Visual Music Systems

Ancient Aethiopia

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About the composition

Sun Ra: Ancient Aethiopia from the album Jazz in Silhouette

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Album description:  “Jazz in Silhouette stands as an overlooked masterpiece, a work that shows Ra not as a mere curiosity or backwater galaxy, but as a major creative force in the jazz universe, a center of gravity around which many of jazz’s major developments have orbited. This album simply inspires, no matter what perspective you adopt: rhythm, melody, ensemble or mood…Jazz in Silhouette shows Ra doing what he did like few others: looking at the past, present and future simultaneously while maintaining a unified musical direction…what results is a captivating set of music that not only firmly establishes Ra in the jazz tradition, but actually puts him on its leading edge, pointing the direction forward” (Matthew Wuethrich, Penguin Guide to Jazz, 1959).

Audio Credits

On piano, celeste, and gong: Sun Ra 

On trumpet: Hobart Dotson

On alto sax and flute: Marshall Allen 

On alto sax, flute, and percussion: James Spaulding 

On tenor sax and percussion: John Gilmore 

On trombone: Bo Bailey 

On  baritone sax, flute, percussion: Pat Patrick

On baritone sax and percussion: Charles Davis 

On bass: Ronnie Boykins 

On drums: William Cochran 

Visual Notes

Performed by Bill Sebastian on the OVC-3D. Multi-track composition recorded January 24-29, 2019.  

Texture Credits

The OVC-3D synthesizer uses two-dimensional artwork as textures on small billboards that can be mapped thousands of times into the scene.  The original artwork might be squeezed into a few pixels on the screen, but often the textures are large enough to appreciate the beauty of the 2D art.  We have not been creating the 2D art at VMS, but rather licensing it as stock photos from  We want to give credit to the artists responsible for this art and give you the opportunity to check some of their other works.  The names listed below are the names the artists use on, and the links will take you to the location of their original artwork on  If you click on the artwork, you can navigate to the artists’ portfolios at  Artists who have multiple textures have brackets after their names with links to the additional works.