Press Reviews


“A trained electronic composer who became a major video artist, Weidenaar brings to the new medium a technical sophistication rare among his colleagues. His video, more than most, depends upon kinetic visual synthesis and optimal picture processing to realize imagery unique to the medium and yet painterly (as he is the son of a noted Michigan painter of the same name). He also composes his soundtracks, producing audio videotapes that are best seen on projection and heard through hi-fi stereo audio systems. It is not for nothing that Weidenaar’s very best work, Love of Line, of Light and Shadow (1982), which won an international prize, scarcely resembles the video art most prominently exhibited in the 1980s.”

--Richard Kostelanetz, Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes, a capella books, 1993, p. 233.




Reynold Weidenaar has distinguished himself as one of todays leading practitioners of image-processing. As an accomplished composer and former recording and audio engineer, Weidenaar brings to his video productions a unique perspective which blends a working knowledge of electronic technology with an intense desire to give his musical compositions a dynamic visual dimension. ...he has produced a series of complex and elegantly controlled videotapes with the unique concept of making each work available in two versions. One version is designed for concert performances... The second version of each work is intended for gallery and broadcast screenings and is a composite production in which the entire musical score is recorded on videocassette.

Although Weidenaars image-processed work has many of the same basic concerns as the early sound-image experiments of Fischinger, McLaren, and the Whitneys, its unique fluid structure is for the most part created with real-time computer-aided technology rather than with frame-by-frame animation photography. The technique of image processing, then, has provided Weidenaar with a powerful new tool to expand the meaning of visual music and to open up an awesome universe of electronic possibilities that are as compelling to the eye as they are to the ear.”

--Robert Russett and Cecile Starr, Experimental Animation, Revised Edition, Da Capo Press, 1988, pages 29-30.




Unlike others who play with music and graphic patterns on video, Weidenaar conceptually and technically integrates music and visual images. His elegant, controlled works have a ‘remarkable sensuality, as one critic noted, and they also suggest precisely choreographed hallucinations.”

--Arthur J. Sabatini, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 18, 1984, page 13-I.


Magic Music from the Telharmonium (Video)


Anyone at all interested in [the history of electronic music] will find this video, which chronicles the development and marketing of the very first music synthesizer, engrossing and thoroughly informative. ... Weidenaar has a way of presenting his story with as much sincere concern for its importance -- indeed, sweeping importance -- as the Burnses Ken and Rick reveal in their similarly styled film documentaries dealing with big chapters in American history. is so carefully put together and so fascinating to view that we cannot help but recommend it to anyone with a working interest in the subject. No doubt Weidenaar is targeting professional markets. We can only hope it becomes available at the video and/or music sections of public and institutional libraries. If Mr. Weidenaar can successfully market it to a cable station or to PBS for airing, we would advise any viewer not to miss it.”

--Barry L. Cohen, New Music Connoisseur, Spring 2000, page 25.




Its a fascinating time for music listeners as they experience cutting-edge music of the day. Magic Music from the Telharmonium is an excellent historical depiction of the first synthesizer. The rich collection of visuals and lively commentaries from the day are artistically woven together with poignant musical selections to provide a vibrant, informative documentary.”

--Laura Romberg, SEAMUS Newsletter, Spring 1999, page 2.




This would be a wonderful video to show to an electronic music class. Perhaps an even better use would be found in a musicology course. Enough insight is given about the instrument, the economic considerations of the time, and peoples initial reactions to the instrument to foster hearty discussion of issues still relevant.”

--Rusty Banks, Living Music, Summer 1999, page 7.




Highly recommended. Can something else be said after that? Just in case, we will warn you that Weidenaar, one of the best acquainted with the history of the Telharmonium..., has produced a video of an incredible worth for the aficionado.”

--Jorge Munnshe, Amazing Sounds, February 28, 1999.




Magic Music is a charming documentary, narrated by Brian Lehrer, featuring the pseudo-Telharmoniums pleasantly strange/surreal/ quaint renditions of Joplins Palm Leaf Rag and Maple Leaf Rag, Handels Largo from Xerxes, Mendelssohns... [extended list]”

--Philip George, 20th-Century Music, July 1999, page 26.


Magic Music from the Telharmonium (Book)


...full of colorful descriptions of the instrument and its music from contemporaries (including Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens and Edgard Varèse). Well-written and extensively researched, Magic Music is an engaging read for those interested in electronic-music history or early business models in the entertainment field.”

--Gino Robair, Mix, May 2000, page 113.




This is an important book for those of us interested in the history of electro-acoustic music. The focus is on Cahill and the Telharmonium. But, the incidental information tells us much about the social, political, and economic activity that influenced the development of our current technology. I hope that this book is in every college and university library. It is must reading for the serious student of the electro-acoustic medium.”

--Rodney Oakes, Journal SEAMUS, November 1995, pages 9-10.




...his telling works best as social history. Several factors come together to make this an interesting story. One of those factors is business. Much of Weidenaars text is devoted to Cahills struggles to raise capital, promote the product, and keep the company afloat. Business dealings may be a dry topic, but the people and the dreams that fuel them are not. ...even nonspecialists might enjoy the story of a dream, as improbable and quirky as it was visionary, pursued doggedly and then, finally, lost.”

--Bart Hopkin, Notes: The Music Library Association Journal, March 1996, pages 821-822.




...contains an extraordinary amount of information--biographical, musical, technical, historical, and whimsical. The book weaves all these various strands together, which means, for example, that a delightful essay on New York restaurant orchestras is buried in the chapter called Preview Concerts at Telharmonic Hall.

--Martha Maas, Newsletter of the American Musical Instrument Society, October 1999, pages 16-17.




Reynold Weidenaar ... [has] written a dissertation that really is an original and significant contribution to knowledge... He is pointing to a new trajectory, and for this we owe him... [He] has answered this question with eloquence and rigor. ... Weidenaar spared no effort in documenting this story. His research is voluminous and exhaustive. Its hard to imagine a primary source that he has overlooked. ... A scholar places events in their cultural milieu, and adds perspective to the bare bones that sources provide. Weidenaar has done this. ... We get a fascinating detailed tour of the sumptuous restaurants of the New York of the early 1900s, and learn why the mix of gastronomic, sonic, and conspicuous consumption seemed a surefire bet.”

--Thomas L. Rhea, Computer Music Journal, Fall 1988, pages 59-63 [review of Ph.D. dissertation upon which the book was based].


Swing Bridge


...Swing Bridge (1997), written for the centennial of the Brooklyn Bridge, provided the most visually stimulating as well as the most progressive moment in the entire Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium. ... The video consisted of heavily effected shots from the festival celebrating the event formed into a collage of Technicolor giddiness.”

--Rusty Banks, Living Music, Summer 1998, page 4.


Long into the Night, Heavenly Electrical Music Flowed Out of the Street


This is a wonderful piece that is self referencing on a number of levels. There times when the video is of a TV monitor producing video images. It is an electronic piece about an electronic piece. This is certainly one of the best pieces on the video.”

--David Bradfield, Journal SEAMUS, October 1997, pages 11-12.


Long River


The light, transparent music and the sophisticated images created a quick portrait of a national image.

--Daniel Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 1, 1994, page E1.


The Thundering Scream of the Seraphim's Delight


No question about it, you have to see this piece to believe it.”

--David Neubert, International Society of Bassists, Winter 1989, page 23.




The music was stuttering, jabbing. It explored harmonics in the basss stratospheric upper end, and employed hand raps on the body of the instrument, col legno pops on the strings with unusual woody timbres, some rich conventional double stops, and eerie harmonics at the end that struck haunting resonances of Dowlands Lachrymae.

Weidenaars video creation was exceptionally effective and beautiful. It dealt almost exclusively with the interaction of the bass bow and strings, in an endlessly inventive and fascinating variety of close-ups, multiple images, weird mutations of bow and strings, positive and negative black-and-white shots, and warm color photography with an exquisite sense of complementary tones. It was almost as though the viewer were being given a secret tour through the soul of both bass and performer. Weidenaar could become a major creative figure.”

--Herman Trotter, Buffalo News, March 18, 1988.




Weidenaar ... squeezes every ounce of virtuosity out of it with an impressive arsenal of techniques. ... It works -- this pure amalgam of stimuli that play on our senses with both intellectual and visceral persuasion.

--Barry L. Cohen, New Music Connoisseur, Year-end 1997, pages 28, 30.