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Voice of the Eternal Tomorrow

by Sun Ra & His Arkestra

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Voice of the Eternal Tomorrow is a rare slab of Saturn vinyl recorded and pressed in 1980. It offers an edited live performance of the Arkestra at New York's radical Squat Theatre. The album was also pressed and sold as The Rose Hue Mansions of the Sun, the title of one of three tracks included on the LP.

Squat was founded in Budapest by Hungarian dissidents in the 1960s. In the 1970s a number of Squat founders were expelled from Hungary, and these political exiles relocated to New York, where they re-established the theater in a cramped storefront at 256 West 23rd Street. Besides music, Squat was known for dramatic productions (from Chekhov to conceptual absurdism), which were staged in the theater's window overlooking the 23rd Street sidewalk.

From 1979 to 1982 the Arkestra gigged regularly at Squat; an unknown number of performances were recorded, a few released commercially in limited quantities with handmade covers. The Squat archives (at SquatTheatre.com) claim that Ra debuted there in August 1979 and performed on the premises 47 times, "to become our most frequent guest." The chronicle explains that "the fit between the Arkestra and the Squat Theatre was a natural one, as both were in essence creative communes."

The three works on this album are, as might be expected for the venue, on Sunny's radical side. The recordings are saturated with aggressive outbursts, explosiveness, and an air of confrontation and defiance. Judging from the applause, these performances were well-received. The recording fidelity is less than optimal, with distortion and a mediocre mix—but it's close enough for Garage Jazz. It could be argued that there's no way to adequately capture this orchestrated chaos in such a claustrophobic space. And yet, what remains represents history. The time, the space, the players will never again converge.

Ra performances at Squat sometimes included audience participation—one unintentionally comic incident is chronicled in John Szwed's Sun Ra biography Space is the Place. Szwed also recounts "two nights of [Arkestra] concerts with 100 musicians jammed into the tiny space, and in order to coordinate so many musicians Sun Ra rehearsed in shifts for 24 hours straight, with different musicians and instrumental sections one after another."

– I.C.


released April 2, 2014

2014, Enterplanetary Koncepts
All tracks produced by Sun Ra

Personnel on this date had been erroneously identified in one authoritative discography, but Robert Campbell and Christopher Trent's The Earthly Recordings of Sun Ra (2nd edition) offers what is apparently a more accurate roster of participants, as follows:

Sun Ra: synthesizer, organ
Ronnie Brown: trumpet
Walter Miller: trumpet
Michael Ray: trumpet
Craig Harris: trombone
Vincent Chancey: French horn
Knoël Scott: baritone sax, alto sax
John Gilmore: tenor sax, percussion
Danny Ray Thompson: baritone sax
James Jacson: bassoon, percussion
Eloe Omoe: bass clarinet
Kenny Williams: tenor sax, baritone sax
Steve Clarke: electric bass
Hayes Burnett or Richard "Radu" Williams: bass
Damon Choice: vibraphone
Harry Wilson: vibraphone
Luqman Ali: drums
Samarai Celestial: drums

Tape transfers by Michael D. Anderson of the Sun Ra Music Archive
Digital restoration by Michael D. Anderson and Irwin Chusid

All titles composed by Sun Ra © Enterplanetary Koncepts (BMI)

Issued under license from Sun Ra LLC
Cover design by Irwin Chusid


all rights reserved



Sun Ra New York, New York

A Helpful Guide to the Many Sun Ra Albums on Bandcamp: daily.bandcamp.com/2017/10/13/sun-ra-album-guide
The foremost figure in musical Afro-futurism and space-jazz. Keyboardist, composer, Arkestra leader, arranger, philosopher-jester, fashion icon, cosmic guide. Born Herman Blount in Alabama, 1914, left the planet in 1993, giving Earthlings a monumental catalog of recordings that transcend genre. ... more

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