Sadiq Bey/schwartzegeist

CD "SLOW THE EAR"is out now...


this is Sadiq`s own webside -


listen to the new music at:


Recipient of the Berlin Studio Project Award

What began as a live, experimental tribute to the writings of Sun Ra culminates here. SLOW THE EAR appeals to the cinematic sense of poetry and music in a digital, 21st Century dynamic, defined by hybrid forms, aesthetic blends and the freedom to navigate beyond category. It hopes to return to the idea of listening to feeling, listening for the unexpected and the unpredictable. It is a vehicle that delivers the poem and runs on the music’s energy through varied landscapes and approaches the notion of the dense universe, as in John Coltrane’s “wall of sound,” evoking cinematic imaging.
SLOW THE EAR is an electro/acoustic conceptual project, written and produced in Berlin (2006-08) by Sadiq Bey, and is dedicated to the life and work of the great American cultural icon and visionary, Sun Ra. Bey’s history of collaboration as a performance poet is anchored in eclectic genres and highlights the work of diverse musician/composers including Don Byron, Brandon Ross and Uri Caine. This CD is complementary to Bey’s limited edition Slow the Eye book/box published by Two Suns Productions in Berlin (2004).
Slow is good, glance gives way to gaze. Slow is the mother of the creative process.

Special thanks to the Berlin Senat Department of Culture, Gebhard Ullmann, Ralph Hartmann, Urs von Siebenthal, Theo Ligthart, Claire Davies, Naima Farouzin, Gert Bertram, Marten Frerichs and Charles Matushewski and of course Mum, for your myriad support.

to read the lyrics click - here

Sadiq Bey/schwartzegeist performs the text through a variety of grammars and musical territories. A unique blend of electronic/acoustic possibilities frames the spoken word. Computers and keyboards team up with Jazz improvisation.


Originally from Detroit, Sadiq Bey is a performance poet, percussionist, composer, author and recording artist living and working in New York and Berlin. His work has appeared in print, electronic and recorded media for over thirty years.

He has performed and recorded with Geri Allen, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Fifth Dimension, Eartha Kitt, Brandon Ross, the Mbase Group, MFA Kera (DE), Scatology (DE), Gebhard Ullmann (DE), Dinamitri (IT), Uri Caine ( Sidewalks of New York, Bach: the Goldberg Variations, Mahler: Dark Flame) and Don Byron (NuBlaxploitation, Tuskegee Experiments) (USA) among many others in the Jazz, Classical and Pop idioms, in the spirit of the avant garde.

He has written and recorded for Congo Evidence (Caligola Records, Venice, 2006) with the Italian group Dinamitri with odes to the 9/11 tragedy and the New Orleans catastrophe; the opera Der Kastanien Ball (the Fall of Lucrezia Borgia) with Stefan Winter (Winter & Winter, Munich, 2005); The Othello Syndrome (performed at the Venice Biennale, 2003) with Uri Caine (Winter & Winter, 2005); Fire In Zeroland, a live recording (Berlin, 2006) with his group schwartzegeist, with special attention given to the poetry of Sun Ra; a limited edition, handmade box set  of film music entitled Variety Show (Ego Bar, Dresden, 2008) and his latest recording venture SLOW THE EAR, through the Studio Project Award from the Berlin Senate, Berlin (2007-8).

He began studying music at the age of 8 with the viola in Detroit Public School. He went on to study trombone and euphonium and finally, at age 12, he sought to become a percussionist after hearing the song “Finger Tips” by a very young Stevie Wonder on the Motown label. By the time he was sixteen, he had his first gig as a percussionist at Detroit's Chit Chat Lounge, to which he had to be escorted by his mom because he was underage.

He began writing poetry at the age of twelve but does not know why. “It just happened and I found myself totally captivated by the construction of words in poems written by people my mother spoke of. We were not taught poetry in school.”

After the 1967 insurrection in Detroit, Sadiq was influenced by the huge shift in modern music and a lifelong love affair with innovative approaches to the delivery of poetry and music began to evolve. He has narrowed it down to a 1968 summer’s day, spent with a friend, listening to Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, Lightnin Hopkins, the Doors and Sun Ra. “It was the most amazing day of my musical life!” he says. For Bey, there is no one music idiom to describe the panorama available to poets. Shortly thereafter, he met Faruq Z. Bey, Alfred “Slick” Campbell (then) who became Jalilu Bey, Naima Fuller and Abu Ishak (Elton Hill)…the First African Primal Rhythm Arkestra was born. Music and poetry in Detroit would never be the same. With Faruq on tenor, Jalil on alto and Sadiq on trombone and percussion, the group grew to about 8 members with the first real performance at Concept East Theatre supporting their staging of Amiri Baraka’s  Black Mass. FAPRA evolved into Griot Galaxy, which became a mainstay at Detroit’s Cobb’s Corner every Friday night. Griot Galaxy played original compositions and Sun Ra covers. And it worked! Later, Faruq and Sadiq put together a reggae band called Aziz (As is). There isn’t enough space here to run down a full history, but we will add additional info as time passes.

Innovation and hybridism are the key words in Sadiq’s lexicon. The constant research and application of new techniques and technologies are a must for 21st century practitioners of art making. He feels that the tools available to artists these days are astonishing compared to what was possible for the giants of modern American music, for instance, not to mention what existed before Louis Armstrong’s blues. However, one must never lose sight of the history of innovation in one’s articulation. Sadiq reminds us that, “it took millions of musical souls to produce one Sadiq Bey original composition.