Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Technical Perfection, Sun Ra & Inspiration

"As far as his own Saturn label is concerned, impure sounding inserts, unbalanced volume control, production produced scratches, acoustical feedback, eternal grooves, tape murmuring and loudspeaker buzzing are integral to this concept of the creative. Our Western attitude to listening is a fixation and we are shocked, angered or disappointed when we listen to these technically unconventional records. Yet a technically inferior product becomes a profound listening experience when one ceases to regard technical perfection as the only valid prerequisite for musical quality. Oriental, Asian and African cultures have never placed technical quality above the inner quality of music, as evidenced by the credibility of their products. In Western civilisation, technical perfection makes up for a lack of substance. "Luxuriously" recorded music creates a good impression and most record companies proclaim this pleasant but boring and stratified sound as necessary, and the only thing worth using. The result is that a form of compulsory acoustic perfection is then driven into the listener. In other words, if we want to hear Sun Ra we must get used to unconventional recording practices, for better or worse. I would prefer to classify this 'original' production strategy as a way to circumvent a world that relies on technical perfection - a world that endlessly proves that it cannot keep the promises it makes."

Liner notes from Second Star To The Right - Sun Ra
by the author of Omniverse Sun Ra