Songs and Symphoniques: The Music of Moondog Ghost Train Orchestra & Kronos Quartet

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  • Moondog (1916 - 1999):
  • 1Moondog: Theme03:52
  • 2Moondog: Be A Hobo (feat. Rufus Wainwright)03:45
  • 3Moondog: High On A Rocky Ledge04:32
  • 4Moondog: Caribea02:03
  • 5Moondog: Why Spend a Dark Night with You? (feat. Joan As Police Woman)03:37
  • 6Moondog: Enough About Human Rights (feat. Karen Mantler)03:40
  • 7Moondog: I’m This, I’m That (feat. Jarvis Cocker)03:41
  • 8Moondog: Speak of Heaven04:20
  • 9Moondog: The Viking of 6th Avenue05:30
  • 10Moondog: Down Is Up (feat. Petra Haden)01:25
  • 11Moondog: Coffee Beans (feat. Karen Mantler)04:09
  • 12Moondog: Behold (feat. Sam Amidon and Aoife O'Donovan)03:39
  • 13Moondog: Choo Choo Lullaby (feat. Brian Carpenter)03:26
  • 14Moondog: Fog On The Hudson01:19
  • 15Moondog: See The Mighty Tree (feat. Petra Haden)01:24
  • 16Moondog: Bumbo05:17
  • 17Moondog: All is Loneliness (feat. Joan As Police Woman)06:13
  • Total Runtime01:01:52

Info zu Songs and Symphoniques: The Music of Moondog

On "Songs and Symphoniques: The Music of Moondog," Ghost Train Orchestra teams up with the trailblazing Kronos Quartet to celebrate and reimagine the music of Louis Hardin, aka Moondog, the ground-breaking composer and poet who lived on the streets of New York City in the 50s and 60s, and influenced the minimalists Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Terry Riley. A blind composer who moved from Kansas to New York City and built his own instruments and mythology, Moondog's story and music continue to be an inspiration to many.

Born in Kansas to an Episcopalian minister and largely self-taught as a composer, Moondog wrote dozens of beautiful songs, madrigals, and symphonies which drew inspiration from classical, jazz, Native American music, Latin American music, and Indian ragas. Blinded as a teenager, he moved to New York City in the late 40s and lived there until 1972, during which time he was often found on 6th Avenue appearing in a cloak and horned helmet by thousands of passersby and residents unaware of his musical career. He became an underground folk hero in New York City after he signed with Columbia and released his 1969 record Moondog. He moved to Germany in the 70s and lived there until his death in 1999.

Ghost Train Orchestra and Kronos Quartet recorded before and during the pandemic to bring to life new vivid arrangements of Moondog’s music by musical director Brian Carpenter and members of Ghost Train Orchestra Matt Bauder, David Cossin, Curtis Hasselbring, Andy Laster, and Maxim Moston. These new arrangements provide a new vision into the world of Moondog, expanding the darkness, beauty, and humor in the original pieces (in some cases originally written for solo piano and newly arranged for orchestra.)

Songs and Symphoniques combines brilliant instrumentals with beautiful songs and madrigals featuring a diverse cast of guest vocalists including Sam Amidon and Aoife O’Donovan, who had previously collaborated with Carpenter on Kronos’ Long Time Passing (2019), Joan Wasser and Karen Mantler, both of whom performed with Ghost Train Orchestra in NYC prior to the recordings, Marissa Nadler, Jarvis Cocker of Pulp fame, acclaimed singer and songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and the extraordinary vocalist Petra Haden, known for her striking a cappella works.

Kronos Quartet:
David Harrington, violin
John Sherba, violin
Hank Dutt, viola
Sunny Yang, cello
Ghost Train Orchestra:
Brian Carpenter, trumpet, harmonica, vocals
Andy Laster, alto saxophone, flute
Dennis Lichtman, clarinet
Matt Bauder, bass clarinet, tenor, baritone saxophones
Sara Schoenbeck, bassoon
Curtis Hasselbring, trombone, guitar
Ron Caswell, tuba
Brandon Seabrook, guitar
Chris Lightcap, bass
Rob Garcia, drums
David Cossin, marimba, percussion
Maxim Moston, violin
Colin Stetson, bass saxophone

Guests: Sam Amidon, Jarvis Cocker, Petra Haden, Karen Mantler, Marissa Nadler, Aoife O'Donovan, Rufus Wainwright, and Joan Wasser

Ghost Train Orchestra
is a large ensemble based in Brooklyn and founded by Brian Carpenter in 2006. The group is known for their unique re-imaginings of under-appreciated and often obscure composers. They have recorded and performed extensively in NYC and beyond. They have released four albums, each one critically acclaimed for its originality and vision. Ghost Train Orchestra is currently at work on a fifth record in collaboration with Kronos Quartet reimagining the music of Louis Hardin aka Moondog, the NYC street performer and poet who wrote hundreds of beautiful and haunting madrigals and symphonies.

Kronos Quartet
For more than 40 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet – David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello) – has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagine the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world’s most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than 60 recordings, collaborating with many of the world’s most intriguing and accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning over 900 works and arrangements for string quartet. Kronos has received over 40 awards, including the Polar Music and Avery Fisher Prizes, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians.

Integral to Kronos’ work is a series of long-running collaborations with many of the world’s foremost composers, including Americans Terry Riley, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich; Azerbaijan’s Franghiz Ali-Zadeh; Russia’s Vladimir Martynov; Poland’s Henryk Górecki; and Serbian-American Aleksandra Vrebalov. Additional collaborators have included Wu Man, Laurie Anderson, Tanya Tagaq, Mahsa Vahdat, Trevor Paglen, Van Dyke Parks, múm, Dawn Upshaw, Noam Chomsky, Tom Waits, Asha Bhosle, Taraf de Haïdouks, and Howard Zinn.

On tour for five months per year, Kronos appears in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, clubs, and festivals. Kronos is equally prolific and wide-ranging on recordings, including the Grammy- and Latin Grammy-nominated Nuevo (2002) and the 2004 Grammy-winner Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite. Kronos’ most recent releases include the One Earth, One People, One Love: Kronos Plays Terry Riley box set; Folk Songs, which features Sam Amidon, Olivia Chaney, Rhiannon Giddens, and Natalie Merchant singing traditional songs; and Ladilikan, a collaborative album with Trio Da Kali, a “super-group” of Malian griot musicians assembled by Aga Khan Music Initiative.

The nonprofit Kronos Performing Arts Association manages all aspects of Kronos’ work, including the commissioning of new works, concert tours and home season performances, education programs, and a self-produced Kronos Festival. In 2015, Kronos launched Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, an education and legacy project that is commissioning—and distributing for free—the first learning library of contemporary repertoire for string quartet.

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