Episode #6

Meredith Monk: Creation as Spiritual Practice

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Meredith Monk in her Tribeca home and studio Meredith Monk in her Tribeca home and studio (Kim Nowacki)

Living legend Meredith Monk is a composer, vocalist, dancer,choreographer and filmmaker. While all of these descriptors are technically on point, none quite gets to the bones of who she is as an artist. Meredith seamlessly blends these media into arresting performance pieces that feel like rituals -- rites from another dimension. While most of her music has no text, it somehow communicates volumes.

For Meredith, words are too "pointy," and can never get at the spaces between emotions. Meredith has been crafting these meticulous works for over fifty years now, and she's never satisfied unless she's pushing herself to find something new, something special. 

Watch an episode of Q2 Spaces in Meredith's Tribeca home-studio:


Hosted by:

Nadia Sirota

Produced by:

Alexander Overington

Meredith Monk: I. Learning Her Body Through Music

From an extremely young age, music and movement were braided together for Meredith. Listen to part one of the show. 


Meredith Monk: II. Choreographing Sound

Meredith rarely writes traditional scores. Many of her pieces live primarily in the heads of their performers, often members of Meredith's own ensemble. Listen to part two of the show.

Comments [1]

Meredith Monk: III. Becoming Whole

When Meredith first encountered Buddhism in the 1970s, a whole lot of things clicked into place. Listen to part three of the show.

Comments [2]

Meredith Monk: Playlist

Hear a piece of music you loved in the show? Click for a complete breakdown of all the music in Season Two, Episode One – Meredith Monk: Creation as Spiritual Practice.

Comments [2]

Comments [6]

Jair-Rohm from USA

To Bernie from UWS: I, for one, was attracted to the depth and beauty of Ms. Monk's music. Before I "heard" it as a musician (I'm a bass player) I was captivated by its exquisiteness. Yes, I not only sit in my home listening to her records, I also walk around listening to her on my mobile devices. Ms. Monk is more than simply "quirky" and "different" - "quirky" and "different" don't carry an artist for decades. She is a unique talent and one of the most important Artists of the 20th/21st century.

Sep. 13 2015 06:36 PM
Emma from Milwaukee, WI

I am a classical flutist and modern dancer who works to blend my crafts together in my own start-up ensemble. This episode was an inspiration - it's rare to find respected performance artists who work successfully in mixed media. Thank you for branching out!

Jul. 28 2015 09:07 AM
Loraine Schroeder from Richmond, VA

Meredith Monk is my spirit animal.

Jul. 15 2015 07:59 PM
Bernie from UWS

Meredith Monk is one of those artists I don't really get and this reverent blog post and video doesn't really clear much up for me. If you polled audiences at a classical music venue, how many could actually name a Meredith Monk piece? Does anyone sit around their homes and put on Meredith Monk recordings? I think modern music types like her because she's "quirky" and "different" but that's as far as it goes for me.

Jul. 01 2015 07:37 AM

Hahaha, sorry Phil!!! It was an ad lib that we got attached to. Thanks for all the wonderful color you lent to the show!!

Jun. 30 2015 12:02 PM
Phil Kline

Amazingly detailed and nuanced capture of Meredith's art, practice, personality and legacy. One little disclaimer, though: I was not actually "around" NY for Meredith's beginnings, that's a generation before me, but that history was already something of a legend we all carried with us as "downtowners."

Jun. 30 2015 11:57 AM

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