Gray Sound: Damon Locks
The Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry continues the Gray Sound series with a performance by musician, DJ, educator and visual artist Damon Locks. The event will be delivered in three parts consisting of the work itself alongside biographical and thematic contextualizations provided by the artist.
A link to the performance will be posted on the Gray Center's home page on the day of the event.
About the artist:
Damon Locks is a Chicago-based visual artist, educator, vocalist/musician. He teaches art with Prisons and Neighborhood Arts/Education Project at Stateville Correctional Center. He is a recipient of the Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Achievement Award in the Arts as well as a 3Arts Awardee. He is a Soros Justice Media Fellow. He is the primary vocalist in Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra. Damon leads the group Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble and is a founding member of the group The Eternals. Damon is an artist in residence in the high school Sarah E. Goode as a part of the Museum of Contemporary Art program S.P.A.C.E. (School Partnership for Art and Civic Engagement).
Where Future Unfolds, the most recent album by Damon Locks - Black Monument Ensemble is available here.
"Sound has been a way to process the world around me, to address issues of race, culture, identity, justice and injustice. It's a way to have conversations, to create dialogue. When thinking about my work, I try to incorporate the past, present, and future. The instruments, the sounds, the way they are played all give layers of information to the receiver about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Whether it is the snap of the snare from a drum machine or a sampled voice from decades ago, all the elements have a sonic relationship with the receiver, a time stamp. The sounds of protest, abstraction, beauty and chaos, all dart and clash as they dance across the floor. The boombox brings with it a visual/cultural association that runs alongside the content within the work. The synthesizer takes the mind to other worlds rocketed there via bygone eras. These are compositional tools that speak certain languages so they say things in particular ways. Sometimes you make a point by playing the compressed expression of a sampled horn blast over some futuristic drums mutating into this morning's waking dream."
Photo by Sebastián Hildalgo.
About Gray Sound:
Envisioned as an ongoing performance and discussion series, Gray Sound represents a chance for artists and the broader community to tease the boundaries of sound—when it moves from voice to music, from a recognizable tune to noise.
This year, in the midst of the ever present global pandemic, we as a people are looking at the hard truths of who we are as a public. Themes of identity, place, ownership, environment, noi(z)e and care run rampant in the news, blogs and creative work that has surfaced since March 2020. For the 2020-21 season of Gray Sound, Seth Parker Woods has curated a cohort of artists whose creative practices explore multiple convergences of the aforementioned ideas, and whose latest output, either in text/sound formatted interviews or new performative work, is presented to our global audience for reflection and alignment. We look forward to sharing these events with you from our homes to yours.