Friday, January 12, 2018

Mort Garson - 1970 - Didn't You Hear?

Mort Garson 
Didn't You Hear?

01. Didn't You Hear?
02. No Smoking
03. Dream Sequence 1
04. Dream Sequence 2
05. Kevin's Theme
06. Sail! Sail!
07. Kevin And Paige
08. Bamboo City
09. Walk To Grange Hall
10. Virgil's Theme
11. Walk To The Other Side Of The Island
12. Death Talk And Jeep Approach
13. Jeep Ride
14. Dead Tree
15. Didn't You Hear? (End Title)

- Mort Garson / Moog Synthesizer
- Tom Muncrief / Vocals

Soundtrack to a film that was filmed on location on Lopez Island in the San Juan Island chain in Washington State and the University of Washington campus in Seattle and was aired briefly in Seattle theaters. The album was available only in theater outlets and not in stores.
Front cover: 'The first completely electronically scored motion picture! Experience sounds and sensations you never have before'. 

Custom Fidelity subtly altered the rainbow art color scheme of their record label during mid-pressings of this record as indicated in the above images, though it is not known which pressings were days or weeks earlier (as production was very low) and each versions matrix runout and label numbering remained identical. 

Original 1970 release. This movie and album was released December 16, 1970 in Seattle and filmed mainly on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands chain and University of Washington campus during the Summer of '70. This album soundtrack was available exclusively in the theater lobbies (not sold in stores), and had a very low production. This film played briefly at local Seattle theaters and then disappeared. It was released on video in '83. 

Composer/keyboardist Mort Garson (Modular Moog) and Tom Muncrief (vocals) are not credited on the record cover or labels, including other credits added above. Tom Muncrief was the vocalist in The Beckett Quintet (a garage band from Portales, New Mexico). The individual compositions were written mainly for the film with several from Mort's unused 60's sound library. Two tracks are excerpts of songs which appeared on two of Mort's later albums 'The Unexplained' (1975) and 'Black Mass' (1971) while the rest of the soundtrack is mostly melodic, dreamy and psychedelic.

Soundtrack to a real obscure film that only aired in Seattle theaters, I know little of the film, but the soundtrack album, which you could only get in Seattle theaters at the time, meant this LP is a guaranteed rarity (I used to live in Seattle for a short time in the 1990s, don't recall seeing this one, but then again, back then I never heard of Mort Garson, so who knows). This, and Music For Sensuous Lovers, which came out the next year (1971) seems to be Mort Garson's most obscure electronic albums. Didn't You Hear? only features vocals on two cuts, the bookended title tracks, the rest are short instrumental pieces. There is no denying this is Mort Garson and his modular Moog, in fact musically, it sounds not too different from Signs of the Zodiac series from the previous year, but no narrations to get in the way. More great electronic music from the early days of electronic. I like how (Electronic Hair Pieces aside) that he avoided doing Moog renditions of other people's songs and doing original material, and this album proves that. It's too bad A&M did not release that, then it would have been widely available, instead of on Custom Fidelity in Seattle theater lobbies (although the label was based out of California, so I'm guess it wasn't released elsewhere as the film was never aired outside Seattle). If you can find a copy, this album is required in your collection if you enjoy Mort Garson's electronic music.

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