By Steve Fly Agaric 23.
23rd’ March 2009.
“The myth is neither bad nor good, its potentials are unlimited.” – SUN RA.
Sun Ra hammered out a magical oath early in his life, he lived composed and performed mythmagic music, infinitely transforming performance Arts into a cosmology of performance magic once more, reclaiming outer-space and inner-space for humanity. Using his practical myth-science distanziare program he pioneered the changing of reality in conformity with will. Sonny led comprehensive rituals (songs) to seduce and propel humanity out from the repetitious death-trip of Geschịchten (history) looming over us, and help each individual attain escape velocity; launching oneself into the cosmos via music or - teleporting the cosmos into oneself via the profundity of apprehension. Sun Ra’s myth, magic and music are all parts of one ideogram, a new synthesis not merely separate subjects. A Languaging entity that emerged from menacing gaseous star clusters around Saturn to subvert the solar system and re-tune the cosmos with celestial feedback. Balance-sing the equation. Ching Ming: (to regulate the names and/or to define the correct term).
Evidence for his successful mythomagical methods and workings are found scattered into various multimedia artefacts, ESP phonograph disks, linear notes (spells), album artwork (maps), prose’ essays and cinematic light shows; languages to discover and reactivate sacra lingua. The ever changing name game waltz’s with the ever-changing nature of Sun Ra’s music (乐声)and with the ever chanjing Tao. The disciplined band always display a bright attenuated sense of time division and/or duration - equazione del tempo – combined with simplicité of that mystery, all-at-once. A rounded counterpoint of sound shadows.
Mathematically precise astrological, processional, harmonic equations translated into neurologically modulated word-sound-image communications, distiling the Hermetic principle: So as above, so below; across the vibration-spectrum, so enabling magicians to assimilate objects in some sense, by feeling out they’re frequency, differential SPACE equations and Cosmic l'espace calculus, seduced into and beyond music where a cluster of galaxies are pulled down and formulated into practical edutainment γλώσσα (language): Dymaxion (dynamic maximum tension) music.
"I would say that it's black from the point of view that it's still got the darkness of myth. And it really pinpoints ancient Egypt in a definite way" -- SUN RA.
A master of vibration-states and music psychology, Sun Ra produced harm reduction musique for the sole', musica celestiale, shamanic healing frequencies, splicing disciplines into a moogical whole using the living multimedia star cluster laboratory (лаборато́рия ). Pushing language beyond definition, then pushing down a strange celestial road. Plushing music towords a sacred Key Splace; unlocking intergalactic gateways into tiny pyramid πλανήτης and mind.
"People have two harps in their head, their ears, just like a harp. They hear by the strings in their ears. If I play something very strange, then some strings that never vibrated before will vibrate. The whole nervous system will become alive -- SUN RA.
Sheets of sound falling like snowflakes from all quarters, a phalanx of languages unleashed, crashes of cymbal upon symbol in waves of μουσική (rhythm) run. Throwing sound and image onto the mind like Pollock’s paint particles at the canvas. Liturgical, clinical and comical all-at-once, like some writing of James Joyce; mantracode’ for humanity to unwrap using they’re neurological apparatus.
The energy runs straight and direct to the unknown sens du mystère, the hidden and secret crevices, somewhere else, out, way out beyond language but made of languages (语言). A space where truth and beauty wrestle within the angular valley’s of discord, in the musical nightmaze of dream- χώρος where Sun Ra dwells, at the edge of the Avant’ Garden, in the swirling mass of gases and forces that compose planet Saturn. "all art is a shadow of the Incarnation" said Marshal McLuhan.
Travelling omni-directionally from the inner horn χώρος into outer χώρος (space), maybe to Titan below your right ear, across to Jupiter at your crown or any other planet you think of within the infinite time-space contained within and without each of us. Sonny and his Arketsra’s demonstrated to us how to coordinate space-time and guide the skyrockets that lie barely inches behind our eye-sockets. Solfège flash-backs providing perceptions of simultaneities. Space-time (分类) shuttles on a journey beyond stars. Listen again!
"When I say space music, I'm dealing with the void, because that is of space too... So I leave the word space open, like space is supposed to be." – Sun Ra.
James Joyce once said that the individual was eccentric and the state concentric - in this context - Sun Ra- tunes into Heliocentric worlds and arranges for eccentric improvisation, based upon the concentric foundations, a kind of cosmonaut-astronaut rendezvous. Synthesizer synthesis of mythology with practical magic deployed through a multimedia internetwork of things, feeding back diverse language fragments and gaseous traces into an artful congress (艺术品). Constellations of sounds swirl beyond language, spiralling and curved - Le Sun Ra experience. A sort of inspired mathematics, which gives useful equations, not for abstract figures, triangles, sphère's, but équation'humaine; for approximating human emotions. Names of mystery, equazione del tempo, starry dimension...
The tantalizing album, song and band names devised by Sun Ra speak using the condensational methods and - juxtaposition - detectable in his musicare. These mini manifestoes show the alphabetical tip of an audio/visual iceberg floating somewhere nearby in ко́смос (space), the titles often reaching beyond γλώσσα (language) into numerology language, cabala and mathematical equations. Sonny’s poetry turns the reader’s head inside out, like the twisting music, a new meeting of familiar objects, but with a strange sense of something else in the misty distance, a rainbow and counterpointed shadows and shades of meaning 跳舞 (move rhythmically) about it, a return to splendour. Dressed in dime-store regalia crossing Philip K. Dick with “Things To Come” by H.G Wells; a parody upon the entertainment industry hustle in the twilight of the electric tribal futuristico.
"Most of the time the avant-garde looks so serious. . .They don't look like they're really having fun. . .I want people to laugh at the costumes I have on" -- SUN RA.
A total assault on the senses, a live audio abduction scenario and light assisted kidnapping of consciousness into the mythic realms and crevices of new espace. Ears are abducted by the shadow: echo’s of onde acoustique, deep forest calls, seductive polyrhythm’s that lurk upon African planes. Extended percussion passages take your mind on a marathon. Interpretive dancing matter (跳舞), singing and shouting matter reproduce sombunal traits of the tale of the tribe – of legend in some literature. Information = What We Cannot Predict (语言). Variations on deviations from interpretations of no fixed melody, comedy.
"Cosmic music is a place of tomorrow, it is the dimension and the balanced perspective of tomorrow It speaks to the worlds of the greater potentials awaiting the peoples of the worlds at every future point on every future plane. -- SUN RA.
Sun Ra identifies experiences by setting out the parameters of his Kunst so as to be able to take meaningful measurements and produce meaningful results to share. The question: Language versus the equation, spirals through the music like the double helix of DNA; “What planet is this?” “What planet is… this?” RETHINK. Surprising chants and tongue-fu riddles pitch questions and scenarios amidst the electric sound-tapestry all-around, a crisscross-world puzzle game, forcing the listener to put the words and symbols into the musical ко́смос (space) made freely perceptible. “What is life? What is death?” Sonny asks, while conducting times-pace using hand and body gestures.
"And yet i see beyond that point
For there is counterpoint and counterpoint
And counterpoint dimensions dimension
It is music like the music.........
The music swells to indescribable sound
Of mystic Everness Eternal Beingness
Chromatic Rhythms. -- Sun Ra. Of Days. Taken from the album Blue Delight. 1988.
RA’s great corpus of work highlights the often overlooked question of the sacred, what is it and how did it get that way? Magic Myth & Art? Musica sacra? Sun Ra balanced equations concerning complex questions – cosmic – in proportion, leading to the awakening of intellect and senses to conceive and perceive such questions.
“Now I got the Solar Arkestra, the myth science, and the astro infinity and soon I’ll have something else. Just like a University – I’ve got my different courses set up – and they deal with things that are gonna be beneficial to people –SUN RA.
Rhythmic illusionists, Copernican swing wizards, improvisational bards, sound shaman guides pulsing along African Egyptian furnished passageways to MU MU, Atlantis or Saturn’s moon: Titan, adventurers to the underwords inside of allmen. Each individual on stage animates the dance of shadows, makes them BOP with one another, transforming their apprehension of the cosmos. The Band acted like an invisible black college of occult jazz study, teaching and spreading knowledge, discipline, humour and precision through Art. “Illusion is a REVOLUTIONARY weapon” wrote William Burroughs (in The Electronic Revolution, 1970).
Sun Ra conducts thunder enlightening, playing piano demi-queue or adding solovox stylings and Clavioline craftsmanship while Hammond riffs rain down like shooting stars. Elo Omoe blows a menacing bass clarinet clearing the FOG with his horn. Atakatun, Odun and Chiea: 6 hands and 30 fingers on congas flowing like the Nile. Tommy Hunter finds percussion instruments to further coordinate river flows. Akmed Abdullah blows trompette romancing guardian angels into the stream. Billy Higgins and Earl Buster Smith trade batterie mathstrology under the stars. Philly Joe Jones and Clifford Jarvis float by with Marshall Allen aboard a sunship, orchestrating forces through courses of Van Allen bolts with flute, piccolo and alto saxophone calls. Noel Scot modulates spheres with an alto sax. John Gilmore cracking open the clouds with tenor sax, searing high, so high the birds gets dizzy and then that great bass boom. John Ore, from the Theolonious Sphere Monk spaceway swings the bass around the nodal axis, they dwell on other planets. Roger Blank and Robert Cummings drum and play the système solaire. Yes. Danny Ray Thompson, Michael Ray, James Jacson and those i left out. Early hard-bop structures melted like Dali's clocks’ into neo modal tidal pieces, with no fixed harmonic structure, free to change with seasoned eccentricities, the superimposition of one chord over another. Ply upon ply.
Sources and resources.
John Sinclair. Its All Good. A John Sinclair Reader. Headpress. 2008.
Wayne Kramer. My Night as a tone scientist. 2006.
David A. Martinelli. The cosmic-myth equations of Sun Ra. 1991.
Jim Macnie. Blue Delight linear notes. February 1989.
The Cantos of Ezra Pound. New Directions Publishing. 1972.
Wikipedia.org & Wordreference.com