Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sun Ra Events at Philly ICA Museum in July

The staff of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) Museum in
Philadelphia have scheduled an exciting series of Wednesday evening
events in July, each of which are Sun Ra related. This is in support
of the Sun Ra Museum exhibit at the ICA in Philadelphia running
through August 2, 2009. All of the below events on July 8, 15, 22, &
29, 2009 are free and open to the public at the ICA Museum, 118 South
36th Street, Philadelphia, PA. Following the Wednesday, July 1
spectacular featuring the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of
Marshall Allen, the events will be:

Wednesday, July 8 @ 7:00 pm:

John Szwed - A lecture by the biographic expert on all things Ra

Hear a lecture by John Szwed, the biographic expert on all things Ra.
Mr. Szwed is the author of "Space Is The Place: The Lives and Times of
Sun Ra" (Da Capo Press, 1998). He is an anthropologist, musicologist,
and historian who teaches at Columbia University. Mr Szwed has
authored many significant books covering the personalities and
artistry of jazz. Those who have previously heard John Szwed lecture
on Sun Ra will tell you that this is a not to be missed event that
will include anecdotes, insights, and information that surround the
mystery of Sun Ra.

Wednesday, July 15 @ 7:00 pm:

Outdoor Double Feature: "Brother From Another Planet" and "A Joyful
Noise" curated by Jesse Pires

The 2005 documentary "Sun Ra: Brother From Another Planet" was made by
director Don Letts for the BBC. This 59 minute film has only been
screened once before in the USA and this is its Philadelphia Premiere.
Don Letts, the legendary London DJ who introduced reggae and ska to a
generation of punk rockers, delves into the mysterious world of Sun Ra
in this British, made-for-television documentary. Sun Ra biographer
John Szwed, musician Archie Schepp, and members of Sun Ra's Arkestra
discuss the life and work of one of jazz music's pre-eminent pioneers.
For the uninitiated, "Brother From Another Planet" is a great
introduction to Sun Ra, and for Sun Ra devotees, it is required

The 1980 documentary "Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise" was made by director
Robert Mugge, who will be in attendance at this screening and he will
give an introduction to this film. Consisting of explosive live
footage of the Sun Ra Arkestra and fascinating interviews with the man
himself, "A Joyful Noise" is the complete Sun Ra experience. Filmed
in and around Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. when the Arkestra was
living in Germantown, Robert Mugge's documentary captures the group at
the height of its creative powers. Each live performance featured in
the film further illustrates the distinctive alchemy Sun Ra was able
to create with his disciplined band. Ra makes his case for a better
world through music, transcending banal, earthbound realities to
produce a strange and fascinating aesthetic fusing ancient history
with future visions.

Wednesday, July 22 @ 7:00 pm:

Saturn Never Sleeps: Sun-Ra: Lectric a night curated by King Britt and
Rucyl Mills

Saturn Never Sleeps is a carefully curated electronic experience,
created by music producer, King Britt and singer/visualist, Rucyl
Mills combining audio-visual micro-components into a thought altering
world of sight and sound. Live musicians of acoustic and electronic
inventions come together in creating the sonic bubblebath for your
listening pleasure. Visuals add the dimension needed to transport you
into a different place. For this special mission, we are dedicating
the night to reconstructing, in an improvisational way, the sounds of
jazz legend and fellow dreamer, Sun-Ra.

King Britt (electronics), Rucyl Mills (vocals & sampling), Tim Motzer
(guitartronics), Damon Bennet (keyboards & flute), Jason Senk
(visuals), and some very special guests.

Together we will be reducing Sun Ra sounds into a new context while
combining with works by artists influenced by him as well into a night
of vision!

Wednesday, July 29 @ 7:00 pm:

Death's Headquarters: In Celebration of Le Sony'Ra: curated by Ars Nova Wor=

Featuring performances by two local groups in the avant-garde spirit
of Ra and the Arkestra: Planet Y and Sonic Liberation Front.

"To save the planet, I had to go to the worst spot on Earth, and that
was Philadelphia, which was death's headquarters." -Sun Ra

An expanded 12-member Sonic Liberation Front, the Philadelphia
ensemble acclaimed for their iconoclastic combination of Free Jazz
passion and Afro-Cuban percussion, will premiere =93Jetway Confidential
No.3 (for Sun Ra)=94, a new composition dedicated to Sun Ra and
commissioned specifically for this performance, and perform an
arrangement of Sun Ra=92s =93Where Pathways Meet=94 from 1978=92s "Languidi=
recording, which featured saxophonist and SLF member Julian Pressley.
This evening will also feature a very rare appearance from Planet Y -
Buchla Music Easel master Charles Cohen and Stinking Lizaveta=92s Yanni
Papadopoulos, best described as "Subotnick meets Sun Ra meets
Schnitzler.=94 (Aquarius Records) In addition, newly-unearthed archival
films will be projected on the gallery walls.

Planet Y: Yanni Papadopoulos (dg-20 Casio digital guitar), Charles
Cohen (Buchla Music Easel)

Sonic Liberation Front: Todd Margasak (cornet), Terry Lawson (tenor
saxophone/flute), Dan Scofield (alto saxophone), Julian Pressley (alto
saxophone), Brent White (trombone), dmHotep (guitar), Travis Woodson
(guitar), Matt Engle (double-bass), Chuck Joseph (Bata drums/drumkit),
Shawn "Dade" Beckett (Bata drums/percussion),
Khari Clemmons (Bata drums), Kevin Diehl (Bata drums/drumkit).

Led by percussionist Kevin Diehl, a protege of Free Jazz pioneer Sunny
Murray, Sonic Liberation Front merges post-bop with traditional
Afro-Cuban Yoruba roots music. While other ensembles have merged Bata
drumming and jazz, none have done it with the vigor of SLF. The band
members are true students of the Lukumi tradition under the guidance
of percussionist/omo ana Chuckie Joseph, a lifelong Yoruba cultural
scholar. It=92s been said a million times that all music originates in
West Africa =AD and by returning the focus to its origins, SLF achieves
a natural eclectism that serves as a fountain of ingenuity. Ancient to
the future, indeed. For this special performance, an expanded 12-piece
SLF performs featuring some of the most notable names in
Philadelphia=92s exploratory music scene including members of the Sun Ra
Arkestra, Make A RIsing, and Shot x Shot.

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