World Music Institute to Present Meredith Monk and Ani Choying Drolma at National Sawdust

World Music Institute inaugurates its Collaborations series at National Sawdust on Thursday, November 17 with an unprecedented meeting of minds and art: legendary vocalist-composer Meredith Monk and Nepal's singing nun Ani Choying Drolma perform an evening of works that celebrate art as a spiritual practice.

Two performances take place at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and both feature Monk and Drolma performing sets back-to-back. Monk will also be joined by two members of her acclaimed Vocal Ensemble, Katie Geissinger and Allison Sniffin, for a selection of pieces. These shows come two weeks after the November 4 release of Meredith Monk's newest album On Behalf of Nature (ECM New Series), a meditation on our intimate connection to nature, its inner structures and the fragility of its ecology.

On Tuesday, November 15 at 8:00 p.m. at The New School, a pre-show talk will take place with both Meredith Monk and Ani Choying Drolma, moderated by Steve Smith(editor at The Log Journal, formerly The New York Times and Boston Globe). The talk is held in the Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Room I202, located in Arnold Hall (55 West 13th Street). This talk is a co-production of The College of Performing Arts at the New School and World Music Institute.

Meredith Monk and Ani Choying Drolma first met in 2005 when both were performing at the opening of the McGuire Theater at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN. A longtime admirer of Ani Choying Drolma's music, Monk initiated the invitation for them to come together in this shared evening of performance.

World Music Institute's Collaborations series presents cross-cultural musical explorations. It reveals the ways that the music of artists from one culture have influenced the music of another, or the ways in which music of seemingly widely varying cultures can be strikingly similar or complementary.

From WMI Artistic Director Par Neiburger: "World Music Institute is proud to open its Collaborations series with this world premiere engagement between two artists whose spiritual discipline is deeply inherent to their music, drawing incredible parallels between such moving music from two very different cultures. Ani Choying Drolma reflects her Buddhist faith in her music, a faith which has taken her around the world in support of her various humanitarian efforts. Meredith Monk has been celebrated internationally for her singular use of the voice as a multi-faceted instrument. Profoundly affecting, her powerful and meditative music is an affirmation of art as spiritual practice."

Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films and installations. Considered one of the most significant creative forces in the performing arts of the past fifty years, she is a pioneer of what is now called "extended vocal technique" and "interdisciplinary performance." For six decades, she has explored what she calls "primordial utterance," or non-verbal vocal sound that lays beneath and beyond language, expressing the ineffable. Also a Buddhist practitioner, Monk performed a Vocal Offering for His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the World Festival of Sacred Music in 1999, and has led numerous workshops on Voice as Practice throughout the world. In September 2015, Meredith Monk received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama.

Ani Choying Drolma is a Nepalese Buddhist nun who performs worldwide singing traditional and modernized Buddhist chants as well as Nepali and Tibetan songs. This supports her numerous humanitarian efforts which include the education of young girls, care of the elderly, and providing medical services for the underprivileged and dispossessed through her Nun's Welfare Foundation. Her shocking and inspiring autobiography, Singing for Freedom, is an international bestseller and she is Nepal's first ever appointed UNICEF ambassador.


Meredith Monk & Ani Choying Drolma
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Two performances at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
At National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn
Tickets: $45 / $65 VIP

Pre-show talk at The New School with both artists
Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
Moderated by Steve Smith, editor of The Log
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Room I202,
Arnhold Hall, The New School (55 West 13th Street)
$10 general public; Free for WMI members & New School students

Co-presented with the College of Performing Arts at the New School

Founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit, World Music Institute (WMI) has served as the leading presenter of world music and dance within the United States.

WMI is committed to presenting the finest in traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world with the goal of inspiring wonder for world cultures through music and dance. WMI aims to enrich the lives of people living in New York by promoting awareness of other cultures and their traditions. WMI collaborates with community organizations and academic institutions in fostering greater understanding and appreciation of the world's cultural traditions and presents at venues throughout the city.

Under new leadership since 2015, its 30th anniversary season, World Music Institute has introduced an ambitious expansion of concert offerings that include contemporary, experimental and avant-garde presentations, as well as the traditional music that WMI has long been known and admired for. In addition, the institution is thrilled to have launched new partnerships with BAM, 92nd Street Y, SummerStage, Merkin Concert Hall, National Sawdust, Storm King Art Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Littlefield and Drom-while continuing partnerships with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Town Hall, Symphony Space, French Institute Alliance Française, and Apollo Theater (the annual Africa Now festival).

WMI has presented more than 1,500 concerts and events featuring artists from more than 100 countries across all continents. Through powerful programming, WMI is creating a movement that promotes awareness and engagement of other cultures, helping to encourage deeper understanding of communities around the globe.

For more WMI events and the complete fall/winter season schedule, visit

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