I ATTENDED A MEREDITH MONK WORKSHOP
in New York City last week. I was drawn to her work after an interview I heard. Her work is indicative of her 'methodology,' I think. She works with simple technology, allowing sounds to shape themselves, with roots in improvisation. It feels to me she surrenders to the process, and I would say her work shines with that quality. It was inspirational to be in her loft, where so much has been created. I returned and even used some (modified) exercises with violin students here in Minneapolis. Ideally, the spirit of creation (what is it? an absence of thought? a need to express? a manic moment? the most centered moment possible?) shows itself in all sound and music. It is so easy to get locked into technique, into genre, into tradition for tradition's sake. How can we keep that link to the boundless in all we do? In our technique, our genre, our tradition? Meredith Monk is a strong meditation practitioner.
Here is a piece we learned in the workshop. Although it fixed in its basic musical phrase and syllables, it is constantly changing, evolving.