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THE SECRET MUSE OF THE DOWNTOWN SCENE? TURTLES

Meredith Monk with her inspirational three-toed box turtle, Neutron. Credit Krista Schlueter for The New York Times

By Will Robin | The New York Times

" 'I love her pace,' the composer Meredith Monk said recently at her TriBeCa loft. She was describing her roommate, with whom she has resided for the past 38 years.

" 'New York is so fast,' she added, 'and everything is slow with her, so it just reminds you to slow down a little bit. I like the reminder of a more ancient time — or a timelessness.'

"That cohabitant, who has served as a longtime companion to, and creative inspiration for, Ms. Monk, is a three-toed box turtle named Neutron. 'She’s such a character, really,' she said. 'I love being around this animal.'

"Ms. Monk carefully plucked Neutron from her tank, held her in the air and pressed their faces together in what she called a “nose kiss.”

" 'The funny thing about it is,' she said with a laugh, 'I have no idea if she knows who I am!'

"Neutron, in fact, is just one among many of the reptilian participants in a substantial, and neglected, history of turtles in experimental music. For a few significant years in the 1960s, the Minimalist innovator La Monte Young and his collaborator and wife, the visual artist Marian Zazeela, kept as many as 14 in a giant makeshift aquarium in their own loft in TriBeCa."

Read the rest of the article at The New York Times.

Image: Meredith Monk with her inspirational three-toed box turtle, Neutron. Credit Krista Schlueter for The New York Times.

 

Date of Publication: 
11/8/16