La MaMa Presents MEREDITH MONK IN CONVERSATION, 1/23
The internationally-renowned composer, singer, director/choreographer Meredith Monk will perform selections from her repertoire and discuss her singular career in an up-close-and-personal setting when La MaMa presents MEREDITH MONK IN CONVERSATION for one-night only on Monday, January 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4 St.) in Manhattan, it has been announced by Mia Yoo, artistic director of La Mama. MEREDITH MONK IN CONVERSATION is the 2nd installment in La MaMa's new Monday Night Series of intimate evenings with La MaMa artists on the occasion of the theatre's 50th anniversary season.
Ms. Monk will perform excerpts from her extensive repertoire as well as show performance clips from various works that span her 40-year career. The conversation portion of the evening will be moderated by John Killacky, the executive director of the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, VT and former curator of performing arts for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Ms. Monk's relationship with La MaMa dates back to 1976 with the world-premiere of QUARRY, followed by the world-premiere of RECENT RUINS (1978), a revival of QUARRY in 1985 as part of Meredith Monk's 20th anniversary, the world-premiere of ACTS FROM UNDER AND ABOVE (1986) in collaboration with Lanny Harrison, and TURTLE DREAMS (1986).
Recently selected as Musical America's 2012 Composer of the Year, Meredith Monk is a pioneer in what is now called "extended vocal technique" and "interdisciplinary performance," creating works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which we have no words.
She has alternately been proclaimed as a "magician of the voice" and "one of America's coolest composers." During a career that spans more than 45 years she has been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts.
In 1968 she founded "The House," a company dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to performance. In 1978 Ms. Monk formed Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble to explore new and wider vocal textures and forms, which often were contrasted with minimal instrumental textures. In the 1980s, Ms. Monk wrote and directed two films, Ellis Island (1981), and Book of Days (1988).
In the early 1990s, Ms. Monk composed an opera called "Atlas," which premiered in Houston in 1991. She has also written pieces for instrumental ensembles and symphony orchestras. Her first symphonic work was "Possible Sky" (2003). It was followed by "Stringsongs" (2004) for string quartet, commissioned by the Kronos Quartet. In 2005, events were held all over the world in
celebration of the 40th anniversary of her career, including a concert in Carnegie Hall featuring Bjork, Terry Riley and DJ Spooky.
Her numerous vocal works include QUARRY: An Opera for 38 voices, 2 pump organs, 2 soprano recorders; TABLET, DOLMEN MUSIC, BOOK OF DAYS, VOLCANO SONGS, THE POLITICS OF QUIET, MERCY and SONGS OF ASCENSION. Her many instrumental works include PARIS, ACTS FROM UNDER AND ABOVE, PARLOUR GAMES, ST. PETERSBURG WALTZ, POSSIBLE SKY and STRINGSONGS. She has made over a dozen recordings of her work.
Ms. Monk has won numerous awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, and has been awarded honorary Doctor of Arts degrees from Bard College, the University of Arts (Philadelphia), Juilliard School, San Francisco Art Institute and Boston Conservatory.
John Killacky is currently the executive director of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont. He was most recently the program officer for the Arts and Culture department of the San Francisco Foundation, and previously served as executive director of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for six years, and curator of performing arts for the Walker Art Center for eight years. Other past positions include managing director of the Trisha Brown and Laura Dean dance companies. He has written numerous publications on the arts and written and directed several award winning short films and videos broadcast on PBS.
With its new MONDAY NIGHTS AT LA MAMA series, La MaMa is excited to welcome home alumni who have been instrumental in shaping the legacy of La MaMa. On select Mondays throughout this season, the theatre will host performances and intimate conversations by some of art's greatest innovators, whose commitment and dedication are helping ensure that La MaMa remains an artistic
home for future artists as it has been for them. Future Monday night programs are expected to feature Tan Dun, Julie Taymor and Philip Glass.