Getting To The Core:
About Meredith Monk’s Facing North and the Art of the Natural Voice
This article discusses the construction and representation of nature in the composition and performance of Meredith Monk’s song cycle “Facing North” by analyzing the quality of the performing voices, their physicality, and by bringing them into relation to the associations and contexts evoked by the songs’ titles. Based on voice and nature concepts in cultural studies, this article argues that this approach creates a very specific concept of nature, which is artistic and artificial at the same time. Through contextualising the concept of nature established in “Facing North” with a specific, gendered construction of nature as basis of a narrative of North American identity as depicted by musicologist Denise Von Glahn, it becomes evident how the composition and performance of “Facing North” at once accord with and oppose to a gendered concept of nature.
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