|Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet||Landfall||Nonesuch||Feb 16, 2018|
Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet — Landfall (Feb 16, 2018)Ξ★ WINNER in Cat. N° 11 — Overseas Countries. From a disastrous storm, Anderson weaves a compelling story. N.Y.C.~based performance artist whose ambitious multimedia projects encompassed not only music but also spoken word, film, and dance. The piece, which was inspired by Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, is the first collaboration between the iconic storyteller/musician and the groundbreaking string quartet, who perform together on the recording. Landfall juxtaposes lush electronics and strings with Anderson’s powerful descriptions of loss, from water~logged pianos to disappearing animal species to Dutch karaoke bars. Landfall is available to pre~order now on iTunes and in the Nonesuch Store with an instant download of the album track “We Learn to Speak Yet Another Language,” which can be heard below and on Spotify. Nonesuch Store pre~orders also include an exclusive, limited~edition print autographed by Anderson.
Ξ★ Anderson is a pioneer in electronic music and has invented several devices that she has used in her recordings and performance art shows. In 1977, she created a tape~bow violin that uses recorded magnetic tape on the bow instead of horsehair and a magnetic tape head in the bridge. In the late 1990s, she developed a talking stick, a six~foot~long baton~like MIDI controller that can access and replicate sounds. Born: June 5, 1947 in Chicago, IL
Birth name: Laura Phillips Anderson
Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock
Location: New York City, NY
Album release: Feb 16, 2018
Record Label: Nonesuch
01 CNN Predicts a Monster Storm 3:20
02 Wind Whistles Through the Dark City 1:58
03 The Water Rises 2:43
04 Our Street Is a Black River 1:20
05 Galaxies 1:06
06 Darkness Falls 1:55
07 Dreams 4:01
08 Dreams Translated 0:50
09 The Dark Side 1:10
10 Built You a Mountain 2:16
11 The Electricity Goes out and We Move to a Hotel 3:03
12 We Learn to Speak yet Another Language 3:01
13 Dawn of the World 2:22
14 The Wind Lifted the Boats and Left Them on the Highway 2:40
15 It Twisted the Street Signs 1:13
16 Then It Receded 0:52
17 The Nineteen Stars of Heaven 2:43
18 Nothing Left but Their Names 9:38
19 All the Extinct Animals 2:50
20 Galaxies II 0:53
21 Never What You Think It Will Be 1:11
22 Thunder Continues in the Aftermath 1:54
23 We Blame Each Other for Losing the Way 0:41
24 Another Long Evening 1:56
25 Riding Bicycles Through the Muddy Streets 2:36
26 Helicopters Hang Over Downtown 2:15
27 We Head Out 1:49
28 Everything Is Floating 1:59
29 Gongs and Bells Sing 2:32
30 Old Motors and Helicopters 2:49
℗ 2018 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.
?♣? (Kronos Quartet & Laurie Anderson) 1~29
> David Harrington (violin),
> John Sherba (violin),
> Hank Dutt (viola), and
> Sunny Yang (cello)
?♣? Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson have performed Landfall at commissioning presenters Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Adelaide Festival, Barbican Centre, Montclair State University, Perth International Arts Festival, Stanford Live, and the University of Texas at Austin, among other venues. The New York Times said the piece’s presentation at Brooklyn Academy of Music “set the auditorium awash in elegiac string sounds and postmillennial gloom. Performed by the composer and the tirelessly innovative Kronos Quartet, the work, written in New York during that epic storm, often resembled the flotsam bobbing on the receding floodwaters, with poignant snippets and small treasures.” The Washington Post calls it “riveting, gorgeous.”
?♣? “These are stories with tempos,” Anderson says. “I’ve always been fascinated by the complex relationship of words and music whether in song lyrics, supertitles or voice over. In Landfall, instruments initiate language through our new text software, erst. The blend of electronic and acoustic strings is the dominant sound of Landfall. Much of the music in this work is generated from the harmonies and delays of unique software designed for the solo viola and reinterpreted for the quartet. In addition, there were elements of the optigan, a keyboard that uses information stored on optical discs.”
?♣? Kronos Quartet founder, artistic director, and violinist David Harrington says, “Laurie Anderson is the master magician musician who has always inhabited those secret places where technology has personality, where ‘real time’ is questioned and where all the elements of performance meet and combine into music. Her process is to gather and continue to gather potentially useful aspects as she sculpts a shape. Her sense of play and fun and her continuous experimenting make her the ideal chemist (or is it alchemist?) in the laboratory of music.”
?♣? In addition to Landfall, Anderson also releases a new book in February, All the Things I Lost in the Flood: Essays on Pictures, Language and Code, published by Skira Rizzoli. Two years ago Anderson began looking through her archive of nearly forty years of work, which includes scores of documentation, notebooks, and sketchbooks. In the process, she rediscovered some of her work and looked at many projects with a fresh eye, leading her to write a collection of essays looking at the way language entered her visual work.
?♣? Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned — and daring — creative pioneers. Her work, which encompasses music, visual art, poetry, film, and photography, has challenged and delighted audiences around the world for more than thirty years. Anderson is best known for her multimedia presentations and musical recordings. Her tours have taken her around the world, where she has presented her work in small arts spaces and grand concert halls, and everywhere in between. She has numerous major works to her credit, along with countless collaborations with an array of artists, from Jonathan Demme and Brian Eno to Bill T. Jones and Peter Gabriel.
?♣? Anderson’s first single, “O Superman,” launched her recording career in 1981, rising to number two on the British pop charts and subsequently appearing on her landmark release Big Science. She went on to record six more albums with Warner Brothers. In 2001, Anderson released her first album with Nonesuch Records, the critically lauded Life on a String. Her subsequent releases on the label include Live in New York (2002), a reissue of Big Science (2007), and Homeland (2010). Nonesuch most recently released the soundtrack to Anderson’s acclaimed film, Heart of a Dog (2015), Uncut called, “‘Warm, witty and thought~provoking … her subject is the very stuff of life: grief, love, joy, memory, loss … like listening to a series of short radio plays or a podcast of Anderson’s anthropological musings … Anderson’s most satisfying and human work.” Additionally, Anderson’s virtual~reality film La Camera Insabbiata, with Hsin~Chien Huang, won the 2017 Venice Film Festival Award for Best VR Experience.
?♣? For more than 40 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet — David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello) — has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagine the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world’s most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than 60 recordings, collaborating with an eclectic mix of composers and performers, and commissioning over 900 works and arrangements for string quartet. ?♣? They have won over 40 awards, including a Grammy Award and the prestigious Polar Music and Avery Fisher Prizes. The nonprofit Kronos Performing Arts Association manages all aspects of Kronos’ work, including the commissioning of new works, concert tours and home season performances, education programs, and a self~produced Kronos Festival. In 2015, Kronos launched Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, an education and legacy project that is commissioning — and distributing for free — the first learning library of contemporary repertoire for string quartet. Nonesuch, the quartet’s longtime label, celebrated the ensemble’s fortieth anniversary year with two releases: the Kronos Explorer Series five~CD box set and a new album, A Thousand Thoughts; more recently, Nonesuch released the One Earth, One People, One Love: Kronos Plays Terry Riley, five~CD, four album box set that included the new release Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector: Music of Terry Riley; and Folk Songs, which features Sam Amidon, Olivia Chaney, Rhiannon Giddens, and Natalie Merchant singing traditional folk songs with arrangements by Jacob Garchik, Nico Muhly, Donnacha Dennehy, and Gabe Witcher. Folk Songs was the fiftieth record Kronos has released on the label since 1985.
From a disastrous storm, Anderson weaves a compelling story.
TOM HUIZENGA, February 8, 20185:00 AM ET
?♣? Hurricane Sandy was a horrific natural disaster that no one would care to relive, except perhaps for the brilliant polymath Laurie Anderson. In Landfall, her 70~minute multimedia piece featuring the Kronos Quartet, she doesn’t revisit the storm so much as ruminate — sometimes with dry wit — on the idea of how we handle loss. With a dream~like blend of electronics, acoustic instruments, high~tech software and voice overs, she searches for meaning in the mystery of it all.
?♣? When Sandy hit the New Jersey coast on Oct. 29, 2012, a record~breaking 32.5~foot wave rolled into New York Harbor. Anderson’s lower Manhattan home was flooded.
?♣? “After the storm, I went down to the basement and everything was floating,” she intones in that inimitable, lilting voice. Keyboards, projectors, props, papers, books, she says, were among the losses, “all the things I’d carefully saved for all my life, becoming nothing but junk. And I thought, how beautiful.” Much of the music, too, seems to bob gently on waves that occasionally crest into violence.
?♣? Landfall, which premiered in 2013, unfolds fairly chronologically, with a few fantastical detours. The album’s opening tracks read like a story: “CNN Predicts a Monster Storm,” “Wind Whistles Through the Dark City,” “The Water Rises” and “Our Street is a Black River,” which opens with a tender descending theme reminiscent of César Frank’s Violin Sonata.
?♣? The main mood in Landfall is a beautiful shade of somber. In “The Electricity Goes Out and We Move to a Hotel,” Kronos chugs along with a reedy tone, offering a descending melodic motif with scratchy industrial effects. “It Twisted Street Signs” roils in chaos, while “Never What You Think It Will Be” grooves to a fat dance beat, strings slicing through the grime.
?♣? And then there are the detours.
?♣? “I was in a Dutch karaoke bar trying to sing a song in Korean,” Anderson reports at one point over a breezy, muted melody. “And I was just getting the hang of things when the software crashed.”
?♣? Another form of loss comes midway through Landfall where, in a processed Darth Vader~like voice, Anderson describes a massive book listing earth’s extinct species. There are spotted lizards, shrub~oxen and “15 chapters on sloths.” The book, she says, savoring each word carefully, “weighs approximately 30 weasels.” (Speaking of books, Anderson just published one of her own, All the Things I Lost in the Flood, a series of essays about language in live performances.)
?♣? It’s tempting to think some of the magic is lost in this audio~only release of a multimedia work. At the premiere (which I attended), Anderson deployed software that translated the sounds of Kronos into flurries of words and pictographs on a giant screen. Along with lighting cues and a little on~stage smoke, the evening felt like a cross between story time and some kind of ritual. Still, with music as imaginative, visceral and sonically well~produced as this, the pictures in your own mind are probably better. And in the end, although Sandy resulted in loss for Anderson, she also gained something — another compelling story to tell. ?♣? https://www.npr.org/
About Laurie Anderson
?♣? After briefly entering the mainstream pop radar in 1981 with her lone hit “O Superman,” Laurie Anderson enjoyed a public visibility greater than virtually any other avant~garde figure of her era. Her infrequent forays into rock aside, Anderson nevertheless remained firmly grounded within the realm of performance art, her ambitious multimedia projects encompassing not only music but also film, visual projections, dance, and — most importantly — spoken and written language, the cornerstone of all of her work. Born in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, Illinois on June 5, 1947, she studied violin as a teen; relocating to New York City at age 20, she later attended Barnard College, graduating with a B.A. in art history in 1969. After earning an M.F.A. in sculpture from Columbia University in 1972, Anderson taught art history and Egyptian architecture at City College; she mounted her first public performances a year later.
?♣? By 1976 Anderson was regularly mounting performances in museums, concert halls, and art festivals throughout North America and Europe; claiming to base all of her projects on the power of words and language, her work also emphasized visual imagery and cutting~edge technology, with pieces like 1980’s “Born, Never Asked” written for both orchestra and electronics. A year later, Anderson recorded “O Superman” for the tiny New York label 110 Records; an 11~minute single built around electronic drones and featuring opaque lyrics half~spoken and half~sung (in a voice sometimes electronically treated), this most unlikely hit became a smash in Britain, where it reached the number two spot on the national pop charts. Warner Bros. soon signed Anderson to record a full~length LP, and in 1982 she issued Big Science, a work drawn from a much larger project, the seven~hour multimedia performance United States.
?♣? With 1984’s Mister Heartbreak, Anderson produced her most overtly pop~oriented work, teaming with artists including Peter Gabriel and Adrian Belew; the end result even reached the American Top 100. That same year, she also issued United States Live, a recorded document of the complete performance spread across a five~LP set. Anderson’s next project, Home of the Brave, was a concert film; a year later she also scored the Jonathan Demme/Spalding Gray film Swimming to Cambodia. A proper studio album, Strange Angels, did not follow until 1989; the next several years were devoted to performance tours, including 1990’s Empty Places, 1991’s Voices from the Beyond, and 1993’s Stories from the Nerve Bible. In 1994 Anderson teamed with producer Brian Eno for Bright Red, also featuring her then~boyfriend Lou Reed (they would marry in 2008); the following year she released the LP The Ugly One with Jewels, as well as Puppet Motel, a CD~ROM confirming her ongoing interest in the latest technology.
?♣? In 2001 Anderson issued Life on a String, which contained songs from her large musical theater pieces Moby Dick and Strange Angels. Also in 2001, just over a week after the attacks on the World Trade Center, Anderson recorded a live album at Town Hall in New York City (on its cover were the poignant words “New York City, September 19~20, 2001”). It was released as Live at Town Hall NYC in 2002. Anderson continued her appearance schedule but didn’t record for another seven years when she began working on Homeland, which was released by Nonesuch in 2010. Anderson continued to work on multiple projects, though she took time off from her work to care for her husband Reed when he fell ill in 2012. After Reed’s death in October 2013, Anderson returned to work on her second feature film, Heart of a Dog, a meditation on love, loyalty, and loss, seen through the filter of the death of Anderson’s dog Lolabelle. The film and its soundtrack album were both released in October 2015. ~ Jason Ankeny
|Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet||Landfall||Nonesuch||Feb 16, 2018|