May 10, 2015

Sundaze 1519

Hello, the first big cycle tour started today, Giro D' Italia 3 weeks of fun although not always under the sun. Contador who proclaimed his ambition to win not just the Giro but the Tour De France as well this year, ambitious. His team started well in todays time trail cruzing with 54km to place 2 after winners Orica Greenedge, now the thing is to stay on your bicycle and if falling is inescapable to not break anything (serious). In Spain another GP this weekend and Hamilton didn't make the pole this time, apparently Rosberg does better with his (pregnant) wife watching, over taking is difficult on the Barcelona circuit and the wind apperently makes life a little more difficult for the guys who besides guiding the wheel need to adjust this or that a 100 times each lap. First victory to Rosberg then...we'll see



Last time the scene is set for the American composer, performer, director, vocalist, filmmaker, and choreographer, Meredith Monk. Since the 1960s, she has created multi-disciplinary works which combine music, theatre, and dance, recording extensively for ECM Records.... N'joy

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Meredith Monk (b. November 20, 1942, New York, NY) is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films and installations. A pioneer in what is now called "extended vocal technique" and "interdisciplinary performance," Monk creates 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 there are no words. Over the last fifty years, she has been hailed as "a magician of the voice" and "one of America’s coolest composers". Celebrated internationally, Monk’s work has been presented by BAM, Lincoln Center Festival, Houston Grand Opera, London’s Barbican Centre, and at major venues in countries from Brazil to Syria. Among her many accolades, she was recently named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France, and the 2012 Composer of the Year by Musical America. Monk is also one of NPR’s 50 Great Voices, and has received a 2012 Doris Duke Artist Award and a 2011 Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts.

In 1968 Ms. Monk founded The House, a company dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to performance. In 1978 she founded Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble to expand her musical textures and forms. As a pioneer in site-specific performance, she has created such works as Juice: A Theatre Cantata In 3 Installments (1969) and Ascension Variations (2009) for the Guggenheim Museum, and American Archeology #1: Roosevelt Island (1994). Monk’s award-winning films, including Ellis Island (1981) and her first feature, Book of Days (1988), have been seen throughout the world. Her music can also be heard in films by such directors as Jean-Luc Godard and the Coen Brothers, and in the recent HBO series, True Detective. In addition to her numerous vocal pieces, music-theater works and operas, Monk has created vital new repertoire for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and solo instruments, with commissions from Michael Tilson Thomas/San Francisco Symphony and New World Symphony, Kronos Quartet, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale, among others.

Since graduating Sarah Lawrence College in 1964, Monk has received numerous honors including the prestigious MacArthur "Genius" Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships, three "Obies" (including an award for Sustained Achievement), and two "Bessie" awards for Sustained Creative Achievement. She holds honorary Doctor of Arts degrees from Bard College, the University of the Arts, The Juilliard School, the San Francisco Art Institute and the Boston Conservatory. Monk has made more than a dozen recordings, most of which are on the ECM New Series label, including the 2008 Grammy-nominated impermanence and the highly acclaimed Songs of Ascension. She has also been working with the publisher Boosey & Hawkes since 2001.

In October 1999 Monk performed A Vocal Offering for His Holiness, the Dalai Lama as part of the World Festival of Sacred Music in Los Angeles. Her 40th year of performing and creating new music was celebrated in 2005 by a four-hour marathon at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, with additional performances throughout New York City. In February 2012 she was honored with a remix and interpretations cd, MONK MIX, featuring 25 artists from the jazz, pop, dj and new music worlds. In March 2012, she premiered Realm Variations for six voices and small ensemble, commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony, and performed in John Cage’s Song Books as part of the Symphony’s American Mavericks Festival. Monk’s newest music-theater piece, On Behalf of Nature, premiered in January 2013 at UCLA and is currently touring internationally. This fall, Meredith Monk will mark her 50th season as a creator and performer. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of her generation, she has been appointed the 2014-2015 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall.


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Compared to Monk’s six previous ECM New Series efforts, Volcano Songs is perhaps the most intimately recorded. Microphones seem fully embedded in these voices, subtly processed for reverberant effect. Ultimately, I feel that one gets out of this music only what one is willing to lay at its feet. It is both the beauty and the tragedy of the human voice: in pulling at the threads of our emotions, we must undo one thing to communicate another, so that by the end we have forgotten where we started, inhaling an idea that may very well outlive us. And just as a volcano spews forth its scalding breath into the atmosphere, so too must we eventually exhale, licking the fragile layer that separates our survival ever so delicately from the blank space beyond. The magic of Monk’s music is that it offers a glimpse of that other side, in terms that we can relate to.



Meredith Monk - Voicano Songs (flac 264mb)

Volcano Songs: Duets
01 Walking Song 3:03
02 Lost Wind 3:16
03 Hips Dance 1:59
04 Cry #1 2:43
05 New York Requiem 11:00
Volcano Songs: Solos
06 Offering 2:39
07 Boat Man 2:13
08 Skip Song 1:41
09 Old Lava 2:44
10 Cry #2 2:45
11 St Petersburg Waltz 7:51
12 Three Heavens And Hells 21:15
From Light Songs
13 Click Song #1 1:59
14 Click Song #2 3:45

Meredith Monk - Voicano Songs (ogg 132mb)

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Mercy is a music theater collaboration between Meredith Monk and visual artist Ann Hamilton, described as "a meditation on the human capacity to both extend and withhold compassion, kindness, empathy, and mercy." It's scored for six dancer/vocalists, two keyboards, percussion, violin, and theremin. Music and choreography are by Monk, with installations by Hamilton. Conception, development, and direction were shared. What's Mercy about? Who knows? This disc is the audio-only portion of the show with nary a liner note to sort things out a bit. Mercy represents a lovely evolution in Monk's work, with few surprises and departures within the unique and evocative genre she has created. The music is mostly very tonal in the traditional sense and lulling in a calmly minimalist way, though thoughtful and edgy, rarely letting one slip into comfortable inattention. Most of the singing is pure vocalise -- from lyrical singing and chanting to whispers and whoops -- trading the blatant sense of language for a gut experience that aims at something deeper and more atavistic than word setting may achieve. What good is all this without witnessing the stage setting by Hamilton and the remarkable dance and movement choreographed by Monk? Good enough to enjoy and merit total attention in the audio realm alone only, if one is a die-hard fan. There is simply no way to get a sense of Mercy without the visual element. The musical score to, say, Oklahoma! pretty much captures the entire sense of the show. But Mercy has sections called "doctor/patient," and "line 3 and prisoner," for example, which have almost no meaning stripped of the staging elements. That is the problem with getting Monk's theater works on audio-only discs; wait for the DVD of the entire production.



Meredith Monk - Mercy  (flac 217mb)

01 braid 1 and leaping song 8:14
02 braid 2 2:34
03 urban march (shadow) 3:10
04 masks 1:43
05 line 1 1:11
06 doctor / patient 8:21
07 line 2 1:01
08 woman at the door 5:55
09 line 3 and prisoner 5:23
10 epilogue 1:54
11 shaking 3:05
12 liquid air 3:53
13 urban march (light) 6:05
14 core chant 4:43

Meredith Monk - Mercy  (ogg 111mb)

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In her album Impermanence, Meredith Monk succeeds in creating pieces that fit her theme well and much of this music does indeed seem ephemeral, fleeting. These works are not casually or routinely constructed, though; their apparent simplicity masks a psychological and musical sophistication that's evident in the way their carefully placed details contribute to their surprising impact. The prevailing mood of the album is melancholy, but not passive sadness; even the songs that deal most explicitly with loss, such as Last Song (which opens the album) and Liminal, are punctuated with astonishing, defiant gestural outbursts that make it clear that Monk has no intention of going gentle into that good night. One of the strengths of the album is the variety of its pieces; Monk is never repeating herself or just recycling ideas. Pieces such as Particular Dance, for voices and mixed ensemble, are lively and full of unpredictable humor, and Maybe 1, for eight pianos, is a quirky, minimalist-inspired bagatelle. The textural variety of the pieces is also appealing; almost all of them use voices in one way or another, but the voice is often used instrumentally or as accompaniment to the instruments. Monk and her ensemble perform with great delicacy and sensitivity to each other; this is clearly a group of singers and instrumentalists that knows how to listen, and each member is constantly calibrating his or her contribution with the sounds of the others, as in the best chamber music performances. ECM's sound is immaculate. The album is a significant addition to Monk's discography and should be of strong interest to fans of new vocal music that pushes the envelope but is still accessible and engaging.



Meredith Monk - Impermanence  (flac  261mb)

01 Last Song 7:16
02 Maybe 1 2:03
03 Little Breath 1:43
04 Liminal 10:56
05 Disequilibrium 2:26
06 Particular Dance 4:57
07 Between Song 6:08
08 Passage 1:55
09 Maybe 2 3:07
10 Skeleton Lines 4:19
11 Slow Dissolve 2:35
12 Totentanz 3:59
13 Sweep 1 1:28
14 Rocking 5:17
15 Sweep 2 1:24
16 Mieke's Melody #5 5:15

 Meredith Monk - Impermanence  (ogg 133mb)

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