Center for Visual Music

 

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Jordan Belson (1926-2011)

Official Site

Contains News, Bibliography, Biographies, Filmography, Film Notes and more

Biographies: Keefer 2008 and Moritz 1997

Retrospective Program and Tour

DVD information (bottom of this page)

NOTE: Bibliography includes recent press, obits and news of Belson's death, and some Vortex resources

 

‘Jordan Belson is one of the greatest artists of visual music. Belson creates lush vibrant experiences of exquisite colour and dynamic abstract phenomena evoking sacred celestial experiences.’ - Film historian William Moritz

 

MofSpheres

Images from Music of the Spheres artwork, 1977, (c) Estate of Jordan Belson

 

 

2014 News

Belson films from CVM screen in the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Film Festivals in August; and at BFI Southbank, London in November.

CVM is pleased to announce an original advertising poster from Vortex V (1959) has been donated to CVM to offer for sale for fundraising purposes. We thank the Estate of Jordan Belson for this donation. Proceeds will benefit the Belson preservation and digitization project at CVM. Photo and details coming soon.

 

Quartet

CVM's new program of New Restorations and Discoveries (includes LSD, a presentation reel from Vortex V, and the unfinished Quartet, c. 1983 ) recently screened at Bard College, New York, with newly restored 16mm prints. Image above, still from Quartet.

 

 

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New HD transfers and preservation projects are underway; please consider helping to digitize Belson's work, including more recently discovered Vortex material.; Donate via paypal to cvmarchive (at) gmail.com. Donations from this project have helped us transfer films and put a few clips online on our vimeo channel (thanks to previous donors, see below for names).

 

Hirsh oscill.

From Hy Hirsh's raw oscilloscope footage, given to Jordan Belson to use in the 1959 Vortex V concerts in SF, and incorporated by Belson into one of his reels of effects and imagery. Image (c) Center for Visual Music

 

Many more films need preservation and digitization (examples above and at top of page, from just a few films needing digitization), please donate at the link above (all amounts help) or contact us if you'd like to sponsor a film (looking for a sponsor for Re-entry and Phenomena in particular) or help us put more clips online. It is very difficult to obtain grants to assist with digitizing from the 16mm originals.

 

Music of the Spheres (excerpt) from CVM on Vimeo.

 

Excerpt from World (1970) on vimeo

Excerpt from Bardo (2001) on vimeo

 

2013 News

Seance

Installation view, Séance at Raven Row, (c) CVM

Three films by Belson (Séance, World and Chakra) were in Reflections from Damaged Life: an exhibition on Psychedelia exhibition at Raven Row, London, curated by Lars Bang Larsen. September-December. Extensive reviews in artforum, Frieze, CLOSE-UP, more. (NOTE: CLOSE-UP contains some errata on Vortex)

Three September Belson events in the UK! Tate Modern, Arnolfini Centre and Raven Row. See CVM's Events page and the Belson Retrospective page, At Tate Modern, the Premiere of new preservation prints of LSD and a Vortex V presentation reel (1959). Program also included the unfinished Quartet (c. 1983). This new program from CVM also screened in December at UCLA Film and Television Archive's Billy Wilder Theatre, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

New HD transfers and preservation projects underway; new 16mm preserved print of LSD

Spring, 2013: Re-entry in Berlin exhibition

 

2012 News

Fall 2012 dates for screenings of the Retrospective program in New York, Boston, Toronto and other cities, details here.

CVM has received a preservation grant for the film LSD, and several reels of Belson's experiments, some from the Vortex Concerts c. 1959.

CVM gratefully thanks those who have contributed to the digitization and preservation project for Belson's films: Scott Snibbe, Scott and Isabel Draves, Stephen Fisher, Michael Robinson (PA), Suzanne Perkins & Bertram Gordon, Marcos Ortega Miranda, John Teton, Stephen Fisher, David McConville, Stephen Beck. Please consider helping; Donate via paypal to cvmarchive (at) gmail (dot) com

 

allures

Still from Allures (1961)

JANUARY 2012 NEWS: Belson's film Allures (1961) has been added to the National Film Registry List (Library of Congress), for films deemed to be "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant.

2011 PREVIOUS NEWS:Filmmaker/artist Jordan Belson died peacefully early Tuesday morning, September 6, 2011 at his home in San Francisco, of heart failure. He was 85. In lieu of flowers, Belson's long-time partner Catherine Heinrich requested that donations be made to Center for Visual Music's preservation and digitization work to continue preserving the legacy of Jordan Belson. A Memorial screening occured October 19 at Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, of CVM's Program Jordan Belson: Films Sacred and Profane, which included an unreleased film by Belson called Quartet. CVM is planning Tribute Retrospective screenings for other cities and festivals through 2012. Details to follow as confirmed, see Screenings special page or visit CVM's screenings and events page.

World

image from World

Before his death, Belson signed a statement asking people not to put his films online, as low res copies do not do justice to his work. However, we have permission to put a few short high resolution excerpts online - we're raising money now to transfer and digitize from the originals and preservation masters. Help us put a few high quality clips online from World and other films. (Image from World). Contact cvmarchive (at) gmail (dot) com, or Donate via paypal to cvmarchive (at) gmail (dot) com. Our address and phone # are at bottom of page.

Jordan Belson, Experimental Filmmaker, Dies at 85. New York Times obit by Margalit Fox, Movies section, Sept 10.

Please see the Belson bios below. We've posted obits and news items on his death, at the bottom of the Belson Bibliography page.

Gene Youngblood will publish a very short remembrance of Belson in the next issue of Millenium Film Journal.

 

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Jordan Belson: 5 Essential Films DVD (2007)

 

Allures (1961), Samadhi (1967), Light (1973), Fountain of Dreams (1984), and Epilogue (2005)

About the Films on the DVD

 

 

    samadhi    

Stills from Allures, Samadhi, Epilogue (c) Jordan Belson

DVD, NTSC, Region-free
Color, Sound, 4 x 3

Order here: CVM order page

Curated by Jordan Belson. Produced by Center for Visual Music

 

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Center for Visual Music
453 S. Spring St., Suite 834, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Contact us: cvmaccess (at) gmail (dot) com

 

Top (blue) image from Belson's film Samadhi (1967). Please ask permission before reusing any images from this site, which are the property of CVM or the Estate of Jordan Belson. We require credit, courtesy Center for Visual Music, www.centerforvisualmusic.org