October 18, 2008
Saturday / 8:00 pm
$25–60 (Adult) | $13–30 (Stanford Student)
Commissioned by Stanford Lively Arts, Songs of Ascension is the latest in a long line of major works for an ensemble of voices and instruments by MacArthur “Genius Award” recipient Meredith Monk. Fusing movement, vocalization, and imagery into an organic and powerfully communicative whole, Monk explores musical and spatial motifs that highlight rising sound and movement to convey the spiritual or otherworldly. With the architecture of a cathedral or tower as a metaphor, and historical grounding in the devotional practices and rituals that evoke ascension, Monk draws inspiration in the processionals of Buddhist stupas, Moses’ journey up the 4000 steps of Mt. Sinai, and the Tawaf around the Ka’Bah in Islam. Monk is joined by her own ensemble plus multimedia artist and fellow MacArthur honoree Ann Hamilton, a string quartet directed by the genre-weaving violinist and Ethel co-founder Todd Reynolds, and members of the Pacific Mozart Ensemble.