This major work features Monk’s compositions, visual elements developed in collaboration with renowned artist Ann Hamilton, and live music performed by Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble, a string quartet led by violinist Todd Reynolds, and chorus. The work was originally inspired in part by poet Norman Fischer’s translations of the Psalms and in part by an eight-story high Tower designed by Hamilton for the Oliver Ranch in Northern California. The multi-media production for the stage emanates from the physical and acoustic properties of the Tower, as well as architectural and ritual motifs of ascension from throughout the world.

Songs of Ascension was commissioned by The House Foundation for the Arts, NYC.

Performance History: Stanford Lively Arts by Van and Eddie Van Auken (world premiere); Transatlantic Arts Consortium (a partnership between the California Institute of the Arts, Dartington Plus and Idyllwild Arts); the Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis Minnesota; the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Argosy Foundation Fund for Contemporary Music; the ASCAP Foundation and the Harness Foundation for Dance, performances Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Memorial Auditorium, Stanford University, CA; Ann Hamilton’s Tower, Geysersville, CA; REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana-Champaign, IL; BAM Harvey Theater, Brooklyn, NY 2009.

Songs of Ascension was released in November 2009 by ECM Records. The performers include Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble (voices), Todd Reynolds Quartet (string quartet), The M6 (voices), and Montclair State University Singers.

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