Katrina Ballads Ted Hearne



release date: August 1, 2010

release date: August 1, 2010

Katrina Ballads is New York composer Ted Hearne’s hour-long dramatic song cycle inspired by the tragic events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. This work uses entirely primary-source texts to paint a rich musical portrait of that devastating and telling week in September 2005. Setting the words of flood survivors, relief workers, politicians and celebrities, including Anderson Cooper, Barbara Bush, Kanye West, and George W. Bush’s iconic “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” Hearne creates a cutting-edge musical experience and a vivid look into America’s darkest hours. The music is rhythmic, theatrical, and American to the core, possessing an edgy post-minimalist drive and a deep jazz influence. It is a moving performance, challenging us to remember and reflect upon our own history. In an article from the Los Angeles Review of Books, the author called it “creatively ambitious, genre-smashing music distinctive not only for its attention to topical issues, but also for its uncommon way of dealing with them.” Along with Time Out New York who simply categorized it as a "must-hear album."


  1. Prologue: Keeping Its Head Above Water

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

  3. Hardy Jackson: 8.30.05

  4. Interlude 1

  5. Dennis Hastert: 8.31.05

  6. Bridge To Gretna

  7. Anderson Cooper And Mary Landrieu

  8. Brownie, You're Doing A Heck Of A Job

  9. Interlude 2

  10. Barbara Bush: 9.5.05

  11. Kanye West: 9.2.05

  12. Ashley Nelson