Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet, among the most noted artistic pioneers of their generation, and major stars in their own musical constellations, have joined forces for the creation of “Landfall,” which receives its local premiere at Peak Performances, May 10 and 11.

A series of short, linked pieces inspired by weather and the destruction of Anderson’s archives stored in her Canal Street studio by Hurricane Sandy this past fall, “Landfall” was composed on a hyper violin and adapted to the string quartet. Marking the first collaboration between Anderson and Kronos, “Landfall,” was developed in workshops over the past several years. In order to realize her musical ideas for “Landfall,” Anderson designed software to elevate the harmonics and overtones from the noise floor, creating an instrument that breathes in a radically new way. The Kronos Quartet has adapted and built on this new musical language “so that electronics and traditional strings sing together,” according to Anderson. The performance’s theatricality is heightened by a beautifully illuminated screen designed with changing text periodically triggered by the musicians.

Performance Times

Friday, May 10 @ 7:30pm

Saturday, May 11 @ 8pm

Where To Go

The Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University is located at 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey 07043. Tickets are $15, and are available at the box office, www.peakperfs.org, or by calling 973-655-5112.

Charter bus service is provided from New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal – arcade on 41st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues – to the Alexander Kasser Theater ($10 per person, roundtrip) for all Saturday and Sunday performances. Bus reservations may be made by calling 973-655- 5112 or by visiting www.peakperfs.org. For train service, available only on weekdays, go online to www.njtransit.com or call 973-275-5555.

For restaurants close to the Alexander Kasser Theater, visit www.destinationmontclair.com.

Artist Bios

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.

In 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA which culminated in her 2004 touring solo performance “The End of the Moon”. Recent projects include a series of audio-visual installations and a high definition film, “Hidden Inside Mountains”, created for World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan. In 2007 she received the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for her outstanding contribution to the arts. In 2008 she completed a two-year worldwide tour of her performance piece, “Homeland”, which was released as an album on Nonesuch Records in June 2010. Anderson’s solo performance “Delusion” debuted at the Vancouver Cultural Olympiad in February 2010 and will continue to tour internationally into 2011. In 2010 a retrospective of her visual and installation work opened in Sao Paulo, Brazil and later traveled to Rio de Janiero. In 2011 her exhibition of all new work titled “Forty-Nine Days In the Bardo” opened at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. Anderson lives in New York City.

KRONOS QUARTET—David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)—has for nearly 40 years 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 one of the most celebrated and influential ensembles of our time, 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.

Integral to Kronos’ work is a series of long-running, in-depth collaborations with many of the world’s foremost composers, including Americans Terry Riley, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich; Azerbaijan’s Franghiz Ali-Zadeh; Poland’s Henryk Górecki; and Argentina’s Osvaldo Golijov. Additional collaborators from around the world have included Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man; the legendary Bollywood “playback singer” Asha Bhosle; Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq; Mexican rockers Café Tacuba; famed Azeri vocalist Alim Qasimov; and iconic American singer-songwriter, Tom Waits.

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. The quartet devotes five months of each year to touring, appearing in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, clubs, and festivals. Kronos is equally prolific on recordings, with a discography on Nonesuch Records including Pieces of Africa (1992), a showcase of African-born composers that simultaneously topped Billboard’s Classical and World Music lists; Nuevo (2002), a Grammy- and Latin Grammy–nominated celebration of Mexican culture; the 2003 Grammy-winner, Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite; and Floodplain (2009), spotlighting music from regions of the world riven by conflict.

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Landfall was commissioned by Peak Performances at Montclair State , NJ; Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park; Adelaide Festival, Australia; Barbican, London; Perth International Arts Festival, Australia; Stanford Live, Stanford University; and the University of Texas Performing Arts Center, Austin. This tour of Kronos Quartet is made possible by a grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The 2012/13 season is made possible in part by funds from: Association of Performing Arts Presenters; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Discover Jersey Arts; the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation; Alison and James T. Cirenza; and The Honorable Mary Mochary.
Photos by Susan Biddle and Zoran Orlic.