RVNG COMMENDS: Meredith Monk, ‘Radio Songs’ – Limited Edition LP


In our pursuit of creative truths and long shots and in both ephemeral and ethereal forms, RVNG would like to occasionally recommend a discovery dear to our ears or nice on our eyes.

Inspired in part by the RIO – or Rock in Opposition – movement lead by Henry Cow in the late 70s and its Recommended Records (R?R) label off shoot, our COMMENDS missives do not require a penchant for prog rock to appreciate (though we may walk that line) or a membership badge to access (yet).

We do ask your pledge – or at least your willingness – to keep these recommended items – and the ideologies that may or may not be attached to them – “active” amongst your physical accumulations.

Try not to slot these records in a shelf until you’ve allowed them some physical space to catch the corner of your eye and prompt another listen or a conversation. Give the garments a chance to publicly display and promote the form and function intended by the designer before they become dead in a drawer.

Adhere to excellence, operate outside of the convention of possession and make a social commitment to make your own recommendations. Our ears are open.

For our first COMMENDS, we present Radio Songs – a vinyl pressing of seminal selections culled from Meredith Monk’s Quarry opera.

As an innovator in music composition, choreography, theater, and filmmaking, Meredith Monk’s oeuvre of interdisciplinary works extends from the 1960s to today. After a trip through England and France in 1972, Meredith Monk began working on her WWII opera Quarry.

An integral ‘character’ in the piece was a 1940s radio playing prerecorded compositions by Monk. Initially this included “Quarry Waltz” and “Quarry Radio”, as “Gotham Lullaby” was later integrated into the opera. This along with “Gotham Blues”, a piece written for Quarry but not used, were commissioned by director Ping Chong for his performance piece Fear and Loathing in Gotham.

Radio Songs is released by our frequent collaborators at White Columns Gallery as a strictly limited edition of 500 copies on black vinyl, housed in a letterpress sleeve designed by Will Work for Good. The photos on the jacket were taken by Johan Elbers and Jerry Vessuso. The package includes a 16 page booklet with text by Meredith Monk and images by Steve Clorfeine, Lauretta Harris, Philip Hipwell, Giuseppe Pino and Nathaniel Tileston.

We have less than 50 copies of this incredible musical and archival accomplishment and they will disappear.

Purchase at the RVNG shop