Sun Ra - Inside The Light World: Sun Ra Meets The OVC

Today we celebrate a very special release in the Strut calendar. A previously 'lost' session from Sun Ra's expansive discography, now available to stream, download as well as on Vinyl 2LP and CD

Sun Ra's 'Inside The Light World' features remarkable recordings from Sun Ra & his Arkestra that were, until now, confined to two tracks exclusively available on VHS video, which we've now uploaded for all to enjoy.

Crafted by the forward-thinking technological innovator and rocket scientist, Bill Sebastian, during the mid-1970s, the Outer Space Visual Communicator (OVC) stood as a groundbreaking invention. Instead of producing traditional sound, this keyboard-triggered "instrument" harnessed the power of light, casting mesmerising kaleidoscopic, multicoloured patterns onto a screen suspended above performers on stage. Ra first performed with the idiosyncratic fractal light projector in the late ‘70s and, in 1986, two grainy VHS tapes surfaced featuring Ra performing ‘Calling Planet Earth’ and ‘Sunset On The Nile’, both accompanied by the OVC’s radiant light painting.

I was curious about the performances,” explains Irwin Chusid, administrator of the Sun Ra catalogue. “I couldn't locate these terrific versions and wondered from where they originated. I discovered that not only was Bill Sebastian alive but he was still in Boston developing advanced iterations of the OVC, which by then incorporated Virtual Reality (VR) technology.” Sebastian and Chusid embarked on the intricate task of assembling the session tapes sourced from Sebastian's archives.

These recordings, which took place on August 25, 1986, at Mission Control studios in Westford, Massachusetts, were originally spontaneous and never intended for a formal album release. Although the tape transfers yielded remarkable material, the recordings remained in an unmixed state, prompting Chusid to collaborate with engineer Joe Lizzi. Together, they embarked on the journey of reconstructing each track with painstaking precision.

The end result is nothing short of a revelation, featuring exceptional performances by the Arkestra. This release unveils previously unheard renditions of Sun Ra classics such as 'Love In Outer Space,' 'El Is A Sound Of Joy,' and 'Calling Planet Earth.' Additionally, it offers a complete performance of 'Discipline 27-II,' making it a musical gem for fans and collectors alike.

The package features stills from the original OVC videos, extensive liner notes and a full interview with Bill Sebastian. The album is fully remastered from the original reel to reel tapes by Joe Lizzi and Peter Beckmann.


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