I’m not going to devote too many words to Saturday’s Sun Ra spectacular in Durham, only because the whole event defied language. It was one of the moments that made me feel proud to live in Durham. About 50-60 Egyptian pharaohs, space aliens, interplanetary travelers and their kin paraded from Durham Central Park through downtown to the Durham Arts Council, where all sorts of otherworldly sights and sounds threatened to levitate the building. The music, which included bowed saw, theremin, pedal steel guitar, saxophones, oboes and other instruments, was a first-class skronkathon, aided by a psychedelic light show behind the band. (Who knew George Washington could look so eerie projected larger than life on a white wall?)
The parade/ poetry chant/ music and light show was a prelude to the Durham Art Guild’s exhibit devoted to Sun Ra and Afro-Futurism, which will open Aug. 21.