West Coast Premiere
"At once visceral and ethereal, raw and rapt, Monk's works banish the spurious complexities of urban life and reveal a kind of underground civilization, one that sings, dances, and meditates on timeless forces." —The New Yorker
Meredith Monk has spent more than five decades exploring and expanding the capacity of that most essential instrument – the human voice. Cellular Songs is the newest in a series of her music theater pieces that explore our interdependent relationship with nature while seeking to evoke the ineffable.
Following the celebrated On Behalf of Nature, which offered a liminal space questioning the precarious state of our global ecology, Cellular Songs turns attention inward to the very fabric of life itself. Joined by the women of her acclaimed Vocal Ensemble, Monk combines some of her most adventurous vocal music to date with movement, light, instrumental music and film, as well as a video installation designed specifically for each space.
The work, at once playful and contemplative, draws inspiration from such cellular activity as layering, replication, division and mutation, and looks to underlying systems in nature that can serve as a prototype for human behavior in our tumultuous world. Conjuring cycles of birth and death throughout, Monk once again reminds us of her vitality as an artist who cuts to the core of experience, continuing to share the genius of her discovery and innovation.
Funds provided by Fariba Ghaffari and the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge Grant Endowment.
Photo credits: Julieta Cervantes