M. Lamar & The Living Earth Show
Lordship & Bondage: The Birth of the Negro Superman
M. Lamar, countertenor & piano
Travis Andrews, guitar; Andy Meyerson, percussion
M. Lamar Lordship & Bondage: The Birth of the Negro Superman World Premiere
With a libretto that draws on Hegel, Nietzsche and Sun Ra, “goth-postpunk-diva” (KQED) M. Lamar’s song cycle Lordship and Bondage: The Birth of the Negro Superman synthesizes the Negro spiritual, black and doom metal, and contemporary classical opera to engage African Americans’ experiences of enslaved and liberated consciousness. Commissioned by daredevil performance duo The Living Earth Show and performed in workshop versions at the Starline Social Club and UC Irvine, this is the World Premiere of the full song cycle.
M. Lamar works across opera, metal, performance, video, sculpture and installation to craft sprawling narratives of radical becoming. Most recently, his work has appeared at MoMa PS1 and at Performance Space 122 in New York City. He is the recipient of a 2016 NYFA Fellowship in Music and Sound and grants from Material Vodka 2016, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation (2015), Harpo Foundation (2014–2015), and Franklin Furnace Fund (2013–14).
Called “outstanding” by the San Francisco Chronicle, “transcendent” by the Charleston City Paper, and “a fully distorted perpetual motion of awesome” by I Care If You Listen, The Living Earth Show (guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson) is a megaphone and canvas for some of the world’s most progressive artists. A chamber duo of electric guitar and percussion at its core, the ensemble uses contemporary chamber and experimental music as tools with which composers and other artistic collaborators can craft and realize their most ambitious creative visions. One of the premiere contemporary music ensembles in the United States, The Living Earth Show has commissioned and premiered over 50 new works, released two critically acclaimed albums, and has performed, lectured, and given masterclasses across the country.
Memorizing every work it commissions, The Living Earth Show thrives on pushing the boundaries of technical and artistic possibility in its presentation of commissioned electro-acoustic chamber music, operas, ballets, and multimedia productions. The organization is devoted to working with both established classical composers and musical artists generally excluded from the traditional classical music establishment in equal measure, creating a rich and diverse repertoire designed to reflect and respond to the world in which the music exists. The Living Earth Show also performs in and co-directs COMMANDO, a musical collective dedicated to presenting aggressively queer rap-metal.