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July 2014

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Venue:
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
http://www.penn.museum
Price: Free Admission
Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 7:00pm - 10:00pm

This Planet is Doomed

A Sun Ra Celebration

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Sun Ra’s arrival on Earth, The Galleries at Moore and Ars Nova Workshop, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, present This Planet is Doomed: A Sun Ra Celebration, an evening of poetry, futuristic sounds, archival films and an Afro-Futurist dance party.  The event is free and open to the public.

This special multi-disciplinary event will feature readings of Sun Ra’s remarkable science fiction poetry by Pew Fellow CAConrad, founding member of the Metropolarity DIY Sci Fi Collective Ras Mashramani, and Sun Ra biographer John Szwed, accompanied by the sounds of Buchla Music Easel pioneer Charles Cohen.  The readings will be followed by an Afro-futurist inspired dance party with DJs Anthony Campuzano and Jack Sloss spinning a music mix that includes the sounds of Sun Ra and his legendary Arkestra.  Projections of a selection of archival Sun Ra films, courtesy of the Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, will provide the backdrop, and a cash bar will be available.

Sun Ra, a jazz master and longtime Philadelphia resident, would have been 100 this year.  A bonafide cultural hero, flamboyant outsider and self-made genius, Sun Ra left the genre of jazz with an incredibly prolific collection of music, poetry and philosophy.  Many know Sun Ra for his cosmic, avant-garde music and costumes, as well as his pioneering role in the Afro-Futurist movement, but there is not as much discussion of the poetry he wrote, which he often coupled with his music.  He did say, “Poems are music: some of the songs I write are based on my poems,” yet very few have analyzed the relationship between music and poetry in his work.

The Penn Museum is the ideal location for this event, as parts of Robert Mugges’s 1980 film Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise were shot in the Museum’s Lower Egyptian Gallery, with its monumental granite sphinx as the backdrop for Sun Ra’s intergalactic philosophical musings on the bleak fate of Planet Earth.