Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sun Ra

It’s quite obvious that one or more members of Drexciya were fans of Sun Ra fan or were at the very least admirers of his; there is the Shifted Phases track ‘Crossing the Sun Ra Nebula’ and Stinson was known to be a jazz fan, not to mention the conceptual parallels between the two acts. I recently came across my copy of the only published account of his life, ‘Space is the Place - The Life and Times of Sun Ra’, which came out in 1997 during Drexciya’s down period after ‘The Quest’. It’s very tempting to imagine them reading this book at the time and getting inspired all over again. I would say it’s very likely that they did read it, if not during 1997 itself then at some stage. If so they would have had to confront Sun Ra’s space obsessed concepts anew which was thoroughly explored by the books author John F. Szwed. I would recommend reading the book yourself. I‘ve said it before but it‘s worth stating again that if you are interested in precedents to Drexciya’s mythos then Sun Ra is someone to check out, in fact I would have to describe Sun Ra as a man without precedent! Sun Ra wrote a lot of words as well as music and would even lecture his band on his philosophies before live performances. I wish I had the time to research a complete article on this subject but I believe, like a lot of the speculative content of DRL, it’s better if I point people in a certain direction and let them come to their own conclusions. At an unspecified time Sun Ra wrote the following on the topic of evolution, a theme he shares with Drexciya.

“Man has to rise above himself...transcend himself. Because the way he is, he can only follow reproductions of idea’s, because he’s just a reproduction himself. He did not come from the creative system, he came from the reproductive system. But if he evolutes himself, he will come up from the creative system. What I’m determined to do is to cause man to create himself by simply rising up out of the reproductive system into the creative system . Darwin didn’t have the complete picture. I’ve been talking about evolution too but I’ve spelt it e-v-e-r.”

Sun Ra at Wikipedia