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Book of Days Import

5 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, February 1, 2000
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$20.94 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 1, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B000025ZJM
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,498 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Being an instrumentalist, I've never been bothered by the complaints of my friends that Meredith Monk has no lyrics -- like a great, perfectly blended wind ensemble, her cast gives a flawless and nuanced performance throughout. At equal turns ecstasy of beauty, eery and haunting, and laugh-out-loud spritely, the two parts I didn't like on this CD were, unsuprisingly, the improvisational bagpipe and the eery but jarring Madwoman's Song. But with an experimenter like Meredith Monk, not everything will hit with everybody, and these thematically provided appropriate contrast to the unrelenting beauty of the rest of the CD. Ms. Monk's unique style and ever strong voice fit perfectly with the medieval setting. Now, anyone know where to find the movie this is the soundtrack to? I've been intrigued with finding it since the day I got this CD of peace and beauty...
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Format: Audio CD
The finest, most fully realized Meredith Monk cd, methinks. The medieval theme does her well, puts her vocal explorations in a context that really brings out the magic in the music. One of the few CDs I know that can completely transform the feel of a room it's being played in. Wonderful.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I heard this album in vinyl edition, about 16 years ago, I was very surprised to hear how the human voice can be used as a musical instrument, producing all sorts of sounds and evoking images and feelings without using a single word. This is what Meredith Monk and her vocal ensemble have achieved, with only a faint use of musical instruments such as keybords and pipes, by using mainly the voice as a vehicle to convey these feelings and images. For example "Plague" is a piece with sounds where the music is almost absolutely absent, to create the nightmarish impression of a serious disease. "Madwoman's vision" uses sounds that give us the impression of wailing. Other tracks like "Early Morning Melody" or "Eva's song" are lighter, "easier" to listen.
Although this is characterised an avantgarde album, it can appeal to someone who listens to it for the first time, because of the richness of images and feelings it evokes.
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Format: Audio CD
Meredith Monk is a marvel. She has contributed to so man aspects of our appreciation of avant-garde music, not only in her compositions, but also in her courage to explore the possibilities that lie within the human voice. This particular CD is an experience that rewards at every turn. The Book of Days references medieval literature and is a collection of works composed by Monk for 12 voices, cello, synthesizer, hammered dulcimer, bagpipe & hurdy gurdy. Sound odd? It is. And that is fine - for starters. But for those who know of Meredith Monk's work - and more important, for those to whom this fine artist's gifts are new - this collection of moods and songs, performed to perfection by the astounding group of musicians gathered for this CD will transport the listener to another place in the universe, in time, in experience. Imagine being in a medieval cathedral, deserted except for wandering troubadours expressing their various lineages and secrets and you may get an insight to the glories that abound on this recording. It is a mystical experience, a skip along time's trail, and a little miracle of production of sound you'll never forget again. Grady Harp, May 10
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first time I encountered the music of Meredith Monk was in her fascinating, indeed haunting film Book of Days from 1988 that was shown on PBS. It deals with a community of Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages in time of plague, where the young daughter of a Jewish family has visions of 20th-century technology and society, drawing them on walls. The image of a TV set rectangle still resides in my memory bank. [It is an interesting detail that the daughter has hair in pigtails, as Monk herself.] The fantasy oddly yet insightfully includes "You Are There" modern reporter interviews with the citizens and compares the era with modern times. [The DVD is available, and a couple enticing short film clips can be found on YouTube.] I just obtained an Amazon-vendor used copy of her music CD Books of Days on ECM (1990), whose package notes includes photographs of scenes from the movie. Listening twenty-five years after my first hearing, I am still deeply moved. A large, 12-member ensemble, including Monk and Robert Een, performs the emotion-laden and stylistic vocalise with references to Jewish and Gregorian church melodies. Occasionally, instrumentation is incorporated in the scenes: hurdy gurdy, grosser bock bagpipe, keyboard (as an organ), cello, violin, bass recorder, hammered dulcimer, and piano. Such music was astonishingly avant-garde then, but as Monk's numerous subsequent albums and performances have informed our ears, we can reflect how influential this pioneer has been. Bobby McFerrin and Voicestra free jazz vocal arts, Roomful of Teeth with their borrowing of Mongolian, Inuit, African, and other ethnic vocal sounds, and Western Wind, among others, have expanded the vocal lexicon of sounds in the West.
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