400: An Afrikan Epic
“The real struggle has been since Africans set foot on the continent, an affirmation of the value of one's self.” - August Wilson
The year 1619 marks the widely regarded beginning of the Transatlantic slave trade and the first time in world history where human beings were legally treated as common chattel. From then until 1865 the American legal system regarded imprisoned descendants of Africa as less than human and upon the legal end of federally sanctioned trafficking of human life, the humanity of Africans in America was much in question.
Dr. Lomax ambitiously tells the story of Black America over the course of a 12-album cycle to be released in 2019. 400: An Afrikan Epic is divided into thirds and explores thousands of years of the history that is pre-colonial Afrika, the Ma’afa (the 400 years between 1619 and 2019), and Afro-futurism expressing a vision of what Blacks in America will heal toward in the next 400 years; a healthy, high functioning, and united block of the African diaspora.
The project also includes a website that will allow the global community to connect with 400 artists and their various areas of creative expression.
With 400: An Afrikan Epic, Lomax celebrates the resilience, brilliance, strength, genius, and creativity of a people who continue to endure while offering an inspired view of the future.
Dr. Lomax is grateful to have support from the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Johnstone Fund for New Music, the Lomax Family, and the Kridler Family.
Release Date: 1/23/19
Catalog #: CFG2019112
Suggested List: Black Art Musik
File under: Afro-Chamber Musik
Click HERE to read recognition for 400: An Afrikan Epic.
400 Years Cycle
Alkebulan: The Beginning of Us
1) The First Ankhcestor- celebration of the Drums importance to Afrika
2) Song of the Dogon- portrait of a mystical ethnic group in West Afrika
3) Dance of the Orishas- music inspired by the Yoruban spiritual tradition
4) The Coming- musical depiction of crossing the Atlantic
Ma’afa: Great Tragedy
5) Ma’afa- remembering to forget and forgetting to remember
6) Up South- portrait of racism in America
7) Four Women- tribute to important Black women
8) Blues In August- tribute to Black men
Afro-Futurism: The Return to Uhuru
9) Tales of the Black Experience- Sankofan view of Afrikan history
10) Ankh & The Tree of Life- culturally relevant spiritual belief systems
11) Spirits of the Egungun- spiritual, cultural, political return to Self
12) Afrika United- becoming… again
Addendum (to be released at a later date!)
Uhuru: For Symphony- creating a future through healing vibrations
400 Years Cycle: 90 minute concert suite
Mark Lomax, II- drums
Edwin Bayard - tenor & soprano saxophones
Dr. William Menefield- piano
Dean Hulett- bass
William Manley- violin
Erin Gilliland- violin
Norman Cardwell-Murri- viola
Mary Davis- cello
Cora Kuyvenhoven- cello
Pei-An Chao- cello
Wendy Morton- cello
Schedule a Program
Click HERE to access a list of resources that inspired, or was inspired by, the 400.
Click on the file below to read a great essay by Melvin Grier and Steve Marine!