Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Meredith Monk - dolmen music (1981)
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.
Get it here.