Raw recital, sub-titled 'Music Of The Inner Landscape', was performed as a duet by Meredith Monk and Ping Chong. Called a Raw recital because it contained the raw elements of a recital, simutltaneously a recital and a catalyst.
Left picture of Merdith Monk and Ping Chong in costume prior to Raw Recital.
The staging was simple; an electric organ lit by an oil lamp, a picture on the back wall with an empty chair in front of it. The recital started when Meredith in a long white dress and Ping Chong (all in black) with whitened faces took their places at the organ. Meredith in front and Ping behind her. The oil lamp threw their shadows on to the back wall.
Throughout the first part of the hour long recital Meredith vocalised and Ping Chong moved in a stylized way around the stage in response to the music, finally leaving Merdith alone at the organ.
around the stage
and then exits
Meredith continued to sing and finally left the organ to sit in silence before a picture of a child and dog where she stayed for some time before slowly leaving the stage.
Left Meredith plays by herself, below she contemplates the picture before leaving the stage as it was at the start of Raw Recital
All the music for Raw Recital was recorded in Los Angeles in the autumn of 1970 by Increase Records and was issued LP 'Key : an album of Invisible Theatre'. c.Watermark Music/ 3 Coughs Music Co. (ASCAP).
Technical Set-Up: Wendy Harpe,
Chris Furby, John Steadman
To the right Meredith with the technicians
Raw Recital took place at the Blackie on 9th June 1972. The evening started at 10pm and was in two parts; the first part, Education of The Girl Child, took place in the main auditorium, the second 'Raw Recital' downstairs in the lecture theatre.
The above is a factual summary of Raw Recital - it does not attempt to describe the haunting and magical nature of Meredith's music or the way she can use her voice to create sounds which range from the howls of the wild to the gurgles of a child. This you need to explore for yourselves.