The Black Monument Ensemble is a music and dance collective formed by Damon Lock and composed of fifteen artists including Angel Bat Dawid, Phillip Armstrong, Monique Golden, Keisha Janae.
Based in Chicago, the Black Monument Ensemble strives for deep eclecticism, combining both dance and music. After the release of Where Future Unfolds last December, the super collective has announced NOW, an album that will be released on International Anthem. Where Future Unfolds aims to pay tribute to Afro-American music through gospel and free jazz. This blend of genres give rise to a militant story, linking past, present and future, in the struggle against inequalities, especially those affecting African-Americans, which are exacerbated in this health crisis.
The objective of the collective is to fight injustice with art as their only weapon. Damon Locks considers the NOW album to be a “resistance against darkness.” Recorded during the summer of 2020, the NOW album was intended to never stop producing art, despite the health crisis and this music is illustrated by his own collages. Damon Locks elaborates: “It was about proposing a new way of thinking. It was about resisting the darkness. It was about expressing possibilities. It was about asking the following question: Since the future has unfolded and taken on a new and dangerous form … What happens NOW?”