Experimental performance artist, Laurie Anderson, may not be widely known in Australia but, since launching her career in 1980 with the hit single O Superman, she has released a dozen albums and built a respected reputation for her creative use of multimedia and technology in her music.
The Grammy award-winning Kronos Quartet celebrate 40 years in the business this year, featuring David Harrington and John Sherba on violins, Hank Dutt on viola, and Jeffrey Zeigler on cello. Like Anderson, they have earned a reputation for exploring the boundaries in their chosen field.
The combination of these two forces was nothing short of stunning. Featuring Anderson’s distinctive style, the one-night only concert blended multimedia with amazing soundscapes and Anderson’s quirky but profound spoken word poetry.
Streaks of plain light crisscrossed the stage while the backdrop displayed gliding, jumping and sometimes frantic text that conflicted with the dulcet tones of Anderson’s gentle voice. The Quartet took centre stage while Anderson stood to their side, playing electronic violin and keyboards while manipulating the technological presentation. The music varied from sweet melancholy to discordant sounds that somehow represented Hurricane Sandy as it blew through New York, and it was all done in Anderson’s inimitable style that one either loves or hates.
As one of the former, who has followed Anderson’s work for almost 20 years, she continues to prove herself ageless, just as the Kronos Quartet remain as intriguing and gifted today as they were when I first discovered them almost 15 years ago.
Landfall was a much anticipated night to remember that did not disappoint.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis, Performing Arts Critic, Glam Adelaide.
Venue: Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Duration: 80 minutes
Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg