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. We met 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’. 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 audio from Blondes and Meredith Monk’s interview in October 2010 below.