This May 5, The Town Hall and Pioneer Works will team up to celebrate Meredith Monk's 80th birthday year in tandem with the opening day of Bang on a Can's 2023 Long Play Festival.
The event will feature a performance of Meredith Monk's MEMORY GAME by Meredith Monk, her Vocal Ensemble (featuring Theo Bleckmann, Katie Geissinger, and Allison Sniffin), and the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
As the title suggests, MEMORY GAME looks back at a pivotal point in Meredith Monk's illustrious career while also presenting a richly layered portrait of how vocal music, under the guidance of an indefatigable master, can play with our expectations in poignant and compelling ways.
This concert, which is co-presented with The Town Hall, marks the New York premiere of MEMORY GAME (also available as an album on Cantaloupe Music) and is Meredith Monk's only New York City concert in her 80th Birthday Year.
MEMORY GAME opens Long Play 2023—a three-day "supercharged musical ride through right now," taking place from May 5–7. Both individual concert and full festival tickets, which include over 50 concerts throughout Brooklyn, are available for purchase.
About the Artists
Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films and installations. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance”. 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 six decades, Ms. Monk has been hailed as one of National Public Radio’s 50 Great Voices and “one of America’s coolest composers”. She is the recipient of numerous honors including a MacArthur Fellowship and an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France. Celebrated internationally, her work has been presented at major venues throughout the world. Monk has recorded with the ECM New Series label since 1981 and was recently honored with a 13-disc box set of her work, Meredith Monk: The Recordings, which includes the 2008 GRAMMY-nominated impermanence. Selected scores of her work are available through Boosey & Hawkes. She is also the subject of two books of interviews, Conversations with Meredith Monk (now in a new expanded edition), by arts critic and Performing Arts Journal editor Bonnie Marranca, and Une voix mystique, by French author Jean-Louis Tallon, released in January 2022. In conjunction with her 50th Season of creating and performing, Monk was appointed the 2014-15 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall. Since that time she has received three of the highest honors bestowed on a living artist in the United States: induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2019), the 2017 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize and a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. Monk’s newest work, Indra’s Net, is scheduled to premiere in the Holland Festival this June and is the third part of a trilogy of music-theater works exploring our interdependent relationship with nature, following the highly acclaimed On Behalf of Nature (2013) and Cellular Songs (2018).
Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble consists of some of the finest and most adventurous singer/ instrumentalist/performers active in new music. Founded in 1978 to further expand Monk’s groundbreaking exploration of the human voice, the Vocal Ensemble has received multiple awards and critical acclaim, including a 2008 GRAMMY nomination for impermanence. Appearing in festivals, theaters and concert halls around the world, Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble can also be heard on numerous recordings on the ECM New Music Series label.
Formed in 1992, the Bang on a Can All-Stars are recognized worldwide for their ultra-dynamic live performances and recordings of today’s most innovative music. Freely crossing the boundaries between classical, jazz, rock, world and experimental music, this six-member amplified ensemble has consistently forged a distinct category-defying identity, taking music into uncharted territories. Performing each year throughout the U.S. and internationally, the All-Stars have shattered the definition of what concert music is today.
Together, the All-Stars have worked in unprecedented close collaboration with some of the most important and inspiring musicians of our time, including Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Burmese circle drum master Kyaw Kyaw Naing, Tan Dun, DJ Spooky, and many more. The group’s celebrated projects include their landmark recordings of Brian Eno’s ambient classic Music for Airports and Terry Riley’s In C, as well as live performances with Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Don Byron, Iva Bittova, Thurston Moore, Owen Pallett and others. The All-Stars were awarded Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year and have been heralded as “the country’s most important vehicle for contemporary music” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Presented as part of Bang on A Can's Long Play Festival.