Pathways to Unknown Worlds: Sun Ra, El Saturn and Chicago's Afro-Futurist
Philosopher, Afro-futurist, and jazz legend Sun Ra (1914–93) constructed much of his complicated public persona during his sojourn in Chicago in the mid-1950s. Working with a still-shadowy underground fraternal organization, Ra amassed a library of books on the occult, Egyptology, race studies, Theosophy, and religion—all in service of drawing elliptical connections between these disparate bodies of knowledge. This work became the foundation of the personal mythology Ra employed in the 1960s when he began fronting his Myth-Science Arkestra and started drawing attention from more mainstream jazz fans.
Pathways to Unknown Worlds presents a kaleidoscopic range of materials from those years, including original record cover designs and production materials, paper ephemera, and photographs. These materials—most previously unseen—dramatically flesh out the story of Sun Ra’s mystical journey of discovery and his lofty goals for the dissemination of his new knowledge; they are certain to fascinate and delight Ra’s legion of fans.
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