A kaleidoplex is a projecting kaleidoscope that shines a complex, continuously changing image on a surface.


The Kaleidoplex was invented in the early 1970s by Marshall Yaeger cite web |url=http://www.marshallyaeger.com |title=Marshall Yaeger |accessdate= |format= |work=] while he was co-producer of organist Virgil Fox’s touring show, “ [http://www.virgilfoxlegacy.com/prbiography.html Heavy Organ] .” Heavy Organ featured Fox's interpretations of the compositions of J.S. Bach. The show premiered in New York City in the 70s and toured for many years.

Co-producer Yeager was interested in enhancing the visual experience of the show. He researched and experimented "until he discovered an optical principle that allowed him to send a projected kaleidoscopic image into a second (and sometimes, a third) kaleidoscope projection." cite web |url=http://www.marshallyaeger.com/musicart/art/h/8.html |title=Circles Internet |accessdate= |format= |work=]

A prototype was built by Walter Reiche of East Coast Camera, Inc. from Yaeger's designs. Reiche's machine, which never went into production, is described by [http://www.brewstersociety.com/cozybaker.html Cozy Baker] as "an impressive red-and-black assemblage of mirrors, lenses, motors, and aluminum almost three feet long, 14 inches high, and weighing 65 pounds." cite web |url=http://www.marshallyaeger.com/musicart/art/h/8.html |title=Circles Internet |accessdate= |format= |work=]

Later, the projector was used to accompany live music at such venues as San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall, and New York’s Bottom Line and Whitney Museum.

As of October 2004, the machine was reported to reside near Washington, D.C. in a museum with a kaleidoscope exhibit created by Baker. cite web |url=http://www.marshallyaeger.com/musicart/art/lightorgan/markettrends.html |title=Untitled Page |accessdate= |format= |work=]

The design of the Kaleidoplex is patented in the US cite web |url=http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=4,077,706&OS=4,077,706&RS=4,077,706 |title=United States Patent: 4077706 |accessdate= |format= |work=] and in the UK.


The common kaleidoscope, invented in 1816 by Sir David Brewster, creates an image by repeating parts of a scene. The repeats are arranged as four or more "wedges" filling the view. The kaleidoscope consists of a V-shaped trough created by two long, narrow mirrors placed lengthwise in a tube with the mirrored surfaces facing each other. The angle between the mirrors determines the number of repeats: 90° yields four; 60° six; and 45° eight. The viewer looks in through one end of the tube down the trough and sees "a plurality of symmetrically arranged images that can be changed by rotation of the tube to rearrange bits of colored glass held in place at the other end of the tube." cite web |url=http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=4,077,706&OS=4,077,706&RS=4,077,706 |title=United States Patent: 4077706 |accessdate= |format= |work=]

The Kaleidoplex creates an image of no less than 64 segments, and sometimes as many as 16,777,216 (8 to the 8th power) segments. cite web |url=http://www.marshallyaeger.com/indexkaleid.html |title=Marshall Yaeger |accessdate= |format= |work=]

It projects light through a translucent design into mirror troughs and lenses onto a surface for viewing. Instead of distributing multiple identical triangular sections around a center point, as common projecting kaleidoscopes did at the time, the Kaleidoplex was able to project a rendering on the inside surface of a dome.


In his patent application, Yaeger describes the effect:

The image [the Kaleidoplex] projects can be described most accurately and scientifically as an irregularly pulsating and continuously changing octagonal star or circular rosette centered on a circular field of smaller kaleidoscopic patterns arranged octagonally around -- and related in colors and shapes to -- the center. Sometimes the image devolves into from three to eight concentric, octagonal rings with alternating orientations to the vertical.cite web |url=http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=4,077,706&OS=4,077,706&RS=4,077,706 |title=United States Patent: 4077706 |accessdate= |format= |work=] .

Many descriptions of the effect include mention of a mandala:

* " [The Kaleidoplex produces] vastly complex, yet round, colorful, and harmoniously symmetrical 'mandalas'." cite web |url=http://www.kaleidoplex.com/embury/index.html |title=Kaleidoplex |accessdate= |format= |work=]

* "The content of the surrounding art [metamorphoses] into the moving, pulsating, constantly changing central 'mandala' images." cite web |url=http://www.kaleidoplex.com/embury/index.html |title=Kaleidoplex |accessdate= |format= |work=]

Others emphasize the symmetry and cascading nature of the visuals. Much is made of the ability of the Kaleidoplex to synchronize with music, supposedly “fractalizing” it. cite web |url=http://www.kaleidoplex.com/embury/index.html |title=Kaleidoplex |accessdate= |format= |work=]

This synchronization is said to promote meditation. cite web |url=http://www.marshallyaeger.com/ |title=Marshall Yaeger |accessdate= |format= |work=]

Yaeger notes: Some of the above language describes effects of the patented light projector, which was publicly shown in theatres and at the Whitney Museum. Other effects describe the computerized adaptation of the original invention, which one can view on the DVDs produced. Unfortunately, the DVDs don't produce the same powers of mandalas that a large, projected image on a movie screen can produce.


Many hyperbolic claims have been made for the Kaleidoplex. For example,

* "The device we have developed projects an image far more complex, beautiful, and interesting than the projected image of any product now on the market." cite web |url=http://www.marshallyaeger.com/musicart/art/lightorgan/markettrends.html |title=Untitled Page |accessdate= |format= |work=]

* "We have shown it to all kinds of audiences. Everyone that sees it finds it fascinating. Children, adults, or old people; 'hip' or 'straight'; musician or non-musician -- all respond enthusiastically. Every person that owns an elaborate high-fidelity sound system that has seen the Sonic Bloom Mandala Machine [another name for the Kaleidoplex] has wanted to own one for his or her own personal use. It is the home entertainment machine of the future." cite web |url=http://www.marshallyaeger.com/musicart/art/lightorgan/markettrends.html |title=Untitled Page |accessdate= |format= |work=]

* "Combined with music, the Sonic Bloom Mandala creates new aural formalities and abstractions, and raises inner consciousness to create the music of tomorrow." cite web |url=http://marshallyaeger.com/harmmandbook/j3/h/1.html |title=Circles Internet |accessdate= |format= |work=]

One claim awaits validation: "The Kaleidoplex's unique arrangement of lenses and mirrors was the first mechanical improvement to the kaleidoscope since the invention of the projecting kaleidoscope in the 1920s" cite web |url=http://www.marshallyaeger.com/ |title=Marshall Yaeger |accessdate= |format= |work=] ; while another is virtually certain: "The sensual, spiritual, and esthetic experience 'Sonic Bloom' will offer many young people will be enhanced, let no one doubt, through the use of drugs." cite web |url=http://www.marshallyaeger.com/musicart/art/lightorgan/markettrends.html |title=Untitled Page |accessdate= |format= |work=]


The experience of the Kaleidoplex has been improved in two areas: the older images have been digitized, restored, and re-synchronized with the music, and new images are now produced by more advanced equipment.

In DVDs, the Kaleidoplex imagery has been digitized and placed in a 16:9 wide screen format for home theatre systems. The images now accompany recorded musical performances exactly to the beat, with 1/2 second precision.

Since 2003, Marshall Yaeger has created the visuals for DVDs based on artwork created on the Kaleidoplex Digital Light Organ.


The CD/DVD albums for which Marshall Yaeger has created video art so far include:

* Pictures at an Exhibition, Marshall & Ogletree Twin Organs, Trinity Church Wall Street
* Sonic Bloom
* Virgil Fox - The Bach Gamut, Volume I
* Virgil Fox - The Bach Gamut, Volume II
* Heavy Organ - Tribute to Virgil Fox
* Virgil Fox Plays the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ

See [http://www.circlesinternet.com/shop/right.html here] for details.

External Links References

External links

* [http://www.mentalfx.com/kaleidoscope-dvd/index.html Kaleidoscope DVD]
* [http://www.marshallyaeger.com/musicart/art/lightorgan/markettrends.html The Kaleidoplex]
* [http://www.marshallyaeger.com/musicart/art/lightorgan/patent/h/1.html Patent Application Information]
* [http://www.marshallyaeger.com/ Marshall Yaeger Biography]
* [http://www.duoarts.com/index_sonic_2.htm Sonic Bloom DVD] dead link|date=January 2008 |url=http://www.duoarts.com/index_sonic_2.htm
* [http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/showrevpdf.php3?ID=5103 A review of Heavy Organ (2002)]
* [http://www.marshallyaeger.com/musicart/art/h/8.html Kaleidoscope Renaissance] , by Cozy Baker, Beechcliff Books, 1993, pages 146-7.
* [http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=4,077,706&OS=4,077,706&RS=4,077,706 U.S. Patent 4,077,706]
* [http://www.marshallyaeger.com/harmmandbook/j3/h/1.html Sonic Bloom Brochure]
* [http://www.marshallyaeger.com/musicart/art/h/kaleidoplex.jpgDrawing of the Kaleidoplex]
* [http://www.circlesinternet.com/shop/danny/danny.html Video]
* [http://www.marshallyaeger.com/harmmandbook/j3/h/2.html Images]

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