A live improvisation celebrating Chicago’s twin legacies of house music and jazz influenced by the black music of the American South.

Theaster Gates describes The Black Monks as “amateur historians, senior docents, and non-sponsored bootleg preachers”, situating them within both a tradition of black music of the American South, which includes the blues, gospel and wailings, as well as within the ascetic practices related most closely to Eastern monastic traditions.

With Furthermore, the collective celebrates their native Chicago’s twin legacies of house music and jazz in a powerful improvisation, filmed live at the Sprengel Museum, Hannover, back in 2018. Occupying a meditative space between Chicago’s history of soul and preaching and the experiences of lives lived in its streets, The Black Monks channel a polyphony of black voices from across a diverse array of black spaces. You can check out a short documentary about The Black Monks here.

A recording of Furthermore was released as the second project from Theaster Gates & The Black Monks on Black Madonna Press, Gates’s joint label with The Vinyl Factory, named after his 2018 Black Madonna exhibition at the Kunstmuseum, Basel.

A statement from FACT

We stand in solidarity with protestors fighting across the globe for justice for the murder of George Floyd and protesting against continued systemic racism and police brutality, who are showing extreme bravery and strength in the face of increasingly violent abuse by police officers.

We are harrowed and horrified by the murder of George Floyd, as well as the murders of Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and many others, just in recent memory. We recognise that it is our responsibility to fight against racism and violence of all forms towards black people, in the US and globally, and to commit to learning and practising anti-racism.

We acknowledge that the vast majority of the music and art that we cover comes from black culture and firmly believe that it is our essential responsibility to support the communities without which our publication would not exist. Black Lives Matter.

You can support George Floyd’s family by donating to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund, as well as those protesting his murder and those communities worst affected by police violence by donating to Black Lives MatterBlack Visions CollectiveReclaim The Block, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational FundColor of Change and the Northstar Health Collective. You can also split your donation between more than 70 community bail funds, including the Minnesota Freedom Fund, the LGBTQ Freedom Fund and the Bail Project, here.

You can check here for a longer list of resistance funds to donate to, and here for a list of resources to support George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Watch next: Kahlil Joseph – Black Mary



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