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Meredith Monk
mercy

Meredith Monk voice
Theo Bleckmann voice
Allison Easter voice
Katie Geissinger voice
Ching Gonzalez voice
Allison Sniffin voice, piano, synthesizer, viola, violin
John Hollenbeck voice, percussion, melodica, piano
Bohdan Hilash clarinets
 
braid 1 and leaping song
braid 2
urban march (shadow)
masks
line 1
doctor-patient
line 2
woman at the door
line 3 and prisoner
epilogue
shaking
liquid air
urban march (light)
core chant

Recorded March 2002
ECM New Series 1829
 
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An important new musical work, Meredith Monk’s eighth ECM recording is released just prior to the 60th birthday of the composer. For almost 40 years, the great interdisciplinary artist has been overturning categories, transcending the limitations of any of the idioms. “mercy” was first unleashed in America as a multi-media stage work which Monk realized together with noted installation artist Ann Hamilton. The album, though, is far more than a ‘soundtrack’. Not only did some of the music predate the stage work – incorporating several pieces that Meredith had written before joining forces with Hamilton – the stage material has been rigorously rearranged with “many changes, compressions, expansions of forms.” Meredith’s Monk’s work touches on so many areas, but at the heart of it is singing, exploring the human voice in all its possibilities. Her innovations in what is now called “extended vocal technique” have been enormously influential. When she began her vocal pioneering, in 1965, this area was largely unexplored. Since then echoes of Monk’s work can be heard across the genres, influencing artists as diverse as Joan La Barbara and Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson and Björk (whose current live set includes Meredith’s “Gotham Lullaby”).