No Two Songs Tell the Same Story

No Two Songs Tell the Same Story

Sun Ra, in the film a Joyful Noise, talks about history in the Egyptian museum at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. As a kid growing up in Philly, I used to often visit the museum and would ask my parents “can we go see the mummies?!” I was both scared and fascinated at the same time. I loved the Egyptian temple which includes a real Sphinx – the only one I saw until I went to Egypt many years later.

Speaking in front of the Sphinx surrounded by the Egyptian temple, Sun Ra says:

No two songs tell the same story…

They say that history repeats itself …

But history is only HIS story… you haven’t heard MY story YET …

MY story is DIFFERENT from HIS story… my story is not part of history…

Because history repeats itself…

But MY story is endless, it never repeats itself

Why should it?

… A sunset does not repeat ITself, neither does a sunrise….

Nature never repeats itself

Why should I repeat myself?

An excellent history lesson that musicians or any artist might consider, especially at the point where we have to choose between creation and re-creation. It’s not all that easy; what worked really well yesterday or last night could be very tempting to repeat tonight. In a different town in front of a different audience, who would know the difference? Only you could miss the chance to discover another world and the connection to the inner imagination that is strengthened when improvising with the creative spirit. The unexpected offers opportunity for invention, and awareness is heightened where tension occurs.

Thoughtful regards,



~ by Garrison Fewell on February 10, 2009.

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