I'm actually painting pictures of infinity with my music, and that's why a lot of people can't understand it," Sun Ra stated in 1970. His music, however, definitely belongs to the 20th century's musical canonalthough, it hardly can be looked upon as a fixed constant. When Sun Ra founded his band around 1952, the extraordinarily gifted pianist, composer and arranger gave it many names, but he always called it Arkestra," meant as a symbiosis of Ark and orchestra, connoting an institution navigating from the past into the future. The Arkestra" is Sun Ra's legacy. Even now, its musicians epitomize his oeuvre, and they hand the ken down to the next generation. Thus, Marshall Allen maintained the mastermind's method, without conserving it. And that is how the Arkestra has actually savely arrived at the 21st Century, and is still travelling the globe on Sun Ra's missionNoah's Ark and avant-garde project in one, stem cell, root and sprout of jazz.
Sibylle Zerr portrays the big band from Philadelphia over a time span of eight years. The monograph, however, stays a fragment by intention, being an open-end collection of photos, quotations and essays worthy of further consideration. This portrayal of the mystery of the music makes Sun Ra's legacy more palpablewithout glamourizing or disenchanting it.
Sibylle Zerr graduated in cultural anthropology from Heidelberg University, and works as an author and photo journalist. Her works have been published in magazines and newspapers, as well as in book form; her book debut Blues für einen Schmetterling" (published 2006 in the German language), a collection of interviews, reportages, short stories and photos from pre-Katrina New Orleans, has been widely acclaimed.
152 pages, 86 photos
5.98 x 8.46 inches
Hardcover, 470 gram
Publisher: Zerr, Sibylle