M Lamar

Speculum Orum

A queer black operatic requiem for piano and voice that asks us to stay in the hold of the slave ship, that tries to understand the connection from the slave ship to the prison. 

What we wrote about it at the time: We’ve been thinking about what it might mean for M Lamar to moan in a perfectly sustained D below high C, in the middle of a queer black requiem for piano and voice that asks us to stay in the hold of the slave ship. Maybe an inchoate, wordless, unspeakable moan indicts ‘proper’ language – it tests and breaks the limits of what can be said. And maybe, in its dreadful beauty, that moaning asks us to think about whether enjoyment, or desire or fantasy could exist alongside suffering. Drawing on negro spirituals and Marion Williams, opera and Leontyne Price, M Lamar’s performances slide between noise and music, chatter and knowledge, pain and truth.

 

Speculum Orum will be performed as a 75-minute requiem, combined with movements from M Lamar’s upcoming release “Surveillance Punishment and the Black Psyche” – an imprisoned black man’s reflections on his life sentenced to death for killing his male overseer who was also his lover.

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