Nonesuch Records releases Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet’s Landfall. 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.
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.’
“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.”