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Meredith Monk
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    (November 20, 1942- )
    Born in New York City, New York
    Composer/performance artist/vocalist/choreographer/filmmaker
    Composed the opera ‘Atlas’ (1991)
    Other compositions include ‘Dying Swan with Sunglasses,’ ‘Tokyo Cha-Cha,’ ‘Astronaut Anthem,’ ‘Possible Sky,’ ‘Stringsongs,’ and ‘Cellular Songs’
    Wrote, directed, and scored the films ‘Ellis Island’ (1981) and ‘Book of Days’ (1988)
    Her singing rarely consists of recognizable words, with Encyclopedia Britannica describing her producing ‘a wide variety of nonstandard performance sounds reminiscent of whining, hiccupping, laughing, and animal-like noises.’
    She uses unusual instrumentation, with ‘Juice: A Theater Cantata’ being scored for 85 voices, two violins, and a Jew’s harp.
    Her choreography is equally idiosyncratic, with ‘Dance’ magazine describing one piece as having ‘the feel of a schoolyard game run amok.’
    She said, ‘What I’d like to do is make pieces about subjects that you can’t make a piece about.’
    She has a four octave range.
    She was a composer in residence at Carnegie Hall.
    A celebration at Carnegie Hall of the 40th anniversary of her career included performances by Bjork, Terry Riley, John Zorn, and the Pacific Mozart Ensemble.
    She received three Obie Awards, including one ‘for sustained excellence’ honoring her contributions to the Off-Broadway community (1985).
    She received a MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius Grant.’ (1995)
    The New Yorker declared, ‘Later generations will envy those who got to see her live.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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