Cellular Songs is the newest in a series of music theater pieces created by Meredith Monk that explore our interdependent relationship with nature while seeking to evoke the ineffable. Following the celebrated On Behalf of Nature, which offered a liminal space questioning the precarious state of our global ecology, Cellular Songs turns attention inward to the very fabric of life itself. Joined by the women of her acclaimed Vocal Ensemble, Monk combines some of her most adventurous and daring music for the voice to date, with movement, light, instrumental music and film, as well as a video installation designed specifically for each space. The work, at once playful and contemplative, draws inspiration from such cellular activity as layering, replication, division and mutation, and looks to underlying systems in nature that can serve as a prototype for human behavior in our tumultuous world. Conjuring cycles of birth and death throughout, Monk once again reminds us of her vitality as an artist who cuts to the core of experience, continuing to share the genius of her discovery and innovation.
Conceived, composed and directed by Meredith Monk
Performed by Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble
Ellen Fisher voice
Katie Geissinger voice
Meredith Monk voice, keyboard
Allison Sniffin voice, violin, and piano
Jo Stewart voice
Cellular Songs, the fully staged music theater piece premiered at the BAM Harvey, Brooklyn, NY in March 2018, with subsequent performances at Diaghilev Festival, Perm, Russia; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; UCLA CAP, Los Angeles, CA; Stanford LIVE, Stanford, CA.
Cellular Songs: Concert Version has been performed at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York, NY; West Kortright Center, East Meredith, NY; Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, New York, NY; Le Poisson Rouge, New York, NY; Big Ears Festival, Knoxville, TN.
Special thanks for developmental support through creative residencies and work-in-progress showings to Jim Hodges / Queenslab, Ridgewood, NY; Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT; and Grace Farms, New Canaan, CT.
Commissioning funds for the development of Cellular Songs were provided by the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Cellular Songs is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the Goodale Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Howard Gilman Foundation, The James E. Robison Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, True North Fund, Dunlevy Milbank Foundation, Amphion Foundation, Hechinger Family Charitable Gift Fund, Jewish Communal Fund, and The Nathan Cummings Foundation.
Additional support from Cellular Songs Producers Circle: Roberta Amon, Haruno Arai, Katherine Bradford, Jonathan Caplan, Anthony B Creamer III, Molly Davies and Polly Motley, Dick Denison and David Salkin, Bobbie Foshay, Fredericka Foster, Gladstone Gallery, Katherine Goodale, Glenn Fuhrman, Augusta Gross, Agnes Gund, Jim Hodges, Steven Holl, Alex Katz, James Kelly, Katherine Klutznick, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Anthony Meier Fine Arts, Cole Rogers and Carla McGrath, Karen Nielsen, Laura Owens, Stephan Palma, Meredith Palmer, Lora Reynolds, Jonathan F. P. Rose, Jane Saks, Ruth Lande Schuman, Sheehan Gallery, Ellynne Skove, and Frederieke Taylor.
The concert and music theater piece are both part of Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble’s current repertory. For North American bookings, contact: Rena Shagan Associates.