Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coming Soon: Volcanic Sunlight

In anticipation for a new album, Volcanic Sunlight, the poet/artist/performer, Saul Williams, sent out a newsletter where he talks about many things: including his view of music; his travels and meeting new people; current popular-culture; and commercial music.

But most importantly, he talks about who his audience is--who he is aiming to reach--and how he sees his new work as "an alternative form of energy."

Below are just two paragraphs from the letter he sent out:

"When you talk to record execs, they want to be able to see exactly where you'll fit into the commercial playing field. They want to be able to envision your song being played between Kanye and Drake on the radio. They want to be able to easily locate your audience. I'm pretty certain that much of my audience is out occupying cities across the world, protesting against corporate giants, squatting in city parks, following the same compulsion that led many to poetry slams and readings some years back; to raves, hip-hop, and punk rock shows, when music was more counter-culture than over-the-counter culture. All those seeds that were planted, the voices unlocked, the envisionment of the world that is possible and the pledge to make it real, are all coming full circle now.

"Volcanic Sunlight is my contribution to the times. It is my way of sharing that through all the necessary fighting for change behind, ahead, and within us, I have found it most helpful to think of it as a dance. I danced through a lot of bullshit (and fun shit) in order to get here... (don't forget the fun shit!). Yeah, it's been fun. Hella fun (415/510). And, honestly, I ain't really trying to fit in. (See: Talk To Strangers). But I've decided to sell my album to you, this time. As if to say, here is my idea of a 'product' that, I hope you will consider, worth more than it's asking price. As if to say, "invest in alternative energy." 'Cause, basically, that's how I think of Volcanic Sunlight: as an alternative form of energy. Something a bit more conscious of it's global imprint that whole cities, and possibly, new worlds, or, at least, new thoughts, can run on. My intention is for it to serve as a generator, a power source, that remembers the beauty of it's engine as it serves to transform the system."

I look forward very much to listening to this new album. In the summer of 2010, when I traveled to Arizona to protest against the racist anti-immigrant laws that were being put into place, one of the songs we heard over-and-over again (for inspiration and what not), was his "List of Demands." Anybody who follows Saul Williams on Twitter knows that he has been inspired by the Occupy movement that have exploded in this country. I expect this new album to somehow compliment the actions of all people who are out there trying to change the world.

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