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Meredith Monk with Robert Een – Facing North (1992)

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Meredith Monk with Robert Een – Facing North (1992)

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	Facing North
1 		Northern Lights 1 	1:58 	
2 		Chinook 	4:45 	
3 		Long Shadows 1 	2:24 	
4 		Keeping Warm 	4:13 	
5 		Northern Lights 2 	2:58 	
6 		Chinook Whispers 	0:32 	
7 		Arctic Bar 	4:34 	
8 		Hocket 	4:21 	
9 		Long Shadows 2 	5:39 	
  	Vessel: An Opera Epic
10 		Epic 	9:25 	
11 		Fire Dance 	1:58 	
12 		Little Epiphany / Sybil Song 	4:23 	
13 		Mill 	3:01 	
  	Recent Ruins
14 		Boat Song 	4:22 	

Meredith Monk – organ, piano, pipe, voices
Robert Een – cello, vocals, voices

 

Composed while working on the Atlas opera, "Facing North" was composed at the Leighton Artist's Colony in Banff, Alberta, and inspired by the sights and sounds of rural Canada in the winter months. The "Northern Lights" movements are atmospheric and gentle, while "Arctic Bar" represents the sounds of humanity congregating in a warm tavern -- dissonant, happy, and uncomfortable. "Keeping Warm" is an agitated staccato-punctuated vocal pattern that instills the mind with the notion of resorting to movement to keep one's self warm. This is a multi-faceted view of "north" as a state of mind -- what Monk calls "the awareness of the fragility of human life in relation to the forces of nature and in turn the vulnerability of nature itself to the indifference of human beings." Two other pieces are included on this release: the dramatic "Vessel: An Opera Epic" (a composition from 1971 based loosely on the life of Joan of Arc) and "Boat Song" (a movement from Monk's 1979 "Recent Ruins" composition). "Vessel" is an emotional piece; the "Fire Dance" movement is very slow and passionate with drones and throat singing, and the "Epic" portion is very shrill and agitated. "Boat Song" is short and esoteric; it leaves the listener wishing there were more of the whole piece included on this recording. ---Mark W.B. Allender, Rovi

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