Formed in Paris by Bernard Szajner and Pat Morgan Dujat (before going back to photography) they performed psychedelic light shows never seen before in France working with bands like Gong and Magma.
First performance was at the Pavillon des Halles in January 1970 with Mandala Light Show. Then during the International Light Show Festival organized by the ARC, at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, from January 22 to 29, 1971.
The name Barvède Zumizion comes from a French translation by Baudelaire of The Angel of the Odd by Edgar Allan Poe.
The novel was named (in French) "l'ange du bizarre" in which novel... a man, having drunk more than would seem reasonable sees an Angel appear in his fireplace ... after a discussion, the man asks the Angel for a favor... and the Angel answers (with a heavy German accent... why not but I will ask from you a "barved zumizion" (pefect submission if you say it without the heavy German accent)... I found this misunderstanding hilarious and decided to adpot it as the name !
How I got into doing Light shows is an essential question for me as the reason was that being also a French pioneer in electronic music I had guys doing my light show but was dissatisfied with the results because I "needed" a light show that would try to "unite" the spirit of both (music and light) in a more profound and spiritual way.... so I decide to do the light show myself !
Today, I still work in the same spirit : https://vimeo.com/136817138 (subtitled in English).
Influences were early American Light Show groups and I worked with mostly French bands such as Gong, Magma but also British (The Who, Stomu Yamashta)
Working with me at the time (after Pat Morgan Dujat) was only one person, a girl named Patricia Negro.
In the beginning started using only two Magic Lanterns with Kodalith masks (positive in one lantern and negative in another), both masks completed the usual "liquids" projections but with a negative/positive "figurative" image...and many other very technical systems...ending up with 4 watt water cooled lasers which I used with The Who in the first ever use of lasers on their German tour.
Non standard equipment included a very ancient techique named "Opascope" enabling to project "opaque" (non transparent objects)... and lots of others derived from Etienn Gaspard Robertson's light shows from the 1750 era... (I was always a great admirer of his "audio/visual" works).
In the end there were probably with 20 projectors (including slides) and 4 Lasers.
Bernard Szajner - August 2020
Pat Morgan Dujat got back into photography in 1973 and Bernard Szajner went on to be a major player in Electronic Music and the inventor of the Laser Harp.
The front cover of You by the band Gong is believed to be a still from Barved Zumizion (see below), as are the other album covers.