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Angus MacLise sound recordings

Call Number: YCAL MSS 445

Scope and Contents

The Angus MacLise Sound Recordings document the musical work of Angus MacLise. The reel-to-reel audio tapes consist of experimental music performed by MacLise in solo performances and in collaboration with other musicians and artists. The sound recordings span the years 1965 to 1978.


  • 1965-1978


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 1-2 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Angus MacLise Sound Recordings is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Hetty MacLise, July 2008.


Arranged according to a numbering system assigned by MacLise.


2 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The Angus MacLise Sound Recordings document selected musical work of Angus MacLise. The sound recordings are 5 and 7.5 inch reel-to-reel audio tapes that consist of experimental music composed and performed by MacLise in solo performances and in collaboration with other musicians and artists. The recordings span the years 1965 to 1978.

Angus MacLise

Angus MacLise was born on March 4, 1938 in Bridgeport, CT. He studied various genres of percussion and dance, performing with several ensembles before entering the downtown New York City music scene. In the early 1960s, he wrote and published poetry through Dead Language Press, which he co-founded with filmmaker Piero Heliczer. The press also published MacLise's combination calendar/poem, Year, which assigned names to each day of the year. MacLise was a member of La Monte Young's Theater of Eternal Music with John Cale, Tony Conrad, Marian Zazeela, and Terry Riley. In 1965, MacLise lived with Cale and along with him, Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison, formed the musical group The Velvet Underground. MacLise performed with them regularly throughout the year but quit in late 1965 and was replaced by Maureen Tucker. He played with them again for a few performances in 1966 when Reed was briefly hospitalized.

McLise was a student of the occultist and mystic Aleister Crowley and under the influence of his teachings, began to blend Tibetan mysticism with his music to create sound through various drone techniques. From 1965 through the 1970s, MacLise was active in the New York City underground music scene, integrating trance, improvisation, spoken word, poetry, and electronics into his performances. He collaborated with several notable artists on multimedia projects, such as Gerard Malanga, Yoko Ono, Jonas Mekas, and Jerry Jofen. In the late 1960s, MacLise married illustrator Hetty McGee, and together they played in the musical group, Universal Mutant Repertory Company. The group did a series of performances in New York's St. Mark's Church in 1970, titled "Epiphanies." In the early 1970s, he devoted more of his time to poetry and calligraphy, and also started a literary magazine, Ting-Pa.

Later in his life, MacLise traveled to study the ethnic percussion traditions in Morocco, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India with various local teachers and groups. He settled in Nepal, where he died of hypoglycemia in Kathmandu on June 21, 1979.

Guide to the Angus MacLise Sound Recordings
by Molly Wheeler
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.