Machines and other intergalactic technologies of the spirit
Machines and other intergalactic technologies of the spirit is a work-in-progress music performance by composer and vocalist M. Lamar with the experimental music duo The Living Earth Show. Drawing from the Black Futurist philosophy of revolutionary musician and thinker Sun Ra, M. Lamar’s work imagines the birth of new technologies that address the various failings of contemporary society. Like Sun Ra, M. Lamar looks to the mystical traditions and astrophysical conceptions of the past as a way to transcend our current societal landscape and provide a path towards liberation. For M. Lamar, this transcendence comes through music, a process he seeks to awaken within the listener.
Here and in his large-scale work, Lamar’s tools are primarily sonic—drawing from psychedelic rock, noise music, opera, and doom metal. His musical, theatrical, and visual approaches exist in an environment of improvisational possibility. Visually, the piece aims to evoke fantasy and memory of ancient Egypt, pre-Atlantic Christianity, and outer space as visualized in 1970s mass media and in the 2020s photography of the James Webb telescope. In sound and image, Machines contrasts, magnifies, merges, and transmutes some of the most distinctive elements of M. Lamar’s and Sun Ra’s bodies of work.
Machines continues and expands Lamar’s musical collaboration with San Francisco duo The Living Earth Show, as a follow-up to 2019’s Lordship and Bondage: The Birth of The Negro Superman which premiered at the Met Cloisters and exists as an audio recording available on all streaming platforms.