Music to Annoy MRAs With, Part 1: Meredith Monk

Meredith Monk, musical badass
Meredith Monk, musical badass

Sometimes when I’m listening to music – particularly music written and/or performed by women – it occurs to me that the music I’m listening to would probably annoy or even anger Men’s Rights Activists. And that makes me want to share this music with the world. So I’m starting a new series here: Music to Annoy MRAs With.

First up: Meredith Monk, an avant garde composer/performer/filmmaker/etc probably best known for her “extended vocal techniques” which one music critic has described as a melange of “extraordinary ululations and incantations, vertiginous leaps, drops, cries and other wordless acrobatics.” That seems about right.

If you’re a fan of The Big Lebowski, you’ve heard at least one song of hers: when the lovably pretentious feminist artist Maude Lebowski makes her memorable entrance, swinging naked through the air on a harness in a darkened studio, splattering paint onto a giant canvas, it’s the voice of Meredith Monk that provides the musical accompaniment. (Monk found the scene hilarious.)

Anyway, here are some Meredith Monk videos for you all. You may like them, you may not – Monk is sort of an acquired taste — but one thing is virtually guaranteed: they will confuse and annoy the hell out of any MRAs who happen to watch. A critically lauded female composer/musician making music they don’t understand? Noooooooo!

The first video is a selection from a longer piece called Dolmen Music; essentially, we’re supposed to be listening to a conversation in a strange language amongst Neolithic Brits (or perhaps space aliens, as Monk has suggested). I may have posted this before, but I’m posting it again, dammit.

The second is a clip from her film Book of Days depicting a variety show of sorts in a somewhat unusual Medieval village; stick with it until the end. I think I posted a shorter version of this once as well.

The final video is Monk performing a solo piano piece that actually has words; try to ignore the really patronizing voiceover.

Her official site is here, though I was having trouble reaching it today.

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