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Doors: 1 Hour Prior to Performance
Funeral Doom Spiritual
New York Premiere / Multi-Media Concert
January 13th and 14th at 7pm & 10pm
From the ashes and ruins of long dead earth and the infinite blacknesses of what will be the year 2116 emerges M. Lamar’s Funeral Doom Spiritual: For Male Soprano, Piano, and Electronics. Funeral Doom Spiritual is a song of mourning for what Antony Paul Farley calls “the motionless movement of death through slavery, segregation, and neo-segregation.” Drawing on themes of apocalypse, end times, and rapture found in Negro Spirituals, this new performance by Lamar explores radical historical expressions, futuristic longings for destruction of the white supremacist world order and salvaging of the Negro spirit destroyed in the flames of the western world.
Claudia Rankine recently wrote in The New York Times, “The condition of black life is one of mourning.” Indeed, if we believe Farley’s words that evoke an ongoing funeral procession, then how do we, the Negro undead, go on? And how have we kept on keeping on in this unending death spiral of the U.S. Empire?
In Funeral Doom Spiritual, M. Lamar suggests that it is only with an intense awareness of this “motionless movement,” carrying the coffins of the fallen “on our backs,” that we can proceed.
Taking place a century in the future, this new monodrama focuses on a protagonist forever “carrying carrying carrying” these coffins and forever mourning. Drawing on Negro Spirituals that call for the end times, what Lamar calls “Doom Spirituals,” this music-theatre work exhumes legacies of racial violence while longing for the forthcoming world.
Composers: M. Lamar & Hunter Hunt-Hendrix
Librettists: M. Lamar & Tucker Culbertson
Voice & Piano: M. Lamar
String Arrangements: Hunter Hunt-Hendrix
Additional Arrangements: James Ilgenfritz & the Anagram Ensemble
Electronics: Hunter Hunt-Hendrix
Art Director: Sabin Michael Calvert
Costume Designer: Erik Bergrin
Co-presented with National Sawdust