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Songs Of Ascension

Compact Disc (Audio)
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Jewel Case
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Songs Of Ascension
Songs Of Ascension


Songs of Ascension is a major new recording from composer Meredith Monk - one of the core artists of ECM New Series - and her vocal ensemble. It finds her playing with the musical, sonic, metaphysical and literal connotations of upward movement. This is her first new album for the label since 2007's impermanence, so it's eagerly awaited by her many admirers around the world.

In recent years Meredith Monk's work has been expanding into the realms of the orchestra and string quartet. Here she teams up with a string quartet of New York players well versed in new music. With winds, percussion and two vocal groups added to her already extraordinary singers, this is one of Monk's most musically ambitious ventures. Voices and instruments are paired and balanced against each other to an extent rare in her music.

Inspirations for the work included the Song of Ascents, a group of psalms said to have been sung during pilgrimages, and a timely invitation to perform at an eight-story tower designed by visual artist Ann Hamilton. Written in 2008, it is conceived as a continuous composition, a departure from Monk's earlier collaged or episodic extended works.

Songs of Ascension has been performed live to audiences internationally - including the 2009 Edinburgh International Festival - and received the very highest acclaim. It is a work that refocuses perceptions of what music theatre can achieve.

"Songs of Ascension is a major Monk work. The music is glorious. Monk's most significant growth over the past decade or two has been as a composer. She is a great master of utterance...a listener feels somehow in communication with another, perhaps wiser, species." - Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

"No matter what category you put it in or by what criteria you judge it, this is a special experience. I left it feeling unexpectedly moved, deeply grateful and with a sense of privilege for having been there." - The Times

Personnel: Ellen Fisher, Katie Geissinger, Ching Gonzalez, Meredith Monk, Bruce Rameker, Allison Sniffin (voices), Bohdan Hilash (woodwinds), John Hollenbeck (percussion), Allison Sniffin (violin), Todd Reynolds Quartet: Todd Reynolds (violin), Courtney Orlando (violin), Nadia Sirota (viola), Ha-Yang Kim (cello), The M6: Sasha Bogdanowitsch, Sidney Chen, Emily Eagen, Holly Nadal, Toby Newman, Peter Sciscioli (voices), Montclair State University Singers, Heather J. Buchanan (conductor)


  1. Name
  2. Clusters 1
  3. Strand (Gathering)
  4. Winter Variation
  5. Cloud Code
  6. Shift
  7. Mapping
  8. Summer Variation
  9. Vow
  10. Clusters 2
  11. Falling
  12. Burn
  13. Strand (Inner Psalm)
  14. Autumn Variation
  15. Ledge Dance
  16. Traces
  17. Respite
  18. Mapping Continued
  19. Clusters 3
  20. Spring Variation
  21. Fathom
  22. Ascent
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