by scientist/alchemist Robert Fludd
Robert Fludd
Robert Fludd, also known as Robertus de Fluctibus was a prominent English Paracelsian physician, astrologer, mathematician, cosmologist, Qabalist, Rosicrucian apologist...

. Smith also penned short synopses of the songs in the collection, which were made to resemble newspaper headlines—for the song King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O by Chubby Parker
Chubby Parker
Frederick R. "Chubby" Parker was an American old-time folk musician and early radio entertainer.-Background:Parker was born in Lafayette, Indiana in 1876. His grandparents were from Kentucky, and his father was the deputy treasurer of Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Parker graduated from Purdue...

, Smith notes: Zoologic Miscegeny Achieved Mouse Frog Nuptuals [sic], Relatives Approve.

Smith culled selections from his amassed personal collection of 78 rpm records, picked for their commercial and artistic appeal within a set period of time, 1927 to 1932. Smith chose those particular years as boundaries since, as he stated himself, "1927, when electronic recording made possible accurate music reproduction, and 1932, when the Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 halted folk music sales."

Smith earned a belated Grammy, the Chairman's Merit Award, for his contribution to this collection shortly before his death in 1991.

In addition to compiling, Smith also recorded music: Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg
Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression...

's (who he also lived with for a while in the 90's) long player New York Blues: Rags, Ballads and Harmonium Songs released in 1981 was captured by Smith at the Hotel Chelsea
Hotel Chelsea
The Hotel Chelsea, also known as the Chelsea Hotel, or simply the Chelsea, is a historic New York City hotel and landmark, known primarily for its history of notable residents...

 in 1973. He recorded the first album
The Fugs First Album
The Fugs First Album is the 1965 debut album by The Fugs, described in their All Music profile as "arguably the first underground rock group of all time". In 1966, the album charted #142 on Billboard's "Top Pop Albums" chart...

 by The Fugs
The Fugs
The Fugs are a band formed in New York in late 1964 by poets Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg, with Ken Weaver on drums. Soon afterward, they were joined by Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber of the Holy Modal Rounders...

 in 1965, recorded and released a multi-LP set of Kiowa Peyote Meeting songs on Folkways, and, in the 80s, recorded thousands of hours of "field recordings" for a project called "deonage."

Experimental filmmaker


Critical attention has been most often paid to his experimental work with film
Experimental film
Experimental film or experimental cinema is a type of cinema. Experimental film is an artistic practice relieving both of visual arts and cinema. Its origins can be found in European avant-garde movements of the twenties. Experimental cinema has built its history through the texts of theoreticians...

. He produced extravagant abstract animations. The effects were often painted or manipulated by hand directly on the celluloid
Celluloid
Celluloid is the name of a class of compounds created from nitrocellulose and camphor, plus dyes and other agents. Generally regarded to be the first thermoplastic, it was first created as Parkesine in 1862 and as Xylonite in 1869, before being registered as Celluloid in 1870. Celluloid is...

. Themes of mysticism, surrealism
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

 and dada
Dada
Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zurich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922. The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestoes, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a...

 were common elements in his work.

Information especially about Smith's early films is very contradictory. This is partly due to the work-in-progress nature of experimental filmmaking as films are often reedited (hence the different runtimes), occasionally incorporating reassembled footage of different films, or showed with varying music tracks. For instance, the handmade films now known as No. 1, 2, 3, and 5 were accompanied by an improvising jazz band on May 12, 1950 when they premiered as part of the Art in Cinema series curated by Smith's friend Frank Stauffacher at the San Francisco Museum of Art
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a modern art museum located in San Francisco, California. A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art and was the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th century art...

.

Initially Smith intended to use Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer dubbed "the sound of surprise".Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz...

 songs. Later he showed the films with random records or even the radio as accompaniment. Harry Smith stated that his films were made for contemporary music, and he kept changing their soundtracks. Harry also re-cut Early Abstractions
Early Abstractions
Early Abstractions is a collection of seven short animated films created by Harry Everett Smith between 1939 and 1956. Each film is between two and six minutes long, and is named according to the chronological order in which it was made...

 to sync with Meet the Beatles!
Meet the Beatles!
-External links:*Bruce Spizer's *Bruce Spizer's *...

 picked out by his wife, Rosebud Feliu-Pettet. After Smith's death, artists such as Philip Glass
Philip Glass
Philip Glass is an American composer. He is considered to be one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century and is widely acknowledged as a composer who has brought art music to the public .His music is often described as minimalist, along with...

 or DJ Spooky
DJ Spooky
Paul D. Miller , known by his stage name DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid, is a Washington DC-born electronic and experimental hip hop musician whose work is often called by critics or his fans as "illbient" or "trip hop". He is a turntablist, a producer, a philosopher, and an author...

 provided musical backgrounds for screenings of his films: Glass at the 2004 summer benefit concert of the Film-Makers' Cooperative
The Film-Makers' Cooperative
The Film-Makers' Cooperative aka The New American Cinema Group is an artist-run, non-profit organization which was founded in 1962 in New York City by Jonas Mekas, Shirley Clarke, Stan Brakhage, Gregory Markopoulos, Lloyd Michael Williams and other filmmakers to distribute avant-garde films through...

 and DJ Spooky at several venues in 1999 for Harry Smith: A Re-creation, a florilegium of Smith's films put together by his close collaborator M. Henry Jones who tries to screen the films in the manner intended by Smith - as performances - using stroboscopic effects, multiple projections, magic lanterns, and the like.

The present-day numbering system which Smith introduced some time between 1951 and 1964-5 (the year the Film-Makers' Cooperative
The Film-Makers' Cooperative
The Film-Makers' Cooperative aka The New American Cinema Group is an artist-run, non-profit organization which was founded in 1962 in New York City by Jonas Mekas, Shirley Clarke, Stan Brakhage, Gregory Markopoulos, Lloyd Michael Williams and other filmmakers to distribute avant-garde films through...

 started distributing 16 mm copies of his films) includes only films that survived up to that point. Thus this filmography is in no way a comprehensive list of all the films he has ever made, all the more as he is known to have lost, sold, traded or even wantonly destroyed some of his own works. The dating of the film presents another puzzle. Since Smith frequently worked for years on them and kept little to no documentation, the information varies considerably from one source to another. Therefore all available information has been added to the following list, inevitably resulting in a loss of clarity but having the advantage of giving the whole picture. The films are also known by variant designation, i.e. Film No. 1, Film # 1 or simply # 1.

Fine artist


Smith's early efforts in the field of fine art
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

 painting were freeform
Freeform
The word freeform may refer to:* Freeform , an alias used by experimental/IDM producer Simon Pyke* Freeform Style of Hardcore Techno influenced by trance.* Freeform Five, UK electro-house band...

 abstraction
Abstraction
Abstraction is a process by which higher concepts are derived from the usage and classification of literal concepts, first principles, or other methods....

s intended to visually represent notes, measures, beats
Beat (music)
The beat is the basic unit of time in music, the pulse of the mensural level . In popular use, the beat can refer to a variety of related concepts including: tempo, meter, rhythm and groove...

 and riff
RIFF
The Resource Interchange File Format is a generic file container format for storing data in tagged chunks. It is primarily used to store multimedia such as sound and video, though it may also be used to store any arbitrary data....

s of the beatnik era
Beatnik
Beatnik was a media stereotype of the 1950s and early 1960s that displayed the more superficial aspects of the Beat Generation literary movement of the 1950s and violent film images, along with a cartoonish depiction of the real-life people and the spiritual quest in Jack Kerouac's autobiographical...

 jazz music that inspired
Muse
The Muses in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths...

 him.

There is photographic evidence of Harry Smith's large paintings created in the 1940s, however the works themselves were destroyed by Harry himself. He did not destroy his work on film (although he did misplace a few) however, and this legacy supplements the nature and design of his paintings. Harry created several later works, some of which have been serially printed in limited editions. Much of his imagery is inspired by Kabbalistic
Hermetic Qabalah
Hermetic Qabalah is a Western esoteric and mystical tradition...

 themes such as the Sephirah, where the Planetary Spheres are distributed like musical notes upon a staff, -- details that Harry would find very important to note here—and is reflected in his choice of graphics and cover art of the Anthology of American Folk Music
Anthology of American Folk Music
The Anthology of American Folk Music is a six-album compilation released in 1952 by Folkways Records , comprising eighty-four American folk, blues and country music recordings that were originally issued from 1927 to 1932.Experimental filmmaker and notable eccentric Harry Smith compiled the music...

.

Occultist


Smith's parents, Robert James Smith and Mary Louise, were influenced by the early modern Spiritualist
Spiritualism
Spiritualism is a belief system or religion, postulating the belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living...

 movement in the United States. They were, reportedly, Pantheist
Pantheism
Pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek meaning "all" and the Greek meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of...

 Theosophists
Theosophy
Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual philosophy developed since the late 19th century. Its major themes were originally described mainly by Helena Blavatsky , co-founder of the Theosophical Society...

, interested in the work of Madame Blavatsky
Madame Blavatsky
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky , was a theosophist, writer and traveler. Between 1848 and 1875 Blavatsky had gone around the world three times. In 1875, Blavatsky together with Colonel H. S. Olcott established the Theosophical Society...

. His grandfather was founder of a fraternity that was an off-shoot of the Freemasons in the US. From this we can surmise an early exposure to this type of material. His mother taught on the Lummi
Lummi
The Lummi , governed by the Lummi Nation, are a Native American tribe of the Coast Salish ethnolinguistic group in western Washington state in the United States...

 Reservation where Harry claimed to receive a shamanic initiation at a young age. Harry recorded many Lummi songs and rituals, with equipment built by himself and with notation of his own devising, and developed an important collection of religious objects.

In the late Forties he began work with Charles Stansfeld Jones
Charles Stansfeld Jones
Charles Stansfeld Jones , aka Frater Achad, was an occultist and ceremonial magician. An early aspirant to A∴A∴ who "claimed" the grade of Magister Templi as a Neophyte. He also became an O.T.O. initiate, serving as the principal organizer for that order in British Columbia, Canada...

 and Albert Handel. Smith also created a set of irregularly-shaped Tarot cards, one of which was adapted for the color Ordo Templi Orientis
Ordo Templi Orientis
Ordo Templi Orientis is an international fraternal and religious organization founded at the beginning of the 20th century...

 degree certificates, and used with several others for the paperback Holy Books of Thelema
Holy Books of Thelema
Aleister Crowley, the founder of the religion of Thelema, designated his works as belonging to one of several classes. Not all of his work was placed in a class by him.The remaining texts were written between the years 1907 and 1911...

 which Harry designed. He also studied the Enochian
Enochian magic
Enochian magic is a system of ceremonial magic based on the evocation and commanding of various spirits. It is based on the 16th-century writings of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley, who claimed that their information was delivered to them directly by various angels. Dee's journals contained the...

 system in depth, compiling the only known concordance of the Enochian language with the aid of Khem Caigan, his assistant throughout much of the 70s and early 80s. Harry was a familiar figure in the New York Ordo Templi Orientis from the late 1970s on and, although he was never a member of the O.T.O., in 1986 he was consecrated a bishop in the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica
Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica
Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica , or the Gnostic Catholic Church, is the ecclesiastical arm of Ordo Templi Orientis , an international fraternal initiatory organization devoted to promulgating the Law of Thelema. Thelema is a philosophical, mystical and religious system elaborated by Aleister Crowley,...

.

Death


Smith suffered a bleeding ulcer followed by cardiac arrest in 1991 in Room 328 at the Hotel Chelsea
Hotel Chelsea
The Hotel Chelsea, also known as the Chelsea Hotel, or simply the Chelsea, is a historic New York City hotel and landmark, known primarily for its history of notable residents...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, and was pronounced dead one hour later at St. Vincent's Hospital
Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center
Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers ' was a healthcare system, anchored by its flagship hospital, St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan, locally referred to as "St. Vincent's". St. Vincent's was founded in 1849 and closed in 2010...

. His ashes are in the care of his friend, Rosebud Feliu-Pettet.

Discography

  • Anthology of American Folk Music
    Anthology of American Folk Music
    The Anthology of American Folk Music is a six-album compilation released in 1952 by Folkways Records , comprising eighty-four American folk, blues and country music recordings that were originally issued from 1927 to 1932.Experimental filmmaker and notable eccentric Harry Smith compiled the music...

    , 1952, Folkways Records
    Folkways Records
    Folkways Records was a record label founded by Moses Asch that documented folk, world, and children's music. It was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1987, and is now part of Smithsonian Folkways.-History:...

    . Re-released in 1997 by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Filmography

  • Early Abstractions
    Early Abstractions
    Early Abstractions is a collection of seven short animated films created by Harry Everett Smith between 1939 and 1956. Each film is between two and six minutes long, and is named according to the chronological order in which it was made...

     (1939-56 or 1941-57 or 1946-52 or 1946-57) (assembled ca. 1964) 16 mm, black & white and color, 22 min. Originally silent, then accompanied by a reel-to-reel tape with songs by The Fugs
    The Fugs
    The Fugs are a band formed in New York in late 1964 by poets Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg, with Ken Weaver on drums. Soon afterward, they were joined by Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber of the Holy Modal Rounders...

    —whose first album
    The Fugs First Album
    The Fugs First Album is the 1965 debut album by The Fugs, described in their All Music profile as "arguably the first underground rock group of all time". In 1966, the album charted #142 on Billboard's "Top Pop Albums" chart...

     Smith produced —and subsequently by an optical soundtrack featuring Meet the Beatles!
    Meet the Beatles!
    -External links:*Bruce Spizer's *Bruce Spizer's *...

    . The 1987 video release features Teiji Ito
    Teiji Ito
    was a Japanese composer and performer. He is best known for his scores for the avant-garde films by Maya Deren.Ito was born in Tokyo, Japan into a theatrical family. His father, Yuji Itō, was a composer and costume designer, and his mother, Teiko Ono, was a dancer who worked in both traditional...

    's musical piece Shaman. At first, the anthology included only No. 1-4, later No. 5, 7, and 10 were added. The individual films however are not divided, they play as one. This anthology, in 2006, was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry
    National Film Registry
    The National Film Registry is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. The Board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008...

     by the Library of Congress
    Library of Congress
    The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

     as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
  • No. 1: A Strange Dream (1939-47 or 1946-48) hand-painted 35 mm stock photographed in 16 mm, color, silent, 2:20 or 5 min. Initially intended to be screened with and synchronized to Dizzy Gillespie
    Dizzy Gillespie
    John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer dubbed "the sound of surprise".Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz...

    's Manteca or Guarachi Guaro. "...the history of the geologic period reduced to orgasm
    Orgasm
    Orgasm is the peak of the plateau phase of the sexual response cycle, characterized by an intense sensation of pleasure...

     length."
  • No. 2: Message From the Sun (1940-42 or 1946-48) hand-painted 35 mm stock photographed in 16 mm, color, 2:15 or 10 min. Initially intended to be screened with and synchronized to Dizzy Gillespie
    Dizzy Gillespie
    John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer dubbed "the sound of surprise".Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz...

    's Algo Bueno. This film "takes place either inside the sun
    Sun
    The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

     or in... Switzerland
    Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

    " according to Smith. To produce this film he used a technique that involved cutting stickers of the type used to reinforce the holes in 3-ring binder paper. These were applied to 16 mm movie film and used like a stencil. Layers of vaseline and paint were used to color each frame in this manner. The effect is hypnotic
    Hypnosis
    Hypnosis is "a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination."It is a mental state or imaginative role-enactment . It is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction, which is commonly composed of a long series of preliminary...

    , psychedelic
    Psychedelic
    The term psychedelic is derived from the Greek words ψυχή and δηλοῦν , translating to "soul-manifesting". A psychedelic experience is characterized by the striking perception of aspects of one's mind previously unknown, or by the creative exuberance of the mind liberated from its ostensibly...

     and is something like a visual music.
  • No. 3: Interwoven (1942-47 or 1947-49) hand-painted 35 mm stock photographed in 16 mm, color, 3:20 or 10 min. Reportedly cut down from about 30 min. Initially intended to be screened with and synchronized to Dizzy Gillespie
    Dizzy Gillespie
    John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer dubbed "the sound of surprise".Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz...

    's Guarachi Guaro or Manteca. "Batiked animation made of dead squares..." (Available on the DVD collection Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986 [2008].)
  • No. 4: Fast Track a.k.a. Manteca (1947 or 1949-50) 16 mm, black & white and color, 2:16 or 6 min. Silent though possibly intended to be screened with Dizzy Gillespie
    Dizzy Gillespie
    John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer dubbed "the sound of surprise".Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz...

    's Manteca. The film starts with a color sequence showing Smith's painting Manteca (ca. 1950) with which he tried to subjectively depict Gillespie's song, every brushstroke representing a music note. The film concludes with black & white superimpositions.
  • No. 5: Circular Tensions (Homage to Oskar Fischinger
    Oskar Fischinger
    Oskar Fischinger was a German-American abstract animator, filmmaker, and painter. He made over 50 short animated films, and painted c. 800 canvases, many of which are in museums, galleries and collections worldwide. Among his film works is Motion Painting No. 1 , which is now listed on the...

    ) (1949–50) 16 mm, color, silent, 2:30 or 6 min. Sequel to No. 4.
  • No. 6 (1948-51 or 1950-51) 16 mm, color, silent or mono, 1:30 or 20 min. Untraced red-green anaglyph
    Anaglyph image
    Anaglyph images are used to provide a stereoscopic 3D effect, when viewed with glasses where the two lenses are different colors, such as red and cyan. Images are made up of two color layers, superimposed, but offset with respect to each other to produce a depth effect...

     3-D film
    3-D film
    A 3-D film or S3D film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception...

    .
  • No. 7: Color Study (1950-51-52) 16 mm, color, silent, 5:25 or 15 min. "Optically printed Pythagoreanism
    Pythagoreanism
    Pythagoreanism was the system of esoteric and metaphysical beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans, who were considerably influenced by mathematics. Pythagoreanism originated in the 5th century BCE and greatly influenced Platonism...

     in four movement
    Movement (music)
    A movement is a self-contained part of a musical composition or musical form. While individual or selected movements from a composition are sometimes performed separately, a performance of the complete work requires all the movements to be performed in succession...

    s supported on squares, circles, grillwork, and triangles with an interlude concerning an experiment."
  • No. 8 (1954 or 1957) 16 mm, black & white, silent, 5 min. Untraced collage. Later expanded to No. 12.
  • No. 9 (1954 or 1957) 16 mm, color, 10 min. Untraced collage.
  • No. 10: Mirror Animations (1956–57) 16 mm, color, 3:35 or 10 min. Study for No. 11. "An exposition
    Exposition
    Exposition may refer to:*Exposition *Exposition *Trade fair*Exposition , the debut album by the band Wax on Radio...

     of Buddhism
    Buddhism
    Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

     and the Kaballah
    Hermetic Qabalah
    Hermetic Qabalah is a Western esoteric and mystical tradition...

     in the form of a collage. The final scene shows Agaric mushroom
    Amanita muscaria
    Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita , is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita...

    s growing on the moon
    Moon
    The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

     while the Hero
    Hero
    A hero , in Greek mythology and folklore, was originally a demigod, their cult being one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion...

     and Heroine row by on a cerebrum
    Telencephalon
    The cerebrum or telencephalon, together with the diencephalon, constitutes the forebrain. The cerebrum is the most anterior region of the vertebrate central nervous system. Telencephalon refers to the embryonic structure, from which the mature cerebrum develops...

    ."
  • No. 11: Mirror Animations (1956–57) 16 mm, color, 3:35 or 8 min. Features Thelonious Monk
    Thelonious Monk
    Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer considered "one of the giants of American music". Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "Epistrophy", "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser"...

    's Misterioso. Cut-up
    Cut-up technique
    The cut-up technique is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text. Most commonly, cut-ups are used to offer a non-linear alternative to traditional reading and writing....

     and collage
    Collage
    A collage is a work of formal art, primarily in the visual arts, made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole....

     animation
    Animation
    Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

    . Later expanded to No. 17.
  • No. 12: Heaven and Earth Magic
    Heaven and Earth Magic
    Heaven and Earth Magic is an American avant garde feature film made by Harry Everett Smith. Originally released in 1957, it was re-edited several times and the final version was released in 1962...

     a.k.a. The Magic Feature a.k.a. Heaven and Earth Magic Feature (1943-58 or 1950-60 or 1950-61 or 1957-62 or 1959-61) (reedited several times between 1957–62) 16 mm, black & white, mono, initially 6 hours, later versions of 2 hours and 67 min. Extended version of No. 8. Collage
    Collage
    A collage is a work of formal art, primarily in the visual arts, made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole....

     animation
    Animation
    Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

     culled from 19th century catalogs meant to be shown using custom-made projectors fit out with color filters (gels, wheels, etc.) and masking hand-painted glass slides to alter the projected image. Smith explains, "The first part depicts the heroine's toothache
    Toothache
    A toothache, also known as odontalgia or, less frequently, as odontalgy, is an aching pain in or around a tooth.-Causes:* Dental etiology, In most cases toothaches are caused by problems in the tooth or jaw, such as** Dental caries...

     consequent to the loss of a very valuable watermelon
    Watermelon
    Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind and fleshy center...

    , her dentistry
    Dentistry
    Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body. Dentistry is widely considered...

     and transport
    Transport
    Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...

    ation to heaven
    Heaven
    Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

    . Next follows an elaborate exposition
    Exposition
    Exposition may refer to:*Exposition *Exposition *Trade fair*Exposition , the debut album by the band Wax on Radio...

     of the heavenly land, in terms of Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

     and Montreal
    Montreal
    Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

    . The second part depicts the return to Earth
    Earth
    Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

     from being eaten by Max Müller
    Max Müller
    Friedrich Max Müller , more regularly known as Max Müller, was a German philologist and Orientalist, one of the founders of the western academic field of Indian studies and the discipline of comparative religion...

     on the day Edward VII
    Edward VII of the United Kingdom
    Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

     dedicated the Great Sewer of London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

    ." Jonas Mekas
    Jonas Mekas
    Jonas Mekas is a Lithuanian-born American filmmaker, writer, and curator who has often been called "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema." His work has been exhibited in museums and festivals across Europe and America.-Biography:...

     gave the film—which is often regarded as Smith's major work—its title in 1964/65.
  • No. 13: Oz a.k.a. The Magic Mushroom People of Oz (1962) 35 mm widescreen (scope
    CinemaScope
    CinemaScope was an anamorphic lens series used for shooting wide screen movies from 1953 to 1967. Its creation in 1953, by the president of 20th Century-Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.The anamorphic lenses theoretically...

    ), color, stereo, 3 hours or 108 min. but only 20-30 min. are known to survive. Unfinished commercial adaptation of L. Frank Baum
    L. Frank Baum
    Lyman Frank Baum was an American author of children's books, best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz...

    's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of...

     which was shelved after Harry's close friend, the executive producer and primary financial backer Arthur Young
    Arthur M. Young
    Arthur Middleton Young was an American inventor, helicopter pioneer, cosmologist, philosopher, astrologer and author. Young was the designer of Bell Helicopter's first helicopter, the Model 30, and inventor of the stabilizer bar used on many of Bell's early helicopter designs...

     died of cancer. Portions released as No. 16, 19, and 20. From the reported three to six hours of camera test footage (rushes) only ca. 15 minutes, in the form of non-color-corrected rushes, is known to be extant. The only completed bit is The Approach to Emerald City, a 5 (other sources say 9 resp. 12) minute sequence set to music from Charles Gounod
    Charles Gounod
    Charles-François Gounod was a French composer, known for his Ave Maria as well as his operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette.-Biography:...

    's Faust
    Faust (opera)
    Faust is a drame lyrique in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré's play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part 1...

    .
  • No. 14: Late Superimpositions (1963-64-65) 16 mm, color, 29 min. Structured 122333221. Features the beginning of the opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny by Kurt Weill
    Kurt Weill
    Kurt Julian Weill was a German-Jewish composer, active from the 1920s, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht...

     and Bertolt Brecht
    Bertolt Brecht
    Bertolt Brecht was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director.An influential theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the...

     as recorded in 1956 by Lotte Lenya
    Lotte Lenya
    Lotte Lenya was an Austrian singer, diseuse, and actress. In the German-speaking and classical music world she is best remembered for her performances of the songs of her husband, Kurt Weill. In English-language film she is remembered for her Academy Award-nominated role in The Roman Spring of Mrs...

    , the Norddeutscher Radiochor (Max Thurn) and the Norddeutsches Radio-Orchester (Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg). Later expanded to No. 18. "I honor it the most of my films, otherwise a not very popular one before 1972." Shot in New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

     and Anadarko
    Anadarko, Oklahoma
    Anadarko is a city in Caddo County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 6,645 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Caddo County.-Early History:Anadarko got its name when its post office was established in 1873...

    .
  • No. 15 (1965–1966) 16 mm, color, silent, 10 min. Animation of Seminole
    Seminole
    The Seminole are a Native American people originally of Florida, who now reside primarily in that state and Oklahoma. The Seminole nation emerged in a process of ethnogenesis out of groups of Native Americans, most significantly Creeks from what is now Georgia and Alabama, who settled in Florida in...

     patchwork
    Patchwork
    Patchwork or "pieced work" is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design. The larger design is usually based on repeat patterns built up with different colored shapes. These shapes are carefully measured and cut, straight-sided, basic geometric shapes...

    .
  • No. 16: Oz - The Tin Woodman's Dream (1967) 35 mm widescreen (scope
    CinemaScope
    CinemaScope was an anamorphic lens series used for shooting wide screen movies from 1953 to 1967. Its creation in 1953, by the president of 20th Century-Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.The anamorphic lenses theoretically...

    ), color, silent, 14:30 min. Consists of The Approach to Emerald City (cf. note on No. 13) followed by about 10 minutes of kaleidoscopic footage shot ca. 1966. See also No. 20.
  • No. 17: Mirror Animations (extended version) (1962-76 or 1979) 16 mm, color, 12 min. Features Thelonious Monk
    Thelonious Monk
    Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer considered "one of the giants of American music". Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "Epistrophy", "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser"...

    's Misterioso. Extended version of No. 11 printed forward-backward-forward.
  • No. 18: Mahagonny (1970-1980: shot 70-72, edited 72-80) 16 mm, color, tetraptych screen (initially with four 16 mm projectors, now composited onto a single 35 mm strip), 141 min. (edited down from over 11 hours of material). With Allen Ginsberg
    Allen Ginsberg
    Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression...

    , Jonas Mekas
    Jonas Mekas
    Jonas Mekas is a Lithuanian-born American filmmaker, writer, and curator who has often been called "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema." His work has been exhibited in museums and festivals across Europe and America.-Biography:...

    , Patti Smith
    Patti Smith
    Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses....

     and images of Robert Mapplethorpe
    Robert Mapplethorpe
    Robert Mapplethorpe was an American photographer, known for his large-scale, highly stylized black and white portraits, photos of flowers and nude men...

     installations. "A mathematical analysis of Marcel Duchamp
    Marcel Duchamp
    Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art...

    's The Large Glass
    The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even
    The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even , most often called The Large Glass , is an artwork by Marcel Duchamp....

    , expressed in terms of Kurt Weill
    Kurt Weill
    Kurt Julian Weill was a German-Jewish composer, active from the 1920s, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht...

     and Bertolt Brecht
    Bertolt Brecht
    Bertolt Brecht was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director.An influential theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the...

    's opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
    Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
    Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny is a political-satirical opera composed by Kurt Weill to a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht. It was first performed in Leipzig on 9 March 1930.-Composition history:...

    " upon which it is loosely based. Smith divided the images into four groups (Portraits, Animations, Symbols and Nature) and, with the assistance of Khem Caigan, arranged them as a series of procedural permutations in relation to the opera: every reel contains twenty-four scenes forming the palindrome PASA-PASNA-PASAP-ANSAP-ASAP-N. Note that the entire series hinges on Nature. Extended version of No. 14 (it also uses the same 1956 German language recording) Smith considered this film to be the ground-breaking harbinger of his unfinished masterwork, which was to have been an explication of the Four Last Things
    Eschatology
    Eschatology is a part of theology, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events in history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world or the World to Come...

    .
  • No. 19 (1980) 35 mm widescreen (scope
    CinemaScope
    CinemaScope was an anamorphic lens series used for shooting wide screen movies from 1953 to 1967. Its creation in 1953, by the president of 20th Century-Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.The anamorphic lenses theoretically...

    ), color, silent. Untraced excerpts from No. 13. See also No. 20.
  • No. 20: Fragments of a Faith Forgotten (1981) 35 mm widescreen (scope
    CinemaScope
    CinemaScope was an anamorphic lens series used for shooting wide screen movies from 1953 to 1967. Its creation in 1953, by the president of 20th Century-Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.The anamorphic lenses theoretically...

    ), color, silent, 27 min. Consists of No. 16 and No. 19.

Films about or with Harry Smith

  • Autobiography (1950s, Jordan Belson
    Jordan Belson
    Jordan Belson was an American artist and filmmaker who created nonobjective, often spiritually oriented, abstract films spanning six decades.-Biography:Belson was born in Chicago, Illinois....

    ) Glances of Smith, Hy Hirsh, and others from the San Francisco Beat
    Beat generation
    The Beat Generation refers to a group of American post-WWII writers who came to prominence in the 1950s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired...

     scene.
  • Birth of a Nation (1997, Jonas Mekas
    Jonas Mekas
    Jonas Mekas is a Lithuanian-born American filmmaker, writer, and curator who has often been called "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema." His work has been exhibited in museums and festivals across Europe and America.-Biography:...

    ) 16 mm, color, 85 min. Snippets of 160 underground film people (among them Smith) recorded between 1955 and 1996.
  • Restoring Harry Smith's Mahagonny a.k.a. Making of Mahagonny (2000 or 2002, Simon Lund) 35 mm, color, 6 min. Short documentary on the restoration of No. 18. Watch it here.
  • American Magus. Harry Smith (2001–02, Paola Igliori
    Paola Igliori
    Paola Igliori, born in Rome, Italy, is a poet, writer, photographer, essayist and publisher. She became a resident of New York City from the 1980s, when she first moved there, until 2003 when she returned to her home country. Paola Igliori has a son Filippo, who is a photographer and film maker...

    ) video, color, 93 min. Documentary on Smith interweaving clips from his films, pictures from his countless collections, drawings, paintings, rare archive footage and snatches of interviews with Allen Ginsberg
    Allen Ginsberg
    Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression...

    , Gregory Corso
    Gregory Corso
    Gregory Nunzio Corso was an American poet, youngest of the inner circle of Beat Generation writers...

    , Lionel Ziprin
    Lionel Ziprin
    Lionel Ziprin was a poet who lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He was also a grandson of the renowned Orthodox rabbi Nuftali Zvi Margolies Abulafia, who recorded a 15-LP set of Jewish liturgical music in a neighborhood yeshiva during the 1950s with noted ethnomusicologist Harry...

    , Robert Frank
    Robert Frank
    Robert Frank , born in Zürich, Switzerland, is an important figure in American photography and film. His most notable work, the 1958 photobook titled The Americans, was influential, and earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and skeptical outsider's view of American...

    , Jonas Mekas
    Jonas Mekas
    Jonas Mekas is a Lithuanian-born American filmmaker, writer, and curator who has often been called "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema." His work has been exhibited in museums and festivals across Europe and America.-Biography:...

    , John Cohen, James Wasserman
    James Wasserman
    James Wasserman is an American author and occultist, best known for his full color publication of the Papyrus of Ani, Book of the Dead...

    , M. Henry Jones, Percy Heath
    Percy Heath
    Percy Heath was an American jazz bassist, brother to tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath and drummer Albert Heath, with whom he formed the Heath Brothers in 1975...

    , Grateful Dead
    Grateful Dead
    The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and for live performances of long...

    , Patti Smith
    Patti Smith
    Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses....

    , DJ Spooky
    DJ Spooky
    Paul D. Miller , known by his stage name DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid, is a Washington DC-born electronic and experimental hip hop musician whose work is often called by critics or his fans as "illbient" or "trip hop". He is a turntablist, a producer, a philosopher, and an author...

    , Khem Caigan, Harvey Bialy
    Harvey Bialy
    Harvey Bialy is an American molecular biologist and AIDS denialist. He was one of the signatories to a letter to the editor by a group of AIDS denialists calling themselves the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis...

     and Smith's wife Rosebud Feliu-Pettet, among others. Photographer, writer, publisher, and filmmaker Paola Igliori, who Smith befriended a few months before his death, and in whose arms Smith died, is also the editor of a book of the same title released by her own publishing house Inanout Press (see Bibliography).
  • On Mahagonny (2002, Rani Singh) video, color, 15 min. Jonas Mekas
    Jonas Mekas
    Jonas Mekas is a Lithuanian-born American filmmaker, writer, and curator who has often been called "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema." His work has been exhibited in museums and festivals across Europe and America.-Biography:...

     and others discuss No. 18. Also features a conversation between Smith and critic P. Adams Sitney
    P. Adams Sitney
    P. Adams Sitney , is a historian of American avant-garde cinema.-Life:He was educated in his hometown, at Yale University...

     shot by André S. Labarthe
    André S. Labarthe
    André S. Labarthe is a French actor, film producer and director. He starred alongside Anna Karina in the 1962 film Vivre sa vie.-Selected filmography:* Vivre sa vie * L'amour fou...

     in 1971. Rani Singh is a former assistant of Smith (1987–1991), founder and current director of the Harry Smith Archives as well as research associate at the Getty
    J. Paul Getty
    Jean Paul Getty was an American industrialist. He founded the Getty Oil Company, and in 1957 Fortune magazine named him the richest living American, whilst the 1966 Guinness Book of Records named him as the world's richest private citizen, worth an estimated $1,200 million. At his death, he was...

     Research Institute in Los Angeles
    Los Ángeles
    Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

    .
  • The Old, Weird America: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music (2006, Rani Singh) video, black & white and color, 90 min. Documentary with Nick Cave
    Nick Cave
    Nicholas Edward "Nick" Cave is an Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, and occasional film actor.He is best known for his work as a frontman of the critically acclaimed rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, established in 1984, a group known for its eclectic influences and...

    , Elvis Costello
    Elvis Costello
    Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...

    , Philip Glass
    Philip Glass
    Philip Glass is an American composer. He is considered to be one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century and is widely acknowledged as a composer who has brought art music to the public .His music is often described as minimalist, along with...

    , Emmylou Harris
    Emmylou Harris
    Emmylou Harris is an American singer-songwriter and musician. In addition to her work as a solo artist and bandleader, both as an interpreter of other composers' works and as a singer-songwriter, she is a sought-after backing vocalist and duet partner, working with numerous other artists including...

    , Bob Neuwirth
    Bob Neuwirth
    Bob Neuwirth is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and visual artist. A mainstay of the early 1960s Cambridge, Massachusetts, folk scene, he subsequently became a friend and associate of Bob Dylan alongside whom he appears in D.A...

    , Beth Orton
    Beth Orton
    Beth Orton is a BRIT Award–winning English singer-songwriter, known for her 'folktronica' sound, which mixes elements of folk and electronica. She was initially recognised for her collaborations with William Orbit and the Chemical Brothers in the mid 1990s. However, these were not Orton's first...

    , Lou Reed
    Lou Reed
    Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed is an American rock musician, songwriter, and photographer. He is best known as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, and for his successful solo career, which has spanned several decades...

    , Beck
    Beck
    Beck Hansen is an American musician, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, known by the stage name Beck...

    , David Johansen
    David Johansen
    David Roger Johansen is an American rock, protopunk, blues, and pop singer, as well as a songwriter and actor. He is best known as a member of the seminal protopunk band The New York Dolls and also achieved commercial success under the pseudonym Buster Poindexter.-Early life:Johansen was born in...

    , Greil Marcus
    Greil Marcus
    Greil Marcus is an American author, music journalist and cultural critic. He is notable for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a much broader framework of culture and politics than is customary in pop music journalism.-Life and career:Marcus was born in San Francisco...

    , Hal Willner
    Hal Willner
    Hal Willner is an American music producer working in recording, films, TV and live events. He is best known for assembling tribute albums and events featuring a wide variety of artists and musical styles...

    , Allen Ginsberg
    Allen Ginsberg
    Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression...

    , Percy Heath
    Percy Heath
    Percy Heath was an American jazz bassist, brother to tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath and drummer Albert Heath, with whom he formed the Heath Brothers in 1975...

    , Steve Earle
    Steve Earle
    Stephen Fain "Steve" Earle is an American singer-songwriter known for his rock and Texas Country as well as his political views. He is also a producer, author, a political activist, and an actor, and has written and directed a play....

    , Luis Kemnitzer, among others.

External links