Friday, December 05, 2008


"Pharoah (Sanders) had this song called 'Pisces Moon,' which he was playing every night as a theme in New York and he asked me if I could put some lyrics to it. I came up with 'The Creator Has A Masterplan.' A classic was born...."

"I'd been trying to reach this cat for ages with no luck. I was at home and thought 'I'm gonna make this cat pick up the phone'--mentally. I began my yoga exercises and got to the head stand. With one intake of breath, I planned to walk to the phone upside down, dial his number, and make him answer with this mental projection.

"As I crossed the threshhold of the bedroom, I transcended. I was one place and my body was another. I dropped to the floor, right on my face and my teeth went into my bottom lip. There was blood everywhere....

"So I couldn't do my own show with Pharoah. I had eight stitches in my mouth. I couldn't do anything. Pharoah came by to see me [and he said] you can't pull out."

"I couldn't smile. I could hardly open my mouth...but I went along anyhow. I got up on the stage and when it came time for me to scat, this sound just came out. It shocked me. I didn't know where it was coming from.

"I realised it was me and I realised that the ancestors had arrived. Pharoah, standing beside me on stage just raised his eyebrows at me. The ancestors had given me what we call throat articulation and they said to me 'You will sing like this with your mouth CLOSED.' And that was the first time it presented itself to me, in a church. My God! Thank you....It surprises me, it does everything of its own volition. I call it Soularfone. The pygmies call it Umbo Weti....This voice is not me, my voice is ancient. This person you see before you is controlled by ego but my voice is egoless." Leon Thomas

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


"We didn't know what to call the record and we didn't have any cover ideas until just by chance, in the window of a Turkish food shop, we saw this can, made by a Turkish company called Can who put Okra in a tin. There were about 20 of them, arranged in a display. We saw it, and thought 'this is a funny idea', and made a photograph of it, and called the record Ege Bamyasi, which is Turkish for okra. We wrote to the Turkish company to tell them we have been called Can for a couple of years, and told them that we made this cover, and might send it to them, and we would love to do a promotional thing, like sending cans to journalists. We got a letter back from their lawyers saying 'you are not allowed to call yourselves Can, and if you continue to do so, we will sue you'. I'm not such a big fan of okra anyway, it isn't really my vegetable." Irmin Schmidt