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Sun Ra Arkestra team up with Paul Simon's son Harper for new track

Harper Simon
(Image credit: Patrick Hoelck)

US fusion outfit the Sun Ra Arkestra have teamed up with Harper Simon, the son of legendary folk musician Paul Simon, and Canadian vocalist King Khan for a brand new track We Are The People Of Myths, which you can listen to below.

We Are The People Of Myths forms part of Simon's multi-genre, multi-media collective Meditations On Crime, an ongoing project that has thus far featured members of Pixies, Animal Collective and Gang Gang Dance. The Sun Ra Akestra/King Khan collaboration was co-recorded, arranged and produced by Simon with the late, legendary music producer Hal Willner in one his final sessions.

I’d always wanted to work with the Sun Ra Arkestra, and I knew Hal Willner had worked with them a lot," explains Simon. "I reached out to Hal to see if he might be able to co-produce a couple tracks with me and the Arkestra. He set it up for me and I was really over the moon. It was a bit intimidating to write for them as I had never written for a jazz ensemble before, much less the legendary Arkestra, but I composed two pieces for them; melodic motifs and arrangements and a loose structure for them to improvise over. 

“It was a great and memorable day. I’m so happy I got to spend this last day with Hal doing something so special. We were both satisfied and laughing and really high on the session when we drove back to New York that night. 

“I knew I wanted to have a vocalist collaborate on the track. Who else could even remotely pull that off except King Khan? I’d been a fan for a while and actually took Hal to see him play in LA some years ago. Since that time, they had worked together, so Hal connected us and he agreed to co-write. He’d performed with Marshall Allen and the Sun Ra Arkestra before, and put down this vocal in Berlin; a hazy, cosmic rap that elevated our crime theme to a spiritual level, with his own idiosyncratic delivery and timing. King Khan is a rare musical artist — it was really an honour to collaborate with him and the Arkestra, and I hope we get to do it live one day!“

Simon has hinted at a future run of summer releases for the project and has also suggested more curated visual art crossovers..

Harper SImon

(Image credit: Press)
Jerry Ewing
Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.