July 20, 2015

20,000 Vinyl LPs 47: King Crimson ~ In the Court of the Crimson King (An Observation By King Crimson) & Barry Godber

vinyl LP cover painting by 
Barry Godber

photos by Styrous®

Most of the great vinyl LP purchases I've made has been because of the art/design on the album cover. Such was the case with this album, In the Court of the Crimson King (An Observation By King Crimson) by King Crimson.  

I had never heard of the group before but the cover grabbed me by the eyeballs and never let go. Anyway, how could you pass up a title like that?   

Barry Godber (1946–1970), a computer programmer, painted the album cover. Godber died in February 1970 of a heart attack, shortly after the album's release. It was his only album cover, and is now owned by Robert Fripp. Fripp had said about Godber: 
Peter brought this painting in and the band loved it. I recently recovered the original from [managing label E.G. Records's] offices because they kept it exposed to bright light, at the risk of ruining it, so I ended up removing it. The face on the outside is the Schizoid Man, and on the inside it's the Crimson King. If you cover the smiling face, the eyes reveal an incredible sadness. What can one add? It reflects the music. 

King Crimson ~ In the Court of the Crimson King
back cover painting by Barry Godber
vinyl LP cover

King Crimson ~ In the Court of the Crimson King
 cover painting by Barry Godber
vinyl LP gatefold cover

King Crimson ~ In the Court of the Crimson King
 interior painting by Barry Godber
vinyl LP gatefold interior

King Crimson ~ In the Court of the Crimson King
 interior painting by Barry Godber
vinyl LP gatefold interior detail

side 1:

side 2:

Godber's art snagged me but the music kept me coming back. I went on to collect almost all of the Crimson works which I will write about, eventually.

King Crimson was labeled, "The Band that will Live Forever"!

Links to more info & music below


Side 1:   

1 - 21st Century Schizoid Man including Mirrors
                         - written by Lake*, McDonald*, Giles*, Sinfield*, Fripp* - 7:21
2 - I Talk To The Wind
                         - written by McDonald*, Sinfield* - 6:08
3 - Epitaph including March For No Reason and Tomorrow And Tomorrow
                         - written by Lake*, McDonald*, Giles*, Sinfield*, Fripp* - 8:52

Side 2:

1 - Moonchild including The Dream and The Illusion
                         - written by Lake*, McDonald*, Giles*, Sinfield*, Fripp* - 12:15
2 - The Court Of The Crimson King including The Return Of The Fire Witch and The Dance Of The Puppets
                         - written by McDonald*, Sinfield* - 9:25

Companies etc.



Terre Haute pressing with CTH suffix in matrix.

Textured gatefold sleeve.

Barcode and Other Identifiers:

  • Matrix / Runout (A Side Label): ST-A-691699CTH
  • Matrix / Runout (B Side Label): ST-A-691700CTH
  • Matrix / Runout (A Side Etch): S T A691699-1B 1 CTH T
  • Matrix / Runout (B Side Etch): S T A691700-1B 1 CTH T

King Crimson ‎– In The Court Of The Crimson King An Observation By King Crimson
Label: Atlantic ‎– SD 8245
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: US
Released: 1969
Genre: Rock
Style: Prog Rock

Links on the Net:
Pure and Easy Ode to Barry Godver           
The Dork Report      
Artists UK Great album art and strange stories 


        Songs on YouTube:
21st Century Schizoid Man
I Talk To The Wind   
The Court Of The Crimson King     

Styrous® ~ Monday, July 20, 2015

July 19, 2015

ButohPhoto Workshop @ the Gray Loft Gallery

Butohdrawing Performance, Cyprus 2000
 video still

ButohPhoto Workshop 
offered at Gray Loft Gallery

A workshop by
Tom White, Betty Jo Costanzo, Styrous and Kyung Lee 

 Workshop: Wednesday and Thursday, August 12 – 13
6:00 to 9:00 pm

ButohPhoto Performance by class participants at 
Gray Loft Gallery:
2nd Friday ArtWalk, August 14, 7:00 pm

The workshop will be directed by Tom White, Betty Jo Costanzo and Styrous. For more than two decades they have created workshops domestically and internationally including a residency in Cyprus where they created and performed

For more information about the instructors, please visit their websites:
Tom WhiteBetty Jo CostanzoStyrous and Kyung Lee.

The two-day workshop will consist of learning the Butoh discipline – which is a way to discover how to perceive the world through peripheral vision and all of our six senses – the elements of Butoh movement and performance.

The instructors will demonstrate how the act of taking a photo with Butoh heightened perception is a way of seeing the world around us in a very unusual way.  Smart phones and video cameras will be used to record and project the collected images into the gallery space.

The conclusion of the two-day workshop will be a Friday performance, where the participants will incorporate the concepts learned at the workshop, presented during the monthly 2nd Friday ArtWalk at
Gray Loft Gallery at 7:00 pm.
For more info on Butohdrawing, click here and here.


Workshop Details:
Open to ten participants  (sign up today - space is limited)
Wednesday and Thursday, August 12 – 13, 6:00 to 9:00 pm
2nd Friday ArtWalk, August 14, 7:00 pm: ButohPhoto Performance by workshop participants
Performance experience not required
Bring a smart phone or small camera
$100 donation to the Gray Loft Gallery  (sliding scale available)
ontact the gallery to register by August 1.  

Butohdrawing Performance, Cyprus 2000

2889 Ford Street, third floor, Oakland
(not wheelchair accessible)

July 14, 2015

1,000,001 CDs 4: Thoth ~ The Herma: Act One

Thoth ~ The Herma: Act One
photo by Romaine Photography 
CD detail  
detail photo by Styrous®

From the 70's to the '90's, I would use one of the Mission Street BART stations in San Francisco. In the cavernous underground entrances, street musicians would perform. This is where I first encountered Thoth. Each encounter was an amazing experience; he would speak, sing, play the violin and with bells around his ankles, dance complex rhythms; all at the same time. He sang in a language he created, the language of the Festad, a mythical people and land he also created and was the subject of his "Solopera", The Herma, a one-man opera. And he sang all the roles including the female ones. His magnificent voice ranged from a brazen, guttural baritone to a dazzling countertenor. It was a mind blower, to be sure. 

Thoth ~ The Herma: Act One
photo by Styrous®

The first time I saw him, I bought this CD album, The Herma; it is amazing and I was hooked. I subsequently bought several of his other albums but the Herma is my love; perhaps that is because it was my first album by him. Your first love is always the one you remember.   

Thoth ~ The Herma: Act One
back cover photo by Romaine Photography
photo of CD by Styrous®

Thoth ~ The Herma: Act One
back cover photo by Romaine Photography
photo of CD by Styrous®

And, of course, this album has a cut that is my favorite. It is Homio from Scene 4. At not even 2 minutes, it is one of the most striking pieces of music I have ever heard. It is a lilting but robust waltz with violin, bells and Thoth vocals ranging up, down, over and everywhere in every vocal range imaginable from all the various roles. He performs an extended version of the song on YouTube (link to aria on YouTube).

Thoth ~ The Herma: Act One
back cover detail
photo by Styrous®

Stephen Kaufman chose the name of Thoth, an ancient Egyptian deity because he perceived Egypt to historically be "the center for mixed races". Thoth began "prayforming" this one man opera in San Francisco, and then New York. Thoth was the subject of the Academy Award winning documentary Thoth. Kaufman holds a degree in comparative literature from San Francisco State University.  

The Herma: Act One

The Herma: Act One is based upon metaphorical legends from the mythological world of the Festad - a land about which Thoth has been writing since he was a child.    

Thoth ~ The Herma: Act One
back cover detail
photo by Styrous®

Thoth ~ The Herma: Act One
The Sacred Luva
CD booklet cover
photo by Styrous®

The CD is accompanied by a libretto with the complete history and a map of the fabled land Thoth has created.  


(click on any image for slideshow)

Track listing:
1. Anya - 6:11
2. Recit - 1:40
3. Nular-in - 3:13
4. Recit - 1:46
5. Festad - 5:34
6. Recit - 1:22
7. Balo - 3:27
8. Recit - 0:47
9. Homio - 1:48
10. Recit - 0:47
11. An - 3:16
12. Recit - 0:28
13. O Fyuin Du - 4:53
14. Recit - 2:09
15. Veni So Felato - 5:34
16. Recit - 1:25
17. Interlude - 2:31
18. Recit - 0:41
19. Une Vela - 3:17
20. Recit - 0:35
21. Mama - 3:58
23. Hunana - 3:23
24. Recit - 1:37
25. Hu - 3:16   
26. Recit - 0:32
27. Ilmir Dance - 2:15

Label: Not On Label (Thoth Self-released) ‎– CD 005
Format: CD
Country: US
Released: 1999   
Genre: Classical, Folk, World, & Country              
Style: Folk, Spoken Word

Recorded and mixed by David Bell at Bellboy Recording, Richmond, CA

The album photograph was by Romaine Photography which was a popular photography studio dating back to the 1940s. It was run by Karl and Emilie Romaine. All performance talent went to them for publicity stills.  

Thoth ~ The Herma: Act One
back cover detail
photo by Styrous®

Thoth ~ The Herma: Act One
back cover detail
photo by Styrous®

Thoth on the Net: 
Thoth website         
Thoth performing on YouTube
Thoth Wandrly Magazine interview    
Thoth Wandrly Magazine interview        
LA Times article   
Metroactive article     
Newsreview article
Romain Photography images on the Net                 

Styrous® ~ Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 11, 2015

Barcelona ~ Vendrell @ 70

I am 75 years old today. WOW! 
How did this happen?

I woke up this morning and, as I usually do, lay in bed contemplating what I need to do for the day, my life, etc., what was, what is, etc., all the things one does to pull it together. I thought about the many wonderful birthdays I’ve had and played a game of which one was the one I like the best. I realized there were too many to choose from so I picked the one five years ago. And why it is so special for me is that I spent a lot of the day alone doing what I love most, taking photos. On my birthday, that has never happened.  

I was in Barcelona and a friend of ours invited us to go to Bisbal in Tarragona for the weekend, so we did. The party (one to beat the band) was on Saturday. The next morning I woke up at 6 AM and decided I want to explore on my own. I took the car and discovered El Vendrell.

I found a beautiful town with all the things that make one special. This one had murals painted everywhere, all the touches of an old past, the required church, they had discovered recycling to art and they were in the now.       

(click on any image for slideshow)

Yeah, it was a great one!

 Styrous® ~ Saturday, July 11, 2015

July 4, 2015

The births of Steven Sasson & the digital camera

Today I'm celebrating two important anniversaries, neither of which have anything what-so-ever to do with the Declaration of Independence.   

Sixty-five years ago, Steven Sasson was born on the 4th of July, 1950, in Brooklyn, New York. Twenty-five years later in 1975 (forty years ago), when he was 25, he invented the digital camera (link below). 

Steven Sasson & his digital camera
photo by Steve Kelly

Sasson, was an engineer at Eastman Kodak at the time when he invented and built the first electronic camera using a charge-coupled device image sensor in 1975. It weighed 8 pounds (3.6 kg) and had only 0.01 megapixels. The image was recorded onto a cassette tape and this process took 23 seconds. The camera only took images in black and white. To play back images, data was read from the tape and then displayed on a television set. Needless to say, his invention revolutionized photography and The medium would never be the same.   

digital camera prototype developed for

Sasson said, "It had a lens that we took from a used parts bin from the Super 8 movie camera production line downstairs from our little lab on the second floor in Bldg 4. On the side of our portable contraption, we shoehorned in a portable digital cassette instrumentation recorder. Add to that 16 nickel cadmium batteries, a highly temperamental new type of CCD imaging area array, an a/d converter implementation stolen from a digital voltmeter application, several dozen digital and analog circuits all wired together on approximately half a dozen circuit boards, and you have our interpretation of what a portable all electronic still camera might look like."          

On November 17, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Sasson the National Medal of Technology and Innovation at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. This is the highest honor awarded by the US government to scientists, engineers, and inventors.

left: Steven Sasson                 right: President Barack Obama   
photographer unknown

On the 6th of September, 2012, The Royal Photographic Society awarded Sasson its Progress medal and Honorary Fellowship in recognition of any invention, research, publication or other contribution that has resulted in an important advance in the scientific or technological development of photography or imaging in the widest sense.

Leica Camera AG honored Sasson by presenting to him a limited edition 18-megapixel Leica M9 Titanium camera (engraved with the serial number = 4,000,000) during Photokina 2010.

Links to more info about Steven Sassn 
                   and the digital camera:
Birth of the digital camera             
The Dawn of Digital Photography     
Sasson speakes about how he invented the digital camera video              

Happy birthday, Steven, and thank you, thank you, thank you!

Styrous® ~ July 4, 2015