Taking place during The Arts Catalyst’s zero gravity flying workshop at the Gagarin Csmonaut Training Centre in Star City, Moscow, Kosmos In Blue was a three part work comprising a staging during a parabolic flight in zero gravity of a sound sculpture using Sun Ra’s music as its point of departure, a live performance of Hallucinator material, mixing the sounds of radio astronomy with remixes of Sun Ra material, and a CD of this material plus material gathered during our trip to Star City. A performance of Kosmos in Blue was also given at the Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadlers Wells, London, as part of the 'Artists & Cosmonauts' event.
With Kosmos In Blue, the artists in Flow Motion - Edward George, Trevor Mathison and Anna Piva - were concerned with questions of troubled subjectivity, of isolation and freedom, of melancholia; the focal figure was Sun Ra.
"Sun Ra was without a doubt 20th century American music’s most consistent, significant advocate of a star bound earth based music. His heliocentric vision was rooted in a sense of unbelonging here on earth, a wistful, romantic but nonetheless very real sense of displacement; a kind of heightened, profound loneliness. Ra’s music always seemed to be aimed at, or searching for, potential fellow travellers, possible cosmonauts, disaffected earth dwellers, profoundly constrained by the lack of space - physical, political, existential, spiritual - here in their own home. It was in the light of the suggestions for sound art posed by Ra’s jazz, euro-avante garde, and electronic lo-fi, that we posed another kind of cosmic music, as a way of teasing out some of the affective components in Ra’s music and thought. We were interested in the idea of Sentics, a percussion based music technology, developed by Manfred Clynes, founder of cybernetics. Designed to make bearable the effect of protracted physical dislocation on the central nervous system of astronauts on increasingly long space flights, Sentics represented a science-based elaboration on the theme of alienation that characterised Ra’s work; space themed music as an expression of unbelonging here on earth, made here on earth, never quite imagined astronauts in their solitude or unease, producing their own cosmic music. And while Space restrictions during the parabolic flight rendered the sound sculpture impossible, we were nonetheless able to present the live performance, and compile sound materials from the flight for a future CD document.”
Edited extract from: Edward George & Anna Piva: “Flow Motion: Out There”, in: ‘Space Art. Festival @rt Outsiders 2003’, Anomalie Digital_Arts N° 4 (Orléans: Editions Hys & Anomalie digital art, September 2003), pp. 125-129.