Black Monument Ensemble - a film teaser by Brian Ashby
The past and the future wage a perpetual dialogue with one another and Damon Lock’s Black Monument Ensemble could be considered a testament to that very notion. What started as Damon Locks processing racial injustice in the U.S. using archival Civil Rights recordings and a sampler, mushroomed into a 15-part musical ensemble featuring luminaries such as Angel Bat David, Dana Hall and Arif Smith. The Black Monument Ensemble reinvigorates and repurposes Black narratives throughout history and enchants them with harmonic, gospel-like urgency.
This preview of Brian Ashby’s in-progress film gives intimate access into the band’s 2019 live album performance Where Future Unfolds, Locks in conversation with co-conspirator Angel Bat Dawid about gospel and the Black church, the production of the group’s upcoming sophomore recording under pandemic conditions, and more.
Photography by Daris Jasper.