THOMAS STANLEY


Dr. Thomas Stanley (a/k/a Bushmeat Sound)
is an author, artist, and scholar deeply committed to audio
culture in the service of joy, justice, and noetic (r)evolution.

TWO EARS AT A TIME

Thomas Stanley received his doctoral degree in music for research on Butch Morris' unique compositional system. In 2004, he launched MIND OVER MATTER MUSIC OVER MIND (MOM²) as an electrophonic improvising ensemble and has since considered his artistic contributions as macrotemporal interventions (rips in the fabric of history). He is the co-author of an oral history of George Clinton and P-Funk (1998, Avon paperback) and in 2014 (Wasteland) published The Execution of Sun Ra, a book on the teachings of astro-kemetic jazz iconoclast Sun Ra. He is the host of Bushmeat's Jam Session, a weekly excursion into sonic impossibility heard every Thursday on WPFW-FM. He is currently an artist in residence at Non Stop Maker Spot in Washington, DC.

THE WORK

THE EXECUTION of SUN RA

Ethnomusicologist Thomas Stanley has written a book that he hopes will bring Sun Ra’s cosmically grounded prognosis for human development into classrooms, workplaces, homes, and hearts around the world. Titled in homage to a Sun Ra pun on the double meaning of the verb "to execute", Dr. Stanley’s work offers an active intellectual response to Sun Ra’s thickly layered take on the fate and condition of intelligent life on Earth. Stanley takes on Ra’s kingdom with a well-sourced rhizomatic reading.

Thank you for your book Thomas. It is amazing!!! I completed it on a bus in Germany. I went into it expecting it to be about Sun Ra in a more or less typical biographical format but soon discovered that it's SO much more than that. I learned an incredible amount, thought a lot, and FELT a lot when I read it. Tears on the last chapter. The feeling lingers. Above all (at least to me) what shines through is the tremendous love that went into it. Thank you for bringing it into the world!
~~ Prof. Mark Cooley, GMU


MIND OVER MATTER MUSIC OVER MIND (MOM²)

MIND OVER MATTER MUSIC OVER MIND or MOM² is an intrepid trio of improvising musicians who have been liberating zones of sonic sedition since 2004. Composed of Bobby Hill on record players, Luke Stewart on bass and sequencer and Stanley on electronics and effects, MOM² offers neuroleptic enhancements to modern life through a unique performance experience.

BUSHMEAT/BUSHMEAT JAMS

Bushmeat is a term borrowed from parts of Africa where humans supplement domestic foodstuffs bought at market with wild game. While the killing of primates and other endangered species for food is highly discouraged, the name symbolizes Stanley's effort to steer audio culture in a wild and dangerous direction. Dr. Stanley uses Bushmeat for his solo electronics work and his radio show on WPFW is called Bushmeat Jams.

BUSHMEAT AIRWAYS

Bushmeat Airways (w/Vincent Rado on guitar and sequencer) is an iridescent UFO landing at each of the 7 primary spinal chakras, a soothing wildness spreading like a shockwave through the silicon and steel superstructure of the alien mother(fucker)ship that has taken control of our backward little planet. Ask about special benefits available with our frequent flyer program.

LECTURES and WORKSHOPS

Stanley's work erupts at the churning intersections of sound art, experimental music, and social justice all informed by his provocative internal wiring. Sessions with Stanley can become pointed interventions, rich with broad musical references, blackadelic dimensional shifts, and a genuine love for human beings and their evolving condition away from war and waste -- towards some kind of collective renewal and justice.

Sun Ra used his cosmic circus of a big band as a platform to advocate for human pursuit of what he termed our "alter destiny." If something called human nature is responsible for our most incorrigibly vile behavior, he argued, then perhaps we have reached a point in history where we are ready to try another path for ourselves, a way out of our humanity. Maybe we would do better as something else. Unlike visual stimuli, sound embeds its presence in the same intimate recesses where the inner speech of thought refracts awareness and translates the jumble of experience into the portability of narrative. Tantric wisdom conceives of sound as a powerful agent for disciplining the mind. Science has confirmed the capacity of shamanic drumming, chanting, and mechanically produced binaural beats to induce the entrainment of brainwaves.


Ra called his attempts to use music to mold minds "tone science." He was the first Black musician and among the first musician of any background to avail himself of the unique timbral possibilities of electronic instruments. In my own work, I am attempting to build on many of the basic laws of Sun Ra’s tone science within the limitations of my skill sets and chosen instrumentalities. My tools and methods are conducive to a sound product that is more a hypothesis about musical functionality (than music itself).

UPCOMING EVENTS

Saturday, January 20, 8:00-11:00pm .::. Praxis of Resistance #4 .::. Luke Stewart and Bushmeat in duologue and modular performance @ Rhizome, 6950 Maple St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20012. .::. Multi-Instrumentalist Luke Stewart is a DC-based musician and organizer of important musical presentations. He also has a presence in the national and international professional music community. He was profiled in the Washington Post in early 2017 as “holding down the jazz scene,” selected as “Best Musical Omnivore” in the Washington City Paper’s 2017 “Best of DC,” and in the 2014 People Issue of the Washington City Paper as a “Jazz Revolutionary,” citing his multi-faceted cultural activities throughout DC. In DC his regular ensembles include Trio OOO with legendary DC Free Jazz saxophonist Aaron Martin, Six-Six, a duo with guitarist Anthony Pirog, experimental jazz group Low Ways Quartet, experimental jazz trio Heart of the Ghost, and experimental electronic group MOM^2 (Mind Over Matter, Music Over Mind). As a solo artist, his recent interests are in compiling a series of improvisational sound structures for Upright Bass and Amplifier, utilizing the resonant qualities of the instrument to explore real-time harmonic and melodic possibilities. He has performed at many of Washington’s high-profile venues including the Kennedy Center, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Smithsonian Portrait Gallery, 9:30 Club, Black Cat, and many others throughout DC’s storied DIY community. Luke is also a presence in the greater community of Creative Musicians, with regular multi-city ensembles including Ancestral Duo, Irreversible Entanglements featuring Moor Mother, James Brandon Lewis Trio, Heroes are Gang Leaders, and has performed in a myriad of other notable collaborations. He has been a featured artist at the Vision Festival, Sonic Circuits Festival of Experimental Music, High Zero Festival of Experimental Improvised Music, Fields Festival, Philadelphia Free Form Festival, Forward Festival, Furious Flower Poetry Festival, and has toured abroad at North Sea Jazz Festival, Toulouse Jazz Festival, Vitoria Jazz Festival, Belgrade Jazz Festival, and Rotterdam Jazz Festival. As a scholar/performer, he has performed and lectured at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Medgar Evers College, George Mason University, Wayne State University, University of Montana, New Mexico State University, and the University of South Carolina.


RESIDENCY at RHIZOME DC
As the organs of power retreat into the protective shell of the security state, radical art, at least offers a way to act that doesn’t necessarily require direct confrontation with evasive or masked power. It is, however, a way to act that obviously runs the risk of standing in the way of more radical direct action. What, then, defines the terms of engagement for the deployment of our Creative capacity as a successful means of Resistance? Dr. Thomas Stanley will host a series of duologs and performances with the aim of exposing and consolidating the power of artists as catalysts for deep structural change. Through the discussion and interaction it is hoped that Stanley, his guests and the audiences assembled, will drill into questions like: How can artistic practice be economically sustainable and maintain its integrity as resistance? Where do we aim this thing – is our audience always our “target”? Which institutions are useful? Which institutions are soul-sucking parasites? What, of the work itself? Must it be propaganda to be political – to be active or activism? Stanley will sit down, talk, and make art with creators who are already friends and allies, men and women for whom there is no need to develop a common vernacular. These conversations should, therefore, start and end on a very high level.

WRITING

AUDIO


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