Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Warner Jepson-Totentanz ,LP/CD-R,1972,Iceland

commissioned by the san francisco ballet company. premiered at the san francisco opera house april 1967. performed on national tour and at the palace of fine arts 1972 and by the san francisco dance spectrum at grace cathedral 1971 - 1972. costumes and production designed by cal anderson.
warner jepson was raised in bethlehem, pennsylvania and attended oberlin conservatory. he has written scores for two musicals as well as several films and tv documentaries. in the past four years he has created total environments of sound, odor, and movement for the san francisco museum of art and was commisioned to do the centennial party for the san francisco art institute. he was on the staff of the san francisco conservatory before deciding to devote full time to composition. he resides in san francisco with his wife + children.
The a-side piece contains a long section of tape-based concrète; lo-fi pre-industrial thudding, dissonant piano stabs. and much repetition (you’ll want to crawl inside this bit and never come out...) - this gives way to a great blast of weird-synth patterns that closes out the side... on the flip there’s even further mystery layers, which slowly give way to the most amazing bit of terry riley lineage repetitive minimal synth figuring and blasted spring reverb & gated riffing. completely awe-inspiring, with a demonic-looking cover to boot (depicting some sort of skeletons-and-ghouls-as-wedding-processional ceremony no less.)

An industrial masterpiece!Years ahead of it's time!
As requested!
NOTE: this link has now been removed as this material has now been reissued on Melon Expander Records as part of a 2xCD set covering a wealth of Jepson's work. It can be found


Anonymous said...

The name "Warren" seems to be a mistake on the CD-R released in Iceland (see : ): Warner is the correct name.For those interested in a more detailed account of the life & work of this composer :

Joe Seph

Anonymous said...

I saw one of the performances in Grace Cathedral back in '71 and it was great. I bought the LP and was just thinking the other day that this has to be one Mutant Sounds doesn't have and would love. This blog is amazing.
-Lhasa Crawler

Jim Flannery said...

FWIW this is now in print from Melon Expander as part of a loaded 2-CD set featuring several decades' worth of material.

Anonymous said...


Quality Radio Productions said...

I was wondering if perhaps you could repost this album when you had time. I know about the 2 CD set, as I tried to acquire it. Unfortunately, Melon Expander Records appears to be no more. When I tried to go to their site, I got a mostly blank page with Japanese Characters and a logo for an Internet Services company in Japan. So, It may even be okay to upload the compilation. But, I'm very interested in hearing Totentanz. I just wish I'd found this entry sooner.

Take care.