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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In Context: Landfall

Landfall comes to BAM from September 23—27. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of articles, and videos related to the show. Once you've seen it, help us keep the conversation going by telling us what you thought below.

Program Notes

Landfall (PDF)

Watch & Listen

The Nonesuch/BAM Connection (BAM)
BAM and Nonesuch go way back. Bob Hurwitz and David Bither of Nonesuch elaborate.

Artist Profile: Kronos Quartet (Vimeo)
It was Beethoven, George Crumb, and Lawrence Welk that got Kronos violinist David Harrington hooked on the violin.

Kronos Quartet: Still Daring After All These Years (NPR)
At their current rate, the tireless quartet will have commissioned 1,000 works by their 50th anniversary.

Tiny Desk Concert: Kronos Quartet (NPR)
Kronos plays Aheym by Bryce Dessner, a blues by Geeshie Wiley, and an old Afro-Persian lullaby.

“O Superman,” Laurie Anderson (YouTube)
Anderson performed her hit at BAM in the early 1980s.

Home of the Brave: A Film By Laurie Anderson (YouTube)
Watch Anderson’s 1986 stage show in its entirety.


"Inside the Quartet" (The New York Times)
Kronos takes part in a "dot cloud" experiment.

Laurie Anderson
Keep up with all things Anderson on her homepage.

“Laurie Anderson: ‘It’s been a wonderful, kind of hallucinatory year’” (Time Out New York)
Anderson talks about overnighting in a sleeping bag at BAM, her history with Nonesuch Records, and Landfall.

Show and Tell: Laurie Anderson (The Guardian)
Anderson fawns over a Jeep, dons a tiara, and photographs photographers.

Now your turn . . .

So how did you enjoy the show? Likes? Dislikes? Surprises? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below.


  1. I found the show quite beautiful, and also sad. Sadder than I would have expected. Sad is the wrong word. Pensive, bordering on wistful. In trying to find common themes among the stories, I started with the idea of loss, but that gave way to emptiness. Emptiness is like loss, but detached. It's the difference between missing your mother because she's died and noticing the empty chair at the dining room table. Emptiness is the evidence of loss, which was illustrated by the extinct species section of the show. But in the end I'll have to go with a kind of metamorphosis. Species are gone, yet the planet is filled with life. Some letters of text are changed into unknown symbols. A father, no uncle, no father... was in a dream. A lifetime of memories becomes an ocean of sailors.

  2. I too found the show beautiful. I loved the music--the quartet sounded beautiful with Laurie, with that little fish of a viola. I was moved, touched, interested.

  3. interesting and haunting but not great. i felt very deprived of her marvelous storytelling.

  4. Laurie is an extraordinary artist, original ad haunting, wonderful pair with musicians like Kronos Quartet

  5. Loved every minute of it !

  6. Powerful and beautiful. Laurie Anderson was great. The Kronos Quartet was amazing,

  7. With all due respect for Laurie Anderson and the tremendous body of work she's created over her career, this was pretty awful. Too much non-distinct music and not enough of her usually wonderful poetry and storytelling. But the biggest problem is that a hurricane simply doesn't lend itself to her solipsistic treatment. Real people had their livelihood destroyed (or worse) during Sandy, so it's inappropriate to romanticize the "magical" moment of some of her possessions floating in her flooded basement.

  8. There was genius on stage at BAM last night, and I am glad I was there to enjoy their performance. I for one cannot imagine the mind of someone like Laurie Anderson, where her thoughts come from, how she interprets them and arrives on stage with a show like 'Landfall', but the enjoyment, for me, comes from just observing and absorbing ~ I do not let the experience be interrupted/marred by too much introspection or analyzing. I live at the Jersey Shore, and yes, we did suffer greatly and many continue to suffer from Sandy. As many of you know, Laurie had her own, personal Sandy this past year. Thank you to these talented artists for sharing their gifts and allowing us to be transported for a bit, into another dimension.

  9. Landfall seemed to mirror the earth in a chokehold—with sublime alt. routes. A ravishing performance by all.

  10. An environmental piece, somber and sentimental. Equally alive and lyrical.

  11. 'landfall' with super cool laurie anderson and her electric violin in collaboration with the always fabulous kronos quartet was in part her ruminations on the after-effects of hurricane sandy in the city, in part an outcry against the ongoing extinction of animal species, in part her take on human nature. dark topics. and yet the presentation was not bleak. there was also humor and hope. it was bittersweet. but the best part was the music. a very fine evening indeed.

  12. I think I would have enjoyed it more if the seats in the balcony of that damn theatre had been even slightly more comfortable, and the guy behind me hadn't kept shoving his foot in my arse.

  13. Great idea. Terrible execution. It felt like Laurie bullied the quartet for most of the evening. A hammer coming down on their well balanced alchemy. Perhaps, that was the intention, Laurie the Hurricane, but it didn't make for a good composition.


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