composer, singer, director/choreographer

SESSIONS: Three films by and about Meredith Monk

Renowned composer, singer, director/choreographer, and filmmaker Meredith Monk has greatly influenced the evolution of contemporary arts, music, film, and performance with her groundbreaking interdisciplinary work. Bend Design will stream three days of films by and about Ms. Monk, culminating in a live Q&A with the artist.


SESSION ONE: Tuesday, October 20, 3:30

Book of Days, film by Meredith Monk

Book of Days is a film about time, originally drawing parallels between the Middle Ages, a time of war, plague and fear of the Apocalypse, with modern times of racial and religious conflict, the AIDS epidemic, and fear of nuclear annihilation. In light of the current pandemic of 2020, the cyclical nature of such phenomenon has made itself known once more. While the film provides no answers, it nevertheless is a tribute to vision and the imagination, and a poetic incantation of that which connects us. Book of Days previously aired on PBS, was shown at the New York Film Festival and was selected for the Whitney Biennial. 

SESSION TWO: Wednesday, October 21, 3:30

Ellis Island, film by Meredith Monk

 “An intensely memorable film evocation of America’s immigrants; set in the crumbling halls of contemporary Ellis Island...spare, sober, and exquisite, it recalls the formality and beauty of vintage photos.” (Village Voice) Ellis Island aired on PBS and was awarded the CINE Golden Eagle, special Jury Prize from the Atlanta and San Francisco Film and Video Festivals.

SESSION THREE: Thursday, October 22, 3:30

Inner Voice, film by Babeth M. Vanloo

Followed by live Q&A at 4:55

Inner Voice celebrates Monk’s life and work, and illuminates the role that Buddhism has had in her artistic practice. Using a wealth of resource material including personal archives, film clips of performances, and interviews with her collaborators, as well as conversations with the multi-talented artist herself, director Babeth M. Vanloo articulates Monk’s extraordinary drive to live for, and through, artistic expression. Tracing the path of her unceasing creativity up to and including her 2008 music theater piece, Songs of Ascension, the documentary elucidates the mystical nature of artistic creation and the life-affirming energy of an authentic inner voice. Followed by live Q&A with Meredith Monk.


Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, director, choreographer, filmmaker, and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films and installations. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer of what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance”. Over the last six decades Monk has received numerous awards and honors including a MacArthur Fellowship and Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters from the Republic of France. Recently, Monk received three of the highest honors bestowed on a living artist in the United States: induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2019), the 2017 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize and a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. In conjunction with her 50th season of performing and creating work, she was named Carnegie Hall’s 2014-15 Debs Composer’s Chair. Celebrated internationally, Monk’s work has been presented at major venues throughout the world.

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