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 The Heliocentric Committee 

 (Sun Ra, Bernadine Dohrn, The White Panther Party, Mao Tse Tung & Bobby Seale) 
Until 1965 Sun Ra's futuristic albums were released on the small, idealistic Saturn label, owned by Sun Ra and the young mystic Alton Abraham, but then Sun Ra was invited by Bernard Stollman to record albums for his renowned ESP label, which made his music available to a much larger audience. The first album for ESP was Heliocentric Worlds, vol. 1, an amazing improvisational piece, recorded in a single day.

From a conceptual point of view Heliocentric Worlds 1 is a further elaboration of Sun Ra's religious space mythology and blueprint for a better world. Musically the album manages to combine improvisation and discipline, more traditional instruments and exotic ones, and plays around chaos and non-repetitive harmonic structures. Forty years later Heliocentric Worlds 1 still counts as an innovating and revolutionary album.
Bernadine Dohrn had other revolutionary sources of inspiration when she and a radical faction of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) split off to form the militant Weathermen. Inspired by revolutionary guerrillas and The Black Panther Party, and outraged by the Vietnam war and the brutal murder of Black Panther Fred Hampton by the FBI, the Weathermen declared war on the US Government in 1970 and went underground.

The Weather Underground Organization adopted a strategy of bombings of symbolic institutes like the Capitol, the Pentagon, FBI and prison buildings, and took care the bombs caused only material damage. After the Vietnam war came to an end the group dissolved: most Weathermen turned themselves in, others moved to armed revolutionary groups.
The White Panther Party, an artists' collective from Detroit, organised themselves after the Black Panther Party under the leadership of John and Leni Sinclair. Arts, music and politics were united in a ten-point programme that constituted a 'total assault on the culture' and contained - not always realistic - demands of social reform. John Sinclair was one of the first to introduce Sun Ra's music to a white audience and has been a scholar of blues and jazz since.
Sun Ra and The White Panthers - artists and musicians - can be considered non-violent revolutionaries. To them art, and music in particular, was the vehicle for revolutionary concepts, music itself was the message to the people.
Both the Weathermen and the Black Panther Party employed violence as a necessary tool for social reform. The Heliocentric Committee combines both violent and non-violent revolutionary premises, set against music that evokes "a land where the sun shines eternally... Eternally eternal: out in outer space. A living blazing fire, So vital and alive..." (Sun Ra, 1966).
The Heliocentric Committee
(Sun Ra, Bernadine Dohrn, The White Panther Party, Mao Tse Tung & Bobby Seale)


I'm going to read a declaration of the state of war
We've known that our job is to lead white kids into armed revolution

Revolution
What we need for this is some Mao
You got Mao in here?
An army without culture is a dull-witted army
And a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy
Now the people we're trying to relate to (...)
Revolutionary violence is the only way
We know that you can jail a revolutionary
But you can't jail the revolution
The fat, greed, rich, greed, avaricious businessman
The demagogic lying politicians
Pig

Pig informer
We have to take revolutionary culture
And revolutionary politics
And put them together
That will be a revolutionary culture
Put them together
We will never live peacefully under this system
It is too fucked up
The avaricious businessman, the demagogic politician
With all their running dogs!
The soundtrack is a mix of Heliocentric by Sun Ra, from the album Heliocentric Worlds Vol.1 (recorded in 1965), the first declaration on radio of the Weather Underground read by Bernadine Dohrn (1970), a prison interview with Bobby Seale (c. 1970), a discussion between members of the White Panther Party (c. 1969), and a quote from Mao Tse-Tung read by Puck Schot.

* Sun Ra - Heliocentric Worlds Vol. 1, ESP Disk, ESP 1014-2
* Music Is Revolution, spoken word CD published by Bookbeat Gallery/The End Is Here docusound
* Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse Tung, Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1966


Information on the Weathermen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weathermen

A New York Times review on the documentary "The Weather Underground" about the Weathermen: http://www.upstatefilms.org/weather/nytreview.html

Good information on the White Panther Party: http://www.blastitude.com/13/ETERNITY/rock_and_revolution.htm

Quotations from Mao Tse Tung: http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/red-book/

The Black Panther Party: http://www.blackpanther.org/

Sun Ra articles and photographs: http://www.blastitude.com/13/ETERNITY/sun_ra.htm

Webpages of the magazine Sun Ra research: http://www.sunraresearch.com/

The Bookbeat website: http://www.thebookbeat.com
 Missed Encounters   Analysis Groove   Degeneration   Heliocentric Committee 
 PÜLSÅR SRH7Ø9Ø   The Delirious Rock   Rocktastic Revolution   Robert F. Williams 
 Lucifer Sam Division   Trade Union   Bloc concret 
 Fat Funky Person   The Echoing Green   Hair Pie Resistance