Performance of M. Lamar’s “Funeral Doom Spiritual: For Male Soprano, Piano, and Electronics”

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A performance by M. Lamar with Hunter Hunt-Hendrix followed by a conversation with M. Lamar and Tucker Culbertson

Tommy’s Place
Ronald Tutor Campus Center
University Park Campus
3607 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Admission is free. Reservations required.

USC Students, Staff and Faculty: To RSVP, click here.
USC Alumni: To RSVP, click here.
General Public: To RSVP, click here.

From the ashes and ruins of long dead earth and the infinite blacknesses of what will be the year 2116 emerges M. Lamar’s “Funeral Doom Spiritual: For Male Soprano, Piano, and Electronics.” “Funeral Doom Spiritual” is a song of mourning for what Antony Paul Farley calls “the motionless movement of death through slavery, segregation, and neo-segregation.” Drawing on themes of apocalypse, end times, and rapture found in Negro Spirituals, this new performance by Lamar explores radical historical expressions and futuristic longings for DESTRUCTION of the white supremacist world order. Lamar’s “Funeral Doom Spiritual” is a futuristic salvaging of the Negro spirit destroyed in the flames of the western world.

Following the performance, Lamar will be joined in discussion with Tucker Culbertson, Assistant Professor of Law and LGBT Studies at Syracuse University College of Law. This performance is presented in conjunction with M. Lamar: Funeral Doom Spiritual, a new exhibition of Lamar’s work at ONE Archives at the USC Libraries opening April 15, 2016.

Voice and piano: M. Lamar
Electronics: Hunter Hunt-Hendrix
Art direction and projections: Sabin Michael Calvert
Musical composition: M. Lamar and Hunter Hunt-Hendrix
Libretto: M. Lamar and Tucker Culbertson



Tommy’s Place is located in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center at the center of USC’s University Park Campus. The entrance to the venue is off Downey Way. Find additional directions and parking instructions here.



M. Lamar works across opera, metal, performance, video, sculpture and installation to craft sprawling narratives of racial sexual transformation. Mr. Lamar is a self described Negrogothic Devil worshipping free black man in the blues tradition. Lamar holds a BFA from The San Francisco Art Institute and attended the Yale School of Art, sculpture program, before dropping out to pursue music. Lamar’s work has been presented internationally, most recently at Merkin Concert Hall New York, The Lab San Francisco, The Great Hall at Cooper Union New York, PS1’s Greater New York, Issue Project Room, Human Resources Los Angeles, Walter and McBean Galleries at the San Francisco Art Institute, Participant Inc., New York; New Museum, New York; Södra Teatern, Stockholm; Warehouse9, Copenhagen; WWDIS Fest, Gothenburg and Stockholm; The International Theater Festival, Donzdorf, Germany; Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York; Performance Space 122, New York; and African American Art & Culture Complex, San Francisco; among others. Mr. Lamar continues to study classical and bel canto technique with Ira Siff, and is a recipient of grants from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation (2015), Harpo Foundation (2014-2015), and Franklin Furnace Fund (2013–14). Find more information on M. Lamar here.

Sabin Michael Calvert is a comics artist and long time collaborator of M. Lamar. He has been instrumental in the visual design and direction of M. Lamar’s stage work as well as albums art and overall aesthetic. Calvert has help to mold Lamar’s Negrogothic aesthetics drawing from underground black metal/punk/comic styles. Mr. Calvert has served as Art Director for M. Lamar’s staged productions of Negro Antichrist, Speculum Orum: Shackled to the Dead, and Surveillance Punishment and The Black Psyche, as well as the forthcoming Funeral Doom Spiritual and DESTRUCTION.

Tucker Culbertson co-wrote with M. Lamar the librettos for DESTRUCTION and Funeral Doom Spiritual, and collaborated on staging and story for Negro Antichrist and Surveillance Punishment and the Black Psyche. Tucker talks, writes, studies, teaches, directs and performs in a few incommensurable voices and spaces. He is currently a constitutional law professor at Syracuse University, where he’s currently focusing on the twisted kinship among white supremacy, national security, and state sovereignty as rationalizations of ritual violence. His writings on queer equality, human animality, colorblind racisms, constitutional terrorism, and sexual predators’ proper liberties appear in academic journals, some blogs, and two anthologies of critical legal theory. Find more information on Tucker Culbertson here.

Hunter Hunt-Hendrix is a composer-philosopher-poet known primarily as the author of the text “Transcendental Black Metal” and as the guitarist, songwriter and conceptual architect of the band Liturgy. Drawing inspiration from romanticism, the internet, black metal, avant-garde classical music, rap, post-structuralist psychoanalysis, and the history of western philosophy and occultism, he has performed extensively in the US and Europe, including at the Pitchfork, Primavera and Unsound festivals and at art spaces including Almine Rech, Essex Street, Greene Naftali, Museum of Modern Art and Issue Project Room. His 2015 album The Ark Work has been widely recognized as polarizing and groundbreaking. He lives and works in New York.


Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries.


Image: (top) M. Lamar, Up From the Grave, Still from Funeral Doom Spiritual, 2016. Digital video. Courtesy of the artist