…on music and poetry and poetry and music on…

…on music and poetry and poetry and music on…

by Steve Fly

“Omniverse / Is / The totality / Of / All the universes / And you / Are welcome / To / Be citizens / Of / The Omniverse–Sun Ra, Omniverse.


“Rhythm…is the first formal esthetic relation of any part to part in any esthetic whole or of an esthetic whole to its part or parts or of any part to the esthetic whole of which it is a part.–James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)

To this drummer/blogger, music and poetry share common parenting in the human universe. For example the 8 fingers and 2 thumbs, 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 eyes, 2 ears, 1 mouth and lungs of the majority of humans on earth create a basis and foundation for the human arts. The infinite potential of human hardware, the body, linked up with the infinite potential of the human software, mind, exhibited together in the spacetime flux of sound and symbol can heal the human condition and help the individual get a taste for freedom, and a little regiment.

Sounds Fly: Music Writing

by Steven James Pratt et al.

Link: http://a.co/9OHmjhJ

Continue reading “…on music and poetry and poetry and music on…”

Starseed Transmissions intersection point: July 23

Starseed Transmission intersection point

The following are some notes i made while revisiting the RAW high weirdness around the date July 23, 1973, and some of the influences and experiments he mixed together during those weeks.



EXHIBIT: Crowley book 4.
“It is impossible to lay down precise rules by which a man may attain to the knowledge and conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel; for that is the particular secret of each one of us; a secret not to be told or even divined by any other, whatever his grade. It is the Holy of Holies, whereof each man is his own High Priest, and none knoweth the Name of his brother’s God, or the Rite that invokes Him.–One star in sight, Book 4.
EXHIBIT: Starseed
“Kohoutek will have a pale blue and yellow tail stretching out for somewhere between 75,000,000 and 100,000,000 miles — the yellow portions of it in the shape of a scimitar. It will first be seen by the naked eye in mid-November and will look dull. But since it will be approaching the Sun at 250,000,000 miles an hour, it will brighten and from mid-December to Dec. 28 the peoples of the world will have the finest Christmas star ever.”
    How about that, Chump? Do you still believe everything out there “just happened by accident.”
    —From a “memo to a friend who is an atheist” in Bob Considine’s September 16 column in the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle. The quoted paragraph is from a release by the American Museum, Hayden Planetarium.–http://www.lycaeum.org/books/books/starseed/starseed.shtml

Composer, keyboardist and bandleader Sun Ra’s intimate connection with the cosmos is well documented, but it was rare that Ra was given cause for real celestial celebration. That opportunity did come in 1973 however, when Ra and his orchestra played a show in celebration of Kohoutek, a comet whose sighting was billed as the “Comet of the Century.” Though the comet was ultimately a visual disappointment, the concert was an aural success; the Arkestra is in a loose and comfortable realm on Concert for the Comet Kohoutek, whose release only came in the early ’90s before being reissued.–http://www.allaboutjazz.com/concert-for-the-comet-kohoutek-sun-ra-esp-disk-review-by-henry-smith.php#.U4ZioCgUpwF

EXHIBIT: Enochian
Enochian magic forms the backbone of both the Crowley and Golden Dawn systems of magic. Latest theories include that John Dee knew of the Slavonic Book of the Secrets of Enoch, as well as the Ethiopic Book of Enoch. Many individual magicians or very small groups prefer Enochian magic to other forms as the ceremonial scale required is smaller than needed for Masonic style ritual work. On the other hand, elaborate equipment is required to perform Enochian magic properly, including correct copies of the various Tablets and diagrams, and other apparatus (see “Enochian Temple Furniture” above).

Note that when Lilly writes, “To transcend one’s limiting set, one establishes an open-ended set of beliefs about the unknown,” he doesn’t give any indication of what those open-ended beliefs should be. That’s all up to you. I also find it significant that he suggests a “set of beliefs” rather than “a belief” about the unknown.
I remember Lee Perry, of the Samadhi Tank Company, telling me that John told them when giving orientations to first time users of the floatation tank to take extreme care to NOT give them any kind of programming or suggestions about HOW to use the tank, what to do or expect in there.– http://oz-mix.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/beliefs-unlimited.html

EXHIBIT: Beliefs Unlimited
“This exercise is useful when one attempts to move beyond one’s current belief structures. Record the the following in a soothing and authoritative manner five times into a tape recorder.
(start of belief unlimited tape)
In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true within certain limits, to be found experientially and experimentally. These limits are beliefs to be transcended.
Hidden from one’s self is a covert set of beliefs that control one’s thinking, one’s actions, and one’s feeling.
The covert set of hidden beliefs is the limiting set of beliefs to be transcended.
To transcend one’s limiting set, one establishes an open ended set of beliefs about the unknown.
The unknown exists in one’s goals for changing one’s self, in the means for changing, in the use of others for the change, in one’s capacity to change, in one’s orientation towards change, in one’s elimination of hindrances to change, in one’s assimilation of the aids to change, in one’s use of the impulse to change, in one’s need for changing, in the possibilities of change, in the form of change itself, and in the substance of change and of changing.
There are unknowns in my goals towards changing.There are unknowns in my means of changing. There are unknowns in my relations with others in changing. There are unknowns in my capacity for changing. There are unknowns in my orientation towards changing. There are unknowns in my assimilation of changes. There are unknowns in my needs for changing. There are unknowns in my possibilities of me changing. There are unknowns in the forms into which changing will put me. There are unknowns in the substance of the changes that I will undergo, in my substance after changes.
My disbelief in all these unknowns is a limiting belief, preventing my transcending my limits. My disbelief in all these unknowns is a belief, a limiting belief, preventing my transcending my limits.
By allowing, there are no limits; no limits to thinking, no limits to feeling, no limits to movement. By allowing, there are no limits. There are no limits to thinking, no limits to feeling, no limits to movement.
That which is not allowed is forbidden. That which is allowed exists. In allowing no limits, there are no limits. That which is forbidden is not allowed. That which is not allowed forbidden. That which exists is allowed. That which is allowed, exists. In allowing no limits, there are no limits. That which is not allowed is forbidden. That which is forbidden is not allowed. That which is allowed, exists. That which exists is allowed. To allow no limits, there are no limits. No limits allowed, no limits exist.
In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true. In the province of the mind there are no limits. In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true. There are no limits.
(end of Belief Unlimited tape)
(from The centre of the cyclone an autobiography of inner space by John C. Lilly,M.D.)
When listening to the tape, lie in a comfortable position on the floor with the lights very dim and just allow the words and meaning enter you without any resistance. DO IT SOON, DO IT REGULARLY.

Robert Anton Wilson shares his thoughts about the experience of what seems like contact of a profound nature with some kind of external intelligence. His experience began after taking LSD and listening to a tape recording of John Lilly’s Beliefs Unlimited, followed by Aleister Crowley’s Liber Samekh, which is a version of the Bornless Ritual used to invoke the Holy Guardian Angel. Wilson followed this initial experiment with the performance of additional rituals and sex magick, also including the previously mentioned tape recordings, but without the LSD.

    “On June 6, 1973, the Neurologician took a programmed trip on something an underground Alchemist told him was LSD. The program was in two parts, basically: I remained in a dark room, eyes closed, lying on a bed, during most of it. Part one was the playing back, on a tape recorder, of Dr. John Lilly’s “Beliefs Unlimited” hypnosis-tape; this was repeated several times during the first three hours of the experiment. During hours 4 to 5, a tape of Aleister Crowley’s Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel was played.
    The next day, and in the following weeks, my yoga meditations were vastly enriched, and I occasionally went for days on end conscious of the two minds thinking, my mind and the “hornless” Mind, or, as Suzuki Roshi used to say, Little Mind and Big Mind.
    On July 22, 1973-six weeks after the trip-the Wizard was ready to try again, without the supposed LSD.
    This time, I used the Lilly tape and the Crowley invocation again, without drugs, but with prolonged and holy rituals or Tantric sex-trance involving the cooperation of the Most Beautiful Woman in the Galaxy.
    (pg.83-86 Cosmic Trigger)
 Relevant link:
A biography of Suzuki, titled Crooked Cucumber, was written by David Chadwick in 1999. —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shunryu_Suzuki
Relevant link:

EXHIBIT: Timothy Leary on Starseed
“Einstein’s equations. Nuclear energy. The revelation of DNA code as literally a code to be deciphered. Neurological imprinting. Anti-matter. Mankind clings to the old myths, avoiding the new truths. It happened before.
    “Towards the end of the sixteenth century, Giordano Bruno aroused the groggy world, asking it to fling its mind far beyond the planets. He speculated that the cosmos extended to infinity.
    “This in itself was not so shocking; but Bruno went considerably further—he postulated a multiplicity of world: suns and planets with life, unseen companions for the race of man. He toyed with man’s conception of himself; for this, and for magical claims and political entanglements, he was burned in 1600.” The Discovery of Our Galaxy, Charles Whitney.

EXHIBIT: Liber Samekh

“The Word that goeth from
(A) Free Breath
(U) through Willed Breath
(M) and stopped Breath
(GN) to Continuous Breath,
thus symbolizing the whole course of spiritual life. A is the formless Zero; U is the six-fold solar sound of physical life, the triangle of Soul being entwined with that of Body; M is the silence of “death”; GN is the nasal sound of generation and knowledge.

being the Ritual employed by the Beast 666 for the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel during the Semester of His performance of the Operation of the Sacred Magick of ABRAMELIN THE MAGE.

EXHIBIT: Guardian Angel
The Bornless Rite takes about half an hour to perform start to finish, and it involves a certain amount of visualisation, statements of intent, and a whole lot of resonating ‘barbarous names’ (i.e. words which don’t mean anything but which help you focus or meditate on the energy you are trying to evoke).  If you want to read Crowley’s text about how to go about the rite you can read it here.  However, as with most text by Crowley it isn’t always as clear as it might be.
Performing it the first time I wasn’t terribly competent – there’s a lot going on, a lot to remember, and frankly barbarous names are a pain in the backside.  Just exactly how are you supposed to pronounce AR-O-GO-GO-RU-ABRAO without feeling slightly self conscious?  But it rapidly became apparent there was something to this – if the goal of a magickal ritual is to shift the consciousness of the magickian, then this worked a treat.  By the end of it I felt like I was buzzing with energy, and I did, indeed, feel a certain ‘divine authority’ had come upon me.  Cool, I thought, this is something to do again.
The history of the Bornless rite is pretty interesting.  First of all, the title seems to be a mistranslation – it should be the Headless Rite.  But that sounds a lot less cool.  There’s an argument to suggest it means head as in the beginning or start, therefore headless means without beginning, and Bornless might be a reasonable parallel for that concept.

Exhibit: from wikipedia: July 23, 1973 (Monday)

    A member of the Japanese Red Army and four members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijack Japan Air Lines Flight 404, a Boeing 747-246B with 140 other people on board, shortly after it takes off from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands for a flight to Anchorage, Alaska, en route a final destination of Tokyo International Airport, Tokyo, Japan. One of the PFLP members is killed when her hand grenade explodes during the hijacking, also injuring the airliner’s chief purser. The surviving hijackers force the plane to fly to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; after a long stay there, they force it to fly to Damascus, Syria, and Benghazi, Libya, where they release the passengers and crew 89 hours after the hijacking began and blow up the airliner.
    Ozark Air Lines Flight 809, a Fairchild Hiller FH-227, encounters windshear in a thunderstorm and crashes at Normandy, Missouri, while on approach to land at St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, killing 38 of the 44 people on board.
    The Avianca Building in Bogotá, Colombia, suffers a serious fire.

Exhibit 2: From wikipedia:
1829 – In the United States, William Austin Burt patents the typographer, a precursor to the typewriter.– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_23

EXHIBIT: Book 4, One star in sight.
Liber 185 need not be quoted at length. It is needful only to say that the Aspirant is trained systematically and comprehensively in the various technical practices which form the basis of Our Work. One may become expert in any or all of these without necessarily making any real progress, just as a man might be first-rate at grammar, syntax, and prosody without being able to write a single line of good poetry, although the greatest poet in soul is unable to express himself without the aid of those three elements of literary composition. —http://hermetic.com/crowley/book-4/app2.html

EXHIBIT: Secret Chiefs
Several 19th and 20th century occultists claimed to belong to or to have contacted these Secret Chiefs and made these communications known to others, including H.P. Blavatsky (who called them the “Tibetan Masters” or Mahatmas), C.W. Leadbeater and Alice A. Bailey (who called them Masters of the Ancient Wisdom), Guy Ballard and Elizabeth Clare Prophet (who called them Ascended Masters), Aleister Crowley (who used the term to refer to members of the upper three grades of his order, A∴A∴ ), Dion Fortune (who called them the “esoteric order”), and Max Heindel (who called them the “Elder Brothers”).

The Enochian Calls or Keys (the angels refer to them by both titles) are 48 spirit evocations delivered to Dee and Kelley in the Enochian language and then translated into English word for word by the angels. The overt purpose of the Keys, the angels declared, was to enable Dee to establish ritual communication with the spirits of the 30 Aethers or Airs who rule over the tutelary spirits of the nations of the earth. There are actually 49 Keys, but the first, the angels said, is too sacred and mysterious to be voiced. The first eighteen explicit Keys are completely different in their wording; the last 30 are similar save for the name of the Aether inserted in the first line. The angel Raphael declares the expressed purpose the Keys to Dee: —http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/bb/bluebook418.htm

Pull my ring:

Back in the mid to late 1990’s while reading the first ‘Cosmic Trigger’ by RAW, i was struck by a perceived synchronicity when reading the section about Dr Timothy Leary and the starseed transmissions, due to my recent encounter with Sun Ra and the concert for comet Kahoutek, which is the same comet that Dr Timothy Leary mentions in his starseed transmissions, as the cosmic trigger, in some sense a literal cosmic trigger from the skies, perhaps you could say. I would say, and i picked up on this synchronicity and made an early association between, RAW synchronicity cluster fucks from his book Cosmic Trigger,and my own feelings about special kinds of free jazz, out there experimental jazz, the later works of Coltrane, the strange worlds of Sun Ra, and of course my own experiments with altered states of awareness, a little Yoga, some Magick and strange drugs, mostly of the organic and local variety.

Almost 20 years ago i turned on to what was happening and within only a few short years i was lucky to be immersed in channeling interests based around RAW and his tribes that unfold from his books. A memorable moment that tipped me into a slightly more receptive state to mystical happenings, or strange synchronicity, was when the tripper was reading the book ‘Design for Dying’ by Dr Timothy Leary and R.U Sirius (Ken Goffman), and listening to to ‘the bottle’ by Gil Scot Heron, when the music and text synced up together upon the word ‘John Coltrane’, Leary was using his music as a metaphor to describe the sub-atomic world of quantum mechanics, clouds of probabilities.

 I like the idea of a constellation’ of harmonic vibrations, cohering to the individual mind-body conduit making it all happen, with luck on behalf of all the tribe, the global epic, in this case the music of John Coltrane and/or Sun Ra. ‘Cosmic’ in the best sense of that word. And, it was comet Kahoutek that first struck me with a strong enough synchronicity to break me out from my conditioned rigid reality constructs into a new world, with my own spirit, off and out billions of light years away, entering chapel penniless.

New ideas flew out from my head and a few others around me, and a rising tide of terrible popular assimilation’s and degradations of everything and anything that could be purchased, thanks, in the most part to the Thatcher/Reagan invasion, and move toward an unrestricted global finance capitalism, a true monster that swallowed up anything original, churning out cheap imitations and co-opting the signals, signs, music and culture of rebellion to simply extend the universal brands. Enough moaning.

Getting back to today, i just returned from a Sun Ra centennial celebration concert with the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen, held at the Barbican theater. I was fortunate to be the guest of poet John Sinclair, who performed with the Ra esque, out jazz cats Flounder Effect, reading a freshly composed ode to Sun Ra, and introducing the Arkestra itself. I met Marshall after the show briefly, shook his hand, said ‘beautiful, thankyou’ and saw his friendly spirited greetings and loving vibes for John.
The plot thickens a little more when you consider that John Sinclair introduced me to the great Michael Ray (Galactic tone scientist) and driving force of the Sun Ra Arkestra and formations since 1978. Michael kindly managed to slip into the studio in Amsterdam while visiting with Kool and the Gang, and incredibly improvise a special language for trumpet, to fit snug with Johns 23 poems all taken from his great work in verse dedicated to Thelonious Monk: I mean you.

I had previously seen Michael Ray in the context of his Kosmic Krewe when living in new Orleans 2004, and his band often criss-crossed with the touring band ‘Garaj Mahal’ who i was fortunate to ‘jam’ with between 2000-2005 across the U.S. I have a fond memory of seeing his band at the Blue Nile in 2004 at the rather strange time of 2.00 P.M on a mid-week afternoon. The new language of responsive improvisation struck me at that gig, the outness of some parts, and then leading into loverly swinging epic masterpieces.
That was a decade ago, today, i sit at the kitchen table with John Sinclair, Tuesday 3rd June, 2014. Only a few hours ago John recorded his new poem dedicated to Sun Ra here in Blackheath studios, London, thanks to Caleb Selah. Who knows what will conjure itself up from this collaboration, but it will be certain to lift a few Whigs and air out a few earlugs, not least illuminate with the condensed special language of poetry deployed by John Sinclair.

The other piece to this puzzle, and perhaps the main driving force that led me to write this blog-post, whathaveyou, is my recent role as musical director for the ‘Cosmic Trigger’ stage play.

Compiled by Steve Fly


Steve The Fly is following up on the amiri Baraka treatise comparing the work of Charles Olson & Sun Ra with this episode featuring recordings by the principals plus selections by Robert Creeley, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Archie Shepp, Langston Hughes, Jack Kerouac, and William Butler Yeats.–John Sinclair.


Steve The Fly is following up on the amiri Baraka treatise comparing the work of Charles Olson & Sun Ra with this episode featuring recordings by the principals plus selections by Robert Creeley, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Archie Shepp, Langston Hughes, Jack Kerouac, and William Butler Yeats. – See more at: http://www.radiofreeamsterdam.com/mayan-maximus-arkestra-fly-by-night-with-steve-the-fly-38/#sthash.6iPrfemY.dpuf

The Tale of the ‘Dog’ Tribe

The Tale of the Dogon?
By Steve ‘fly agaric 23’ Pratt, June 21st 2010. Amsterdam

“First you were Nomad, next you were Namar, now you’re Numah and it’s soon you’ll be Nomon. –James Joyce, FW, pg. 374.

After another 24 hours of reflection on my writing and ideas blogged here, how they were formulated, where they came from, and how much ‘value’ they have, how much ‘truth? I have been cast on a whirlwind journey through memories and some forgotten texts, and landed myself in the thick of the Sirius mystery, Cosmic Trigger, Finnegans Wake and the ‘Space’ philosophy and music of SUN RA.

This blog is my attempt to track my thoughts and ideas as they grow, and here I’m writing an introduction to navigate and update my ideas. It may help to know that I first wrote out 3000 words describing my thoughts and experiences on the Summer Solstice, and then went back into some reference books and web searching to add exhibits to my thoughts.

This process of sourcing out particular areas of interest ‘words’ and ‘phrases’ resulted in a massive influx of new directions and links between my original subject matter. I new of places that I wanted to search because of the words, but the extra information surrounding these investigative nodes, the page numbers and the ‘illustrations’ help to waft my initial sparks, and fan them–like bellows–into a firey synthesis. –Steve fly, 22nd June, 2010. 2.00P.M

Roots Festival Encounters of the Tuvan kind

Yesterday, 20th June 2010; I stepped outside my front door into the roots festival held just a few meters away from where I live in Oosterpark Amsterdam. I did not plan going to the festival and more or less stumbled upon the band HANGGAI soundchecking while strolling with a friend around the park, early on in the day. I stuck around for their full performance and this led to a longest day epiphany for me. Triggering a flurry of ideas and connections between my favourite things. Let me try to explain.

When I lived in San Francisco I was fortunate to be introduced to Tuvan music and culture from two sources, the first was via a close friend describing the enduring story behind ‘Ghengis Blues: a collaborative album between an American Bluesman and a Tuvan throat singer, the high pitched part of the ‘throat singing’ struck my memory nodes, evoking the Massive Attack tune, Karmacoma.

The second source of my initial interest in Tuvan throat singing and music was Via the great 20th century scientific genius: Richard Feynman, close friends and work associates of mine were friends with Feyman, and I picked up on the ‘Tuvan’ musical interests of his, somewhat. He played drums and had a flare for art, music and poetry that I found attractive for a nanotechnologist and Nobel Prize winning scientist.

My only other encounter with Tuvan throat singing, or Tuvan anything, since my trip to America ten years ago, was just a month back at the ‘Firey Tongues’ festival, held at the beautiful T.A.Z called Ruigoord. Where I believe that along with a stunning ‘Tuvan Throat singing’ solo performance there was a reading from a newly translated ‘text’ from Tuva, as usual I did not pay full attention to that performance, but was instantly struck by the ‘Tuvan’ meme bouncing back into my mind, that got me to thinking and talking a little about ‘Ghengis Blues’ and Richard Feynman and my experiences.

Only a matter of hours ago I was once again confronted with that unmistakable sound of ‘Throat singing’ like a whistle into phase shift resulting in an almost electronic ‘ static’ in the air. The band HANGGAI played a full array of instruments, drums, guitar, bass, flute, vocals and various other stringed instruments I am unfamiliar with.

During the performance I noticed a lady dancing, spinning, leaping and twirling around to the music, who I thought was moving with the music just perfectly, and made me smile, made me think and wish I would have the confidence to get up and dance like that in the early afternoon. When the show came to a close I sat under the Big Top tent, watching the stage and the festival smiles, taking in the good vibes. The dancing lady was close by with her friends and so I said ‘thankyou for dancing and the good vibes’. She kindly then began to explain a little about Tuvan music to me, and that she was from Mali, I did my Ghenghis Feyman rap, and we were sharing our admiration for ‘Tuva’ and ‘Nepal’ and indigenous music in general I suppose.

After a few minutes of conversation I learn that the lady I am talking with was the wife of the great Ali Farka Toure’ (1939-2006) and the people she is with are some of her family, her words suddenly take on an extra richness and ‘truth’ in describing Mali, and the beauty of ‘travel’. But alas, after a few moments we were swept back into the festival and unable to continue our conversation, and unfortunately unable to catch her name, but ‘Ali Farka Toure’ sure stuck with me, I am familiar with his music in part from playing and spending time with Guitarist Fareed Haque of Garaj Mahal, who incorporates much West African music into his playing, and invariably some critters surrounding Fareed and the band turned me onto Ali Farka Toure’.

I did not get chance to launch into my Garaj Mahal rap, or any other rap, and due to this my mind was reeling, thinking I must write, write this out out here in a blog as an introduction to the following synthesis between areas of my ongoing research and study into Myth, Magic and Music.

Shortly after leaving the show I sat alone on a bench rolled a joint and started to read the book I grabbed off the shelf yestermorn’ for any reading opportunities that present themselves: “The Way Of The Sacred by Sir Francis Huxley. Who I once heard lecture on indigenous knowledge and culture at the Prophets Conference, Santa Fe, Ten years ago. While flipping through the book I stumbled upon Dogon, and suddenly right there where I was sitting it all came together in a flash.

Finnegans Wake and the Dogon Nommo Cosmic Trigger fired by Sun Ra and His Intergalactic Arkestra.

(*F26*)I forget to) bolt the thor. Auden. Wasn’t it just divining that dog of a dag –James Joyce, FW, pg. 279

Ah, well not yet, I would like to take more caution when entering into these waters, and try to outline ‘why’ the things I write about here are meaningful to me and ‘why’ I feel they are meaningful and worth communicating to others.

I have read Cosmic Trigger by Robert Anton Wilson as recently as 2009, and several times before that, and I read Finnegans Wake almost daily, and often aloud. Sun Ra and his Arketra can be found throughout my DJ sets from over the last twelve years, and since being fortunate to build a close friendship with Sun Ra scholar and associate; John Sinclair, I’ve taken on an extra literary, cultural and multimedia appreciation of Sun Ra and got into a good chunk of his prolific output as composer, arranger, bandleader, poet and visionary futurist.

“Their cosmology is one of the most complicated ever to be recorded in print, and it begins, as does the Hindu cosmogony, with an egg—the Egg of Amma, the name Amma signifying God and meaning “to hold tight,” “to arrange.” –Sir Francis Huxley, The Way Of The Sacred, pg. 94.

James Joyce, Robert Anton Wilson and Sun Ra are arguably complex individuals of a special genius, and as three individuals I am somewhat familiar with I would like to propose a synthesis of these three artists in the form of a short story. And along the way use extensive footnotes and hyperlinks to exploit some of their ideas, while sticking with my own ‘synchronistic’ encounters and experiments as guides to what to include and what to…


“This stone is an ark because it is the foundation stone on which the earth is created. It has its own number, 60, the number of years that elapse between celebrations of the Dogon foundation ceremony. Upon it, in Dogon cosmology, the House of Amma descends as a granary and as a spinning whorl. The granary has a round base and a square top, associated with the numbers four and six respectively. It is the mirror image of its heavenly prototype, which has a square base and a round top. This reversal, in which the inside also becomes the outside, takes place during the descent, which is made down the rainbow, in a sevenfold spiral. Here the spinning whorl enters the Dogon picture. –Sir Francis Huxley, The Way of The Sacred, Pg 166.

The Dogon are a West African culture with a remarkably refined and celebrated history, mythology, astrology and culture in the west that has led some researchers to propose strong cases backed up by various evidence suggesting that they were visited by advanced beings or that they contacted other intelligences and managed to preserve some of this special advanced knowledge in their language, culture and rituals.

When I visited Berkeley in 2000 AD, I attended an unforgettable and important conference held in the Presidio called Planetworkers: Information technology and Global Ecology. This event was a kind of nodal point for me, a place where I witnessed presentations and presenters that were ahead of their time, I thought, folks like Bruce Sterling, Mark Pesce, Peter Russel, Ralph Abraham, Erik Davis and many more of that genius calibre, a special combination of West Coast intellectual optimism and techno-shamanism. Terence Mckenna was scheduled to be at Planetworkers 2000 but had died only weeks earlier, his life and work were acknowledged and celebrated at the conference that, thankfully made space for the psychedelic components to ‘consciousness’ research and psychedelic studies. Always a good thing I think, especially when combined with intellectual genius and cutting edge technology, such as ‘the world wide web’.

Between presentations were a selection of music al offerings, some of which featured a Bass player called Kai Eckhardt who I shared a conversation with in the foyer only to discover that he was playing a show later that week with a pianist called Jack Perla, who’s name and playing I knew from my collaborative musical partner from back home in Wolverhampton called Surinder Sandhu, who had recently worked with Jack. This cool encounter with Kai led me to the show and a meeting with Jack, and later being invited to Kai’s studio, where I met thunderous drummer ‘Alan Hertz’ and Keyboard player and composer Paul Godwin, who had an electronic outfit called DOGON.

“Because of their preoccupations with the doubleness of things, the Dogon have two signs for each of the four elements. –Sir Francis Huxley, The Way Of The Sacred. pg. 94.

I was familiar with the name Dogon from reading Cosmic Trigger and this mini little synchronicity burnt into my memory right there. I was invited back to Kai’s studio shortly afterwards to perform with Paul Godwin, Rhiannon and Kai in his ‘Modern Fairy Tale’ spoken word musical opera, and thereafter to perform in many other settings with the great Kai Eckhardt, leading to me playing over fifty shows with Garaj Mahal and recording on their first two studio albums: Mondo Garaj and Blueberry Cave.

In an email correspondence with Mark Pesce last week I mentioned ‘Dogon’ and Paul Godwin, who Mark had also collaborated with on a music related project, in the context of remembering the Planetworkers Conference, where Mark gave a speech titled “The Real World”.

Dogon Nommo Hemphill and Roach.

The above sketches out some of the thoughts I was having yesterday while reading Francis Huxley on the Dogon, sitting in Oosterpark, minutes after a remarkable conversation and musical performance that somewhat helped me tune in the West African ‘Dogon’ tribe in Huxley’s book that has led to my current state of excitement in revisiting the ‘Dogon’ tales in 2010, using both ‘Finnegans Wake’ and the music and art performance of Sun Ra and his Arkestra, as contextual ‘spaces’ and ‘times’ for this new analysis, and a basis for my own interpretations of the data.

Comet Kahoutek

A somewhat related theme to the ‘Dogon Mystery’ by way of Cosmic Trigger is the fly by of the comet Kahoutek in 1973 that ties into both the ‘Starseed transmissions’ transmitted by Dr. Timothy Leary from Folsom Prison and with Sun Ra who performed a special concert for the Comet on December 12, 1973. ‘Concert for the Comet Kahoutek’ was the first Sun Ra disk I bought in approx. 1998, in part due to the ‘Starseed’ connection to the Comet.

Kosmic Trigger.

“Have real honest to god extraterrestrials from Sirius been meddling in the affairs of this backward planet? – Robert Anton Wislon, CT, pg, 184.

I should emphasize the impact this book had on me twelve years ago, in my attempt here to record my state of mind and reason back then, when building ‘fly agaric 23’ and navigating my way through the works of RAW and Terence Mckenna, continuing my experimental, Jazz inflected musical journey as a Drummer and DJ, intent on including and sharing some of the wisdom I perceived within these works; the drive that led me to journey to the US and study with Dr. Wilson.

Like Robert Anton Wilson, the Dogon tribe of West Africa demonstrate an interest in the Sirius double/triple? star system. “Sirius is important to you” and “something about time, the future and infinity” are words that Dr. Wilson saw written on a Black Board by a man with a long white beard, like Mr. Natural (or Dr. John Dee) in an important vision/dream he wrestled into his waking life and book, due in part to the fact that he had this dream/vision on July 23rd 1973. Sirius, the Dogon tribe and the 23 enigma collide or give birth at this point in RAW’s life, experimenting with Astral Projection, Magick and psychedelics and experiencing contact, success and breakthroughs in these areas of Occult research and shared feedback.

Finnegans Nommo

Through the cycle of Osiris, Isis plays a number of important roles; she is mother, faithful wife, sister-lover, steadfast widow. The goddess had thousands of names, and many shapes; she might be a divine cow, a bird, or even the star Sothis (Sirius). Her manifest nature is shown at one point in FW as several of these forms, and the search for the parts of Osiris is suggested simultaneously, as a questing crone runs to “sothisfeige her cowrieosity” (14.02). –Mark L. Troy. –http://www.trentu.ca/faculty/jjoyce/mummeries/troybook.htm

So what are the Dogon Tribe all about and why are they so important to us today, what can we learn from the wisdom they have shared, how does it relate to our present situation on earth? These more objective questions are best tackled by invoking my favourite book and mighty not-so-secret secret weapon in the war on some drugs: Finnegans Wake.

It seems that much of the great learning and wisdom gathered by the Dogon can be best distinguished by its relationship to modern ideas, scientific findings, cosmological models, BIG uestions about a singularity, self and becoming, causality, prophecy, the future of humanity and planet earth, the cosmos, spacetime and beyond.

While reading Sir Francis Huxley describe the intricacies and complex ideas of the Dogon I thought of the ‘resolution of opposites’ at work in Finnegans Wake, and in a flash saw every piece of symbolism Huxley mentioned in Joyce’s masterpiece, as if it were itself a tale of the Nommo tribe, or some extraterrestrial multilingual intelligence guiding us into the future of hypertext and hyperculture. Lo.

Sun Ra and Sirius

It seems likely to me that amidst Sun Ra’s extensive literary study into African and world folklore and mythology he came across the practices and traditions of the Dogon tribe. And I imagine would have latched onto some of the themes of possible extraterrestrial contact, but more importantly forwarded, retranslated and represented the music, dance, art and culture of these tribes, Sun Ra performed and recorded music. Something that unfortunately most other extraterrestrial theorists overlook as a means of communication with ‘higher’ beings, if you like to use the ‘higher’ label.

Make it Knu!

The most economical explanation for all of this seems to be that an Earth-Sirius communication has occurred, at least once, probably several times. –RAW. CT, 1pg. 89.

That ‘they’ or ‘it’ travel by way of music seems a given to me personally, if you like to adopt a pretty simple model for extraterrestrial intelligence and communication. Yet, we must agree that any advanced form of communication would work throughout all of our recognized mediums and our spectrum of energy waves. But music, music seems like an ancient and relatively simple mode of two-way communication with ‘it’. Maybe it’s better to call ‘it’ hyper-intelligence’ and maybe at this stage propose that ‘it’ maybe ubiquitous throughout spacetime.

The music and ‘it’ tend to reveal each other on occasion, I think, and something about some music in the Jazz idiom seems to somehow scramble time & space in a way reminiscent of ‘hyperintelligence’ a glimpse into the fututure-presnet-pist side, where everything changes in an instant, and new worlds open up and with them new possibilities, new conversations, new languages and new ideas. Make it Knu!

ET Net

Mark Pesce recently exposed the genius of James Joyce and in particular his book Finnegans Wake, and illustrates how Joyce co-opted the future in some sense, co-inventing ‘hypertext’ before programmable computers and co-ordinating some as yet unknown and undefined ‘Hyperintelligence’ into his book, that has managed to withstand the void of literature created by html Hypertext, internet and twitter. I have collaborated on further illustrating his writing.

To my knowledge Joyce did not report any extraterrestrial experiences in the explicit sense that both RAW and Sun Ra did, ‘RA’ claiming his first encounter in 1936 went as follows:

… my whole body changed into something else. I could see through myself. And I went up … I wasn’t in human form … I landed on a planet that I identified as Saturn … they teleported me and I was down on [a] stage with them. They wanted to talk with me. They had one little antenna on each ear. A little antenna over each eye. They talked to me. They told me to stop [attending college] because there was going to be great trouble in schools … the world was going into complete chaos … I would speak [through music], and the world would listen. That’s what they told me. –Szwed, John F. (August 21, 1998). Space Is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra.

However, anybody who claims that Joyce did not have an Extraterrestrial experience seems to have missed the point of Finnegans Wake, that for me qualifies as a totally ‘alien’ and certifiably advanced language and/or code. Precisely the kind of thing an advanced civilization would want to communicate to earthly humanity: the wonder and epiphany at the interconnectedness of all things.

For me James Joyce’s FW and the music of Sun Ra and his Arkestra are similar shaped vehicles of extraterrestrial communication, but whereas the music of Sun Ra is explicit and enters through the eye and ear world, Joyce reverses the process somewhat, ringing and jangling songs and tunes, spells and proverbs from dozens of languages, all sensed in the head-space, but with a strange sense of timelessness and transcendence of space, when ‘non-simultaneously apprehended’ with the human eye; jumping about a jungle of earthly hyperintelligence and hilaritas, condensed into nodal clusters of meaning and hyper-connectivity, ringing many bells and scattering connections allwayswords.


“I might mention that Arthur Young, founder of the Institute for the study of consciousness, was the one who originally turned Robert Temple on to the idea of trying to find out how the Dogon tribe knew so much about the dark companion of Sirius. And Arthur Young, in turn, had first heard of this tribal lore from Harry Smith, a film maker who claims to be the son of Aleister Crowley…) –Saul Paul Sirag, CT, pg. 242.

I am not sure if RAW listened to Sun Ra, but it stand a good chance due to telling me he liked Charlie Parker, Mahler, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Beethoven and Miles Davis, in particular. And Robert first got turned onto the debil’ weed at a Modern Jazz Quintet show, so RAW was certainly Hip to Bebop and jazz, and with his perchance for ‘Classical’ music too one would imagine Big Band Jazz and the sounds of Sun Ra might tickle his fancy.

Who knows, but I want to show here how the music of Sun Ra links directly into RAWs chapter in Cosmic Trigger detailing Dr. Timothy Leary’s experience with extraterrestrial intelligence and the comet Kahoutek earyh flyby in 1973, an event I chose to magnify here as it had a significant ‘woo woo’ effect on me when I first read Cosmic Trigger and encountered the Sirius Mystery. Nonetheless I like to think that RAW might enjoy a SUN RAW comparative essay with a healthy dose of Finnegans Wake stirred in.

For more on this please see my essay ‘The Myth Art and Music of Sun Ra’ (Headpress, 2010)

Back To Earth Frontear.

“The Dogon believe that everyone is born with eight seeds stored within the collarbones, four coming from the mother’s line and four from the father’s—a prototype, in symbolic terms of modern genetic theory. –Sir Francis Huxley, The Way Of The Sacred, Pg. 166.

Although the ‘outer space’ theme may often be criticised as leaving planet earth and humanity behind in an escapist trip to the stars, yet on the contrary I will show how the outer space theme in the works of Sun Ra, RAW and James Joyce, or the ‘cosmological’ complexity and ‘chaos’ often inherent in their works transmits a message for earth people, right here right now, that this ‘it’ or ‘hyperintelligence’ exists everywhere and nowhere, invisible and staring us straight in the face, neither here nor there but with us. No we are not alone in the Universe, on any level, we are hyperconnected throughout time and space, on many levels, if we wish to tune into them. Tune in, remember, and find the other worlds?

Solstice 2010

“by the tremours of Thundery and Ulerin’s dogstar, you alone, windblasted tree of the knowledge of beautiful andevil, ay, clothed upon with the metuor and shimmering like the horescens, astroglodynamonologos, –FW, 194.

Looking back at my experience this Solstice I deduce that the Sun, and the sun behind the sun has gently hinted that ‘Sirius IS impotant” and that the African wisdom found in the Dogon tribe can be teased out from Finnegans Wake and the study of Joyce’s special cosmological ‘tribal’ language.

A New Dogon tale?

I have found that during my research into these three iconoclast multicultural icons the pull to create a new interpretation of current events and the state of the planet earth in 2010. Using my sense for connectivity and mixing media I present the SUN RA SIRIUS SEED TRANSMISSION sampler, enjoy, love, steve.

“An whele time he was rancing there smutsy floskons nodunder ycholerd for their poopishers, ahull onem Fyre maynoother endnow! Shatten up ship ! Bouououmce ! Nomo clandoilskins cheakinlevers ! –James Joyce, FW, 370.

“Circling round Shaun the girls weep, their mourning song echoes, “dosiriously it psalmodied” (470.13). The girls are sadly desirous of Osiris, desirous as Sirius (Sothis). It was in the form of this star that Isis wept for the lost Osiris. The sight of the rising Dog-Star has always coincided with the overflow of the Nile waters, thus it was considered that the tears of the goddess, weeping for her brother-husband, caused the inundation which fertilized the land of Egypt (DRT, p. 22). This idea is expanded at 254.16, “A and aa ab ad a bu abiad. A babbel men dub gulch of tears.” In this watery babbling runs the Nile, which flows (after leaving the Nyanzas and Jebel) as the Abiad or White Nile, until it reaches Abu, the area of the first cataract, at which point the Nile Valley begins (“Nile”, EB, XIX, 695). Thus, a naturalistic explanation is given for the babbling waters flowing down into the valley, which the ancients saw as a vale or gulch of tears. —Mark L. Troy. Mummeries of Resurrection

Some sources and resources:

SUN RA: Essays And Interviews – Edited by John Sinclair
Cosmic Trigger – Robert Anton Wilson
Finnegans Wake – James Joyce
The Way Of The Sacred – Sir Francis Huxley
Mummeries of Resurrection – Mark L. Troy


–Steven James Pratt.
First draught June 21st 2010, Amsterdam, 6.30 A.M

SUN RA Interviews & Essays. Editor: John Sinclair

Interviews & Essays

Editor: John Sinclair

Not Yet Available

Format: Paperback
Size: 216mm x 139mm
Page Count: 256
ISBN-13: 9781900486729
Weight (g): 300
Genre: Music

Available exclusively from headpress.com in December 2009. If you would like to be notified of its release, click here to send us an email. Write “Sun Ra” as the subject header and we will get back to you.

Composer, bandleader, pianist, poet and philosopher, Sun Ra is one of the most colourful and enduring of musical legacies, transcending time, place and cultural genres.

From the mid 1950s until his death in 1993, Sun Ra led “The Arkestra”, an ensemble with an ever-changing line-up and name which sometimes numbered as many as thirty musicians living and playing together under the despotic tutelage of Sun Ra himself. Their music touched upon the entire history of jazz, from ragtime to swing, bebop to free jazz,while the band also pioneered the use of new forms, including electronic music, space music and free improvisation. But Sun Ra’s legendary status was earned as much for his eccentricities as for his unique artistic vision. Claiming to be from Saturn, he developed and propagated a mystifying sci-fi mythology which he weaved into both the music and Dadaist performances of The Arkestra (performances which inspired artists as diverse as George Clinton and MC5). His ideas are still the cause of much debate and controversy, the poetry and prose Sun Ra left behind only deepening the ambiguities around his work and ideas.

This book collects together for the first time interviews with Sun Ra, the people that knew him, and his contemporaries, alongside illuminating essays and conversational pieces regarding his prolific musical output, mystique, philosophy, fans and much more.


1. By way of an Introduction by Peter Dennett
2. Sun Ra by Amiri Baraka
3. Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth by John Sinclair
4. It Knocks on Everybody’s Door by John Sinclair: Interview with Sun Ra, Detroit Sun, 1966
5. Cosmic Catalyst by David Henderson: Sun Ra in New York City, Oakland & Philadelphia
6. Word from Sun Ra by Amiri Baraka
7. Their Space Was My Place by Ben Edmonds: Sun Ra & the MC-5 at the Grande Ballroom, Detroit, 2009
8. Life Is Splendid by John Sinclair: Sun Ra at the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival, 1972
9. Interview with Amiri Baraka by Lazaro Vega, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1999
10. I Know Everything You Need to Know About Music by John Sinclair: A Conversation with Michael Ray
11. Arkestra in Residence by Rick Steiger: Sun Ra & His Arkestra at the Detroit Jazz Center, 1980
12. Sun Ra Memories by John Sinclair
13. Twenty-first Century Music by Pete Gershon: The Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen
14. The Great and Wondrous Sun Ra by John Sinclair: In Conversation with Wayne Kramer, London, June 2008
15. My Night as a Tone Scientist by Wayne Kramer
16. Cosmic Engineering: Jerry Dammers & the Spatial aka Orchestra / Part 1: Interview with Jerry Dammers by John Sinclair & Dylan Harding, London, 2009 / Part 2: Concert reviews by Paul Bradshaw, John Mulvey, Ian Harrison & Jack Massarik
17. Schwartzegeist by Sadiq Bey: Live from Berlin: The Sun Ra Tribute Project
18. Sun Ra: Myth, Magic & Music by Steve Fly Agaric 23
19. The Mystical Estate / Part 1: Standing in the Shadow of Sun Ra by Dylan Harding / Part 2: Interview with Haf-fa Rool by David Kerekes & Caleb Selah, London, 2002
20. Sun Ra on Film by John Sinclair & David Kerekes: The Cry of Jazz & Space is the Place
21. Sun Ra Obituary by John Sinclair: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1993
22. Photos & Comics / Part 1: Sonny’s Last Song by Mat Colegate & Dan White / Part 2: Scrapbook
23. Contributor notes
24. About this book

EDITOR BIO: In 1969, the poet-provocateur, MC5 manager and White Panther John Sinclair found himself the victim of that decade’s draconian American drug laws, and facing a twenty-year jail sentence for the possession of two joints. The counterculture Sinclair helped create came to his rescue, however, when John Lennon, Stevie Wonder, Phil Ochs and others performed at a successful benefit gig to petition for his release. Since that epochal moment, Sinclair (whom Ben Edmonds calls the “hardest working poet in showbiz”) has travelled the globe with his beat verses and inimitable growl, performing with some of the world’s finest musicians. He interviewed Sun Ra in 1966.