Kronos Quartet & Ghost Train Orchestra Collaborate Via The Music Of Moondog

[Cover photo of Ghost Train Orchestra, credit to Reuben Radding]

Kronos Quartet and Ghost Train Orchestra have released Songs And Symphoniques: The Music Of Moondog, a “collaborative re-imagining” of the music of Moondog, out now through Cantaloupe Music.

Two singles and videos that have been previously revealed include Marissa Nadler’s take on “High On A Rocky Ledge (feat. Marissa Nadler)” and “Why Spend A Dark Night With You? (feat. Joan As Police Woman)

Moondog (Louis Hardin), was an eccentric blind musician who was ever-present on Sixth Avenue in New York City in the middle of the 20th century, decked out in “Viking regalia” while busking, reading poetry or selling his sheet music. Most people would never guess that he was an inspiration to Phillip Glass and Steve Reich, who referred to him as “the godfather of minimalism.”

The album was initially conceived as a collaboration between Brooklyn-based Ghost Train Orchestra and the Kronos Quartet, but quickly expanded to include numerous guest vocalists, including Marissa Nadler, Rufus Wainwright, Jarvis Cocker, Joan As Police Woman, Petra Haden, Karen Mantler, Sam Amidon and Aofie O’Donovan, and Brian Carpenter.

The release includes extensive liner notes and archival photos chronicling Moondog’s history and the making of the recording, featuring an in-depth interview with Kronos Quartet’s David Harrington and Ghost Train Orchestra’s Brian Carpenter moderated by Moondog scholar Irwin Chusid. Tickets are on sale now for the concert “Ghost Train Orchestra Plays Moondog” at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY.

Kronos Quartet, photo credit to Lenny Gonzalez

Track list for Songs And Symphoniques: The Music Of Moondog

01 Theme 3:52 

02 Be A Hobo (feat Rufus Wainwright) 3:45 

03 High On A Rocky Ledge (feat Marissa Nadler) 4:33 

04 Caribea 2:04 

05 Why Spend a Dark Night with You (feat Joan As Police Woman) 3:38 

06 Enough About Human Rights (feat Karen Mantler) 3:41 

07 I’m This, I’m That (feat Jarvis Cocker) 3:41 

08 Speak of Heaven 4:20 

09 The Viking of 6th Avenue 5:31 

10 Down Is Up (feat Petra Haden) 1:26 

11 Coffee Beans (feat Karen Mantler) 4:10 

12 Behold (feat Sam Amidon and Aoife O’Donovan) 3:40 

13 Choo Choo Lullaby (feat Brian Carpenter) 3:26 

14 Fog On The Hudson 1:19 

15 See The Mighty Tree (feat Petra Haden) 1:24 

16 Bumbo 5:17 

17 All is Loneliness (feat Joan As Police Woman) 6:13