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

  • "Wednesday, April 25 morning, break, evening .::. Noise Awareness Day 2018 .::. Once again, and in an entirely NEW venue, Dr. Stanley Brings the Noise. @ Uptown Art House, 3412 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 .::. Musician and Curator Jamal Gray has stepped forward to assist Dr. Stanley in maintaining the continuity of the Noise Awareness tradition. Signal to Noise -> The SIGNAL (consensus reality) is the narcotic glue of social adhesion. The NOISE is the juice, the mystery, the solvent for this noxious muck, the sound of JOY.

  • "Saturday, April 28, 8:00-10:00pm .::. Avant Fairfax PreShow #1 .::. Bushmeat Airways and a bunch of crazy cool cats @ Rhizome, 6950 Maple St NW, Washington, DC 20012. .::. First held in 2009, the Avant Fairfax Festival celebrates outsider and experimental music across many genres. This year, Chethan Kenkeremath has brought the fest back to celebrate the memory of our fallen comrade Andrew McCarry who did so much to bring artists and fans of non-mainstream music together in Northern Virginia.

  • "Sunday, May 6, late afternoon .::. Saturn's Twice Return .::. Nate Schieble/Thomas Stanley/Luke Stewart/Malik Thomas/Jamal Moore/Gerald Cleaver/Travis Laplante @ Rhizome, 6950 Maple St NW, Washington, DC 20012. .::. SUBTLE DEGREES is a new two-musician ensemble consisting of Travis Laplante (tenor saxophone) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). The duo's uncategorizable sound evokes everything from contemporary classical music, avant garde jazz, minimalism, technical metal, and sacred world music. Laplante is also the founder/composer of saxophone quartet Battle Trance and the ensemble Little Women.

WRITING

AUDIO


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