Sun Ra: Inside The Light World: Sun Ra Meets The OVC

In 1986 the wacky pianist and bandleader had his music translated into fractal light which was projected onstage


These newly recovered sessions from 1986 capture Sun Ra’s meeting with rocket scientist Bill Sebastian and creator of the OVC (Outer Space Visual Communicator), an instrument in the form of a keyboard hooked up to a fractal light, projecting different visual patterns onstage.

This double LP released via Strut has been mixed from the original sessions and remastered from reel-to-reel tapes by Joe Lizzi and Peter Beckmann. It features previously unheard versions of Ra classics Calling Planet Earth, Sunset On The Nile, Theme From The Stargazers and an impressive 22-minute version of Discipline 27-II.

This kaleidoscopic conversation between light and sound is accompanied with an extensive in-depth interview from Bill Sebastian as well as comprehensive sleeve notes and stills from the original OVC videos that were all packaged as part of this year’s Record Store Day celebrations.

It’s reassuring to see these lost recordings by the forever futurist talisman being released as part of the vinyl resurgence, even 30 years after Ra’s passing. It’s fitting in the year of current Arkestra leader Marshall Allen’s centenary.

Calling Planet Earth; Theme Of The Stargazers; Love In Outer Space (DX7 Interlude) (22.10) – Love In Outer Space; Stardust From Tomorrow; El Is A Sound Of Joy; Sunset On The Nile (DX7 interlude) (22.55) – Sunset On The Nile; East Of The Sun; Saturn Rings; Calling Planet Earth (piano interlude) (20.39) – Discipline 27-II (22.33)
Sun Ra (p, syn, DX7, v) all tracks with John Gilmore (ts, pc, v); Danny Ray Thompson (bs, pc); Marshall Allen (as, f, pc); Al Evans (flh); Fred Adams (t); Tyrone Hill (tb); Eloe Omoe (bcl); James Jacson (bsn, infinity-drum); Bruce Edwards (elg); John Ore (b); Atakatune (cga, pc); June Tyson (v). Westford, August 1986.