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Meredith Monk

Dolmen Music

Label: ECM Records

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

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Meredith Monk and her vocal troupe cut a line between experimental theatre and music, marking a passage through the Ancient Greek tragedy, the opera, world-music, the archaic ritual and the mystical chant. It started with "Gotham Lullaby", presenting a contralto over a desolate and stark piano sonata. Then "Travelling" set a feverish gypsy dance, a wild ritual stirring the primeval forces at play. The sonata returned in "The Tale", as the backbone to an offbeat pantomime/ theatrical performance.

The album got progressively more ambitious, with "Biography" combining the operatic wail, what seemed like twisted reflections of some tragic torch song, and an experimental Ancient Greek tragedy. Yet the masterpiece was "Dolmen Music", an archaic ritual, a mystical chant that reached from the depths of time to the far reaches of the universe, a menacing polyphonic counterpoint between the male and female choir, like a cosmic beam resonating through the edges of the universe, and leaving behind a streaming echo of mass-subconscious particles.
Details
Cat. number: ECM 1197
Year: 1994
Notes:
Track 1 originally composed 1975 for "Fear And Loathing In Gotham", a bricolage theatre piece by Ping Chong. Tracks 2 to 4 originally composed 1972 (4) & 1973 for the opera "Education Of The Girlchild".
Tracks 1 to 4 recorded January 1981 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg. Tracks 5a to 5f recorded March 1980 at Hometown Studios, NYC. Mixed at Tonstudio Bauer.

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