Now here’s an avant-garde encounter worthy of the word “legendary”. In 1986 concert producers Rick Russo and Bronwyn Rucker organized a joint performance by John Cage and Sun Ra in an attempt to support the launch of their label, Meltdown.
Unedited segments of the performance were pressed as two runs of 1000 records as John Cage Meets Sun Ra on Meltdown. These pressings now fetch a fair piece of dough online. But now, in an immense piece of archival work, Modern Harmonic Records has recovered the whole performance and will release it in full as a double LP. They’ve also salvaged the almost impossibly great video of John Cage’s “Half” (above).
As far as we’re concerned, Russo summarizes it all rather effectively: “It doesn’t get more avant-garde than having John Cage and Sun Ra ‘meet’ in a converted penny arcade, now a sideshow theatre, in the middle of a legendary amusement park.” Agreed.
Check out Sun Ra’s futuristic business cards here.