MISSOULA – Pioneering composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music theater works, films and installations Meredith Monk will celebrate the universal quest for spirituality in the luminous “Meredith Monk – A Celebration Service” production, created in 1999 to commemorate the new millennium.
The event will be choreographed and directed by two longtime members of Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble, Allison Easter and Tom Bogdan. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 3 and 4, at University Congregational Church, located at 405 University Ave.
Tickets cost $15 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors and are available at the UMArts Box Office or online at http://www.umt.edu/umarts/boxoffice or through GrizTix at http://www.umt.edu/griztix.
Easter and Bodgan also will give master classes for UM students.
Drawing from 30 years of her musical compositions, including excerpts from “ATLAS,” “Volcano Songs,” “The Politics of Quiet” and “American Archeology,” as well as from spiritual traditions spanning centuries and cultures, Monk interweaves chants and songs, dance 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 the University of Montana Chamber Chorale, UM Dance students and actors from the UM School of Theatre & Dance.
Monk is 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” and “interdisciplinary performance.” She creates works at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, and light and sound – discovering and weaving 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 there are no words. Over the past 50 years, she has been hailed as “a magician of the voice” and “one of America’s coolest composers.”
Among many highlights of Monk’s performances from the past 20 years is her vocal offering made in October 1999 for the Dalai Lama as part of the World Festival of Sacred Music in Los Angeles. Monk’s newest music-theater piece, “On Behalf of Nature,” premiered in January 2013 at UCLA and continues to tour internationally. A recording of the work on ECM Records was released in 2016.
In 2017, she won the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, awarded to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.”