The experimental composer and producer on the latest anthology of his ambient explorations into cosmic folklore.
Musician and composer Craig Leon might be best known for his production for bands like Suicide, the Ramones, Talking Heads, Richard Hell, Blondie and many other artists who shaped the New York City downtown sound of the ’70s and early ’80s. In 1981 he released his debut solo work Nommos (on John Fahey’s Takoma Records), a minimal synth album inspired by the creation myth of Mali’s Dogon people, who believe that an alien race visited ancient Earth to impart their wisdom and culture. A year later he released Visiting, the continuation of this imaginative, anthropologic sonic exploration. Almost 40 years on, with his new Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Vol 2: The Canon, he continues his extraterrestrial investigations and expands on the concept of an Earth inextricably linked to the cosmos. Consciously utilizing many of the same synthesizers and programs of his early works, Leon and his partner Cassell Webb reopen the portal to propulsive and spacious productions. Today we listen to Lauren Martin and Leon discuss the narrative thrust of this latest addition to his cosmic lore, some of his favorite sci-fi fiction and the mathematics of the Dogon.