Working without Words

“I feel like when I’m performing and I’m really in kind of a state, it’s quite like meditation…especially as a soloist where the forms are precise, but in a different way than when I’m with other people and we’re dependent on each other. But as a soloist I can be very precise and very rigorous and yet at the same time I feel that I’m very open and fluid to what’s happening in the moment. It’s that thing of trying to be really present in experience. In a sense I think that our culture teaches us to describe our experiences, to narrate our experiences, and that’s how we’re one step away from [them]. So in a way, I think that’s why I really like working without words because I think it throws your mind into a very different state.”

~ Meredith Monk, from Inner Voice

Meredith Monk's Songs of Ascension performed at the unveiling of the Ann Hamilton Tower at Oliver Ranch (July 2007).