The legacy of Sun Ra lives on with poetry album ‘My Words Are Music’ - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Jazz cosmonaut Sun Ra always considered himself equal parts musician and poet. The  composer, bandleader, and pianist sowed the seeds for afrofuturism in the 1960’s with experimental and forward-thinking jazz albums such as Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 1 (1965) and Atlantis (1969), influencing generations of musicians and philosophic followers with both his writing and music until his spirit left the confines of Earth in 1993. The Sun Ra Arkestra has continued to perform and proclaim his cosmic message in music, and now they are freeing their favorite of his poems from the page to create a spoken word compilation, My Words Are Music: A Celebration of Sun Ra’s Poetry, releasing August 25th.

The album features an intergenerational lineup of Sun Ra’s peers, current Arkestra members, and artists that have conjured wisdom from his words including spoken word elder Abiodun Oweyole of The Last Poets; rapper, and singer-songwriter Saul Williams; jazz experimentalist Melanie Charles; British-Trinidadian poet, novelist and musician Anthony Joseph; poet Mahogany L. Browne; musician/digital composer L’Rain; singer, actor, and director Tunde Adibempe of TV on the Radio singer; ballistic hip-hop poet Jive Poetic; and longtime members of the Arkestra, Marshall Allen, Knoel Scott, and Tara Middleton.

Saul Williams - When Angels Speak (Official Video)

In addition to the poetry comp, The Sun Ra Arkestra recently teamed with nonprofit organization Red Hot this past May, organizing a series of tribute LPs titled Red Hot & Ra, set to come out over the next two years. Beginning with Nuclear War – A Tribute to Sun Ra: Volume 1, these albums are meant to raise awareness for those struggling with diseases such as HIV/AIDS as well as reducing the harmful effects of media portrayal on those afflicted.

Watch out for My Words Are Music: A Celebration of Sun Ra’s Poetry, streaming everywhere August 25th, and check out the video for the first single “When Angels Speak”, out now. To learn more about Red Hot, and to listen to Red Hot & Ra: Nuclear War, click here.

My Words Are Music: A Celebration of Sun Ra’s Poetry
01 Marshall Allen: “EVI Introduction”
02 Saul Williams: “When Angels Speak”
03 Mahogany L. Browne: “Circle Eternity”
04 Anthony Joseph: “The Three Dimensions of Air”
05 Melanie Charles: “[Anything can give up its life]”
06 Abiodun Oyewole: “Somebody Else’s Idea”
07 Tara Middleton: “I Have Forgotten”
08 Jive Poetic: “Flight”
09 L’Rain: “Love in Outer Space”
10 Tunde Adebimpe: “The Endless Realm”
11 Zakia Sewell: “The Cosmic Age”
12 Cal Hancock Rux: “Sun-Day”
13 Knoel Scott / Marshall Allen: “The Melody of Air”
14 Anthony Joseph: “The Invisible Giants”
15 L’Rain: “I Deal in Souls”
16 Tunde Adebimpe :“Black Prince Charming”
17 Mahogany L. Browne: “Message to Black Youth”
18 Jive Poetic: “Nothing Is”
19 Melanie Charles: “The Friends of Skill”
20 Saul Williams: “The Outer Darkness”
21 Zakia Sewell: “If I Told You”
22 Carl Hancock Rux: “The Void”
23 Knoel Scott / Marshall Allen: “The Neglected Plane of Wisdom”

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