Monk: Key

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In this CD re-release of the 1978 Lovely Music vinyl, the ten individual parts that comprise this "invisible theater" work were composed between 1967 and 1970. "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." Monk asked two members of her company (Lanny Harrison and Mark Berger) to create monologues ("Vision") based on dreams, and Meredith as the "travelling voice" leads the listener from one character, space, or intensity to another. The order of the seven songs and three monologues is the harsh, folk-like vocal "Porch", the nasal, organ accompanied "Understreet", the asymetrical rhythms of "What does it mean?" sung in a tight, humorous insectile voice alternating with odd moaning sounds, the first "Vision" in deep bass vocal, the lovely and strange vocalise "Fat Stream", the second "Vision" in reverberant awe, the ululating "Do you be?", the third "Vision" in a deep Poe-like gothic tone with monkey sounds, the exquisite multi-voiced melody "Change", and "Dungeon" with sounds of walking in leaves and primitive drumming and shamanistic chant.