University of Hartford Celebrates Internationally Renowned Artist Meredith Monk
The University of Hartford will celebrate Meredith Monk, widely recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, during a series of events, including a performance, workshops, lectures, a film retrospective, and an art exhibition during the middle of this month. Monk, who is a composer, singer, director, choreographer, and filmmaker, will visit Hartford from Nov. 12–15 as part of the Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series.
Monk is a pioneer in what is known as “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance.” Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument—as an eloquent language in and of itself—expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which there are no words. Celebrated internationally, Monk’s work has been presented at major venues throughout the world.
Monk’s visit is made possible by the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. For complete information, please visit hartford.edu/garmany.
The public is welcome to attend the following parts of the celebration.
• Meredith Monk Film Retrospective, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 5–10 p.m., Aetna Theater, Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main Street, Hartford. Admission is free.
This is a rare opportunity to see a nearly comprehensive retrospective of Monk's films, culminating with a screening of Monk's newly restored, OBIE Award-winning masterwork, Quarry. Composer and performer David Garland will serve as the host.
• The Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series at the Presidents' College, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 3–4:30 p.m., Wilde Auditorium, University of Hartford. Admission is $20. Free for University of Hartford faculty, staff, and students with an ID.
During this informal talk, Monk will discuss her career and creative process. The conversation will be led by Larry Alan Smith, dean of The Hartt School and curator of the Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series, and Ken Steen, director of Hartt’s Contemporary Studies Division.
• Hartt Composers’ Seminar, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 5–6:20 p.m., Bliss Music Room in the Fuller Music Center, University of Hartford. Admission is free.
This discussion will focus on Monk’s approach to writing music, collaborating with artists across disciplines, and forging a career as a composer.
• Self-Immersed Exhibition Opening Reception, Thursday, Nov. 14, 5–7 p.m., Joseloff Gallery, University of Hartford (Exhibition runs through December 13). Admission is free.
This exhibition presents Monk's five-channel video and audio installation Bloodline Shrine alongside works by installation artists Karen Tam and Tracey Snelling. Bloodline Shrine was conceived as both a stand-alone installation and an introduction or overture to Cellular Songs, Monk’s music-theater piece exploring the interconnected relationships between human beings and the natural world, between the basic unit of life and the universe.
• Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series featuring Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble: Cellular Songs: Concert Version, Thursday, Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m., Millard Auditorium in the Fuller Music Center, University of Hartford. Please see hartford.edu/garmany for ticket information.
Meredith Monk presents a concert of music from her newest work, Cellular Songs, with the women of her acclaimed Vocal Ensemble. A “deeply affecting meditation on the nature of the biological cell as a metaphor for human society” (Financial Times), Cellular Songs features some of Monk’s most adventurous and daring music for the voice to date, paired with violin, piano and keyboard. Over the course of the evening, shimmering, multi-dimensional musical forms evoke such biological processes as layering, replication, division, and mutation. Cellular Songs premiered to sold-out audiences at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in March 2018.
Following the performance, Monk will receive an honorary degree from the University of Hartford.
• Hartt Student Workshop, Friday, Nov. 15, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Millard Auditorium in the Fuller Music Center, University of Hartford. Free and open to the public for observation only.
Invited students from across The Hartt School's Music, Dance, and Theatre Divisions will engage directly with Monk's multidisciplinary approach to art making. Participants will work with members of Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble and enjoy a special visit with Monk.