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 Winter 2011

Alumni Profiles

Profile: The Pyramids

The Pyramids performing in Austria 2010

The Pyramids: Idris Ackamoor ’73 and Margaux Simmons ’77, Austria, 2010. (photo: Markus Lackinger)

Antioch alumni, Idris Ackamoor ’73, Margaux Simmons ’77, and Thomas Williams ’75 founded The Pyramids during an Antioch Education Abroad year spent in Europe and Africa in 1972 and 1973. When the band returned to Antioch, it was joined by another student, Bradie Speller ’74. Subsequently the group independently produced three albums (two in Yellow Springs and one in San Francisco), migrated to San Francisco where they remained for several years, and then disbanded in 1977 after a final performance opening for Al Jarreau at the UC Berkeley Jazz Festival.

Thirty years later in 2007, the band reunited for one performance at the San Francisco International Arts Festival to glowing reviews. Internet chatter and the re-release of the three self-produced albums propelled renewed interest in the music of The Pyramids, leading to a recently completed, five-country European tour.

The band’s original drummer, Donald Robinson (who followed the band to Yellow Springs in 1973), fathered a child with fellow Antiochian Kim Euell, and Simmons and Ackamoor have a daughter, Aomawa, who is working on her doctorate in astronomy at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Due to the unbelievable success of the European tour, new recordings, festival dates, and future tours are planned.

The Europeans called the Pyramids’ music “deeply spiritual, afro-psychedelic music.”

—Idris Ackamoor ’73

Profile: Jaimy Gordon ’66

Jaimy Gordon ’66 was born in Baltimore, took degrees from Antioch College and Brown University, and now teaches at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and in the Prague Summer Program for Writers.

Jaimy Gordon ’66

She has been a Fellow of the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College. Her fourth novel, Lord of Misrule, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2010. Her third novel, Bogeywoman, was a Los Angeles Times Best Book for 2000. Her second novel, She Drove Without Stopping, brought her an Academy-Institute Award from the American Institute of Arts and Letters.

Other book publications include Shamp of the City-Solo (novel: McPherson & Company), The Bend, The Lip, The Kid: Reallife Stories (narrative poem: Sun Press), and Circumspections from an Equestrian Statue (novella: Burning Deck Press).

She has also translated several works of Maria Beig from German, most recently Hermine, an Animal Life. Her short story “A Night’s Work,” which shares several characters with Lord of Misrule, appeared in Best American Short Stories 1995.