“THE LIVING LIVES NOT AMONG THE DEAD. WHY SEEK IT THERE?”
Chief Fela Sowande
PART 1 “D-O-P-E”
The moment one sets out to systematize the unceasing dynamism of the creative evolving LIFE which has for its unalterable goal the constant emergence and preservation of all possible possibilities in which alone can be no thing that lives and despite all the contradictions and confusions and planlessness and aimlessness and fruitlessness and goal-lessness that seem so unmistakably to hallmark every step that Life appears haltingly to take now forwards now backwards now sideways now up now down now nowhere in particular like a drunk on unsteady legs at all odds with unclear eyes… from the moment one begins to plan to turn that endless limitless profusion of ordered-chaos or chaotic-order into at least some semblance of a one-lane macadamized super-highway as smooth as a billiard table and as straight as the line joining the North to the South Pole on a map drawn with pen and ink on paper and left to dry without a smudge… from that moment the human being or group of human beings becomes devoid of all spiritual insight and awareness and virtue and is as useless and productiveless and effectiveless for the discovery by man of the godhead in man as the systematized knowledge that one billiard ball and one billiard ball make two billiard balls. Deathly Organized Purposeless Existence – “D-O-P-E” –
– “D-O-P-E” – is the trademark of the extra fine dust which then like the volcanic ash of a thousand synchronized Krakatoa eruptions blankets everything so well that man is now forced to create everything anew in his own image which however he is no longer able to see and his destiny is now inseparable from that of his own attempted creations. To have a right to Life requires tat one must first recognize and endorse and align one’s self to the right of Life to function as itself for itself by itself subject only to the eternal laws of its own eternal Nature which guarantees the constant appearing preservation and maturation of all possible possibilities that contain all the “here” and the “not-here” and the “there” and the “not-there” and the “nowhere” and the “everywhere” and the “everything imaginable or unimaginable” wherein alone can be no thing that is not alive and through which goal-lessness becomes the only goal that Life can have because it contains and transcends and transcends the totality of all possible possibilities and is itself Life and what else should the goal of Life be but LIFE?
Bill Cole: leader and composer, asian double reed horns & didgeridoo
Warren Smith: multiple percussion & asian double reed horn
Joe Daley: baritone horn, tuba, trombone & asian double reed horn
William Parker: acoustic bass, asian double reed horn
Cooper-Moore: hand crafted instruments, flute
Sam Furnance: alto sax, flute, asian douible reed horn
Atticus Cole: multiple percussion
Patricia Smith: voice
Edited and Mastered by
CLARLES ELLER & LANE GIBSON AT CHARLES ELLER RECORDING AND MASTERING STUDIO
Additional Mastering at
LORD BALTIMORE RECORDING STUDIO BY MARTIN GUDERLE
Art and Graphic Design by
Layout Production and Administration by
THE LIVING LIVES NOT AMONG THE DEAR. WHY SEEK IT THERE?
These words begin the second volume of Chief Fela Sowonde’s The Learning Process.
The Learning Process is an outgrowth of the Standard Rules for the Student which he began writing in 1968. From the time that I first knew Fela (1972) until 1985 he worked on writing The Learning Process and he finally handed it to me in the middle of 1985. The two volumes cover 488 pages and are as complex reading as Fela was as a person. The first time I read The Learning Process I was struck by the words of Living Lives because of the way it was written and the meaning of the words. The words read like poetry and the meaning is so important to our contemporary times. There are so few real leaders in te world and the ones who profess to lead believe that physical confrontations are the only answer to the world’s problems. Might makes right.
It took several years to think aboiut the words and then to find a way to present them in a musical format. I knew from the first time I read them that this was wonderful material to set to music. Living Lives is only one page long but it has two distinctive parts. The first three-quarters deals with the state of the world as Fela saw it and the last part speaks to the responsibilities of the human species to preserve and cherish the potential for the beautiful world we were orn into. I hope that we can successfully honor Fela’s words and that our performance spells out both the dangers of today’s world and the human potential for solving the urgent problems that we are confronted with in our times.
The performance is dedicated to Wilber Morris. An outstanding musician and a wonderful person. He died too young.
2018 Bill Cole