Meredith Monk celebrates the release of her new album, Songs of Ascension, with a live concert. Join New Sounds’ John Schaefer for performance and conversation with Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble, along with the Todd Reynolds Quartet.
“Why is up more sacred than down?” In Songs of Ascension, composer, vocalist, director/choreographer, and auteur Meredith Monk reflects on the notion that spirituality more often leads upward than downward. Inspired in part by the writings of Paul Celan on the “Song of Ascents” — 15 of the Psalms sung by people ascending during pilgrimages — Monk’s work weaves together voices and instruments; the strings, reeds, percussion, and shruti box (a drone instrument from India) envelop the audience in contemplative, celestial sound. Some playful recurring sections proceed in a circular way, echoing the round form of either the stupa (Buddhism) or mosque.
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