Monday, 29 July 2013

Sun Ra Charts | Tone Science

Sun Ra Charts | Tone Science: a very nice collection of over 90 charts from Sun Ra covering 1936-1978. Most were composed by Sun Ra, but there are also charts by Ronald Boykins, Julian Priester, Marshall Allen and others.

For me, part of the fascination with this music is seeing the evolution of Sun Ra’s name. The earliest chart, from December 1936

Allan Chase clarifies the Mystery: "Paper copies of most of these, and some not here, appeared somewhat mysteriously, unsolicited, in two large packages in the mailboxes of some known Sun Ra researchers and aficionados, including me, I believe in the late 1990s. I’m pretty sure it was after the Szwed bio and Robert Campbell discographies were published, and I know it was well after my 1992 MA thesis on Sun Ra’s music. Not sure of the legalities involved! These are mostly sketch scores prepared for copyright documentation; for example, to save fees, he would present groups of discrete compositions as “suites” so several could be copyrighted for one fee. The notes that are there are accurate, as far as I can see — most of the Sun Ra pieces are in his own hand, and he was meticulous — but not all the parts or harmonizations are there, and we know from one video and one CD that he dictated and changed harmony parts in rehearsal, as well as writing them. Some of these are confusing: “Shadow World” doesn’t resemble the recorded versions, to my knowledge — correct me if I’m wrong. “Advice to Medics” seems to include Sun Ra’s own transcription of his improvisation, far more detail than needed for copyright, and it’s a solo Wurlitzer piece (speeded up on record — goes above range of Wurly, as my student Eric Lane noticed.) “Space Loneliness” suite seems to be missing here, and contains many of the great tunes of the time. But there are some tunes here I didn’t have, by others (Richard Evans, for ex.). I could go on…Thanks!
I received my own copy from a wishes-to-be-anonymous source about ten or fifteen years ago, a precious brown-paper wrapped package of deep esoteric wisdom I've been pondering ever since, and likewise studying the evolution in Sun Ra's charts, but also constantly amazed at how complete his conception had been even from the very start of the Arkestra.

And now here they are, at long last, out in the open air.  Let the wild rumpus begin!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Human origins: Are we hybrids?
Chimpanzeein the specific case of humans, if the two assumptions made thus far are correct (i.e., (1) that humans actually are hybrids, and (2) that the chimpanzee actually is one of our two parents), then a list of traits distinguishing human beings from chimpanzees should describe the other parent involved in the cross. And by applying this sort of methodology, I have in fact succeeded in narrowing things down to a particular candidate. Keep reading and I'll explain.
an amusing experiment: at lunch today the boys and I used their electronic 20-questions toy to deduce the extra-hominid source of our human anomalies by answering the toy with those anomalous qualities and letting it guess the animal. It reached the same startling conclusion as this paper.