Meredith Monk: Voice as instrument, instrument as voice

Posted on: July 16, 2014

In the summer issue of Grantsmakers in the Arts, John R. Killacky interviews Meredith Monk, whom he describes as “singer/composer, dancer/choreographer, actor/performer, director/playwright, visual artist/filmmaker.” Here, she discusses working with orchestras and her upcoming residency at Carnegie Hall. John Killacky: In the last decade, you received orchestral commissions from St. Louis, New World, and San Francisco symphonies.… Is your working process different for these than when you are working and collaborating with your own ensemble? Meredith Monk: When I’m working with an orchestra, I have to have a full score ready for them to play, whereas with my ensemble, it’s much more hands-on, an organic kind of process.… I’ve always thought of the voice as an instrument, and now I’m trying to think about the instruments as voices. JK: Beginning this fall, you will be composer in residence at Carnegie Hall, and many of your compositions will be featured.… MM: St. Louis Symphony will be performing WEAVE, a New York premiere.… The American Composers Orchestra will perform Night, which is also for chamber orchestra and eight of my singers. I’m being commissioned by Carnegie to write a piece for Ensemble ACJW, a group of young pre-professional instrumentalists.… My way of working is very different. I think it’s been hard for the classical music world to realize there are alternative ways of making music, but that seems to be changing.”

Posted July 16, 2014