Quarry (1976)

Meredith Monk performing in QUARRY, photo by Johan Elbers

QUARRY, 1976

Director: Meredith Monk
96 min.
16mm, color, sound
Grant Awarded to:  The House Foundation for the Arts, Inc.

QUARRY: AN OPERA IN 3 MOVEMENTS was created by Meredith Monk with her company, The House, as a live stage work between 1975-76.  It is a mosaic of music, images, movement, dialogue, film, sound, and light. A meditation on WWII and recurring cycles of intolerance, fascism, and cruelty in history, QUARRY centers on a sick American child (played by Monk herself) whose world darkens as her illness progresses. The film version, shot in the Lepercq Space at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1977, was directed by Amram Nowak and supervised by Monk, and includes her 1975 short silent film of the same name. Considered a masterwork of the 20th century, it is at once a myth, a documentary, and a memorial.

Meredith Monk: Photo © Christine Alicino

Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of opera-music theater works, films and installations. A pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance,” Monk creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which we have no words. Throughout her long career, she has won acclaim as a major creative force.

QUARRY was preserved with funds from the Women’s Film Preservation Fund of New York Women in Film & Television, the National Film Preservation Fund, and individual donors.