Where the Body Starts Singing

This episode originally aired on January 22, 2011

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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Once in a blue moon, a forward-thinking artist comes along and uses musical experimentation so organically, that it obliterates the politics which separate the mainstream from the avant-garde.

Composer Meredith Monk is best known for the vocal techniques that she developed as a solo performer before starting her Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble. In the 1960s, Monk worked at cross-pollinating dance, performance and music, which eventually manifested itself into an interdisciplinary art troupe called The House.

The trajectory of her work has been echoed by some of the most celebrated musicians in disparate music worlds. In 2005, a concert at Carnegie Hall honoring 40 years of her artistic reach featured Björk, Terry Riley, DJ Spooky, and the Pacific Mozart Ensemble.

Though her music needs no explanation, she explains her intent in Meredith Monk (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), a collection of her writings and interviews: "I work in between the cracks, where the voice starts dancing, where the body starts singing, where theater becomes cinema."

This week, we hear Nightfall, a piece written for 16 voices, performed by Musica Sacra.

Also, the music of Franz Schubert, Charles Mingus, and Erik Satie.


Poor Pilgrim of Sorrow
J. Robert Bradley

Gymnopedie No. 1
Erik Satie
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon

Ballade, op. 6
Amy Beach
Kirsten Johnson, piano

Blues in B flat
Hazel Scott
Hazel Scott, piano
Classics Records

Das Wohltemperierte Clavier, Book One: Prelude and Fugue no 5 in D major, BWV 8
Johann Sebastian Bach
Andrei Vieru, piano

3 x 3, no. 1
Giancarlo Vulcano
Giancarlo Vulcano, guitar
Yvonne Troxler, piano
Romulo Benavides, violin
Enid Blout, clarinet

Double Bass Concerto in D
Edgar Meyer
Edgar Meyer, double bass
Hugh Wolff, conductor
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

Gesange des Harfners
Franz Schubert
Thomas Quasthoff, bass-baritone
Charles Spencer, piano

Three Waltzes
Lou Harrison
Michael Boriskin, piano

I can't get started
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus, piano

Black Bottom, H. 165
Bohuslav Martinu
Giorgio Koukl, piano

Quartet for Double Basses
Gunther Schuller
Robert Oppelt, double bass
Richard Barber, double bass
Jeffrey Weisner, double bass
Ali Yazdanfar, double bass

Night Time
Sebastian Currier
Marie-Pierre Langlamet, harp
Jean-Claude Velin, violin

Three Nocturnes, Op. 16
Nikolay Medtner
Laurence Kayaleh, violin
Paul Stewart, piano

Meredith Monk
Musica Sacra
Richard Westenburg, conductor


Comments [2]

gina ballinger from Graz, Austria

oprah and i, too support you to continue to get hazel scott and all of those exceptional women musicians out there on the air : ) and thank you for meredith monk always!

Dec. 04 2011 09:14 AM
beth from New York City

What an incredible selection of music-only you would put this together. Absolutely wonderful. Thank you!

Dec. 03 2011 11:09 PM

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