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May 08, 2013


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I know that Meredith Monk's artistry is outside the comfort zone of many folks, but one doesn't win a Guggenheim Fellowship twice in a lifetime. Plus, I think her art is much more healing and less pretentious than Tilda Swinton-in-a-box.

Thanks for giving Monk a try.


WOW! I've never heard of Monk, but count me as a fan. I am a true fan of modern dance and loved watching/listening to the video. Here's to moving in new directions for both you and Monk, who has certainly demonstrated that the years after 60 can be brilliantly productive for an artist!


With "On Behalf of Nature", recycling became an important focus. She wanted to avoid creating waste. An interesting comment when most performances create a set or costumes that are only used for a short time. Design sets are broken down and costumes are put in storage.

Monk and her costume designer asked the members of performance to bring in their old clothing. The costume designer then took that clothing and "recycled" it into costumes. So each performer was wearing old pieces which together formed a new, but also carrying the memories of each piece used.

She also when through old music or phrases that she had written down or recorded. In some cases, the music was reused, while others were used for the first time although they existed previously.

I found that concept fascinating.


Thanks so much for your enthusiasm, PEACE.

I'm going to burn you a copy of "Songs of Ascension" and stick it in the mail to you. I'm also going to try and post a link here in the sassosphere to an indescribably beautiful piece of music by Monk called "Boat Song". When you posted yesterday about the death of Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian, I immediately opened my iTunes Library and played the song in quiet homage to him. I swear I think it's the music that will accompany us as we pass from this life to the next. If I can't imbed the link, I'll burn it onto the CD I'm sending to you.


Thanks for posting the details about the costume design for "On Behalf of Nature", Matissta. I loved that a piece of Monk's costume was part of an old shirt dress from decades ago. Each costume was contoured to the movements of the individual performers as well, which was also fascinating.


Let's see if this works. Meredith Monk performing with her ensemble her composition, "Boat Song":



(Psst: I'm whispering here: When one plans to rip an artist off by burning a CD for others, violating copyright laws, one probably shouldn't post about it.)


You're right, PEACEsista. I'll send you your own original copy via Amazon -- think of it as a Mother's Day gift.

Shame on me.


Unbelievably, the word in the Code Thingy for my last comment was "descended".



The CD is scheduled to arrive on Friday., PEACE. Let us know what you think.


Fascinating stuff. I found the music to be compelling. Would love to hear "On Behalf of Nature."


treesta -- "On Behalf of Nature" has your name all over it. Monk plans to record this latest piece sometime in the next year.

Thank you taking the time to take a listen.


Thanks for offering further support to an artist you love and for gifting me a CD and also for posting the link to Boat Song. Very Beautiful.


Here is an excerpt from a video about Monk -- toward the end there is more video of the performance of "Songs of Ascension" in the Ann Hamilton Tower, but you can see here how the audience actually stands and sits on the steps as though it is part of what's going on.

I love that the performers and the audience seem to ascend together.



You are welcome, PEACEsista.

Here is the instrumental "remix" of "Boat Song" from the CD, "Monk Mix":



I have wondered how the death of her long-time partner impacted Monk. Monk wasn't always a choreographer and her partner was. Her partner died suddenly shortly after suffering a stroke. From an on-line article:

The documentary Inner Voice shows how the death of her partner Mieke van Hoek in 2002 – after they had been together for 22 years – was a breaking point in Monk’s life. In a conversation with Zen teacher Daido Loori Roshi of the Zen Mountain Monastery she talks about going straight through her fear; how she came face to face with death, both from the loss of her partner and after being thrown from a horse in 2007. In a recent performance of her Scared Song written in 1986, Monk, accompanying herself on keyboard, beautifully evokes the essence of fear.

The December 16, 2002 New York Times obituary of Mieke van Hoek:

Mieke van Hoek, a Dutch-born modern-dance choreographer and teacher, died on Nov. 13 in Manhattan. She was 56 and lived in Manhattan and Cañones, N.M.

The cause was complications from a stroke, her family said.

Trained in the Netherlands, Ms. van Hoek taught choreography and dance improvisation at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie and presented her own dances in Europe before emigrating to the United States in 1977. She worked as a teaching assistant to Lucas Hoving at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C., and studied in New York at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute.

Ms. van Hoek performed in many works by Meredith Monk, the composer and director. In 2000 she established a center for meditation, healing and the arts in Cañones.

She is survived by Ms. Monk, her companion; and two sisters and four brothers, all of the Netherlands.


I listened to the Boat Song. I loved it...thanks you.

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