"I'm painting pictures of things I know about, and things I've felt, that the world hasn't had the chance to feel..." -Sun Ra, interviewed by Henry Dumas in 1966.
Recorded in 1966, and first published in 1967,this is the peak of Sun Ra's studies on possibilities of strings' sound.
The Arkestra used here a huge range of strings instruments, from the usual (like double bass and viola), to the exotic ones (ukelin, bandura, zither,dutar and others), identified in the original liner notes as "electronic strings", but that really were acoustic instruments amplified with microphones placed very close to the sound hole, and then treated with reverb and distortion.
Track One "Worlds Approaching" has still a comforting arrangement of the horns and rhythm section, with solos of saxophone and trombone and a metal percussion that supports the solos and persists throughout the track.
On Track Two and Three "Strings Strange" and "Strange Strange",there's no more horn section and enter the strings, joined by the same metal percussion that could be heard at the end of "World Approaching".
Atmosphere has changed now: there are some Eastern reminiscences but it seems to listen to an avant european combo of the 70's.
Track Four "Door Squeak" is the bonus track, recorded in 1967 and previously unissued.
This recording, as said by Hal Rammel in the liner notes "trumps even Strange Strings in musical singularity". Sun Ra plays a squeaking door to the accompaniment of the strings and some on-and-off percussion: the resulting mix is unique and miraculous, an exploration of the deep space sound .
Thanks to Atavistic for this wonderful reissue: it is perhaps the most difficult of all Sun Ra's records, but is one of his masterpieces and worth a careful listening.