Cosmic Visions

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#1 Mon, 1994-07-11 17:09
Chris Trent
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Cosmic Visions

"Cosmic Visions" is the title that Blast First have given to their new Sun Ra video-and-CD-and-postcards pack: it is now shipping. (For those people who didn't hear about it earlier, this is a reader offer from Wire magazine, advertised in issues from May onwards.)

As anticipated, it consists of one PAL VHS video with both "Space And The Place" and "Magic Sun" included, and a CD single "I Am The Instrument" with Sun Ra reciting and playing keyboards, and four postcards with poems and declamations and pictures on them.

"Space Is The Place" appears to be exactly the same version as that recently re-released by Rhapsody/K-Jazz. The short film "Magic Sun" by Phil Niblock is definitely the same one that Robert Campbell quotes Danny Thompson as describing: "It was all shadows, all negatives." You couldn't put it any better than that! The soundtrack to this film consists of two tracks from Saturn LPs: Celestial Fantasy (When Angels Speak Of Love) and The Shadow World (The Magic City). The closing credits claim that it has some music from Strange Strings, too, but I can't hear any. There are certainly some of the Arkestra's more exotic string instruments visible in the film ...

"Magic Sun" also has a personnel list:

Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, Danny Davis, Pat Patrick, Clifford Jarvis, Robert Cummings, Ronnie Boykins, James Jacson, Herbie Griffin, Walter Miller, Jimhmi Johnson, Akhbar. (One or two surprises there, Robert: Griffin, Akhbar - any ideas?)

"I Am The Instrument", the CD single, was " ... the conclusion of an afternoon long session to record [Sun Ra's] poems with minimal music backing in Sun's 'natural creative setting' of his home." - Philadelphia 92.10.27. So, the rumoured Blast First poetry recording session really did take place - I wonder if we will hear more from it someday?

The whole package from Blast First has the number BFFP101, with V appended for the video and CD for the tape.

Chris Trent