Meredith Monk in her apartment, October 2010 [photo: Erica Beckman]
Meredith Monk is the most striking, strong and wholly peaceful woman that I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. It was in October 2010, when I had arranged for Brooklyn electronic duo Blondes to interview the revered composer for a Dummy feature while I was in town. They’d told me a couple a months previous that they’d sampled her piece Rally in what would become Lover, the first track of their debut album ‘Blondes’ (reviewed here). They were interested in her use of vocal, non-verbal communication and the sheer power of her often chanted compositions. The interview took place in the beautifully ramshackle rent-controlled apartment she’d lived in since the 60s. She was very patient, somehow a little sad yet still so full of wonder. She ended up kind of interviewing Blondes. I was reminded of this extraordinary afternoon today after listening to the On Being public radio programme she recently took part in. It’s a wonderful insight into her approach to life and work, and the importance of art in helping us live our lives and deal with the inevitable loss it entails. I urge you to listen to it here.
Plus here’s the interview I recorded between Blondes and Meredith Monk from October 2010 below, or read the full feature on Dummy.