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MEREDITH MONK AND VOCAL ENSEMBLE, 2/25/06
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS PRESENTS
MEREDITH MONK AND VOCAL ENSEMBLE
Saturday, February 25, 8:00 p.m.
Fairfax, Virginia, January 27, 2006—“Meredith Monk’s unforgettable approach to the voice begins where classical vocal technique ends. The method she invented is sometimes called ‘extended vocal technique,’ but this bland phrase hardly hints at the striking, extraterrestrial vocabulary of sighs, squeals and glottal acrobatics that Ms. Monk has been reining for decades,” declared The New York Times on the occasion of Monk’s 2005 performance celebrating her 40 years in music. Meredith Monk – seminal music maker, and unequalled 21st century creative force – makes her Center for the Arts debut with an emotional, groundbreaking and inspiring piece, Impermanence, on Saturday, February 25 at 8:00 p.m. A pre-performance discussion takes place 45-minutes prior to the curtain on the Hall’s Grand Tier.
Working with Rosetta Life, a British organization that sends professional artists into hospices to work with people who have life-threatening illnesses, Meredith Monk and her Ensemble exchanged stories, songs and anecdotes with participants. After returning to New York, Monk found some music composed by her late partner which she revised and asked the hospice participants to learn. It is these voices the audience hears at the start of The Impermanence Project, and it is their presence felt throughout the performance. The< i>Impermanence Project is a meditation on all the things humans do before death – lingering regrets, fears, hopes and dreams. There is no narrative to the piece and the movement is restricted to very basic, yet profound, gestures.
“I’ve been very lucky over the years,” says Monk. “Somehow when I first came to New York it was a wonderful time – it was that exciting time when there was the ‘Downtown’ world of artists from different disciplines exploring new possibilities…” After graduating from Sarah Lawrence in the 1960s, Meredith Monk quickly established herself on this ‘Downtown’ scene, making music, creating dance and site-specific pieces, and even film. A pioneer in interdisciplinary performance, she is a MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient, and has also garnered two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Brandeis Creative Arts Award, three “Obies,” a BESSIE, and sixteen ASCAP Awards for Musical Composition.
Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble includes some of the most brilliant and adventurous singer/performers in the new music scene. The critically acclaimed Ensemble has performed on numerous recordings of Monk’s compositions as well as in many of the world’s leading concert halls including Carnegie Hall, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the Cologne Philharmonie, among others.
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Tickets for IMPERMANENCE are $40, $32 and $20. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa
This performance is funded, in part, by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Ford Foundation.
GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.