Keyboard Magazine, I have a challenge for you:

I think this solo desperately wants a Keyboard transcription. You know, “Play like Sun Ra.” It may require a larger insert, but maybe it could be sponsored by Yamaha or something.

Okay, granted, Earthlings might argue that this sounds chaotic, but on Sun Ra’s native planet Jupiter, this actually borders on the pedestrian. It’s pretty conventional 83-fingered hyperlocramixydixylycradidian mode, transposed here to what is apparently a Yamaha YC-30. Sun Ra even makes a nod to the fact that the Jupiterians’ torso typically rotates at increasing speed during live performances, as an especially “grupicosmilogical” solo causes their arms to detach.


You want me to do the transcription?

Due when?

SUN RA – Live – Keyboard Solo (1980) [Matrixsynth]

In all seriousness, this just happened to coincide with listening to some Sun Ra records this weekend … if you don’t know his music, take some time to listen to it. YouTube excerpts with bad sound could easily give you the wrong idea. The ability to order a certain amount of entropy into larger forms that really are connected with the jazz tradition is amazing. And for those of you running boring, equal-measured loops in Ableton, spend some time with the polyrhythms. Sun Ra does have good stuff to teach. And it makes me look forward to Yuri’s Night in April all the more — Sun Ra is the artist who really went to space, and brought us back some music. Who needs Virgin Galactic?