The MCA throws open its theater doors on two works in development that expand the boundaries of black musical genres and lineages, riffing on radical histories for the current moment. Audiences are invited to witness New York–based vocalist and composer Tamar-kali’s Demon Fruit Blues and Chicago-based visual artist and musician Damon Locks’s Where Future Unfolds as the two artists develop new creative collaborations across dance, video, and visual art.
Tamar-kali’s Demon Fruit Blues is a multilayered, immersive music-based experience that deconstructs the origins of misogyny, weaving a sonic tapestry that connects the dots between modern day rock, gospel, the blues, and original African rhythms. Tamar-kali’s compositions, along with choreography by Adia Whitaker and video imagery by Sarah Olson and Tiffany Smith, weave a complex narrative that exposes both the contradictory roles that women play in society and how perceptions of the female body throughout Western and Judeo-Christian history have left their indelible mark on those who identify as women. Demon Fruit Blues addresses the unspoken paradigms that psychically sever the ties between the cultures and histories of the African diaspora and the potential for healing.
Damon Locks formed the Black Monument Ensemble to address the shift toward an era when people’s civil rights are again in question. Where Future Unfolds asks how the past lives in the present and how it can be activated to learn about that present. Inspired by the activism of the 1960s and 1970s—when the church was a focal point for galvanizing the black community, with its gospel music as the soundtrack—Locks uses voice, sampler, and drum machines alongside the ensemble’s vocals and percussion to dig into those powerful musical structures. Locks’s visual art is projected in concert with the music and alongside dancers from Chicago’s Move Me Soul, addressing how the winds of change blow both forward and back.
RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes
MCA NEW WORKS INITIATIVE