Meredith Monk Reveals Inspiration Behind Cellular Songs

Last year, Meredith Monk—a pioneer of extended vocal techniques who has often used her powerful instrument toward salient sociopolitical ends—premiered Cellular Songs, a new piece inspired by the cells of our body and their interconnected power. You can hear those microscopic interactions at work in the piece, where an array of voices sings seemingly simple slivers that gather into something teeming with life. “They might sound simple, but they’re really complicated,” Monk said of those little elements during this preview with Minnesota Public Radio ahead of her performance at the Walker Art Center. Monk talks about the book on cancer that inspired the piece, the future the work should convey, and how she wants us to pay attention to sounds rather than the screen. Listen, and see Cellular Songs at Big Ears 2019.

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Knoxville, TN · USA



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