Director: Stephen Beck
Year: 1973
Time: 28 mins
Music: Warner Jepson
Eye of Sound: A classic in audiovisual experimentation, Illuminated Music was a series of live performances by Stephen Beck (visuals) and Warner Jepson (music) in which the artists reworked pre-made compositions directly before an audience. While electronic video adventures were still a novelty, live experiments, both in the visual and musical arenas, were even rarer. Beck used the Direct Video Synthesizer, designed by himself, which - so the narrator claims - allowed him to "control precisely" the visual output in the performance (the myth of control in electronic media) and, still noteworthy at the time, to create pictures without a camera. Jepson used the now famous Buchla audio synthesizer, first explored by Subotnick in his 1963 piece Silver Apples on the Moon. Though I'd that say that Jepson's music is far richer and more engaging than the visuals (perhaps as a result of the greater possibilities of the Buchla synth and the deeper theoretical and practical range of electronic music at the time) Illuminated Music is unsurpassable in its historical significance as an early experiment in live electronics. I never could get hands on Part I, nor do I know if there are further installments in the series.


  1. this is amazing. thanks!
    i love jepson's music....

  2. This is amazing, really. Thank you.

  3. I think your being a bit mean! you dont find much video art at this standard even today because there is much more involved than audio. The music & video are great but if anything the music doesnt match the visuals rather than the other way round. Saying the soundtrack is more richer & engaging is like having a conversation with someone & saying money marriage at the end of every sentence! Theres 1000's of better electronic music than this 1 example yet barely anything like this video! Don't compare them with each other! I hope so much that Steven manages to get it republished again.