Warner's Autobiography 1960's excerpt


1960 May 21 "VISIO"; 1031 Kearny

1960 "Rites of Women" (J. Broughton, A Halprin) SF Playhouse a mixture of sketches based on Broughton's poetry, and dances by Halprin, both often humorous.

1959 Rites of Women - Ann Halprin

Besides writing my first song (to Broughton's lyrics) there was music concrete for Ann Halprin's dances. A long loop for one dance was what attracted Helen Adams to let me write the music for her San Francisco's Burning which the Playhouse wanted me to do based on the two songs.

1961 SF Museum of Art Exhibition

1961 Feb. "If You Look Down There You'll See It" construction, SFMOMA sculpture annual Feb 12 The Examiner, Alexander Fried: "Smiles broke into chuckles at the sight of....and Warner Jepson's surrealist airplane view of what looks like a walled city in a harbor. Jepson calls his piece, "If You Look Down There You Will See It" What you see includes worn out paint tubes, and wriggly squeezes of pigment. The whole thing is really intriguing."

I had been making the piece with paint tubes, piano keys, undershirts, on a 4 x4 piece of wallboard for the fun of it, when Dick Faralla, a local sculptor, suggested I enter it. Years later after my separation and years of seeing it on the wall in Kiira's room, I thought little of it, took it down and destroyed it. How little perspective I had at that age, destroying also Robert Morris' first conceptional piece, a birthday gift to me, again because I didn't appreciate it!

1961 Red Flower - Robert Morris

 1961 Aug. 11 Fri. Welland Lathrop Dance Co., SF State College, Div. of Creative Arts; music-part one: Dave Brubeck Quartet [rec.]; music-part two: improvisation live by Warner Jepson [live]; music-part three: Maurice Ravel [rec.]

1961 SF Burning poster

1961 SF Burning poster Playbill

1961 Dec 15 San Francsico's Burning, book by Helen Adam, music by Warner Jepson, SF Playhouse. Dec 20 SF Chronicle, Martin Russell: "It's often hard to level objective criticism at a show that's as totally captivating as San Francisco's Burning, ...Although it's lengthy, the intertwining moods and themes are so varied and so judiciously handled by director Kermit Sheets that the sum effect is one of pure delight. The show (called a ballad opera) is virtually all song, which must have tested the mature talents of Warner Jepson, Helen and Pat Adam quite severely. Yet there's scarcely a sign of strain. Jepson's music is just as sensational in melodies like A Shell Beach by the Scottish Sea, as in the lively Live High and I'm an Immature Inamorata...My hat's off to every one for a job superbly done."
Dec 20 Berkeley Daily Gazette: "San Francisco's Burning," a ballad opera...should finally put an end to the myth that local talent and writing abilities are not first class. This musical montage...is far more imaginative and substantial than most of the Broadway shows presented on Geary St. At the very least it's spectacular. ..This musical has a staggering 33 numbers in the first act and 13 more in the second. Fortunately the musical quantity is more than equaled in quality.

Jan 21 1962 SF Examiner: Stanley Eichelbaum ...a lyrical but unsentimental, tragicomic satire of San Francisco before the Earthquake... the show threatens to break every Playhouse attendance record. ...I was convinced that it is a work of infinite, haunting liveliness, but that it is a real milestone of little theater production and that it deserves to be seen elsewhere, particularly on the off-Broadway stage in New York. ..it’s bittersweet score, the work reminds one of the Brecht-Weil collaboration--a kind of "Threepenny Opera" about old San Francisco." ...Before this, Jepson had written only one song, two years ago, for ..."Rites of Women"... 'I nearly turned it down, because I had no idea I could ever do it.' "

1962 SF Burning Review a

1962 May- Progress Drama Correspondent Jerold Irwin: "You are not likely to find as vital, humorous, bitter, and entertaining a "little theater" musical as "San Francisco's Burning" here in the next few years. The production is especially significant when you consider that such breadth of scope and conception come from an "amateur" repertory company, a company nevertheless that had the courage to undertake what must be judged a major and daring theatrical project.... And we even hear the tone of the city suggested in a wonderfully conceived score by Warner Jepson, which in its tawdry and atonal quality reminds one of "Threepenny Opera" and "Guys and Dolls,"...A tremendously difficult production of an enormously complex poem, "San Francisco's Burning" is almost entirely a success. It should be seen by every San Franciscan, and then everyone every place else."

I took about a year to compose the songs, with no thought of what I was doing other than to get the songs done, one at a time. An added difficulty was that Helen Adam, who had sung her lyrics extemporaneously in her one-woman performances of the show, was frequently unhappy with a song I'd finished. The Playhouse repeatedly had to support me in persuading her that the show should have only one composer. We began rehearsals in September. It was not until we had a run-through of the first act that I heard what it was going to be like.

1962 SF Burning Review b

1961 SF Burning poster

1961 SF Burning poster 2

1962 Contact - Cover photo of Ann Halprin by WJ

1962 Ann Halprin photo2 by WJ

1962 Ann Halprin photo3 by WJ

1962 Postcard 1 from Ann Halprin

1962 Postcard 2 from Ann Halprin

1962 Ann Halprin photo4 by WJ

1962 May- Progress Drama Correspondent Jerold Irwin: "You are not likely to find as vital, humorous, bitter, and entertaining a "little theater" musical as "San Francisco's Burning" here in the next few years. The production is especially significant when you consider that such breadth of scope and conception come from an "amateur" repertory company, a company nevertheless that had the courage to undertake what must be judged a major and daring theatrical project.... And we even hear the tone of the city suggested in a wonderfully conceived score by Warner Jepson, which in its tawdry and atonal quality reminds one of "Threepenny Opera" and "Guys and Dolls,"...A tremendously difficult production of an enormously complex poem, "San Francisco's Burning" is almost entirely a success. It should be seen by every San Franciscan, and then everyone every place else."
I took about a year to compose the songs, with no thought of what I was doing other than to get the songs done, one at a time. An added difficulty was that Helen Adam, who had sung her lyrics extemporaneously in her one-woman performances of the show, was frequently unhappy with a song I'd finished. The Playhouse repeatedly had to support me in persuading her that the show should have only one composer. We began rehearsals in September. It was not until we had a run-through of the first act that I heard what it was going to be like.

1962 The Playhouse May Festival 1

1962 The Playhouse May Festival 2

1962 The Playhouse May Festival 3

Actually, I count 60 songs. During the 6 month run to June 10 62, Helen had a nervous breakdown and turned against the production of her work. She never would let it be done with my music, telling me years later in a letter that she had stipulated that in her will! The head of the poetry department at the U. of Buffalo, which bought her works before she died, says there is no will. After asking numerous composers, including Terry Riley, to do it her way, she found one to do it in New York, eliciting the following review: " 'San Francisco's Burning' has almost nothing to recommend it but size...The first act is tedious and the second act is all but intolerable." Yet Helen insisted my music was not right. Because the score was so large and complicated and there was so little time and I hated making proper legible ink copies it remained in pencil and not copyrighted with the words. That left me powerless to produce it without Helen's consent.

1962 Dance News - Ann Halprin photo by WJ

1962 SF Burning in KPFA Folio

1962 SF Burning in KPFA Folio 2

1962 SF Burning in KPFA Folio 3


1963 "Brouhaha" musical review, SF Playhouse


"The Five Legged Stool" photographic exhibit of Halprin Dance Co., SFMOMA
(1962 Ann Halprin photo2 by WJ) ?
(1962 Ann Halprin photo4 by WJ) ?

1964 April 11 "Saddle The Unicorn" book by Dennis Dunn, music by Warner Jepson, SF Playhouse

1964 Saddle The Unicorn - program 1

1964 Saddle The Unicorn - program 2

1964 Saddle The Unicorn - program 3


April 14 1964 SF Examiner: Stanley Eichelbaum: "Jepson's...lovely and haunting outpourings of melody, ranging from dark, moody Alban Bergish atonality to graceful, almost Elizabethan tonality. There is even a charming masque for the animals. ...A brand-new musical work is no cinch. ...it is a novel and enjoyable adventure...
THE BEST PLAYS OF 1963-1964 Paine Knickerbocker: The happiest original local production was a modest comedy with music called Saddle the Unicorn, ...written with a charming freshness by Dennis Dunn, and enhanced by the simple lyric adornments of Warner Jepson.

1964 Saddle the Unicorn - The Playhouse Periodical 1

1964 Saddle the Unicorn - The Playhouse Periodical 2

1964 Saddle the Unicorn - The Playhouse Periodical 3

1964 Saddle the Unicorn - Dennis Dunn article


1965 May 17,18 Tue/Wed; New Music By Robert Erickson premier of "Piece for Bells and Toy Pianos" performed by Warner Jepson, toy pianos film score for Bausch & Laumb, industrial film. Toy pianos "Bells have a complex pitch/timbre structure which gives their sounds a limitless fascination; and toy pianos, which produce tones by means of vibrating rods, have an inherent bell-like timbre and a similar complexity of pitch structure. In this piece, composing consisted of first, carefully selecting bells for their timbre and tuning; then the four master tapes were mixed to create a final stereo version. The bell recordings and the master tapes were made on home equipment, and the final mixing was done at the SF Tape Music Center, with the help of Mr. William Maginnis. The score for the live toy pianos was written last. It requires the performer to play both written and improvised materials.
I sat at the front of the stage on pillows with two toy pianos in front of me, one without legs on top of another. The lid of the top one was off so that I could hit the rods inside with a mallet as well as play the keys. This piece was later filmed by KQED, Bill Triest, producer, for broadcast. Erickson says the film is in the library at U.C. San Diego. Robert invited me to accompany him into the music department at U.C. San Diego in '64 but I suddenly was about to marry and declined. 

1965 Piece for Bells and Toy Piano concert program

1965 Piece for Bells and Toy Piano concert - video

1966- How it started- Begin work on the Buchla Box at 321 Divisadero, the S.F. Tape Music Center first piece, "Joy Journey," I discovered the joys of working with Don Buchla's Box, his first synthesizer, that offered numerous sound possibilities without a map. I could only hope when I sat down at it that I would find something wonderful with it.
As I made my musical discoveries at the "Buchla Box" I would take them to play for friends, often at quite respectable parties that might, but not necessarily, involve a little smoking of pot, of people who were fascinated by the new sounds and the environments they invoked. Entertainment was changing, getting "psychedelic," with stereo sound, "light shows," electronic and tape sound sources, all part of the newness and liberation of the 60's, with plastics, drugs, Kennedy, the Beatles, hippies, and anti-war rebellion.
These parties led to an invitation to play my music at a noon outdoor gathering in the spring at the SF Art Institute. Lee Adair (Hastings), a painter, approached me to play my tapes at her opening at the Berkeley Gallery on Battery Street in 1967; this would be the first of many art openings parties, and exhibitions throughout the Bay Area where I was hired to add my "Buchla music".
1966 May 25 Wed- Bay Area New Music at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
1966 "Excursion" woodwind trio SF Spaghetti Factory concert of electronic pieces, SF Tape Music Center "Terrain" electronic tape SF Conservatory of Music, "Rough Ground" brass, piano, percussion Conservatory of Music, publicity film City College of San Mateo, shared last concert for SF Tape Center at 321 Divisadero 1 ? 2 Twelve Day Raga 3 Joy Journey 4 Dear Pete
1966 May- The last concert at the SF Tape Music Center, 321 Divisadero. This was a joint concert of tape music with Charles MacDermed having the first half and I the second. I played 4 pieces, "12 Day Raga," "Joy Journey," "Dear Pete" and I forget the 4th.
"Joy Journey" was my first piece composed on the Buchla. It has always been one of my favorite pieces using a patch on the sequencer of a longer string of notes than I've ever been able to attain again. It was beginner's luck and a beginner's loss.
The Tape Center was to move to Mills College in the summer. It opened in September under the very open and loose supervision of Pauline Oliveros that made it very conducive to create. The two following years Tony Gnazzo and Lowell Cross held sway. But the years passed and Mills took ever more control of it; when it finally came under the tight control of Robert Ashley I had to leave. But in those three years I managed to compose a couple ballets, movie scores, numerous gallery events, and accumulated over 200 half hour tapes of Buchla sounds.
I always preferred this first 100 series Buchla because the sounds felt earthier, perhaps the sine waves were not so pure. Later when I worked with the 200 series, a set of my own, and one at the National Center for Experiments in Television, I always had more difficulty finding sounds that pleased me, ones that evoked images that weren't cold.

Warner and Buchla box in 1974

Warner Jepson with the Buchla Box 100 music synthesizer - Berkeley Art Museum (in audio/video concert with Stephen Beck - 1974)

Warner Jepson with the Buchla Box 100 music synthesizer - in color 1974

Buchla Box - invented by Warners friend Don Buchla

Don Buchla and machines

Warner's Buchla Box instrument


1966 KQED television

"Joy Journey" electronic piece SF Mills College
Art opening Berkeley Gallery "Vive Tejida" film score (L. Grundberg)
Mar 25 SF Examiner: "Warner Jepson, the San Francisco composer and teacher, has been engaged by the San Francisco Ballet to compose the electronic tape score for Carlos Carvajal's new ballet "TOTENTANZ, to be premiered at the Opera House April 1-2."

1967 Totentaz article

1967 Totentaz - playbill San Francisco Ballet 1

1967 Totentaz - playbill San Francisco Ballet 2

1967 Totentaz - playbill San Francisco Ballet 3

1967 April 1-2 TOTENTANZ SF Opera House
It was James Broughton, filmmaker of "The Bed" who recommended me to a student in his class, Carlos Carvajal, the choreographer of "TOTENTANZ." It was a last minute commission when the SF Ballet c/wouldn't come up with Henze's price to compose the score.
I would go to the Tape Music Center, then at Mills, at 8pm and work through the night at Don Buchla's "box."
The tape consisted of both concrete sounds from my collection at Ann Halprin's, and Buchla sounds from Mills where I put it together rather quickly as the ballet was already in production.
Standing in back of the main floor audience was an anxious affair for me as I wondered how an Opera House audience would accept this new music? [It wasn't as if I was among my hip friends, Bill, Paul, and Simone and Robert, making the scene] I also felt apologetic and worried about the stridency of the 3rd section, which I vacillated between enjoying and hating. I saw a few leave. When Carlos, Cal [the designer], and I walked out on stage for our bows (of this House which I generally attended as an usher) the moment was unreal.
1967 Apr. 3 Mon SF Examiner, Arthur Bloomfield, TOTENTANZ: "The weekend marked the premier of Carlos Carvajal's "TOTENTANZ," and this incredibly spooky, but well-ordered item is very likely the most fascinating new ballet (or call it dance drama) the company has brought out in some time. The score, by Warner Jepson, is electronic. It's an unusually rhythmic job; chock full of evocations, and it reminds us only too well that tape music cries for the theater.

1967 Totentaz article 2

"TOTENTANZ" begins with a lone hum, which also reads as a moan. Already Jepson is expressive and he becomes more so as laborious scraping accompanies a glum procession with a weighty Crucifix, which suggests a Japanese movie. Plaintive peeps, horrendous growls and mindless static mark their harrowing time." 
Apr. 5 Wed Review for broadcast, Rolf Peterson: "TOTENTANZ" ...is a thoroughly modern and tremendously exciting work. Death's ultimate victory over life is a recurrent theme in art...but this is the first modern ballet on the subject I've ever seen. I can't imagine a better one. ...And the electronic score, by Warner Jepson, was perfect. "TOTENTANZ" begins with a medieval procession...and builds to a frantic pitch...climaxing in a fantastic sea of writhing bodies, Fillmore-auditorium style, and one of the greatest light shows I've ever seen. I can't praise Carlos Carvajal's "TOTENTANZ" too highly, ...nor too strongly urge the San Francisco Ballet Company to repeat it."

1968  Feb 22-23 “In a Concert of New Music”, SF Conservatory of Music w/ Peter Magadini

1968 Playbill - Ready Mix with Peter Magadini etal


1968 "The Bed" by James Broughton - Filmscore (Partly on Buchla Box) by Warner Jepson


1968 The Bed - Review in SF Chronicle 1

1968 The Bed - Review in SF Chronicle 2

1968 March "The Bed" Surf Theater Mar 16 The SF Chronicle: "The Bed" which is now playing at the Surf and is James Broughton's first film in more than 10 years, won third prize and $200 in the Foothill College Independent Filmmakers Festival.
While James was editing the film I would look at the segments he was putting together. It was interesting that while I would think I would do this or that for a scene it wasn't until I'd improvised/composed the music that I discovered what would work and where. What was also interesting was that the form of the film gave a good form to the music, putting a lyrical section between two energetic sections, and allowing for the more frenetic and bizarre music to come appropriately near the end-- appropriately, that is, to the male mind.
As I was a teacher at the SF Conservatory I availed myself one evening of the harpsichord and a harp in a room together. Listening to the miked harpsichord through earphones I found the sound much more exciting and improvised a long section, which I recorded on my Revox. Never sure if anything is satisfactory I recorded some more versions. At home, I believe it was, rather than choosing any one, I put one on track A and another on track B that made them rhythmically phase in and out wonderfully. I only added a gradual crescendo to it as it was so long.
I had composed the theme for the titles at home on the piano thinking of the jaunty bed going down hill. But it sounded better on the harpsichord, and again the Revox enabled me to put it on one track and add random harp glisses on the other.
I used this method elsewhere, putting patterns of sound on top of themselves the result being more complex and interesting than anything I could devise or play.
The sound for the man playing a saxophone came from a very difficult Guatemalan oboe that a flutist friend had just discovered.
The grand single cathedral chords near the end were harpsichord chords recorded back at normal and half speed.
The rumble accompanying the mass of feet near the film's end was an exotic homemade guitar's out-of-tune strings stroked and recorded back at half-speed. As I don't play guitar I placed the instrument flat and improvised the music for this and the film's previous section with Alan Watts giving the last rites to Gavin Arthur.
I played harpsichord, harp, piano and guitar to make the music. A friend played flute and the aforesaid oboe. The opening birds and the music for the motorcyclist driving up to the lady on the bed were Buchla sounds.
Apr. 7 SF Examiner, Genevieve Stuttaford: Warner Jepson's music, written scene by scene, uses an intriguing combination of harpsichord, [Buchla synthesizer,] guitar, Guatemalan flute, and harp.
Apr. 14, SF Chronicle J.L.Wasserman: "Throughout, there is a child-like innocence that makes the oft-total nudity almost irrelevant...and a wry affection for man, foibles or no. Warner Jepson's music complements this mood beautifully.
Apr. 14, SF Examiner, Stanley Eichelbaumz: "Broughton filmed it in a lovely glen near Muir Woods, with...50 or so of his friends....[that] include a good many of our aging Bohemians ([Alan Watts, Gavin Arthur, Imogen Cunningham...Jean Varda] and younger semi-hippies... ...the whimsical poetic flavor,...and the pleasant contrapuntal score of Warner Jepson notably heighten the appeal of Broughton's film..."

SF Chronicle Herb Caen: "James Broughton's avant gardnik film, "The Bed," which bounces around under such gloriosities as Alan Watts, Gavin Arthur, Jean Varda, Imogen Cunningham, Wes Wilson and Dame Enid Foster, has been accepted for the Belgian Film Festival in December. San Francisco isn't ready for it."

1968 The Bed - SF Chronicle Herb Caen

SFC Herb Caen - 'The Bed' at Belgian Film Festival in 1970

1968 April 28 Wed SF Art Institute's Studio Tour Apr. 14, SF Examiner, Albert Morch: "...a studio home high atop a Mission hill....The music is strictly electronic and a shapely figure model...wanders about near-nude, begging onlookers to contribute to the Institute cause and...pluck another fabric patch...from her rapidly-baring body. ...achieved her end to the wild throbbings of musical transistorization..."

1968 SF International Film Festival tribute to James Broughton - article

1968 May 15 Wed "The Awakening" S.F. Ballet  NO PICS (C. Carvajal) Dance Spectrum 4 track tape
May 16 The SF Examiner, Alexander Fried: "Imagine a new sort of "white ballet," dolled up in spotless tights, stark electronic noises, mysterious visual projections and hangings of cellophane. That was Carlos Carvajal's new "The Awakening,"...imaginative and interesting...[it] sustained a continuous mood with the help of sound by Warner Jepson...
May 16 The SF Chronical; Robert Commanday: "Carlos Carvajal, whose probing never ceases, introduced his "The Awakening," a multi-form fantasy of electronic sound, light play and dance in extra-deep stage perspective ...achieving an exciting texture of movement. Warner Jepson's electronic score, meanwhile, worked to mirror this effect in sound around the audience perimeter. Although the "melodies" and ostinato rhythms with which Jepson initiated most sections were obvious, he built tremendous momentum in their development. William Ham's projection paintings were artfully blended so that movement, light and sound seemed to move closer in a single entity."
I decided to make "The Awakening" quadraphonic, because it was a burgeoning idea at the time as manufacturers tried to entice the public to set up quadraphonic systems in their homes as the latest improvement to "realistic" listening.
The problem I had was in not have a 4 track recorder or playback system. At Mills, on the 2 stereo Ampex machines, I would take sounds from my library of Buchla material, record them from one Ampex to another, either on the 2 tracks separately or in stereo. This stereo-recorded tape would be Tape 1. I'd then take it off and put on the tape that would be Tape 2, record on it material that I expected would happen at the same time with Tape 1. To hear the results I'd have to play Tape 1 and Tape 2 simultaneously, generally from the end of the paper leader to confirm their accuracy. Keeping track of what was on tape 1 and where it was with tape 2, and vice versa, became nettlesome as the 20 minute piece grew. I never knew what I'd produced until I played Tape 1 and Tape 2 simultaneously and making adjustments I would lose my place between the two tapes since the source tape would have to take the place of one of them. I learned to mark points in the middle of the tapes that I could start from. I finally learned as I played the two tapes at different performances that sometimes the different results would matter and sometimes they wouldn't. Which is true with all synchronicity: between film and music, between track A and B (as in The Bed) between dancer and music, precision isn't always all.

1968 Sep 9 SF Chronicle Oscar de La Renta fashion show at the Art Institute Sep 8 SF Chronicle: "...it will be September 9 at a black-tie dance at the San Francisco Art Institute, ...accompanied by an electronic tape composed by Warner Jepson."

1968 Sep 9 - SF Chronicle Oscar de La Renta fashion show at the Art Instituteaccompanied by an electronic tape composed by Warner Jepson

Sep 11 SF Chronicle: "...interesting taped music by Warner Jepson kept the 20-minute show at a fast clip..."
When the president of Sak's 5th Ave. told Oscar only 3 weeks before his fashion show that someone was making electronic music for his show he flipped because the clothes were an oriental theme, not modern, hi-tech. When the same president told me of Oscar's reaction I went back to the Mills Tape Center to make more sounds with an oriental flavor, reedy flutes, Egyptian rhythms.
1968 Oct 5- Dialectic Fashion Dance, The show will feature live and taped music by Warner Jepson whose jinglings and janglings stirred up all the controversy at the Bill Blass and Oscar de La Renta fashion shows here. Photos in album made by mom

1968, Dec. "The Devil's Disciple" A.C.T. Geary Theatre, Bill Ball

1969 February, David Williams environment, I named the accompanying music “Tulliam”.
Feb. 13, SF Chronicle, Thomas Albright: "Williams work at the Hansen Fuller Gallery is a pair of huge constructions, formed of modular big-inch fiberglass tubes, painted in a bright, industrial orange and arranged in dynamic variations on an L. The cylinders are cut open in various sections, and each of the two structures is equipped with huge sound speakers and sources of flashing light.
One contains a cockpit with a bucket seat lined in imitation leopard-skin; you can sit inside while Warner Jepson's electronic music blasts out of a speaker just above your head, slide projections (emanating from a slightly higher point) spin pictures of the tube in various natural sites on the wall in front of you, and a TV set at your feet translates the rhythmic patterns of the sounds into flickering, pulsating lines.
The other construction is a more passive affair, with some thin, transparent tubing that flickers light and color and its own speaker, which catches the sound from the first construction and tosses it back again, lending the pair a strange sense of male-female symbiosis.
Williams, a Seattle architect, says his work is "an attempt to synthesize some of the consumer directed electronic products with form in a total entertainment center, with television, sound, light and projection capabilities." This is certainly an exciting possibility for those with tolerant landlords."

Berkeley Gallery Opening [Wintersteen's Gallery] Lee Hasting Show, First music
"Invisible Art" exhibit (T. Marioni) Richmond Art Center 
"Dedication Ball" program director SF Art Institute, music
"Alice in Wonderland" A.C.T.
"Placidity" music during exhibit (L. Bell, W. Irwin) SFMOMA
"Christmas Party" electronic carols SFMOMA, (hired Bill Irwin, clown)
1969 Berkeley Gallery [a private gallery in San Francisco] "We are fortunate to have for our opening a composition of electronic music especially composed for the occasion by the noted composer and friend of the Gallery, Warner Jepson, who has played his intriguing work at previous openings of Berkeley Gallery Artists in San Francisco and in Santa Barbara at the Museum."

1969 Sept. - Artform Magazine article

ARTFORUM: In a room to itself was a multimedia environmental contrivance collaboratively devised by David Williams, who was responsible for its conception and design, and Warner Jepson, who composed the recorded electronic music which issues from built-in speakers. ...One may lower oneself into this cockpit, fiddle with the dials and watch oscillographic light patterns on the screen or lean back against the headrest and listen to the repeating cycle of episodes of electronic music. The lush and lyrical quasi-impressionistic, quasi-quartal, major 9th chord resonance of a G-C-F-A chord structure arpeggiated downwards in simulated flute-stop organ tones was lyrically restful and alternated with brief hypnotic variations in a manner suggestive of the three-tone horn accompanied by various batteries of drums to be heard in African tribal music.
David Williams was an architect friend of my friend David Robinson an architect art collector, at whose house parties I'd bring my latest crop of Buchla pieces.
For this exhibit which lasted much longer than a half-hour tape, namely a month of days, I had to find a tape that was newly available that looped back into itself. It frequently failed requiring me to come to the gallery with a fix.
Apr. 1 Tue, SF Chronicle: "For the 1969 art party, Warner Jepson will have charge of music and happenings, and has already designed "a mystical atmosphere" of lights and electronic tapes at the entrance leading from the old building to the new that will envelope guests as they are led down the ramp [under a red laser beam] and into the enormous new sculpture studios."

1969 KQED - National Center for Experiments in Television 1

1969 KQED - National Center for Experiments in Television 2

Richmond Art Center - California 1

Richmond Art Center - California 2

Richmond Art Center - California 3

Richmond Art Center - California 4 - Retrospective Warner Jepson

1969 May "Invisible Art" exhibit at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond CA, curator Thomas Marioni a group show of painting and sculpture, my Buchla music was, necessarily, the only audio participant throughout the run of the exhibit.
1969 May 28 Art Institute new wing dedication
May 27 SF Chronicle: "The major new building of the San Francisco Art Institute will be previewed at a celebration tomorrow from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. At the pre-dedication party for members, faculty and guests will enter the new buildings down a fog-shrouded ramp, directed by a laser beam pattern.... Artists Tom Marioni, Ronald Chase and Peter Maccan will expect studio environments conceived by musician Warner Jepson. Rows of colored floor lights in reflective patterns will transform one studio...
At 11pm music by The Cleveland Wrecking Company and the Clean-X will be interrupted for a serpentine of ballet dancers, models and musicians, leading guests up the ramp to the open Plaza Level, where a brief dedication ritual will take place. Outside by the new lecture hall and amphitheater, light shows by the Holy See and the Goshen Mustang will be projected to the accompaniment of electronic tapes by Warner Jepson. Inside there will be a continuous showing of experimental films by Institute faculty and students."
May 29 SF Chronicle, Frances Moffat: "As the neighbors don't have to be told the San Francisco Art Institute celebrated its smashing $1.7 million new building last night with a preview for at least two thousand noisy, merrymakers... A fog machine created a misty effect on the ramp leading to the new building and laser beams directed guests into enormous new sculpture and painting studios. Avant-garde musician Warner Jepson and artists Tom Marioni, Ronald Chase and Peter Maccan had transformed these into ingenious environments. One, overlooking the bay, was designed as a meditation room, with cellophane cushions on the floor. Guests walked through intricate arrangements of angled mirrors in one studio,....last night's program of light shows, electronic tapes and experimental films indicates it is clearly ready for the 21st Century."
May 30 SF Chronicle; Thomas Albright: "The San Francisco Art Institute's new building was previewed Wednesday night in an extravaganza of hard rock, liquid lights, electronic music and draped and undraped dancing girls. The spectacle, with its cast of some 2000 guests, was enough to blow the mind of Fellini, or Cecil B. De Mille. And of out-of-towner delegates to the American Association of Museums conference here, who mingled with the throng of artists, hippies and establishment types that coursed through corridors aid machine-made fog, lasers, incense and an occasional whiff of pot. "It's giving me a lot of ideas to take back home,' said a museum rep from the Midwest.
The [roof's] open plaza was the site of the preview's most engrossing spectacle, a mod pagan dedication ritual in which dancers performed to electronic music in a flood of light projections while the silhouettes of spectators lined a roof that stair-steps above a large lecture hall."

1969 May 30 SF Chronicle article - A Wild Scene at the Institute 1

1969 May 30 SF Chronicle article - A Wild Scene at the Institute 2

May 30 SF Chronicle, Frances Moffat: "...Thomas Hoving, director of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, wandered happily about, approving of everything in general and, in particular, of Warner Jepson's electronic tapes--which he wants to borrow for his museum."

May 30 Fri. The New York Times: "With a new generation of Bohemia joining in, San Francisco celebrated a $1.7 million addition to the San Francisco Art Institute at a party that was still blasting away with electronic music at 3 o'clock this morning."
Ask carlos for pics/program
1969 May "Peace" for flute and tape music, commissioned by Owen James for his graduation recital. The room [stage] is dark. As the tape sound emanates from nothing the light on stage grows like dawn. A person sits [or lies] on floor looking toward the opposite back corner of the stage. When flute-like Buchla sounds are heard the performer picks up a flute nearby and plays as if stimulated by and improvising to the heard flute. It is peaceful, personal, private. Some ominous darkness comes into the tape music causing some tension but it passes like a distant storm. Peace returns; done, the flutist lays down the flute, and returns to the original state of rest. The light and the music fade slowly out together.
1969 May 18, 25; Mountain Theater, Mt. Tamalpias State Park, Marin; "The World We Live In" Warner Jepson has composed a score of electronic music for "The World We Live In"
The play's characters were insects and electronic music was thought to be appropriate. It was the first time electronic music had been used in the Mountain Play, which usually performed Broadway musicals.

1969 SF Chronicle article - Machine Show - Electronic Tape music by WJ

1969 Jun. 16 Thu "The Machine Show" SF Museum of Modern Art Jun. 9 Mon, SF Chronicle, France Moffat: "Having recovered, more or less, from the S.F. Art Institute's celebration of

its new building, art-oriented society is getting set for the opening of the enormous machine show that will fill the galleries of the SF Museum of Art. Warner Jepson, who did the tapes for the institute's blast-off, is composing a sound track called "The Machine" to blend with the crash, clash, whir and chug of the more than 200 works of art. The show originated at the NY Museum of Modern Art."

Jun. 26 The SF Chronicle, France Moffat: "At tonight's preview of the great Machine Show, there will be a sound-activated "Musicoon" in the center of the stage of Rotunda Gallery. Guests will be urged to lean [their head] inside and listen to Warner Jepson's taped music. The Musicoon...is based on R. Buckminster Fuller's famous geodesic

1969 Machine Show article - electronic music by Warner Jepson

Jun. 27 Fri. SF Chronicle, Herb Caen: "...the opening of "The Machine Age" show, a collection of movable objects operating with irresistible force to the tune of unearthly sounds concocted by Warner Jepson. It is all weird, fantastic and demented--in short, right in tempo with times. Conclusion: One museum is alive and swinging in San Francisco."

1969 June - SF Chronicle - 'unearthly sounds concocted by Warner Jepson. It is all weird, fantastic and demented' 1

1969 June - SF Chronicle - 'unearthly sounds concocted by Warner Jepson. It is all weird, fantastic and demented' 2

1969 June - SF Chronicle - 'unearthly sounds concocted by Warner Jepson. It is all weird, fantastic and demented' 3

Jun. 27 The SF Chronicle, France Moffat; "Inside the foyer, the crowds were greeted by electronic music, which was broadcast throughout galleries filled with everything from a replicas of da Vinci's flying machine to kinetic, computer and electronic sculpture."
Jun. 27 Fri., Albert Morch; A Sexy Scene Amid Machines: "If those at last night's SF Museum of Art preview of "The Machine..." weren't turned-on, they were at least tuned-in to the scene. 'The people mixture is one of the best social commentaries we've had in a long time,' said committee member Dohrmann. 'Twenty years ago there would be no cross-mingling such as this.' All of society was represented--the elite, Yellow Page Society and the rest of us. It may have been the night air...or the electronic music of Warner Jepson, but whatever, the atmosphere was sensual. 'I think the pulsation of the Jepson tapes are sexual," said...art commission member Sally Hellyer. ...Martha Jackson, owner of [a] New York gallery disagreed. 'It sounds like someone walking with creaking feet.' ...few have ever seen a preview where everyone appeared to be having so much innocent fun."
1969 Jul. 20 Sun, "Moon Walk" party at Design Center, Front Street a huge video projection screen and television sets were placed about the rooms of the party area to watch the moon walk as it happened. I hung, rather precariously, my B. Fuller fiberglass geodesic dome from rafters over the entrance hall with lights to make it glow, and played Buchla music throughout the party until the video got exciting.

1969 Moonwalk - Dance Magazine cover

1969 Moonwalk - Dance Magazine photo

1969 Nov. 9 Sun, The Sun Gallery opening on Union Street Buchla music

1969 November "Placidity" SF Museum of Modern Art exhibited 2 single pieces in plastic by Larry Bell and Robert Irwin. a room in the SF M of Modern Art was devoted to 2 modern pieces in plastic by Larry Bell and Robert Irwin. I was asked to add music in the room to enhance their viewing (requiring another loop for the month's run).
1969 December "Christmas Party" I was asked to make music the annual family Christmas event. I went to Mills (forgetting to bring any Christmas music!) and tuned the slots in the metal strip to notes for various carols, letting the sequence add rhythm at times, and improvised some Christmas type (Austrian, I thought) music.
1969 Dec, 6-7 "Peace" flute and tape commissioned by O. James, SF Conservatory  Of Music

1969 SF Conservatory Artists Ensemble - Program cover

1969 SF Conservatory Artists Ensemble - Program