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On March 17, 2012 The Solar Flare Arkestral Marching Band will celebrate the earth’s magnificent star and its incredible cycle of activity. According to some sources the solar flare that erupted on Tuesday of thi week is causing the biggest solar storm the we’ve experienced in five years disrupting power grids, satellites and forcing airplanes to alter their North and South Pole routes. Aurora’s will appear in our night skies much lower on the hemisphere than normally visible. And based on what I hear on the radio, helio-scientists are all a flutter with excitement – as is The Solar Flare Arkestra Marching Band.

Please stay tuned for more announcements regarding the next insurgency of music color and sound. But in the mean time, check out what’s going on in our galaxy.

Click HERE to investigate>>>>

Or HERE>>>


More coming soon.




Names and Changes

“My  Mama  Always  Called  Me  Son”
Herman “Sonny” Blount
Herman >< namreH >< nam(e)reH > Reh = Egyptian Sun God
H. Sonne Bhlount
Sonny Ra
Mr. Ra<>Mr. Re
Mr. Mystery
The Ra > eaRTh
Sun Ra

The Chicago EL

Philosophy is a conjecture. I’m dealing with equations. ~Sun Ra

According to Wikipedia Ēl is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “deity”1 the root and variations thereof can be traced to many languages and nations who also understood the word to indicate the barer/ birther/(berther) of all other gods and to be translated as “Sun.”    Scholar John Szwed, in his foundational book, Space is the Place, the Life and Times of Sun Ra,  draws attention to the fact that Sun Ra’s research for the origins of mankind, and world cultures and religions led him to a wide range of documents and fields of study*2 such as Grafton Elliot Smith’s The Ancient Egyptians and Their Influence on Upon the Civilization and  Godfrey Higgins’s The Anacalypsis, an Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis, or an Inquiry into the Origin of Languages, Nations, and Religions. The connections he began to make between historical text such as these and his research into numerology, and the occult led Sun Ra to believe, that  the letter “R” and the letter “L” were transposable and interchangeable. On October 20, 1952, Herman “Sonny” Blount changed his name to Le Sony’r Ra. 3


And then there’s Chicago’s ELE-vated Train. Which lore tells was greatly enjoyed by Sun Ra. Riding around in the loop, you can spot a sprinkling of  buildings decorated in the Egyptian Revival Style. The discovery of King Tut’s tomb in the early twenties, inspired this architectural trend and also, surely ignited a young Herman Poole Blount’s imagination.

So I’m riding through Washington Park, coasting by the grounds of the DuSable Museum when I roll across this.

What’s beneath?

A story.

More later.

Check out a sprinkling of images from the flashmob that converged upon Chicago’s Meat Packing District on Saturday, September 20, 2011.


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RICH SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL has been selected to perform at the 2012 London Olympics!

They need your help to get there!

Please donate now!



It happened and it was so much fun.

The Rich South High school Band never ever fails to deliver!

More coming, but here’s a  taste of the sparks that fly when Sun Ra’s comet collides with Rich South.

Rich South High School Marching Band invades Chicago's Meat packing District

In the meantime….


Did I mention that Rich South High was going to perform in the London Olympics?

And YOU can help get them there!!


Visit the band’s SITE.






On Saturday. September 10, 2011,

sometime between 1pm & 2pm

On the corner of

N. Peoria and Randolph

in Chicago, IL



is happening.

The Rich South High School Marching Band

under the direction of

Mr. Y.L. Douglas

will perform

Where Pathways Meet

composed by

Sun Ra

arranged by

Mr. Frederick Tapley

Please be discrete while waiting for the performance.

Please do not disturb the crew.

Please Join Us!


Sponsored in part by threewalls, UCIRA,

and the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, and Dr. D.S. Berger.

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the Mysterious; it is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true Art and true Science” -Einstein

Listed below are the books assigned by Sun Ra for his lecture course, African-American Studies 198: The Black Man in the Universe. The classes were offered as part of the regular Spring semester at the University of California, Berkeley, 1971.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead


Alexander Hislop: Two Babylons

The Theosophical works of Madame Blavatsky

The Book of Oahspe

Henry Dumas: Ark of Bones

Henry Dumas: Poetry for My People eds. Hale Charfield & Eugene Redmond, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press 1971

Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing, eds. Leroi Jones & Larry Neal, New York: William Morrow 1968

David Livingston: Missionary Travels

Theodore P. Ford: God Wills the Negro

Rutledge: God’s Children

vol. 13, no. 1 (Spring 1971), Temple University

John S. Wilson: Jazz. Where It Came From, Where It’s At, United States Information Agency

Yosef A. A. Ben-Jochannan: Black Man of the Nile and His Family, Alkibu Ian Books 1972

Constantin Francois de Chasseboeuf, Comte de Volney: The Ruins, or, Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires, and the Law of Nature, London: Pioneer Press 1921

The Source Book of Man’s Life and Death (Ra’s description; = The King James Bible)

Pjotr Demianovitch Ouspensky: A New Model of the Universe. Principles of the Psychological Method in Its Application to Problems of Science, Religion and Art, New York: Knopf 1956

Frederick Bodmer: The Loom of Language. An Approach to the Mastery of Many Languages, ed. Lancelot Hogben, New York: Norton & Co. 1944
Blackie’s Etymology

Do your Homework, Peoples!

This list is posted on the New Day Blog

The Black Metropolis Research Consortium awards research fellowships to fortunate artists and scholars. The thing that really excited me about the fellowship is that it welcomed research from visual artist and filmmakers. After meeting the director, Vera Davis, and learning that she herself is a filmmaker, this made more sense and speaks the the institutional importance of interdisciplinary scholars and artists – you never know where we’ll end up and what doors out special pockets of knowledge might open. The fellowship has been fantastic. Aside from meeting the other scholars and hearing a little about their fascinating projects, we’ve breakfasted in The Quadrangle Club and feasted on huge quantities of beef at a Brazilian BBQ restaurant. Hospitality is a particular form of grace of which Dr. Davis abundantly practices.

Anyway, I’m spending most mornings in the Special Collections of the University of Chicago Jazz Archive.

The papers stored here were donated by writer, scholar and art facilitator John Corbett (see earlier post). He describes his acquisition of the papers as one of the many undeniable “coincidences” one experiences when one orbits around Sun Ra. After culling through the material for a couple of years, he decided that the world should have access to this amazing cache of ephemera from Sun Ra’s life and the life of his business partner, Alton Abraham. As I go through the sketchbooks, letters, receipts, poetry revisions, etc, I am overwhelmed by the depth and scope of Sun Ra’s practice and the dedication exhibited by ALton Abraham in supporting and facilitating this (initially) shy and reclusive genius’ career.

My main interest in the papers are the ways in which Sun Ra’s recordings were produced, pressed, and distributed by hand – DIY punk rock style.  I am investigating his production processes, aesthetic patterns and the scope of his collaborative research with other members of the Thmei (or El Saturn) Research Group. I have drooled over a hand screenprinted LP jacket for Silhouettes in Jazz and teared up over the revisions and corrections scribbled in the margins of typed  poetry manuscripts. Sun Ra was a serious and committed writer. The vivid and hyperbolic rants that appear in his early broadsheets later evolved into very nuanced poems culminating in an entire second volume of the Immeasurable Equation series.  I have taken loas so snaps of papers in the archive, but it’s the little things that really move me.

Sun Ra's signature on a sheet of paper with lists, doodles and notations. From the Alton Abraham / Sun Ra Collection at the University of Chicago Special Collections.