Beyond the Black Crack is one of the most unique listening experiences in modern experimental music. It was recorded 1974-1976 in locations as diverse as factories, the pyramid opposite Harry Truman’s grave site as well as more conventional concert settings. It is a dark, dizzying and exhilarating journey through free jazz, electronics and environmental sound, all shattered by Frizzell’s radical tape editing. It was originally released in an edition of 200 LPs by Cavern Custom to commemorate the First Annual End of the World Celebration, November 18 1976.
The original Beyond the Black Crack Sole Survivors recordings were made at the Kansas City Art Institute in the Foundation studio in 1975 and the Epperson Auditorium in 1976. I was in Foundation studying with Tommy Gomersal, Carl Kurtz and Shirley Schnell. Black Crack was entirely extra-curricular, and the administration provided the auditorium space and other support to make the 24-hour ritual possible.
A metronome set the event in motion, along with several analog reel-to-reel tape recorders with double-feedback loops, and longer tape loops between multiple machines—spread out across the stage, with audience and performers mixing in the auditorium. Nearly everyone who came interacted with the enfolding rhythms and tones.
Thirty-nine years later, we have readied our time-shifting devices for activation in the very same auditorium—the metronome, multiple delay units, electric dischargers, and group of young (and young-at-heart) artists dedicated to the same goal–to diffuse time-space boundaries and initiate eroto-cosmic passage to out alter-destiny where, as Sun Ra put it, “There’s no limit to the things you can be. There’s no limit to the things you can do. Your thoughts are free, and life is worthwhile.”
Nov. 10, 2015 — KCAI Epperson Auditorium
From the Black Crack and the Sole Survivors First 5 Hour Recording Session – 1975
1975 — KCAI Foundations Studio
Nov. 10, 2015 — KCAI Epperson Auditorium
tenor saxophone, clarinet, audio oscillator, chair, trash can, pins, soy beans
clarinet, vocals with laughs, tenor saxophone, dancing
mouth flute, percussion, pins, soy, alteration
Rev. Tommy Gomersall
tin cans, piano, vocals
lights and percussion
clarinet, imagistic inspiration
Rev. Jim Rogers
Radio Rich Dalton
percussion, tape machine; and many others…
light-driven instruments, mixage
Musician/sound artist performing with Reishi Rainbow, Cosmocoatl, Joey Watson, Ian Teeple, and BCR. His current project is Sollus, long-tone performances harmonized with orbital patterns of our solar system.
Composer/musician, master drummer, founding member of newEar, director of Gamelan Genta Kasturi, long-time member of Black Crack Revue and recipient of the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Generative Performing Artist Fellow Award.
short wave bio-electrics, Tesla coil
Works between science and art creating new possibilities for generations of young artists at KCAI. Played short wave, Tesla Coil, and/or Jacob’s Ladder in the newEar productions Building the Earth, Scrat and Postmodern Prometheus.
metronome, time-delay, spatial mix, reeds
Harry Truman’s childhood neighbor, co-founder of Black Crack Revue, newEar, and Myth-Science Ensemble. Teachers include video artist Douglas Davis and Afro-Futurist Sun Ra. Current Professor of Interactive Arts and Sound at KCAI.
Sound and Lighting Technician
Provides a “pummeling rhythmic onslaught” (KC Star) for bands like the Philistines. Specializes in video location shoots, post-production, and party enhancements with his Visual Assault Commando/Ruler of Mars. Current KCAI Media Technician.
Player in the London-based collective Morphogenesis, producer of Paradigm Discs, programmer at Resonance FM, and collaborator with Nurse with Wound. Most recently working in a duo with Adam Bohman (voice/sound artist), touring the US and Europe.
time delays, spatial mix, guitar
Lead guitarist in Terminus, player in the Sound Art Collab, and Myth-Science Ensemble. Double majoring in Painting and Creative Writing at KCAI. He plays a a Fender Stratocaster, and an array of EFX pedals.
didgeridoo, ceramic horns
Sonoran Desert raised ceramicist/musician. Studied at International Ceramic Studio, Kecskemet, Hungary, and Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. Charlotte Street Foundation resident artist and healing sound practitioner with Dr. Lee Veal’s Gong Tribe.
From the 2015 Re-Staging of Black Crack and the Sole Survivors