Meredith Monk

Portrait of Meredith Monk
Year of birth, place
1942, New York, United States

Meredith Monk is one of the world’s most influential and important contemporary artists. She is primarily known for her vocal innovations, the “extended vocal technique,” which is characterized by wordless sound gestures such as humming, croaking, wheezing, laughing, moaning, as well as throat sounds that seem at once prehistoric and futuristic.

Monk’s repertoire includes solo pieces for voice with and without accompaniment, instrumental works, ensemble works, stage works, works for cinema, and performances. Her work influences the Icelandic artist Björk, for example, which is why she sees herself as the “aesthetic mother of Björk,” who in turn interpreted Monk’s song “Gotham Lullaby” on her 1981 solo album »Dolmen Music« in collaboration with the Brodsky Ensemble.

Monk is the recipient of the Nation Medal of Arts, the highest honor for artistic achievement in the United States, which was awarded to her by Barack Obama in 2014. Among countless other awards, she has received ten honorary doctorates. In honor of her 80th birthday, a CD box set containing all of her vocal pieces will be released in late 2022.