Image: A man clings to the top of a vehicle before being rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard from the flooded streets of New Orleans, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, in Louisiana September 4, 2005. Image copyright Reuters. Photography by Robert Galbraith


Katrina Ballads is inspired by the tragic events and devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, September 2005.

Featuring vocalists and ensemble, Katrina Ballads uses entirely primary-source texts to paint a musical portrait of that chaotic and telling week. Setting the words of flood survivors, relief workers, politicians and celebrities, including President Bush and Kanye West, Ted Hearne (US) creates a cutting-edge musical experience that is a vivid look into America’s darkest hours.

The music is rhythmic, theatrical and American to the core, with an edgy post-minimalist drive and a deep jazz influence.

Katrina Ballads is accompanied by a devastating and haunting film by renowned filmmaker Bill Morrison that manipulates news clips and source footage into a visual world that is undulating, textured and highly narrative.

Katrina Ballads features composer, vocalist and conductor Ted Hearne, Isaiah Robinson (US) and Ron Wiltrout (US).

This performance is presented by FAC and Perth International Arts Festival and is part of FAC’s Soft Soft Loud series. It is an Australian exclusive.

Artistic Director: Matt Hoy