Let it all hang out. Put together that live set you want. Make a “meeting” happen, “not a planned performance.” Need inspiration? It was a “typical [June] day in Coney Island,” the boardwalk buzzing, and Sun Ra met John Cage for a live set.

More notes in the description, and at:


Even the setting was incredible – the fabulous Sideshows by the Seashore, which still stands today as home to the Coney Island Museum and theater, that storied land of mermaids and freaks:

Mid afternoon on Sunday 8th June, 1986 and concert producer Rick Russo is looking nervously down the Broadwalk. Sun Ra’s vehicle is lost in Coney Island, and it’s getting dangerously close to the curtain call. Inside, roughly two hundred students, avant-garde enthusiasts and promenade day trippers are sitting in folding chairs eating popcorn under canvas posters heralding Snakeology, the Asian Flesh-Eating Fish, a Midget Kangaroo and a Mermaid Parade that hang from the ceiling of Sideshows By the Seashore. This former penny arcade and freakshow on the Coney Island Broadwalk is the unlikely setting for the avant-garde concert of the century.

When John Cage met Sun Ra – the avant-garde concert of the century [The Vinyl Factory]

Marshall Allen opens with an EVI wind synthesizer. Sun Ra’s keys (on DX7, no less) are interspersed with poetry and Cage’s Empty Words – cosmic ages and space ages, silent duets, June Tyson vocals, “wisdom as abstract planes.”

Sun Ra and John Cage “play” silence together.

Sun Ra’s words seem even more prophetic now – “we be potential.” Other lines read differently in a New York whose skies this June are scorched-orange, choked by apocalyptic climate change.

The recording has made its way to several locations, thanks to the legendary UbuWeb, repository of all weird, now-past “contemporary” recordings, especially from the New York metro area. That concert and first pressing was produced by Rick Russo,

Some things never change. Rick Russo notes “The New York Times is driving me crazy. / So why do you read it?”

Now I just want to go to Silvia’s.

Modern Harmonic rereleased this some years back, so it’s possible to actually buy the thing (though the Modern Harmonic site I couldn’t get to load).

See also Sun Ra’s words below. Here’s the intro with Russo telling the tale:

We Hold This Myth To Be Potential

“We hold this myth to be potential

Not self evident but equational:


Abstract projection-presence

Omni-dimension direction

To another kind unknown living live-life.

This myth are these

This myth are and is

We be potential

This myth is not that which you know…

What you know is the knowledge

But beyond that is the separate of the ignorance

The greater wisdom is the unknown-ignorance

Which you do not know…

And is the knowledge beyond the knowledge

For beyond the knowledge is the infinity:

The uncharted ignorance.

You cannot measure that which is the ignorance;

Thus because of your limitations,

You are of the limited ignorance…

If you are only of the earth mind

You have not as yet seen

That there is a mirror between you and the universe;

And all you see is your reflection-thought.”

The Damned Air

“Around the earth circles the eternity of the damned air

the damned inheritance of the heart

are the same vibrations it ever was

We need new air

We need the air

that vibrates with the sound of

another kind of mind

We need the beam of the future

to strike the earth like the lightning

And the power of a thunder bolt

in order that the dying embers of the past

should suddenly be extinct

There is no place for the past in the realm of the future,

expect temporarily as an exhibit of that which is taboo

Because the past is the past and the future is the future

The eternity of the limited past was for those

who were taught the limited darkness

The unlimited reach of the future is another kind of forever

There is an inner darkness and there is an outer darkness

dwell therein

Those who become subjects of the outer darkness

shall dwell there-out

Out is the way of the outer and in the way of the inner

The in of the inner in is different from the end of the outer in

Because the outer in is the outer on

Yes… out is the outer and in is the inner,

the way out is the way to living breathing life

Let’s blast the damned air

and claim the right to be a part of the outer heavens in outer space

that we might live and breathe and be eternally alive forever

Let’s blast the damned air,

the imprisoning circle that bands the earth

with the echoes of the dead truth of the damned word

Lets the light shine upon the darkness

that enchains the meaning of the knowledge

that has been used as the law to destroy”

The Living Parable

“Wisdom an abstract planes

Uses myth as medium to understanding.

Thus a living parable to the outward or the inward truth

Is every myth;

And from the base and crest of the myth

You can see like from an all revealing eye

The comparison symbol-blueprints of the truth…

Like from a picture

You can see the likeness of a person

And know the person when you first meet,

For the image pictured symbols

Knock boldly upon the door of darkness

And voices speak from without.”

The Cosmic Age

“This is the space age

The age beyond the earth age:

A different direction beyond the the gravitations of the past.

This is the Space Age:

The disguised twin of tomorrow

Striking upon the earth with relentless power

Like a perpetual whip.

This is the Space Age – – – –

Prepare for the journey!

You have a rendezvous

With the Living Wisdom

Of the unadulterated fate.

Prepare for the Journey!

Like a happy child

You will step out of the pages

Of the blinding blend of the Book,

And gaze astounded

At the endless space of the Cosmo-Void

Your new course is the Cosmic Way – – – –

Your new vehicle is the cosmic plane;

You are to reach/approach the Omni-Cosmo Way

You will learn to journey with courage…

With fiery aim to find

The even greater day of the greater tomorrow…

The Cosmo-timeless realm

Of the Omni-Everlution-Immortalic day.”

PS, if you want to see what Photoshop’s new beta Generative Fill does if you let it fill in that blank space above, it looks like this – meet the Uncanny Coat:

There is more coming in the mermaids – and – experimental music category, so stay tuned.