CELLULAR SONGS (in progress)
In Spring 2017, Meredith Monk will premiere her new music-theater work, the latest in a series that explores our interdependent relationship with nature while seeking to evoke the ineffable. Following the celebrated On Behalf of Nature, Cellular Songs turns attention inward to the very fabric of life itself. Joined by the women of her acclaimed Vocal Ensemble, Monk combines some of her most adventurous and daring vocal music to date with movement, theatrical characters and images, light, instrumental music and a video installation designed for each space. The work, at once playful and contemplative, draws inspiration from such cellular activity as layering, replication, division and mutation, and looks to underlying systems in nature that can serve as a prototype for human behavior in our tumultuous world. Work-in- progress selections have been performed at Carnegie Hall in March 2015, and Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church in December 2015.
ON BEHALF OF NATURE
Featured as part of the BAM Next Wave Festival in December 2014, On Behalf of Nature offers a poetic meditation on our intimate connection to the natural world and the fragility of its ecology. The work evokes the Buddhist notion of “realm categories,” uniting heaven and earth by way of human beings. Drawing additional inspiration from writers and researchers who have sounded the alarm on the precarious state of our global ecology, Monk and her acclaimed Vocal Ensemble create a liminal space where human, natural and spiritual elements are woven into a delicate whole, illuminating connection and dependency among all things, all people. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times declared this work “some of the finest music Monk has yet written.”
A CELEBRATION SERVICE -A COMMUNITY PROJECT
Created to commemorate the new millennium, A Celebration Service evokes the universal quest for spirituality in the form of a luminous “service.” Drawing from 30 years of her musical compositions and from spiritual traditions spanning centuries and cultures, Monk interweaves chants and songs, original choreography and readings drawn from Buddhist texts, Hasidic sayings, Zen Poetry and Christian prayer in this celebration of community and the search for meaning and connection through ritual. The cast includes local community members – singers, readers, dancers and keyboardists – and members of Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble, and is directed by long-time ensemble member Tom Bogdan.
ARCHAEOLOGY OF AN ARTIST
An evening length presentation incorporating live performance and video clips. Monk speaks about her process and trajectory over the last six decades. Culminates with an informal Q&A with audience.
MEREDITH MONK & VOCAL ENSEMBLE – IN CONCERT
Meredith Monk and her acclaimed Vocal Ensemble of singers and instrumentalists offer a variety of concert configurations, from duets, trios and quartets to the full ensemble of 8 performers. The Soul’s Messenger (quartet) and 50 Years of New Music (octet) offer an expansive view of Monk’s six decades of making work. Her wordless music embodies an alchemical mixture of technical virtuosity, poignant directness, interpretive suppleness and palpable excitement.