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.