3 Nov 2013

Meredith Monk (b 1942)

From Composer of the Week, 9:00 am on 3 November 2013
Meredith Monk

Meredith Monk Photo: CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

 

At the heart of Meredith Monk’s music is her own voice. As Celeste Oram says in this feature, ‘Meredith Monk’s distinctive voice somersaults effortlessly between the purity of ancient plainsong, the gleeful babbling of an infant, and the piercing, keening cry of the madwoman crazy enough to speak the truth: sounds she weaves together into folk tunes of a lost culture she invented herself. Hers is an art which, in her own words, “reaches toward emotion we have no words for, that we barely remember – an art that affirms the world of feeling in a time and society where feelings are in danger of being eliminated.”’… ‘There is something about Meredith Monk’s work that seems to take music, theatre, and ritual right back to square one, and build it up again from scratch. By hearing voices not just as instruments but as human individuals, by feeling music as a dance of the voice, and by using music to forge communities, she re-enacts the evolution of music itself.’

 Celeste Oram talks to Meredith Monk by telephone from her loft apartment in Lower Manhattan.

We are indebted to The House Foundation for the Arts and to Ellen Jacobs Associates for help in making this programme. http://www.meredithmonk.org

Meredith Monk dancing

Music Details:

Monk: Dolmen Music – Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble (ECM)
Curtis: Choo’n Gum – Audrey Marsh, Ray Arthur Quartet (Hi-Tone 78rpm)
Bartók: Mikrokosmos Book 5 No 126, ‘Change of Time’ – Jeno Jando (Naxos)
Monk: Little Epiphany, from Vessel – Meredith Monk (ECM)
Monk: Travelling – Meredith Monk (ECM)
Monk: Dolmen Music – Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble (ECM)
Monk: Turtle Dreams – Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble (ECM)
Monk: Fountain, from On Behalf of Nature – Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble (recording courtesy The House Foundation)
Monk: Dark Light, from On Behalf of Nature – Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble (recording courtesy The House Foundation)
Monk: Night Travel, from Atlas – Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble (ECM)
Monk: Choosing Companions, from Atlas – Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble (ECM)
Monk: Travelling – Meredith Monk (ECM)

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