Fresh on the heals of the extravagant 4LP boxset reissue of Bobby Beausoleil’s Lucifer Rising comes a new double LP anthology of Beausoleil’s earlier compositions. The Orkustra was put together in the mid-60’s, but never completed an actual album, due to Beausoleil getting involved with Anger’s Lucifer Rising, and later the Manson Family (but that’s another story).
I had recently arrived in San Francisco when, in the fall of 1965, I conceived of assembling what I described then as “the first electrified symphony orchestra.” My 18th birthday had just passed and I possessed only modest abilities as a musician, but, being prone to such crazy notions, the concept seemed perfectly reasonable-this was the Haight-Ashbury of the mid-sixties, after all! A few months later a stable musical ensemble somewhat resembling my original conception had come into existence.
What I had imagined would be an “orchestra” of a dozen-or-so musicians proved in practice to be unmanageable. Instead, a coalition of five instrumentalists from various musical traditions—rock, classical, jazz, folk and blues—emerged as the core group. For what was essentially a reconceived rock band, the instrumentation was extremely unusual, comprising some combination of violin, oboe, standup bass, guitar, bouzouki, flute, organ, drums and percussion. All of the melodic instruments were modified for electric amplification.
Limited to 1000 copies and available from the label.