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Quinta's #pianobites 4: Meredith Monk's Ellis Island


Today's lunchtime post is Meredith Monk's Ellis Island, a piece which originally formed the soundtrack to a film of the same name directed by Monk in the early 1980s. It conveyed the often difficult experiences of immigrants entering America at the turn of the 19th century and its making was, for Monk, "a very painful process". Reflecting on the journey of her own grandparents from Europe, she has said of the film that it "is all about dealing with the 'other'…and the fact that you can make another person into an object.".


The first scoring for two pianos/four hands was afterwards transformed into a solo piece, and this is the version I play here. The traces of the original persist though, making for some intriguing auditory riddles and resonances.



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