A short overview of THE PYRAMIDS
The Pyramids met as students at Ohio’s legendary Antioch College where famous composer and jazz pianist Cecil Taylor was teaching as a visiting professor from 1971 – 73. Antioch was known for its liberal spirit and its source for activism and progressive political thought speaking of student protests, the New Left, the anti Vietnam War and Black Power movement.
Spending their senior year abroad (72-73) the young group composed of founding members, Idris Ackamoor, Margaux Simmons, and Kimathi Asante soon embarked on an amazing cultural odyssey – a journey leading them first to Paris, then Amsterdam, and on to Africa. They lived for nine months in Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana, where they performed with the King’s Drummers of Tamale. They listened to music, played with local master musicians, and studied African culture. The Pyramids were one of the first African American creative music ensembles to explore the music of their ancestors in Africa, long before “world music” as a term came into fashion.
The three albums of the ‘70s
The Pyramids were part of a first wave of musicians that began to independently record, produce & release their albums. They released three records before disbanding in 1977: Lalibela (1973), King Of Kings (1974) followed by the seminal Birth/Speed/Merging LP (1976) which was recorded after the band had moved from Ohio to psychedelic San Francisco.
Disko B re-released these three rare Pyramids’ recordings from the 70s as a triple CD box including a 44 page booklet and as limited edition 180gr. vinyl. All remastered from the original tapes by Calyx in Berlin.
“A ya ya – Ya ya yeh yeh yeh” – The Pyramids “live”
The Pyramids “live” on stage – what a deep mind expanding experience: On-stage theatricality mixing music, theatre and performance art. The band snakes through the audience while playing their instruments. The audience instantly becomes an integral part of the performance. The Pyramids “live” is a high energy, extremely interactive, and expressionistic show. Mysterious, otherworldly and deep – like a magical ancient ritual.
“From wordless chants to modern raps, free blowing to tap dancing: it’s all the same to The Pyramids, everything co-existing as part of the same ecstatic celebratory ritual.“ (The Liminal)
Art as social activism
THE PYRAMIDS’ vision is also influenced by the term “art as social activism”. It was Idris Ackamoor who accompanied his long term theatrical partner, Rhodessa Jones, who – for the first time in South African history – conducted residency activities collaborating with Johannesburg Correctional Services and Urban Voices Festival. The residency culminated in a full length theatre production with female inmates inside Naturena Correctional Centre better known as “Sun City” prison.
Booking Agency: Planet Rock Booking www.planetrock-booking.de