Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, Wu Man + More (Bang On A Can Benefit) @ (le) Poisson Rouge | NYC

Photos and words by Rez Avissar

An intimate night at (le) Poisson Rouge, who's standing room area got converted to a seated dining space. With an entry price of $400, the guests were unsurprisingly ritzy arty types, and I kept thinking that there were probably more than a few artists in attendance that I've heard of but couldn't point out.

Boasting two legends (Monk and Reich), a satisfying food menu and an open bar, this photographer is quite glad he was comped (and thanks to the waitress who brought me out leftovers and dessert!)

Reich's performance was a clapped piece (humored me the way they both were staring at the sheet music so intently). It was short, and it was ultimately not that special. Meredith Monk, however, one of my favorites ever, absolutely nailed it. With no announcement of what was to be played, I was thrilled to find out she'd be performing "Hocket." Out of all my favorites of hers, "Hocket" is the one I'd wanted to see live the most (check out this YouTube video of her performing it at The Whitney in February). Her performing partner, Katie Geissinger, actually nailed the difficult notes with flying colors. It sounded so amazing that I literally was almost brought to tears, and that doesn't happen very often. Their vocal acrobatics were mesmerizing, but during the unhinged last quarter of the song where the two voices fly off the rails, the two were even more affected by it than in the video linked above or on record, going deeper and with voices more rough and gravelly than I'd heard before. This caused laughter among many attendees, even before a crowd you'd expect would think they "get" this sort of stuff. Still, the song was followed by the biggest ovation of the night. Meredith Monk is an awesome artist and the vibes she was giving off reminded me a bit of Bjork.

Unfortunately I had to miss the last two acts, Talujon and Cossin & Michael Lipsy, as I had to hop to another show since the event was behind schedule. When I returned 20 minutes later, the show was over, but I had caught what I had wanted to catch.

Steve Reich and BOC percussionist David Cossin

Kenny Savelson

Wu Man

BOC Co-founder David Lang

Maya Beiser performing Lang's art-school take of Velvet Underground's "Heroin"

BOC co-founder Julia Wolfe

Meredith Monk and Katie Geissinger: "Hips Dance" & "Hocket"

Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, Wu Man + More (Bang On A Can Benefit) @ (le) Poisson Rouge | NYC