Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Katie Geissinger, Ching Gonzalez, Allison Sniffin|
Listen to Samples
Christopher Forbes | Brooklyn,, NY | 10/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Downtown New York is famous for it's post-modern stew of approaches to the arts. A downtowner is likely to be a musician/artist or a poet/performer and the idea of one person controlling all aspects of a production isn't all that far-fetched. It's a new twist on the old Wagnerian ideal of gesamskunstwerk and perhaps the one figure that best represents this is Meredith Monk. Known as a dancer, choreographer, singer, and composer, Monk's work is complex and never complete without the visual element, based as it is on movement and striking stage pictures. Yet musically, she is a powerful force in her own right. Her conceptual frame work is based around her voice and exploring extended vocal techniques from world cultures and has developed from her early solo explorations, through the marvelous work with her vocal ensemble and even to her mega work opera, Atlas. Mercy is the latest work to be recorded in the Monk canon, and it is a beauty. The piece is conceived for her vocal ensemble with the addition of a trio of multi-instrumentalists. Monk's process with a composition is interesting. She will supply sketches to her performers and then develop the work through improvisation, much like the process used by many modern dance troupes. The material is based on familiar musical modes and superficially has a resemblance to better known minimalists like Steve Reich and Phillip Glass. Except that with Monk, the improvisational element in the piece gives the works an internal life that goes beyond mere process music. Each piece is a journey, with a wonderful mix of the familiar and the surprising. The acuity of the vocal ensemble is astounding. They have all worked with Monk for many years and have assimilated her vocal techniques while each of them brings something original to the process. The result is a haunting recording, gently breaking over the listener like waves, but with a reservoir of deep emotion. As always with a Monk work, it's a shame not to have a visual document for this piece. As DVD and CD-ROM technology get more and more advanced, it seems to me that this kind of work would be a no-brainer for technology. A DVD of the work might be more hypnotizing...in fact, if the work was recorded especially as a DVD, as opposed to a recorded live performance, this might be the best way to experience Monk's haunting work. That being said, this CD is a lovely, if only partial, document. ECM and Manfred Eichter have once again recorded this in their trademark sound.... spacious and dark, with an ambience that is as much a part of the music on their label as anything the performers do. This is marvelous late night music...deeply calming and emotionally moving. It is also one of the best introductions to the unique work of one of New York's most interesting post-modern figures."
Meredith's Beautiful Music...
T. Gerber | Nashville Tn. | 01/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"....A masterpiece of stunning beauty....one of her greatest recordings.... full of passion and seasoned with grace.... 'Mercy' is a great place to start for anyone curious about the music of Meredith Monk.... and if you are a long time fan, it will rocket to the top of your fave list... it is recordings like this that make "hearing" such a wonderful thing.... a treat for your hear holes...."
Moving and Intriguing
T. Gerber | 12/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In this work Ms. Monk again demonstrates her unique creativity and why she received the MacArthur Foundation 'genius' award. There is simply nothing else like her work. This disc captures much of the performance of 'Mercy', which combined Monk's vocal compositions with Ann Hamilton's visual art. Monk's work is moving and intriguing. For those interested in exploring the voice as art, I readily recommend 'Mercy'."