Boomkat Product Review:
The utterly unique 1971 debut album by Meredith Monk reissued on vinyl after years out of print, a frankly mind-boggling set of compositions for voice; years in the making and still a total f*cking inspiration - you can hear its influence on anyone from Bjork to Joanna Newsom to Maja Ratkje half a century later. We really cant think of anything from that era that sounds anything like it; wildly experimental but also highly visual in nature, a kind of proto-multimedia project that still sounds completely alien and groundbreaking.
"Composer, singer, director/choreographer, creator of new opera, musical theater works, films and installations, Meredith Monk is one of the most unique and influential artists of our time. Awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2015, Monk has blazed her own influential trail through music and movement over the past 50 years. Pitchfork noted in a recent review of her latest ECM release, ‘On Behalf of Nature’: “Meredith Monk’s influence as a singer and composer extends through Björk, Joanna Newsom and beyond.”
‘Key’ contains Monk’s earliest compositions for voice, composed and performed from 1967-1970. In her words: “In ‘Key’ I wanted to create a constantly shifting ambience. Each song dealt with a different vocal character, landscape, technical concern or emotional quality. I was trying for a visceral, kinetic song form that had the abstract qualities of a painting or a dance. I knew that I didn’t want to set music to a text; for me, the voice itself was a language which seemed to speak more eloquently than words. I chose certain phonemes for their particular sound qualities. In a sense, each song became a world in itself with its own timbre, texture and impulse.”