cellular songs A music–theatre work
Cellular Songs is the newest in a series of music theater pieces created by Meredith Monk that explore our interdependent relationship with nature while seeking to evoke the ineffable. Following the celebrated On Behalf of Nature, which offered a liminal space questioning the precarious state of our global ecology, 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 vocal music to date with movement, light, instrumental music and film, as well as a video installation designed specifically 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. Conjuring cycles of birth and death throughout, Monk once again reminds us of her vitality as an artist who cuts to the core of experience, continuing to share the genius of her discovery and innovation. Conceived, composed and directed by Meredith Monk.
Cellular Songs is also available in a Concert Version
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.
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 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.
QUARRY: AN OPERA IN THREE MOVEMENTS
A new production of Meredith Monk's seminal 1976 mediation on World War II- a mosaic of music, images, movement, dialogue, film, sound and light. Considered by many to be a masterwork of the 20th Century, revivals took place in 1985 and 2003. Quarry centers on the anguished reverie of a child sick in bed (the role Monk originated), a dream that gradually mutates into a nightmare. The child’s illness is a metaphor for the darkness of the world at war. Originally performed by Monk’s group, The House, and thirty additional performers, this new production will feature 12 main cast members and a chorus of 28, specifically cast for each venue. The music is scored for solo voice, chorus, and two organs.
As described by Alan Kriegsman of The Washington Post in 2003, "What is most disturbing and urgent about seeing ‘Quarry’ today is that it resonates with the most fearful anxieties and perils of our time.”