monk playing the jews harp on the youtube video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-PVlBnt-x0 – see below.
for those unfamiliar with her work, wikipedia correctly, if insufficiently, says:
Meredith Jane Monk (born November 20, 1942) is an American composer, performer, director, vocalist, filmmaker, and choreographer. Since the 1960s, Monk has created multi-disciplinary works which combine music, theatre, and dance, recording extensively for ECM Records In 1991, Monk composed an opera called Atlas with the Houston Opera. Her music has been used in films by the Coen Brothers (The Big Lebowski, 1998) and Jean-Luc Godard (Nouvelle Vague, 1990 and Notre musique, 2004). Hip hop artist DJ Shadow sampled Monk’s “Dolmen Music” on the song “Midnight in a Perfect World.”
since she’s been working for decades, there is no simple entrance into her work. so i’ll begin with one of her more ‘conventional’ works, an exquisitely beautiful solo piano performance, uncharacteristically, without her biological voice:
but i will waste no time in getting to some her more, generally speaking, challenging work:
and this, an exquisitely beautiful work, hands down, with remarkable vocal ‘mastery’.
and, for a near musical autobiography of her own work, this:
and for her performative critical sincerity, see:
and well, then there is her collaboration with ann hamilton: