A Joyful Noise: Sun Ra and his Myth Science Arkestra As A Plane of Wisdom
If you are looking for positive ways to join in the conversation and to stand in solidarity with the black community, I highly recommend the works of Sun Ra and his Myth Science Arkestra. Amidst all the chaos of injustice and racism in the middle of a pandemic, as we safely distance ourselves and stay at home in quarantine, we can still learn new ways to approach this mess that we see on the news in a positive and healthy way. We can still learn and continue to create the beauty and the medicine that we need for ourselves to keep living, and that is through our music.
Changing History Through Culture
Sun Ra was an “American jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, and poet was known for his ‘experimental music, ‘cosmic philosophy,’ prolific output, and theatrical performances”. His music was from that mindset that he would create “impressions of happiness” through his music, to create better worlds without racism on a cosmically sonic level. Through the music that he made, he created a space for a utopia that encourages self-expression, joy, and happiness through the discipline of music. The COVID-19, the riots, and the injustices may stun the momentum for some of us creatives, but it is through discipline that we can connect to freedom worth discovering every day. KEEP GOING, every day is an opportunity to explore levels beyond our thoughts, our sounds, and our dreams. “envisioning in a better tomorrow starting now; the best way to affect people and the world is to make the world dance through joyful noise” -Sun Ra
Sun Ra – Lanquidity
Sun Ra’s 1978 studio album Lanquidity was originally released by Philly Jazz (with a shiny silver cover) and reissued by Evidence Records on HDCD in 2000 (with a light grey cover).
Lanquidity has been compared to Miles Davis’ heaviest jazz-rock-funk fusion, while Alternative Press says that it is “impossibly funky”. Music journalist Robert Christgau is a fan of the album.
“Where Pathways Meet”
“That’s How I Feel”
“Twin Stars of Thence”
“There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)”
The Wisdom of Sun Ra and His Arkestra
As apathetic that this political climate may seem, I do think that it is up to us artists to change the way we govern things by using our art to push the culture forward. History will change if our culture can dictate it.
“simply to create, culture can transform a world of death into a world of life we must make life beautiful, we must change earth from the hell that it is and make it the heaven that God intended” -Sun Ra
I encourage anybody to continue to participate in the beauty within ourselves and within each other, to build each other up instead of moving in ways of insecurity, fear, and hatred, we can still build something that’ll last through the test of time through our works of art.
Sun Ra passed away over 25 years ago but his impact still shapes culture to this day. Without him, we wouldn’t have artists like George Clinton, Del The Funky Homosapien, Madlib, or Flying Lotus. Listen, if you ever need some new reading material, or you got that Audible App on deck, I highly recommend the book “A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and The Birth of Afro Futurism (Discovering America)” by Paul Youngquist. Here’s a quote straight out of the book, chapter 8, Immeasurable Equation:
“Music is a plane of wisdom because music is a universal language, it is a language of honor, it is a noble precept, a gift of the fairy kingdom. Music is air, a universal existence common to all the living. Music is existence the key to the universal language because it is the universal language. Freedom of speech is freedom of music. Music is not material, music is spiritual.
Music is a living force that which is of the soul is the greater light, the light of greater instruction, the light of culture and beauty, the light of intensity and living power. The name of music is art, the name of music is played by infinite instruments, the name can lift dreams from nothing to reality and keep them ever before the eyes. Like once silent voices burst into song, the name strikes the ear and the sound of it rushes like a wild thing and takes its place at the core of even the minutest part of being.
Music has wings, it moves upon the wings of intuition and thought. Music is the ambassador of the airy kingdom. Sound, cosmic vibration, life, pure lifelike pure blood is negative. It is time to consider the negative plane of existence, it is time to consider music as a plane of wisdom and a weapon of defense against the past and the condemnations of the past. Blood when negative is pure, the negative is the symbol of the pure. The music of the past is positive music in the same way the past is symbolized by the positive.” -Sun Ra
Keep Living Y’all, and Stay Loud.
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