Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble Present ‘Impermanence’ at Center for the Arts

Posted: February 13, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Meredith Monk – seminal music maker and unequalled 21st century creative force – makes her Center for the Arts debut with an emotional groundbreaking and inspiring piece, “Impermanence,” on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m.

“Meredith Monk’s unforgettable approach to the voice begins where classical vocal technique ends. The method she invented is sometimes called ‘extended vocal technique,’ but this bland phrase hardly hints at the striking, extraterrestrial vocabulary of sighs, squeals and glottal acrobatics that Ms. Monk has been reining for decades,” declared The New York Times on the occasion of Monk’s 2005 performance celebrating her 40 years in music.

Working with Rosetta Life, a British organization that sends professional artists into hospices to work with people who have life-threatening illnesses, Monk and her ensemble exchanged stories, songs and anecdotes with participants.

After returning to New York, Monk found some music composed by her late partner which she revised and asked the hospice participants to learn. It is these voices the audience hears at the start of “Impermanence,” and it is their presence felt throughout the performance. “Impermanence” is a meditation on all the things humans think about before death – lingering regrets, fears, hopes and dreams. There is no narrative to the piece, and the movement is restricted to very basic, yet profound, gestures.

Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble
Meredith Monk, center, and the Vocal Ensemble
Photo by Stephanie Berger

A pioneer in interdisciplinary performance, Monk is a MacArthur “Genius Award” recipient, and has also garnered two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Brandeis Creative Arts Award, three Obies, a BESSIE and 16 ASCAP Awards for Musical Composition.

Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble includes some of the most brilliant and adventurous singer/performers in the new music scene. The critically acclaimed Ensemble has performed on numerous recordings of Monk’s compositions as well as in many of the world’s leading concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Cologne Philharmonie.

A pre-performance discussion will take place 45 minutes prior to the curtain on the Hall’s Grand Tier.

Tickets are $40, $32 and $20. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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