Damon Locks, the Chicago-based collage artist and musician, has spearheaded the Black Monument Ensemble for a while now. The group — which has a fluid, revolving door of participants and artists ranging in age from nine to 52 years old — released an album in 2019 called Where Future Unfolds. Last summer, they set about crafting a followup, mulling over the pandemic and protests and that defined our lives in 2020.
That new album is called NOW. “It was about offering a new thought,” Locks said of the collection. “It was about resisting the darkness. It was about expressing possibility. It was about asking the question, ‘Since the future has unfolded and taken a new and dangerous shape… what happens NOW?’” The album arrives in early April.
Along with the announcement, Locks and the Ensemble have shared the album’s mesmerizing opening (and pseudo-title) track, “Now (Forever Momentary Space).” Locks said the composition was inspired by “a short story by writer Cadwell Turnbull called, ‘Jump.’ The story is about a couple who experience something seemingly impossible and the lengths one of them would go to control that. It ultimately is an investigation in acceptance and imagining what is possible and taking a leap towards it. ‘Now (Forever Momentary Space)’ is about the moment outside of the timeline where everything is possible. That moment is Now.” Check it out below.
01 “Now (Forever Momentary Space)”
02 “The People Vs The Rest Of Us”
03 “Keep Your Mind Free”
04 “Barbara Jones-Hogu And Elizabeth Catlett Discuss Liberation”
05 “Movement And You”
06 “The Body Is Electric”
NOW is out 4/9 digitally and 7/9 physically via International Anthem. Pre-order it here.