Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson collaborate on radical new work, February 1 and 2

Monday, January 7, 2013

CONTACT: Sarah Snyder
(301) 405-8151

January 4, 2012College Park, MD – Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson join their distinct personalities and musical styles in Landfall: Scenes From My New Novel, a new work that combines text and music in a radical way on February 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center’s Kay Theatre. The Clarice Smith Center is one of several arts supporting organizations commissioning the work.

The artists will offer a Talk Back following the February 1 performance.

About Landfall: Scenes from My New Novel

Composed by Laurie Anderson, Landfall: Scenes From My New Novel offers a riveting interplay between text and music. Through the use of the custom-built software program, Wordjam, instruments are able to initiate language within the piece. Additionally, the conflict between spoken and written text fractures the stories and creates a polyphonic structure. As Anderson articulates, “These are stories with tempos.”

She also notes, “Much of the music is generated from software we designed for the viola. It creates harmonies and delays that are then interpreted and expanded by Kronos. Working with them, experiencing their exquisite musicianship, has been a thrill and a privilege.

About Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned — and daring — creative pioneers. She is best known for her multimedia presentations and innovative use of technology. As writer, director, visual artist and vocalist, she has created groundbreaking works that span the worlds of art, theater, and experimental music.

Her recording career, launched by “O Superman” in 1981, includes the soundtrack to her feature film “Home of the Brave” and “Life on a String” (2001). Anderson's live shows range from simple spoken word to elaborate multi-media stage performances such as “Songs and Stories for Moby Dick” (1999). Anderson has published seven books and her visual work has been presented in major museums around the world.

She is currently artist in residence at CAP in UCLA in Los Angeles and EMPAC in Troy, New York. Anderson lives in New York City and most recently appeared at the Center in her solo work Delusion during the 2010-2011 season.

About Kronos Quartet

For nearly 40 years, San Francisco's Kronos Quartet—David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, the Grammy-winning Kronos has become a celebrated and influential ensemble, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 45 recordings of extraordinary breadth, and commissioning more than 750 new works and arrangements for string quartet. In 2011, Kronos became the only recipients of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians.

A non-profit organization, the Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association is committed to mentoring emerging musicians and composers, and to creating, performing, and recording new works. Each season, Kronos works with selected young student composers within the UMD School of Music to create new works, refine the pieces for maximum musical impact and present initial readings of the works in a public event.

This year, second year DMA Composition students Alexandra (“Lexi”) Bryant, Jonathan Graybill and Joel Pierson traveled to San Francisco to work with Kronos on their compositions, shaping and refining their work for Kronos’s public performance at the Center on April 25 at 8 p.m.


More information can be found on our web site. Tickets for this performance are $50/$10 (Regular/Youth), and can be purchased online or by calling (301) 405-ARTS (2787).


This work is commissioned by Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park; Adelaide Festival, Australia; Barbican, London; The Office of Arts and Cultural Programming, Montclair State University, NJ; Perth International Arts Festival, Australia; Stanford Live, Stanford University; and the University of Texas Performing Arts Center, Austin. Additional project support was provided to the Kronos Performing Arts Association by the National Endowment for the Arts. This tour of Kronos Quartet is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment of the Arts.

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Learn more about the Clarice Smith Center's donor support.