'Vibrant and exploratory': L Anderson and the Kronos Quartet perform Landfall

A
a
-
Album title:
L Anderson
Composer(s):
L Anderson
Works:
Landfall
Performer:
Laurie Anderson (violin, vocals, keyboards, samples, percussion, filters); Kronos Quartet
Label:
Nonesuch
Catalogue Number:
7559-79338-9
Performance:
starstarstarstarnostar
Recording:
starstarstarstarnostar
4
Reviewer:
BBC Music Magazine
'Vibrant and exploratory': L Anderson and the Kronos Quartet perform Landfall

A powerhouse of musical invention, Laurie Anderson defies categorisation. With roots in experimental music, rock and pop (the mesmeric ‘O Superman’ was a surprise chart hit in 1982), Anderson’s music often deploys electronics, draws vividly on her own voice, and is underpinned by a keen sense of storytelling. This vibrant, exploratory work, created in collaboration with the Kronos Quartet, is also a powerfully personal composition: Landfall offers a mosaic-like exploration of Hurricane Sandy, the storm that raged across New York in 2012, but the piece also recounts how Anderson’s own archive of work was decimated in the ensuing floods. 

Divided into 30 tracks, with colourful titles that range from reportage (‘CNN Predicts a Monster Storm’) to the more elliptical (‘We Blame Each Other For Losing The Way’), Landfall moves from fierce evocations of whirling winds to serene meditations on loss, regret and dreams. The quartet is often electronically processed or blended with keyboards or samples, while many of the tracks feature Anderson’s distinctive, honey-rich voice narrating. One of the work’s most striking moments is ‘Nothing Left But Their Names’, where Anderson considers a list of every extinct animal (‘the short-faced bear, the Shrub-ox, fifteen chapters on sloths’), while the quartet wheels and shimmers about her. Anderson’s spare, droll text and her almost impassive performance keeps the work free of sentimentality, allowing the devastating impact of the storm to land. 

Kate Wakeling 

DoelenKwartet Rotterdam and Vassilakis perform Adès
DoelenKwartet Rotterdam and Vassilakis perform Adès
previous review Article
The Delta Piano Trio perform Piano Trios by Auerbach and Shostakovich
The Delta Piano Trio perform Piano Trios by Auerbach and Shostakovich
next review Article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here