My work with Meredith Monk/The House began in Minneapolis in 1974, with performances of of her epic opera, "Education of the Girlchild". I merely played her organ music, performed on a Farfisa compact organ, but I felt connected to something entirely different and fascinating when I encountered her and her work. Three years out of college and being unsure of my future, I decided to let time tell as to whether we would meet and work together again. One year later, her New York keyboardist contracted hepatitis and was unable to work. She called me to perform "Girlchild" in Europe, and I subsequently moved to New York and continued working with her and her group.
In ten years of work with her, (between 1975 and '85) I performed in "Education of the Girlchild", "Small Scroll", "Quarry", an Opera Epic, "The Traveloque Series", (Paris, Chacon, Venice/Milan), "Speciman Days", a Cival War Opera, "Turtle Dreams" and "Atlas" An Opera in 3 Acts". These pieces were performed at the Autumn Festival in Paris, France, La Biennale in Venice, Italy, the Mickery Theatre in Amsterdam as well as La Mama Repertory, the BAM Next Wave Festival and other venues in New York, the United States, Europe, and Japan. I have also subsequently appeared in three of her recordings for ECM records, including "Dolmen Music", "Turtle Dreams", and the double cd, "Atlas, An Opera in Three Acts" with "Oregon" percussionist Collin Walcott.
The long term effects of my work with Meredith have not even yet completely been realized. Her influence could be heard in my Off-Broadway theatre scores of the late 70's, as well as the "Stone Ring" performance art piece performed in Tokyo with singer Marilia and dancer Maida Withers in 1995 (see Yuki, Yuki" on audio track #1, part of the Stone Ring score). There are also the dance pieces for El Camino college in the mid-90's, and most recently, the jazz score for "New Orleans Lowdown" which includes my own scenario.
At the core of her influence is the knowledge that non-verbal communication intensifies the meaning of an idea and stimulates audiences to think on a higher level. Certainly, there will be more pieces, as the growth potential that her influence has offered is limitless.
For more discussion on this aspect of my career, please tuwn to the "Upcoming Gigs" page, where I explain the inspiration for my new dance theatre piece "New Orleans Lowdown".
For more information on my recordings with her or her work in general, go to meredithmonk.org.