Bonus Track: 'Stringsongs' by Meredith Monk
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
I am absolutely THRILLED to present this week’s bonus track, an exclusive in-studio performance of Meredith Monk’s transcendent string quartet Stringsongs.
Stringsongs is Meredith’s first string quartet. Written in 2005, the piece was premiered by the Kronos Quartet. I am extremely proud to share this piece now, in a performance by the inimitable ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble) in the Q2 Music studios.
In the Meet The Composer: Meredith Monk episode, we spent a considerable amount of time focusing on the fascinating processes Meredith has employed constructing some of her vocal music — namely, her using her vocal ensemble to workshop ideas in the air. Stringsongs is an example of a completely different working style; these days, Meredith has been writing more and more scored, instrumental music, and Stringsongs was developed very much that way. The piece is in four movements: "Cliff Light," "Tendrils," "Obsidian Chorale," and "Phantom Strings." This work is a gorgeous example of Meredith lending her gilded aesthetic to a very Classical format.
The composer’s program note is below:
In Stringsongs, my first piece for string quartet, I explored using instruments to create unexpected textures and sounds in much the same way that I have worked with the voice over many years. I was inspired by the profound musicianship and passionate commitment of the Kronos Quartet. During the rehearsal period, as I got to know the players, the music came to life in surprising ways, colored by the distinctive "voice" of each musician.
Stringsongs is published by Boosey & Hawkes.
This recording session was engineered by Irene Trudel.