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Friday, March 9, 2018

In Context: Cellular Songs

Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #CellularSongs.

Program Notes

Coming soon!


Performance as a Life Science (BAM blog)
“I wanted to make a piece that can be seen as an alternative possibility of human behavior, where the values are cooperation, interdependence, and kindness, as an antidote to the values that are being propagated right now.”—Meredith Monk

Meredith Monk and Jim Hodges (BOMB)
Monk speaks with visual artist Jim Hodges about her work, the desert, creative doubt, and the importance of creating art and light in times of madness.

Archival Collection
Meredith Monk at BAM (Leon Levy BAM Digital Archive)
Browse this collection in the new Leon Levy BAM Digital Archive for photographs, audiovisual materials, and ephemera from Meredith Monk's many BAM appearances over the years.

Watch & Listen

TateShots: Meredith Monk—"I Believe in the Healing Power of Art" (YouTube)
Monk walks us through her loft and the evolution of her work in this video from the Tate.

The Dancing Voice of Meredith Monk (YouTube)
"I think the voice is limitless. Singing is like breathing."

Dr. Andrew Weil + Meredith Monk: Sound and Healing (The Rubin Museum)
Pioneer of integrative medicine Dr. Weil and Monk explore how sound affects our bodies, encourages healing, and re-tunes us to our environment.

Meredith Monk at BAM (Spotify)
Monk curates a selection of her songs from the past fifty years.

Now your turn...

How did you enjoy Cellular Songs? Favorite moments? Surprises? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #CellularSongs.


  1. It was absolutely wonderful!!! Warm, loving, peaceful, hypnotic
    and mesmerizing and exciting all at the same time.

  2. I was totally engrossed in the first 1/2 hour of Meredith Monk's performance when the doors in the upper orchestra section opened and 10 or 12 late-comers were ushered in to sit in the section in front of ours. It took them a while to get seated, they blocked the view, and one woman watched the performance as she slowly took off her coat and then sat down. It was very disruptive. If people are late, seat them in the back or let them stand in the back.

    1. We’re sorry to hear that you found late seating disruptive and shared your feedback with our theater managers. Our late seating policy varies from show to show and is established by each individual presenting company in effort to ensure minimal disruption for audience and performers. As this event was heavily sold we were not able to seat late arrivals in back rows that were already sold nor is there room behind seat rows for standing. We worked with the artists to allow one late seating cue early in the performance while performers were positioning themselves on stage. We then required late arrivals to observe the performance from our monitors outside of the theater. We will continue to encourage guests to have their coats removed before late seating.

  3. Everything human and beautiful. It's the best, most affirming performance I've seen in a long time.

  4. Quite outdated. It put me to sleep

  5. Soul music. Not only about possibilities as Meredith says, but about longing and curiosity. Intimate and universal at the same time.

  6. Exactly what we need now--life affirming, female-affirming; a meditation on the luminosity of the individual in a collective, the beauty of a group of women taking care of each other, the soaring profound gorgeousness of our own voice, our own hands, a violin in our arms, a girl curled up wth another. A convincing mesmerizing antidote to what's going on in our country and the world.

  7. Leaving the theater I overheard someone much younger than myself saying, "Many amazing moments, but also many unamazing moments." Agreed. Although this was not of course the place to look for narrative coherence, nonetheless I could discern virtually none of the life-affirming values expressed in this blog. Too me, they were for the most part choreographed abstractions, dressed in nondescript outfits and singing mostly wordless ornamental songs that could not live up to the artist's extravagant annotation of them.
    Also, I agree with "Forgotten BAM Patron" about the badly fumbled late-seating policy, which introduced a tiresome note of earthbound tedium into a rather fragile performance that was already perhaps 15 minutes too long for what it had to say.

  8. Mixed response from our group -- one absolutely adored it (not unlike pagestar comment); one felt that more informational background would have been helpful, but really enjoyed the singing; the remaining two found it a '70s retread, an interesting time capsule, & excellent vocalism but not new or extraordinarily revealing of a new truth.


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