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Damon Locks

Idioma disponível: inglês
Damon Locks is a Chicago-based visual artist, musician, sound artist, deejay, and educator who has worked with a wide variety of individuals in several disciplines. As a musician, he has explored the margins of post-hardcore in the 1980s with Trenchmouth (which also included actor and comedian Fred Armisen), dub, jazz, and vanguard improv with the Eternals, and as a member of Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra. In 2015, he founded the Black Monument Ensemble. Locks was raised in Silver Springs, Maryland and moved to New York at 18 to attend the School of Visual Arts, and two years later relocated to the Windy City to attend the School at the Art Institute of Chicago and work at the Field Museum of Natural History and the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. The free-form post-hardcore outfit Trenchmouth (with Wayne Montana) formed just after Locks relocated, and they recorded their debut album, Snakebite, in 1989. They remained together as a recording and touring unit until 1996, when Montana and Locks formed the Eternals in 1999. The latter band's approach was anything goes but deeply centered on free-flowing dub processes. The band issued its self-titled long-player debut in 2000. Locks' talent and vision couldn't be contained by music alone. He showcased visual and sound art regularly, everywhere from coffee shops and gallery shows to clubs. Along the way, he made the acquaintance of many artists on Chicago's vibrant music scene including fellow visual artist and musician Rob Mazurek, whom he first worked with in Isotope 217 (which also included John Herndon and Jeff Parker among its members). In addition, he appeared on recordings by the Jai-Alai Savant, Joan of Arc, and Josh Larue, and issued two more albums with the Eternals, Rawar Style and Out of Proportion (both 2004). After the band's Heavy International in 2007, Locks joined Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra for 2008's Bill Dixon with the Exploding Star Orchestra in 2008 and 2010's Stars Have Shapes. In addition to music, Locks was deeply involved teaching in schools and at the Statesville men's prison. The Eternals issued Approaching the Energy Field in 2011, and albums with the ESO in 2013 -- the music and video package The Space Between (billed to Exploding Star Electro Acoustic Ensemble), Matter Anti-Matter with special guest Roscoe Mitchell, and Galactic Parables, Vol. 1 in 2015. That same year, Locks composed a solo sound-collage piece titled Where Future Unfolds. He initially pulled samples from Civil Rights-era speeches and recordings to create an improvisational pallet for performance on his drum machine. Over the next few years, however, the project evolved into a 15-piece group that included clarinetist Angel Bat Dawid and drummer Dana Hall; the outfit could be adapted to nearly any size depending on the performance. Called the Black Monument Ensemble, the band's sound combined and expanded on the aesthetics of recordings by fellow Chicagoan Phil Cohran & the Artistic Heritage Ensemble, trumpeter Eddie Gale's Black Rhythm Happening, Archie Shepp's Attica Blues, and Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, intersecting gospel, jazz, hip-hop, social activism, and 808-style electro breaks. The ensemble's debut performance of Where Future Unfolds took place at the Garfield Park Botanical Conservatory as part of Red Bull Music Festival in November 2018. During the spring of 2019, the International Anthem label released the concert as an album. During the pandemic summer of 2020, Locks and the Black Monument Ensemble set up instruments, microphones, and recording gear in the garden of Chicago's Experimental Sound Studio. Then they hit "record." Despite the fact that the musicians had not previously encountered the material, its seven selections were captured in only a few live takes. International Anthem released the sessions as NOW in April 2021.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo
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