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Asaf Sirkis: The Endless Realm

Ian Patterson By

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AAJ: Nihilistic?

AS: Maybe nihilistic, not so positive. But I do really feel that we do everything in our life to confirm something that doesn't actually exist. We are basically just falling and falling into a vast hole. [laughs]

AAJ: I'd better review my insurance policy. Have you seen the Sun Ra movie, the first one, from 30 years ago or so? There's this great scene where he walks into what looks like a Harlem youth center, where these young kids are shooting pool and hanging out, and he's dressed in his silver robe and hat and so on and says, "Greetings black youth of the planet earth. I am Sun Ra, ambassador from the intergalactic regions of the council of outer space." It's quite an entrance, and one teenager looks at him and responds, "Why are your shoes so big?" I thought that kind of summed up the incomprehension that surrounds him.

AS: [laughs] I've got the movie. The striking quotation is a scene when one of the kids asks him: "How do we know you're for real?" And he answers, "How do you know I'm for real? I'm not real. I am just like you." [laughs] He was quite a genius.

AAJ: Another video from YouTube, and it's from a concert with you, Yaron and Tassos in a Romanian restaurant in London...

AS: [laughs] Yeah, that's right.

AAJ:: You guys are playing your asses off to what looks like about ten people in the audience. This reminded me of a comment saxophonist Steve Marcus made to me a few years back at a very poorly attended gig. I felt sorry for the guy for the low turnout, and I asked him how it felt to play such a low-key gig. He said, "There's no such thing as a low-key gig." Can you relate to that comment at all?

AS: Sure. I am very passionate about music. Harold Rubin once said to me when I was very young: "Play like it's your last gig. Play like it's your last day on this earth." I have always cherished that. It is very important for me, and I am very excited about playing, wherever I'm playing, with whoever I'm playing.

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