Voice Is the Original Instrument Featuring Maja Ratkje, Joan la Barbara and The M6: Meredith Monk Music Third Generation

New York Ethical Society MAP

A concert exploring the female vocal, borrowing from Joan La Barbara’s 1976 statement that “voice is the original instrument”, an idea which retains greater resonance today, now that the human voice is increasingly subjected to forms of modification, manipulation, distribution and dispersion. Though it might be the ur-form of communication, the voice is an unknowable material with a fleeting presence, which has once again become a focus for artists and curators. This concert presents the work of three vocalists who pioneered, developed and continue to push the potential of the voice and the musical genre known as Extended Vocal Technique, from Joan La Barbara’s early and seminal LP Voice Is The Original Instrument (1976); Meredith Monk’s primary and innovative vocal archeology in Tablet (1974/1976) performed by the women of The M6 to the sculptured and digitally manipulated vocal sounds of Norway’s Maja Ratkje.

Voice is the Original Instrument is a Performa Project curated by Mark Beasley.


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