Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Sun Ra Dream & The Creative Audio Archive: New lecture recordings revealed

At the height of my Sun Ra scholarship, before Mr. Corbett and his team preserved the collection we are learning about as the years pass, I had a dream once. In it, John and Jacson took me to what I interpreted to be the attic of the House of Ra in Philly. Off of it, was a cramped cubby in which we sat as they showed me tape after tape. Reels were packed in film canisters stacked to the ceiling in rows, covering each wall. It was a vivid and beautiful dream, and to read about the recordings in the Creative Audio Archive fulfills part of a long-time fantasy for me.

In addition to unheard compositions, rehearsals, and early Arkestra concerts, the most desirable and mythic recordings of them all were from Sun Ra's stint as a guest teacher at UC Berkeley.

For me, the lectures were particularly fascinating because I imagined them covering topics that, in addition to his music and persona, drew me to his work in the first place; egypt, lost ancient culture, alternative history, semantics, the Bible, the occult, the esoteric, space, alternate reality, the vibrational science of music. The COSMOS.

According to Szwed's book "Space Is The Place," Sun Ra didn't allow these lectures to be recorded. With the release of Transparency's "The Creator Of The Universe (Lost Reel 1)" in 2009 (Listen here: I was able to hear something I never thought I would. Now, the Creative Audio Archive adds 4 new listings for lectures we never knew existed...

SR149 REEL 179 [sound recording]
undated 1 sound quarter-inch reel, 54 min. 3 sec. : analogue,
    Origination: Sun Ra
    University of California, CA
    [Ra lecturing (great sound quality)] -- ["Lots of confusion on this Planet due to God"] (6:30) -- ["You been dead 3000, may be 6000 years"] (13:20) -- ["Nature is the boss (Israel, Egypt) (book Missionary Travels-by Livingston)] (13:45) -- [From Central Africa, Sudan (southern)] (17:00) -- [Ethiopians hired "sambos"- the Maneaters] -- ["Even angels in heaven cryin about black folks"] (20:50) -- ["Diet" Deed, Dead, Die] (23:16) -- ["Act of God in a contract: earthquakes, tornado "Make Up Your Mind Who's Doing Bad Things To You, God or the Devil"] -- ["Eight, ate, occult, atheist"] -- ["No, I belong to the ninth-cult"] -- ["A particular song to move the planet"] (30:20) -- ["Love in Outer Space" piano solo] (32:30-37:00) -- [Book of the Beginnings] -- [Untilted, moog solo] (38:00-54:03)

SR245 Reh 5-2-72 / Ra-Class 5-8-72 [sound recording]
May 2, 1972 1 sound cassette, "SIDE A: 31 min. 52 sec. ; SIDE B: 33 min. 11 sec. : analogue,
    Origination: Sun Ra
    SIDE A: [Untitled, drums (tape cut)] (0:04-0:13) -- [Spacious rehearsal room] (0:13-0:50) -- [Untitled] (0:52-12:31) -- [Blank to end]
    SIDE B: [Untitled] (0:00-1:00) -- [Sun Ra lecturing] (1:00) -- ["The Whole Race has a history against opposing progress"] -- ["The White Race has only one chance, that's me"] -- ["Sun Ra is an ambassador from the creator"] -- [Only one voice saying " Its not too late and that's me"] -- ["Fairwell to America"] (9:45) -- ["The greatest crime in America has committed is against me"] (11:00) -- ["I'm dealing with equations not theories"] (13:00) -- ["Muslims talking about peace in NYC"] (13:30) -- ["Writing Freedom Equations on blackboard"] (14:25)-- ["Be able to do justice"] (26:00)

SR280 Sun Ra's Class May 10, 1971" [sound recording]
May 10, 1971 1 sound cassette, "SIDE A: 45 min. 31 sec. ; SIDE B: ? : analogue,
    Origination: [Insert creator]
    SIDE A: ["Anything is music, feelings, even a picture from outer space, Human is an Egyption word. Man, mankind…"] (@12:06) -- ["People pass away, time passes"] (@30:00)
    SIDE B: [Untitled] (0:07-?) -- ["Humanity on a treadmill"] (@ 0:30) -- [Book called "God's Children" Archibald Rutledge] (@ 21:30)-- ["White people have to restore what they've destroyed"] (@ 41:30)
    huge hum (60Hz) in right channel ; delay and low level

SR281 Ra & Records ; Foundation of Numbers / Class Tape-15 May, 1972"
[sound recording]
May 15, 1972 1 sound cassette, "SIDE A: 31 min. 59 sec. ; SIDE B: 31 in. 20 sec. : analogue,
    Origination: Sun Ra (lecture)
    Berkeley, CA?
    SIDE A: ["Symmetry is Music"] (@ 6:25) -- ["Year 2000 is destruction and doom"] (@ 25:25)
    SIDE B: "Ptah is used as the basis of the Catholic Chrurch"] (6:00) -- ["Heiroglyphics are word of God, heavy phontics"] (19:50) -- ["Spelling" (in the loop)] (20:20) -- ["Golden Temple with UFO book & Jesus in Space Cape"] (27:30) -- ["I'm Not Telling You The Truth, I'm Telling You the Egyptians"] (29:20) -- ["Book- Clothes of the Sun"]