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Sun Ra - Strange Strings

Sun Ra - Strange Strings

$ 19.99

Artist: Sun Ra  |  Label: El Saturn  |  Format: LP |  Genre: Jazz | Vinyl Condition: New | Jacket Condition: Sealed 

Sun Ra and His Astro Infinity Arkestra
Strange Strings
El Saturn 502 

Fans of Sun Ra's Hard Space Bop and blues-based swing were in for a shock with Strange Strings (recorded in 1965—often erroneously reported as 1966—and released in 1967). This is an album without a genre, and demands an adventurous aesthetic on the part of the listener. Even in the eclectic and extensive Sun Ra catalog, Strange Strings stands alone.

After a series of concerts at upstate New York colleges, Sun Ra purchased an arsenal of stringed instruments from curio shops and music stores on the road: ukulele, mandolin, koto, kora, Chinese lutes, and what he termed "Moon Guitars." In the studio, these were handed out to his reed and horn players in the belief that "strings could touch people in a special way." That the Arkestra members didn't know how to play these instruments was not beside the point—it was the point. Sun Ra called it "A study in ignorance." To this unconventional "string section" he added several prepared homemade instruments, including a large piece of tempered sheet metal on which was chiseled the letter "X." Art Jenkins was assigned intermittent improvised vocals.

Biographer John Szwed explains what happened next: "Marshall Allen said that when they began to record, the musicians asked Sun Ra what they should play, and he answered only that he would point to them when he wanted them to start. The result is an astonishing achievement, a musical event which seems independent of all other musical traditions and histories. The music was recorded at high volume, laden with selectively applied echo, so that all of the instruments bleed together and the stringed instruments sound as if they, too, were made of sheet metal. The piece is all texture, with no sense of tonality except where Art Jenkins sings through a metal megaphone with a tunnel voice. But to say that the instruments seem out of tune misses the point, since there is no 'tune,' and in any case the Arkestra did not know how to tune most of the instruments."

Worlds Approaching 
Strings Strange 
Strange Strings (all of side 2) 

NEW SEALED re-issue LP (no barcode) 

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