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ElectronicSound & Image in the 1960's.

The 1960's cultural climate invited experimental programs with emerging electronic technology to heighten personal and group experience. With floor to ceiling projection,  amplified sound and students seated on pillows,  audio visual presentations created a vibrant shared experience. My psalms were created for a generation undergoing radical cultural change.



Presentation of the Psalms in Sound & Image, Seton Hill University, Greensburg, Pa., 1966.



Psalms in Sound and Image

Five electronically synchronized Psalms in Sound and Image, were produced between 1966 and 1967 in my monastic studio at St Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania. .These audio visuals  are  songs of praise and wonder of  the experience of life.



Sound track by Daniel Lentz , 1966  is aLovesong for Medeighnia”, recorded in 1967 at Tanglewood with Phyllis Bryn-Julson as Soprano. (See:  About Daniel Lentz below)

Untitled brush & crayon drawing, 18 by 13.5 inches. Victoria and Albert Museum Collection London.  This drawing is slide #17 in the Psalm of Love.

Above: One of many drawings made in 1966 and 1967 for the Psalms in Sound and Image project. These images grew from my "experience" drawings made in Paris in 1962 and 1963.  Similar energy can be seen in  the concrete castings created for the new St Vincent Monastery in 1965-66. 

The Play Psalm presents a playful sequence of objects, drawings and provocative images synchronized with a sound track by Daniel Lentz.


The electronic equipment was packed in this trunk and shipped by Railway Express to the various cities where the Psalms were presented. 


The Psalms in Sound and Image  were presented with Kodak Carousels and projectors coupled to a Wollensak  Stereo reel to reel tape deck with amplifiers and speakers. This  sound and image technology preceded video and was popular for events in the 1960's where large images synchronized with sound were presented both indoors and outdoors. These psalms were presented at over 26 venues in 1967 & 1968. Presentations included universities and retreat centers in cities from the midwest to the East coast. This included the Christmas Holidays at Marymount Manhattan in December 1967.  The Psalms were also presented for MIA associates  at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and several interested associations in Minnesota in 1968.

About Daniel Lenz, Composer

Daniel Lenz,  a graduate of St Vincent College, Latrobe, PA,   achieved notability as a musician as a graduate student at Brandeis University. Awarded a fellowship in composition at Tanglewood in the summer of 1966, he recorded his “Lovesong for Medeighnia” with Phyllis Bryn-Julson as Soprano. He brought that recording to Roman's monastic studio at St Vincent  where he synchronized his sound track with the Psalm of Love.

 Daniel Lenz  received a Fulbright Fellowship in Electronic Music in 1967–68 that he completed in Stockholm, Sweden. As a visiting lecturer  at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he  formed a music ensemble, the “California Time Machine” that  toured North America and Europe.

In 1972, he  won the Gaudeamus International Composers Award.  More awards and grants followed and he formed  another music ensemble, the San Andreas Fault, that toured  North America and Europe with several recordings released  in Europe. Returning to California, he  formed the Daniel Lentz Group in Los Angeles. This ensemble has toured much of the world and released  a number of recordings. His 1987 album The Crack in the Bell was the first contemporary classical release from  Angel/EMI Records.

See also:



Note 1.   In 1966 Wollensak marketed the  5280 and 5300 Stereo Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorders. This Wollensak commercial, posted  on You Tube,  helps us understand  how exciting it was, at that time, to have two speakers with stereo sound.  While we sacrificed one track for triggering slides we tried to make up for it with amplifiers and large speakers.  See the vintage 1966 commercial:

Note 2. The Kodak Synchronizer employed one stereo track to trigger the slides and the other track carried the sound. My equipment was packed in a trunk that was shipped by Railway express that made it easy to travel the show.  The system was easily connected to sound systems in various auditoriums. 

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