#24 - The Song of the Violet Flame - Lotus Ray King 

Welcome to Episode 24, “The Song of the Violet Flame,” featuring harpist, composer, and religious leader, Lotus Ray King, aka Edna Ballard (1886-1971). Raised in Chicago, Ballard got into metaphysical literature and harp playing as a teenager. With her…

#23 - Music of the Gods (Hip Hop & the Five Percent Nation) 

Welcome to episode 23, Music of the Gods. Rather than focus on a single artist, this episode explores the role of the Five Percent movement in the origins and development of American hip hop. Founded in 1967 by Clarence 13X…

#22 - The South Side Shaman - Kelan Phil Cohran 

Welcome to Episode 22, The South Side Shaman, featuring trumpeter, harpist, composer, teacher, community activist, and astronomer Kelan Philip Cohran (1927-2017). Early on, Cohran joined the cosmic discipline of Sun Ra’s Arkestra for two years. Next he worked with Malcolm…

#21 - A Wandering Monk - Julius Eastman 

Welcome to episode 21, A Wandering Monk, featuring the brilliantly black, queer, composer, dancer, conductor, pianist, and grammy-nominated singer—Julius Eastman (1940-1990). His music often employed his unique “organic method” of composition, while some works, anticipating post-minimalism, fused avant-garde and…

Secret Sound - 20 - The Obeah Man (Tony McKay/Exuma) 

Welcome to Episode 20, The Obeah Man, featuring Bahamian born singer/songwriter, painter, and Obeah practitioner, Tony McKay (1942-1997). Coming to Greenwich Village in the 1960s, McKay took on the identity of Exuma, the Obeah Man. His mystical wardrobe, lyrics, paintings…

Secret Sound - 19 - The Religion of Dreams (Rahsaan Roland Kirk) 

Welcome to Episode 19, “The Religion of Dreams,” featuring Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1935-1937). Blind from the age of 2, Kirk became a maverick figure in the jazz world, notably for his ability to play three reed instruments at the same…

Secret Sound - 17 - The Galaxy of Turiya (Alice Coltrane) 

Episode 17, the Galaxy of Turiya, focuses on jazz icon, harp pioneer and multi-instrumentalist, and spiritual teacher, Alice Coltrane, aka Turiyasangitananda (1937-2007). Born in Detroit and raised singing in the African-American baptist church, she went on to radicalize jazz music…

Secret Sound - 16 - The Emancipation Car (Joshua McCarter Simpson) 

Welcome to Episode 16, which focuses on 19th century abolitionist, song-poet, pastor, and herb doctor, Joshua McCarter Simpson (1821-1877). Simpson was born free but an indentured servant until the age of 21, after which he taught himself to read and…

Secret Sound - 15 - The Nature Singer (Charles Kellogg) 

Episode 15, “The Nature Singer,” features California-based musical naturalist, environmental activist, anti-gun, vegetarian, fire-extinguishing singer, and Christian Scientist, Charles Kellogg (1868-1949). He was raised for several years in the High Sierras by the Native American and Chinese members of his…

Secret Sound -14 - The Signing of Sound (Jerry Hunt) 

Welcome to Episode 14, “Signing of Sounds.” This episode features the enigmatic Texan composer and occultist, Jerry Hunt (1943-1993). Living in his self-made home in rural Texas most of his life, Hunt became a virtuoso avant-garde pianist, a pioneer of…

Secret Sound - 13 - Part 2 - The Magic of Tone (Dane Rudhyar) 

Welcome to Part 2 of Episode 13, "The Magic of Tone." This episode focuses on French-American composer, painter, poet, prolific author, and renowned astrologer, Dane Rudhyar (1895-1985). Coming to America from Paris in 1916, Rudhyar’s intuitively dissonant Theosophically inspired music…