Bang On A Can and The Noguchi Museum Present Meredith Monk & John Hollenbeck in DUET BEHAVIOR 2020

Virtual performance followed by Q & A with the artists, October 28.

By: Oct. 13, 2020

Bang On A Can and The Noguchi Museum Present Meredith Monk & John Hollenbeck in DUET BEHAVIOR 2020

Celebrating their tenth year of collaboration, on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 8pm ET, Bang on a Can and The Noguchi Museum present excerpts from Duet Behavior 2020 by Meredith Monk and John Hollenbeck, a first-time performance of Monk's music as it has never been experienced. Through a conversational approach, long-time friends and colleagues Monk and Hollenbeck will expand and improvise on pieces from across Monk's 50+ year catalogue, combining her pioneering vocal magic with his inventive and masterful percussion to generate new arrangements of Monk's iconic compositions.

The duets were performed together but from separate locations - Hollenbeck in Montreal and Monk in upstate New York - using Zoom for the visuals and Jamulus, a tool which enables musicians to perform in real-time over the internet, for the sound. The resulting video presentation was produced by The House Foundation for the Arts.

The Noguchi Museum's director Brett Littman will join Monk and Hollenbeck for a Q & A via Zoom after the performance.

Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, and creator of new opera and music-theater works. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer in what is now called "extended vocal technique." 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 there are no words. Over the last six decades, Ms. Monk has been hailed as one of National Public Radio's 50 Great Voices and "one of America's coolest composers." Her numerous awards and honors include a MacArthur Fellowship and Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France. Recently Monk received three of the highest honors bestowed on a living artist in the United States: induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2017 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, and a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. Celebrated internationally, her work has been presented at major venues around the world.

In 1965, Monk began her innovative exploration of the voice as a multifaceted instrument, composing solo pieces for unaccompanied voice and voice and keyboard. In 1978, she formed Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble to further expand her musical textures and forms. Most of her music can be heard on the ECM label, including the Grammy-nominated impermanence and highly acclaimed On Behalf of Nature. Her compositions have also been featured in films by Terrence Malick, Jean-Luc Godard, David Byrne, and the Coen Brothers.

Since the early 2000s, Monk has been creating vital new repertoire for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and solo instruments, with recent commissions from the San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall where she held the 2014-15 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair in conjunction with her 50th Season of creating and performing. Currently Monk is developing Indra's Net, the third part of a trilogy of music-theater works exploring our interdependent relationship with nature. Indra's Net will premiere at Mills College with support from the Hewlett 50 Arts Commission. In 2006, Monk performed at the Noguchi Museum's annual benefit.

Composer/percussionist and five-time GRAMMY nominee John Hollenbeck is renowned in both jazz and new-music worlds. He has gained widespread recognition as the driving force behind the unclassifiable Claudia Quintet and the ambitious John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, groups with roots in jazz, world music, and contemporary composition. He is well known in new-music circles for his longtime collaboration with Meredith Monk and has worked with many of the world's leading musicians in jazz including Bob Brookmeyer, Fred Hersch, and Tony Malaby. John is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the ASCAP Jazz Vanguard Award, and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. His most notable works include commissions by Bang on a Can All-Stars, Ethos Percussion Group, Melbourne Jazz Festival, University of Rochester, Ensemble Cairn, Orchestre National de Jazz, and Frankfurt Radio Big Band. He joined McGill University Schulich School of Music's faculty as professor of Jazz Drums and Improvisation in 2015.

Brett Littman has been the Director of The Noguchi Museum since May 2018. He was Executive Director of The Drawing Center from 2007-18; Deputy Director of MoMA PS1 from 2003-07; Co-Director of Dieu Donné Papermill from 2001-03; and Associate Director of Urban Glass from 1996-2001. Littman's interests are multi-disciplinary: he has overseen more than seventy-five exhibitions and curated more than twenty exhibitions over the last decade, dealing with visual art, outsider art, craft, design, architecture, poetry, music, science, and literature.


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