Duet Behavior 2022: Meredith Monk & John Hollenbeck

Duet Behavior 2022: Meredith Monk & John Hollenbeck

Fri   Mar   25   2022 - 8:00 PM St. John's Cathedral

Meredith Monk and John Hollenbeck are a mutual admiration society of two. A visionary of artistic crossover and extended vocal techniques, Monk has called Hollenbeck “one of the great musicians of our time.”

A sophisticated and ever-surprising drummer and bandleader of endless depth, Hollenbeck has called Monk’s music “folk music from another universe.” Their shared performances span three decades, including Monk’s mercyimpermanence and On Behalf of Nature.

For Big Ears, Monk and Hollenbeck will premiere Duet Behavior 2022, an intimate music performance of Monk’s work as it has never been experienced. Through a conversational approach, they will expand and improvise on pieces from across Monk’s 50+ year catalogue, combining her pioneering vocal magic with his inventive and masterful percussion to generate new arrangements of Monk’s iconic compositions.

Meredith Monk & John Hollenbeck, Duet Behavior 2020 from The Noguchi Museum on Vimeo.


Big Ears Festival and The House Foundation for the Arts present

St. John’s Cathedral, Knoxville, TN

Meredith Monk, voice, piano, jew’s harp
John Hollenbeck, percussion

Wa-lie-oh, from Songs from the Hill (1975-1976)
Click Song #1, from Light Songs (1988)
Insect Descending, from Songs from the Hill (1975-1976)
Click Song #1 (instrumental), from Light Songs (1988)
Madwoman’s Vision, from Book of Days (1988)
Little Breath Motor 2 (2000)
May the Dark Ignorance of Sentient Beings Be Dispelled (2022)
Simple Sorrow (2020)
Harp and Bow (1968/2020)
Happy Woman, from Cellular Songs (2017)

All compositions by Meredith Monk © Meredith Monk Music (ASCAP) except “May the Dark Ignorance of Sentient Beings Be Dispelled” by John Hollenbeck and Meredith Monk © 2022


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 NPR’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 made more than a dozen recordings, most of which are on the ECM New Series label, including the 2008 GRAMMY® nominated impermanence. Selected scores are available through Boosey & Hawkes. Monk 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, published in early 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. Recently she 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 is currently developing Indra’s Net, 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).

Genre-crossing composer/percussionist John Hollenbeck, renowned in both the jazz and new music worlds, has gained widespread recognition as the driving force behind the unclassifiable Claudia Quintet and the ambitious John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, groups with roots in jazz, world music, and contemporary composition. He integrates his deep interest in contemporary composition and spiritual practice into a musical language that is as accessible and expressive as it is advanced.

He has earned six GRAMMY nominations for: Best Jazz Large Ensemble Album for his albums Songs You Like a Lot, All Can Work, A Blessing and eternal interlude; for his composition “Falling Men” from Shut Up and Dance; and for his arrangement of Jimmy Webb’s “The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress” from Songs I Like a Lot. He has worked with many of the world’s leading musicians in jazz including Bob Brookmeyer, Fred Hersch, Tony Malaby, and is well known in new-music circles for his longtime collaboration with Meredith Monk and for his work with Ensemble Cairn of France.

John’s most notable awards include a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2010 ASCAP Jazz Vanguard Award, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. He has created an extensive body of work including commissions by Bang on a Can All-Stars, Ethos Percussion Group, University of Rochester, Melbourne Jazz Festival, Orchestre National de Jazz, and Frankfurt Radio Big Band. He was professor of Jazz Drums and Improvisation at the Jazz Institute Berlin from 2005-2016 and joined McGill University Schulich School of Music’s faculty in 2015.

Knoxville, TN · USA



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