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by Henry Jacobs
CATCH-UP: Henry Jacobs (1924 to 2015) was an American sound artist and radio presenter. Henry Sandy Jacobs was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on Octobr 9th 1924. He got his start in radio satire in the 1940s at the University of Illinois, hosting a show called "Music and Folklore". Initially setting out to do serious interviews, he would sometimes invent an interviewee if no suitable one could be found. He took his radio show with him to San Francisco in 1952, and, two years later, his friend Mo Asch, who ran the 'Folkways' label, asked to release some highlights. After the LP came out, Jacobs got offers to 'cross over' into stand-up comedy, but declined. Instead, he concentrated in his laboratory on tape-and-edit techniques, gathering fans of this work, such as sound designer Walter Murch (who later won 'Academy Awards' for his work on the films "Apocalypse Now" and "The English Patient"). Murch and director George Lucas later called Jacobs in to do an improvisation for the soundtrack to their 1971 sci-fi film "THX 1138". For a while Jacobs created conventional radio ads for Japan Airlines and worked as an audio-visual consultant for Bank of America. But he was involved in other ventures, too. He co-organised the "vortex" experiments, a series of mind-expanding sound and light concerts at a San Francisco planetarium starting in 1957 (which also influenced Murch's work on "Apocalypse Now"). They featured the work of such composers as John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen, as well as Jacobs himself. There were loudspeakers all around the walls of the planetarium, an early version of "surround sound". Jacobs also designed the music and dialogue for "The Fine Art of Goofing Off", a series of animated programmes for public television station 'KQED'. In 1970, he moved to a stretch of remote coastline north of San Francisco. He had three children, practiced 'Qigong', and was a fervent appreciator of Afro-Cuban music. He became co-curator of the Alan Watts audio archives, making only rare public appearances from then on. Henry Jacobs died at his home near San Francisco on September 25th 2015, aged 91.
1924 - 2015 - United States
Posted: 8th October 2015
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away every year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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