MSP/piano, w UBU RA BIG BAND (Set 3, 8:45pm) ◉ Reconnaissance Fly (Set 1, 7pm) ◉ Electropoetic Coffee (Set 2, 8pm) ◉ Wed 12 Nov @ Center for New Music’s Friendly Galaxies Sun Ra event, SF

Sun Ra and friend, from the film Space Is The Place

Sun Ra and friend, from the film Space Is The Place

As many people are aware,this year is the 100th anniversary of Sun Ra’s arrival to planet Earth, giving rise to a wave of remembrance and RA-CONSCIOUSNESS washing over the the planet like a cosmo-vibrational meteor shower.

Yo, Morton Street!

Yo, Morton Street!

When CNM’s wonderful Jan Michaels put the Friendly Galaxies extravaganza together and asked me to organize a big band for it, I was very happy to accept, as I have many fond memories of Sun Ra shows from living in Philadelphia during the heyday of his Morton Street commune in Germantown, as well as some choice El Saturn records in homemade sleeves, that were pressed in handfulls and sold in the back at the shows in those days.

Sun Ra

Sun Ra

The Sun Ra Friendly Galaxies event will be at San Francisco’s focal-point new music incubator and venue, Center for New Music (55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA – map), with our set at approx. 8:45pm on Wed 12 Nov. (Note: all set times below approximate; Examiner.com preview with more info about this show: here)

Bill Sebastian's Outerspace Visual Communicator in action

Bill Sebastian's Outerspace Visual Communicator in action

A wonderful, essential, feature of those Philly concerts was the Outerspace Visual Communicator, invented by Bill Sebastian. Controlled by a keyboard, this pioneering visual synthesizer was the perfect backdrop for the ecstatic music, poetry and dance of the Ra scene. We’re likewise very fortunate to have the video artisty of software virtuoso Warren Stringer to fulfill our needs for direct trans-asteroidal stimulation of the visual cortex. (John O’Shea will do likewise in Set 1).

My Way Is The Spaceways, by Sun Ra

My Way Is The Spaceways, by Sun Ra

“I think of myself as a complete mystery. To myself.”
Sun Ra, interview with Jennifer Rycenga (1988)

Mystic, space alien, musician, poet, afrofuturist, and mathematical philosopher, Sun Ra, who was obsessed with equations, was far too multi-dimensional a formula himself to “add up”. Many aspects of his life are known, many not, some deliberately obscured… with multiple versions of his first journey to Saturn in the 1930’s recorded in many places.

Space Is The Place, by Sun Ra

Space Is The Place, by Sun Ra

The more you find out about the details of his life, the more they seem simultaneously mysterious and mundane, as the important turning points seem not take place in the plane of human events…

John Cage Meets Sun Ra — a really weird record, even for these guys.. one of my favourites

John Cage Meets Sun Ra — a really weird record, even for these guys.. one of my favourites

… and not even the most outlandish assertions by Sun Ra can account for the superfluid transitions from outer-space to Fletcher Henderson that made you feel like you heard the entire history of jazz in one show (or one song).

Sun R

Sun Ra

We come not to explain therefore, but to celebrate, and shine with the mysterious beauty of the black Sun..

Sun Ra, cover from The Shadows Cast by Tomorrow

Sun Ra, cover from The Shadows Cast by Tomorrow

UBU RA BIG BAND

Assembled from the luminous gas remnants of the Beanbenders Supernova & other far corners of the universe, we travel through the sonic space of Sun Ra’s repertoire:

Steve Adams

Steve Adams – electronics (w possible wind instrument outbreaks)

Aaron Bennett

Aaron Bennett

Aaron Bennett – saxes

Myles Boisen

Myles Boisen – guitar

Phillip Greenlief

Phillip Greenlief – reeds

Percussion by any means necessary with John Hanes...

Percussion by any means necessary with John Hanes...

John Hanes – percussion

Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo: PeterBKaars.com, http://www.peterbkaars.com)

Joe Lasqo – keyboards/laptop

Lisa Mezzacappa

Lisa Mezzacappa – bass

Dan Plonsey performs at Temescal Arts Center

Dan Plonsey – reeds

Jon Raskin

Jon Raskin

Jon Raskin – reeds

David Slusser

David Slusser

David Slusser – reeds

Barbara Golden, the “Joan Rivers and Mae West of the Bay Area experimental music scene”

Barbara Golden, the “Joan Rivers and Mae West of the Bay Area experimental music scene"

Kattt Atchley

Space songtresses: Barbara Golden & Kattt Atchley

Nan Busse

Evangel King performs Bare Bones Crow against/with ancestor figures by Gillian Garro at The Garage, San Francisco, Sep 2009

Astro-Terspichorean dancers: Evangel King & Nan Busse

Warren Stringer

Video artist: Warren Stringer (Youtube, bio)

Set 1, 7pm: Reconnaissance Fly (Amanda Chaudhary: keyboard/electronics; Rich Lesnik: reeds; Polly Moller: voice, flutes, guitar; Larry the O: drums, and Tim Walters: bass/electronics)

Reconnaissance Fly

Reconnaissance Fly

We have the honor to share the bill with an astonishing band started a dozen years ago by Polly Moller, Reconnaissance Fly.

Through many kaleidoscopic changes of personnel and instrumentation, they’re now in one of their most vibrant electroacoustic forms ever, balancing twin analog/digital super beings Amanda Chaudhary (अमांडा चौधरी) and Tim Walters against the acoustic fire of reed wizard Rich Lesnik, the raw vocal & flute is-ness of Polly Moller, and the added inter-dimension of Larry the O. They will delight and amaze you with a mixed repertoire of original and Sun Ra sound adventures.

Polly Moller

Polly Moller

Polly Moller: voice, flute, bass flute, guitar, heat sink

The originator of the band and tea drinker, Polly Moller has a hard time resisting potatoes in all their myriad forms…

…with an emphasis on tasty multiphonics…

When composing for ensembles of other people and things, she makes sound-art rituals based on natural phenomena and the occult.

When composing for Reconnaissance Fly, she has difficulty keeping a piece the way she originally heard it.

Amanda Chaudhary (अमांडा चौधरी)

Amanda Chaudhary (अमांडा चौधरी)

Amanda Chaudhary (अमांडा चौधरी): keyboard, electronics

A brilliant elettronicista and keyboard player, Amanda is also a mistress of understated (and so all the more deadly) music theater and performance art in her duo Pitta of the Mind with poet Maw Shein Win, as well as a noted blogger writing on the multiverse-intersection of felines and voltage control at catsynth.com.

Larry the O

Larry the O

Larry the O: drums, percussion, odd commentary

“…it all runs together like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich you forgot in your pocket before doing the laundry. I guess I could just Google myself and find out…”

Rich Lesnick

Rich Lesnick

Rich Lesnik: clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone

Fiery, warm, wry, and often bizarre, Rich is not only a master of reeds but also a master builder of bicycle wheels at his business Hands On Wheels. Some of his heroes are (in this order): John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Che Guevara, Thich Nat Han.

Tim Walters

Tim Walters

Tim Walters: bass, computer

SuperCollider guru Tim Walters was born in the wagon of a traveling show. Mama used to dance for the money they’d throw. Papa would do whatever he could.

John O'Shea against a background of marigolds

John O'Shea against a background of marigolds

John O’Shea: video artist / illuminationist

“I am alive in San Francisco and a native Californian — working artist, Burning Man artist/volunteer, film maker, painter, stage manager”.

Also, not to be missed, in Set 2, approx. 8pm: Electropoetic Coffee (poet NSAA + guitarist Ross Hammond)

Electropoetic Coffee

Electropoetic Coffee

This wonderful duo has blown me off my feet with their totally-on, high-impact combination of poetry and music, and they’ll brilliantly carry forward the afrofuturist poetic tradition, which Sun Ra was such a vibrant part of, in our Friendly Galaxies event.

The blinding musical light of Sun Ra sometimes causes his impact as a 20th-century African American poet to be overlooked, but lyrics and poetic chant are integral to to a large portion of his vast book. And like Bob Dylan’s, they stand alone.

Who better to represent this bardic tradition than techno-griots Electropoetic Coffee?

“The new Dial-A-Poem format à la Burroughs/Anderson/Gyson…..BRING IT ON!!! “ – R. Foley, Chicago Hipster

Poet, NSAA (photo - Noel Neuburger)

Poet, NSAA (photo - Noel Neuburger)

Lawrence Dinkins a.k.a. NSAA (pronounced en-sah-ah), is a host at Mahogany Urban Poets, one of Sacramento’s oldest spoken word venues and a dynamic and expressive poet whose poems attack injustice and inhumanity. NSAA explores the African American experience, commenting on youth movements, musical rhythms, and social justice.

His first book, Sub American, is a collection of poems dealing with the concept of being a hyphenated American. In the book he explores a broad range of topics, ranging from President Bush+ Hurricane Katrina to the Civil Rights Movement.

NSAA is also the author/editor of Open Mic Sketchbook (2013) and released two spoken word CD’s, Lightning in a Bottle 1 (2009) and Lightning in a Bottle 2: NSAA’s Revenge (2013).

Ross Hammond

To let Ross Hammond speak for himself:

“I’m a guitarist, improviser and composer living in Sacramento, CA.  I never really know how to answer when people ask what type of music I play.  I suppose it’s rooted in jazz and folk and rock and soul, and then it’s heavy on the improvisation, except when it’s a composed piece.  Oftentimes the music I make is totally improvised.  Sometimes there’s no music at all and it’s just sound.  And then again I’ve been known to play a lot of acoustic, roots based music with other like-minded folks.  Sometimes I’ll accompany singers, songwriters, poets and dancers.   From time to time I’ll also get chances to write music for films and other art projects.  I’m not sure there’s any easy way to describe all of that, so I just say that I play the guitar.”

Those who have heard Ross Hammond are familiar with the problem of describing his fluid music, always unpredictable (except you can be sure it will always be warm, ear-opening, and very, very hip).

And those who know the music scene of the Greater East Bay stand in awe of Ross’ role in organizing Nebraska Mondays at Luna’s and many other events that keep the flame creative music burning brightly in Sacramento, Davis, Berkeley and points beyond.

Why indeed?

Why indeed?

Come vibrate with us in our meteor shower of RA-CONSCIOUSNESS on this special night (the night of the landing of the Philae probe on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko…!)

Joe

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