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Meredith Monk and her ensemble will give a performance of her latest work, “Magic Frequencies,” and present a free workshop open to the public during a two-day residency this month at Lafayette College.

At noon Monday, November 15, Monk and three ensemble members will give an overview of her career in American musical theater and perform several vocal segments of her current work in “Magic Frequencies.” The brown bag presentation will be held in the Williams Center for the Arts black box theater. Lunch may be brought or purchased for $3.

Monk's full company will perform “Magic Frequencies” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 16, at the Williams Center. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

Outer space, science fiction and folk art are the combined inspiration for “Magic Frequencies.” Filled with wit and whimsy, the work looks at the earth through the telescopic and microscopic vision of spirits from other realms, combining vocal and instrumental music (percussion, keyboards, theremin, violin), movement, images, light and specially designed objects. Highlighting Monk's music and non-verbal approach to vocalization, the songs contain sounds and resonance that create a particular world.

In addition to Monk, performers include Ching Gonzalez, Katie Geissinger and Theo Bleckmann of Monk's Vocal Ensemble, two musicians, multi-instrumentalist Allison Sniffin, and percussionist John Hollenbeck, as well as Lanny Harrison and Coco Pekelis from Monk's original 1970 company. Carol Bailey is the set and object designer; Thomas Hase, the lighting designer; and Gabriel Berry, the costume designer. “Magic

Frequencies” was presented as a sneak preview at Jacob's Pillow in July 1998. The world premiere was at Dance '98 in Munich in October 1998.

“We are being taken to another world, a trick Monk has been performing for more than 30 years as one of the performing art world's most theatrical visionaries,” notes the Boston Herald.”a rich blend of movement, music (using her trademark extended vocal techniques), visual design and filma delightful trip to some place and some time no one else could take us but Monk.”

“'Magic Frequencies' engages our eyes, minds, and funnybones with this choice play and brings a heightened consciousness. Defying categorization, it falls into that strange and wonderful place where truths emerge,” observes The Berkshire Eagle.

Monk is a composer, singer, filmmaker, choreographer and director. A pioneer in “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance,” she is a fourth generation singer. Since graduating from

Sarah Lawrence College in 1964, Monk has created more than 100 works. Her contributions to the cultural landscape were recognized in 1995 with a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. In 1996, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center exhibited a retrospective, Meredith Monk: Archeology of an Artist. Most recently, The Walker Art Center paid tribute with a major installation, Art Performs Life.

The numerous awards given to Monk include two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Brandeis Creative Arts Award, three Obies, two Villager Awards, a Bessie for Sustained Creative Achievement, the 1986 National Music Theatre Award, 16 ASCAP Awards for Musical Composition, and the 1992 Dance Magazine Award. She holds honorary Doctor of Arts degrees from Bard College, the University of the Arts, and the Julliard School.

Monk has made more than a dozen recordings, including a full-length opera, ATLAS: an opera in three parts, which premiered at the Houston Grand Opera in 1991. In March 1997, the ECM New Series label released Monk's newest CD, Volcanic Songs.

Also an accomplished filmmaker, Monk has made the award-winning Ellis Island (1981) and her first feature, Book of Days (1988), which was aired on PBS, released theatrically, and selected for the Whitney Museum's Biennial. In 1996, she created The Politics of Quiet, a music/theater oratio, and A Celebration Service, a non-sectarian worship service that melds haunting vocal music and movement with spiritual texts drawn from two millennia.

The 1999-2000 Performance Series at Lafayette College is sponsored, in part, by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Mid Atlantic Foundation for the Arts.

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