Video on demand from 6 Mar 2020
available until 6 Mar 2025

Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk

Meredith Monk gives us a look at her latest work, »Cellular Songs«.

In this session, the artist Meredith Monk presents an excerpt from her latest work, »Cellular Songs« – recorded live in the Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall.

The Artist

New Yorker native Meredith Monk is an artist of the senses. Her mostly scenic productions are hard to categorise – they alternate between singing, theatre, dance, installation and performance. Monk often stands on stage with her »Vocal Ensemble« and moves the audience with her dreamlike performance, which sometimes seems almost childish, but profound at the same time.

Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk © Maximilian Motel
Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk © Maximilian Motel
Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk © Maximilian Motel
Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk © Maximilian Motel
Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk © Maximilian Motel
Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk © Maximilian Motel
Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk © Maximilian Motel
Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk © Maximilian Motel
Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Meredith Monk © Maximilian Motel

The Music

In »Happy woman«, a short a cappella piece, Meredith Monk steps alone into the spotlight and accompanies us through a variety of human characteristics and emotions that she underlines with expressive arm movements. The song is part of her programme »Cellular Songs«, where she focuses her glance on the smallest of all living organisms – »a deeply moving meditation on the nature of the biological cell as a metaphor for human society«, writes the Financial Times. The scenes that Monk acts together with the members of her vocal ensemble are at one and the same time both playful and profound.

The Location

With its undulating oak panelling and 550 seats, the Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall provides an intimate atmosphere and a warm sound. Unlike the Grand Hall, the room has a classic rectangular »shoebox shape«, and can be adapted for different uses.

Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall
Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall © Gilda Fernandez

About the series

Artists record exclusive music videos at the Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle for Elbphilharmonie Sessions – sometimes in unusual locations offstage. Discover the concert halls from the inside. Discover what they sound like.

Text: Anastasia Päßler, Stand: 25.2.2020

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