The series of virtual events from February 23-28 featuring Trotter Visiting Professor Meredith Monk and members of her renowned vocal ensemble may be viewed on the School of Music Dance's YouTube Channel:
Dancing Voice/Singing Body is the only program unavailable via Livestream.
Monk is a composer, singer, and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films and installations. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance.”
Coffee and Composition with Meredith Monk
Tuesday, February 23 at 1:00pm-2:30pm PST
Join Meredith Monk in conversation with the University of Oregon Composition Department, moderated by UO Faculty Professor Robert Kyr. In the session, students will learn more about Meredith Monk’s artistic trajectory and the role that creative risk has in composition. Professor Robert Kyr will lead the conversation with a Q&A by UO composition students follow.
Dancing Voice/Singing Body Workshop with Katie Geissinger & Ellen Fisher
Wednesday, February 24 at 1:30pm-3:00pm PST
Beginning with breathing techniques and a detailed vocal and movement warm-up, participants work with the voice and body as multifaceted instruments for exploring range, timbre, gesture, resonance, character, landscape and rhythm. The work aims to uncover the fundamentals of performance as a vehicle for personal transformation. Selected pieces from Meredith Monk’s repertoire will also be taught.
Conversations with Meredith Monk: Indra’s Net. Moderated by Brian McWhorter
Thursday, February 25 at 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
Meredith Monk joins University of Oregon associate professor Brian McWhorter in a conversation about her new evening length music-theater work, Indra’s Net, slated to premiere in late 2021. During the talk, Meredith will discuss the development of the work as part of a trilogy over the last ten years and some of the ways she has been able to continue to create during the pandemic.
Backlight: Discussion and Q&A with UO Faculty Ensemble, Meredith Monk and Allison Sniffin
Friday, February 26 at 2:00pm-3:30pm PST
Join us for a zoom conversation with Meredith Monk, Allison Sniffin and UO Faculty Ensemble to learn more about Monk’s work Backlight and the process of experimenting with new rehearsal techniques during the pandemic. During the session, recorded excerpts of live socially-distanced rehearsals will be shared, as well as some of Monk and Sniffin’s feedback with the musicians.
Meredith Monk in Virtual Concert with Katie Geissinger and Allison Sniffin
Sunday, February 28 at 2:00pm PST
In this live, first-time virtual concert, Meredith Monk performs some of her more intimate works with renowned members of her Vocal Ensemble, Katie Geissinger and Allison Sniffin. Using Zoom for the visuals and Jamulus for sound, the trio will perform together but in separate locations throughout New York City. The concert reflects Monk’s six decades of innovation and awe-inspiring vocal mastery, mining the depths of the myriad possibilities of the human voice.
Performers: Meredith Monk voice, keyboard; Katie Geissinger voice; Allison Sniffin voice, violin, keyboard.
*All events are free and open to the public.
Campus co-sponsors for this series include: Oregon Humanities Center's Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities; Division of Equity and Inclusion; Trotter Fellowship; and Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.
About the Artists
Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films and installations. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance”. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which there are no words. Over the last six decades, Ms. Monk has been hailed as one of NPR’s 50 Great Voices and “one of America’s coolest composers”. She is the recipient of numerous honors including a MacArthur Fellowship and Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France. Celebrated internationally, her work has been presented at major venues throughout the world. Most of her music can be heard on the ECM label, including the Grammy-nominated impermanence. Selected scores are available through Boosey & Hawkes. In conjunction with her 50th Season of creating and performing, Monk was appointed the 2014-15 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall. Recently she received three of the highest honors bestowed on a living artist in the United States: induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2019), the 2017 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize and a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. Currently Monk is developing Indra’s Net, the third part of a trilogy of music-theater works exploring our interdependent relationship with nature, following the highly acclaimed On Behalf of Nature (2013) and Cellular Songs (2018).
Katie Geissinger has performed with Meredith Monk worldwide, in concert and in theater pieces such as ATLAS, mercy, the Grammy-nominated impermanence, Songs of Ascension, On Behalf of Nature (all on ECM), Cellular Songs and The Politics of Quiet, for which she received an ensemble Bessie award. Recent performances include Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer in collaboration with Anne Bogart's SITI Company and The Bang on a Can All-Stars, and concerts at Lincoln Center's White Light Festival with the Young People's Chorus of New York City. Katie is a member of the professional Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine under the direction of Kent Tritle.
Allison Sniffin, a multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer, has been performing in Meredith Monk’s work since 1996 and can be heard on the ECM recordings mercy, impermanence, Songs of Ascension and On Behalf of Nature. She also collaborates with Monk on preparing her works for publication. Allison has received grants from Meet the Composer and Concert Artists Guild for her compositions. She is a frequent arranger/orchestrator for The Stonewall Chorale and Melodia Women’s Choir, NYC, and was also the winner in the New York Philharmonic's 2017 New World Composition Challenge. Ms. Sniffin serves as organist at Middle Collegiate Church and Temple Shaaray Tefila in NYC.
Ellen Fisher is a movement-based performance artist whose work integrates gestural actions with visual elements such as film and shadow play. Ellen’s performance work is informed by her ethnographic research in the rituals and trance dances of South Asia, particularly Sri Lanka, for which she has received ACCNY grants and a Fulbright. She has also been granted funding for her solo work from the NEA, NYFA, and Jerome Foundation, among others. Ellen began performing with Meredith Monk/The House in the 1970s, and continues today. She and Katie Geissinger have led the Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble education program involving New York City high school students since 2009. Ellen also teaches and lectures regularly on dance both domestically and internationally.
Daniel Neumann (Audio Engineer) is a Brooklyn-based sound artist, organizer and audio engineer. He holds a masters degree in media art from the Academy of Visual Art Leipzig and also studied electronic music composition. A main focus for him is how sound interacts with space and how space and spatial perception can be shaped by sound. In his artistic practice he is working in hybrid installation-performance formats. He understands sound as an intersubjective field enabled by audio procedures. His work has been presented internationally, for example at Zona Maco CDMX, TEA Tenerife, Sinne Helsinki, Pinacoteca Bellas Artes Manizales Colombia, Loop Barcelona; Sculpture Center, etc. He is represented by Fridman Gallery, New York. Curatorially he runs an event series [CT::SWaM] that engages in spatial sound works and focussed listening. He is the company audio engineer for contemporary music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, was acoustic designer for The World Is Sound at the Rubin Museum; and has worked with Diamanda Galás, Oneohtrix Point Never, MoMA PS1, Ellen Reid, David Guetta, Kronos Quartet, and more. http://danielneumann.org/
Meredith Belis is a New York based Production Stage Manager. She has had the pleasure of working with Meredith Monk since 2018. She has also worked with many dancers and choreographers including Arthur Pita, Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks, Neil Greenberg, Dean Moss and Maria Kochetkova. She is a graduate of Bennington College where she studied dance and lighting design. She was the Production Manager for the Dance Department at Sarah Lawrence College from 2016-2019.