...featuring everything from answering machine Arkestral rehearsal snippets to recordings of a Southern-style preacher incanting.
— Byron Coley, The Wire
Brian Harnetty is well-schooled in the music of old...but these days he converts archives into futuristic sounds.
— Columbus Alive

The Sociophonic Key (2012)
Side A:
1. The Sociophonic Key (0:50)
2. “Hamm, are you there?” (2:32)

Side B:
3. We Want to Invite, We Do Invite You (4:11)

Released by: Scioto Records as a vinyl 7" and mp3 download.

From Scioto Records:
When Brian Harnetty was commissioned to work with the Sun Ra/El Saturn archives in Chicago, his goal was to develop a series of conversations with Sun Ra through the many recordings in the collection. On one level, the resulting pieces combine these diverse materials to create a sonic collage. On another level, Harnetty uses these elements to reveal multi-layered stories, drawing out the many connections and complexities of the Sun Ra archives.

For this 7” single, entitled “The Sociophonic Key” (2012) Harnetty has created a stand-alone work drawn from “The Star Faced One,” a 2010 sound installation at the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. Despite the variety of samples used many subtle relationships are heard––both literal and fantastic––from Sun Ra rehearsing a group of children fading into an answering machine, to the intensity of a gospel preacher alongside the Arkestra’s invitation to join them in outer space.

"It is a huge, rambling collection of recordings that are only loosely held together by the presence of Sun Ra," explains Harnetty. "There are rehearsals, live concerts, lectures, TV shows, and so on. I spent most of my time listening closely, as a fan and out of curiosity, searching for correlations, links, and routes of connection.” In the end, these recordings create networks of reference and dialogue that both point to the past and imagine new futures.

This project originated as an Interpretive Commission from the Creative Audio Archive at Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago in 2010. The original recordings are from the Sun Ra/El Saturn Collection in the CAA; ESS licenses the use of the original recordings and protects their copyright.  For more information and access to CAA online catalogs, please visit

Artwork: Jay Pluck
Layout: Ron Hester
Vinyl Mastering: John Hull at Musicol recording, Columbus, Ohio
Cover: printed at Igloo Letterpress, Worthington, Ohio