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Meredith Monk:

Dancing Voice/Singing Body: a residency with Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble

The Institute for the Performing Arts (IPA) and the Eastman School of Music (ESM) welcome Meredith Monk for residency October 21-23, 2019.

monkIf Monk is seeking a place in the classical firmament, classical music has much to learn from her. She conveys a fundamental humanity and humility that is rare in new-music circles. She is a brainy artist but never a cerebral one; she shapes her ideas to the grain of the voice and the contours of the body. For all the disparate elements that go into her work, she can’t really be described as eclectic or interdisciplinary: her acts of fusion are too organic, too logical. She harks back to a time before disciplines existed and categories were set in stone...She represents a kind of reboot of tradition. She may loom ever larger as the new century unfolds, and later generations will envy those who got to see her live.

Alex Ross, “Primal Song,” The New Yorker, November 9, 2009

Cellular Songs: Concert Version is the initial event in a three-day residency by groundbreaking composer and multimedia artist Meredith Monk. Joined by the women of her renowned Vocal Ensemble, Monk will perform music from Cellular Songs, the latest in a series of her music-theater pieces exploring the interdependency of humans and nature, while seeking to evoke the ineffable. Cellular Songs features some of Monk’s most adventurous and daring music for the voice to date, paired with violin, piano, keyboard, movement and film. Over the course of the evening, shimmering, multi-dimensional musical forms evoke such biological processes as layering, replication, division, and mutation. The piece premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in October 2018 to great critical acclaim.”

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—discovering and weaving together new modes of perception. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument 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 six decades, Monk has been hailed as “a magician of the voice” and “one of America’s coolest composers” and has inspired countless musicians and artists with her unique style and groundbreaking approach to composition, performance, film and installation.

Public Event Schedule

Monday, October 21

7:30 p.m. – Public performance (Spurrier Dance Studio), reception to follow.

Register here (You may also RSVP by emailing Rachel Lawrick at

Tuesday, October 22

Master Classes will be held on the river campus and at the Eastman School for the UR campus community

Wednesday, October 23

12:30 p.m. – Watkins Lecture at Eastman (Hatch Recital Hall)
Reception to follow (Wolk atrium)