Ted Hearne's "Katrina Ballads"

Email a Friend

Artists have long used their art as a means for taking a political stance: from Shostakovich's veiled attacks against tyranny particularly in his Symphony No. 5 to Picasso's Guernica, painted in response to the bombing of Guernica, Spain during the Spanish Civil War. On August 24 at (Le) Poisson Rouge, composer Ted Hearne speaks his political convictions through Katrina Ballads, a work based on the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Katrina which tore through the southeast United States in 2005.

An hour-long piece composed for five singers and 11 instrumentalists, the text for Katrina Ballads ranges from first-person testimonies of survivors, to Anderson Cooper's live interview with Senator Mary Landrieu to George W. Bush's infamous "Brownie, you're doing one heck of a job." Accompanied by a film created by Bill Morrison, Hearne and his musicians perform this Gaudeamus-Prize-winning work and celebrate its recent release on New Amsterdam Records on August 31, 2010, significant as it marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Listen to the entire concert from (Le) Poisson Rouge above or excerpts below, and don't forget to poke around the Q2 Live Concert archive for more exciting live performances at your fingertips. You can access Q2 24/7 through our pop-out audio player or iTunes.

(L)PR’s Technical Director is Richie Clarke and this concert was mixed by Bill Bowen.


Prologue: Keeping Its Head Above Water

When We Awoke, It Was To That Familiar Phrase: New Orleans Dodged A Bullet

Hardy Jackson: 8.30.05

Interlude 1

Dennis Hastert: 8.31.05

Bridge To Gretna

Anderson Cooper And Mary Landrieu: 9.1.05

Brownie, You're Doing A Heck Of A Job

Interlude 2

Barbara Bush: 9.5.05

Kanye West: 9.2.05

Ashley Nelson