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Floodplain cover art

Track Listing

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1Ya Habibi Ta'ala (My Love, Come Quickly) (Midhat Assem, arr. O. Golijov & Kronos)2:57
2Tashweesh (Interference) (Ramallah Underground, arr. Kronos & J. Garchik)3:21
3Wa Habibi (Beloved) (Trad., arr. S. Prutsman)3:10
4Getme, Getme (Don’t Leave, Don’t Leave) (Said Rustamov, arr. A. Qasimov, string arr. J. Garchik)12:04
5Raga Mishra Bhairavi: Alap (Ram Narayan, arr. Kronos, transc. Ljova)7:02
6Oh Mother, the Handsome Man Tortures Me (Unattrib., arr. Ljova & Kronos)3:01
7Mugam Beyati Shiraz (Rahman Asadollahi, arr. Kronos, transc. Ljova)9:22
8Lullaby (Trad., arr. Kronos & J. Garchik)4:08
9Nihavent Sirto (Tanburi Cemil Bey, arr. S. Prutsman)3:16
10Kara Kemir (Kuat Shildebaev, arr. Kronos)4:23
11Tèw semagn hagèré (Listen to Me, My Fellow Countrymen) (Alèmu Aga, arr. J. Garchik)4:02
12... hold me, neighbor, in this storm ... (Aleksandra Vrebalov)21:46

News & Reviews

  • Watch: Kronos Quartet Celebrates 40th Anniversary at WQXR's The Greene Space in New York

    Nonesuch Records marked Kronos Quartet's 40th anniversary year with two releases this month: the Kronos Explorer Series five-CD box set and a new album, A Thousand Thoughts. As a highlight of its anniversary season, Kronos was in NYC to perform at Carnegie Hall late last month and was the subject of a marathon stream of music and tributes on Q2 Music, the online new-music station from WQXR. The event culminated in a live, performance by Kronos Quartet from The Greene Space at WQXR, which you can watch here.

  • "Kronos Explorer Series" Box Set & "A Thousand Thoughts" Out Now on Nonesuch Records

    Nonesuch celebrates Kronos Quartet, long known as interpreters of music from around the world, in its 40th anniversary year with two releases: Kronos Explorer Series, a box set of five classic albums from five different parts of the world, and A Thousand Thoughts, a new album that looks at Kronos’s geographically wide-ranging sources, featuring music from 14 different countries. Both are out today in North America (international release April 21). Kronos continues its anniversary celebration at the Switchboard Music Festival in its hometown of San Francisco this Saturday.

About this Album

London's Evening Standard recently declared, “Kronos's ears have always been open to extraordinary sounds of the world.” On Floodplain, the Quartet explores work from the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe with original arrangements of traditional music and newly commissioned pieces. There's vintage pop from Egypt, folk from Azerbaijan, electronica from a Palestinian music collective, and an ambitious piece from Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov that has the contemplative grace of a Górecki masterwork.

Floodplains are extremely fertile tracts of land that border rivers, and many have been settled for millennia. The album was inspired by the idea that floodplains—which are prone to devastating flooding—will experience new life after a catastrophe, just as cultures that undergo great difficulty will experience creative fertility.

Kronos’ artistic director and founder David Harrington says, “Floodplain was imagined and recorded during one era in American politics, and then released during a very different one. Our work is a continuously evolving interaction with the world we are a part of, and we are always trying to find ways to reflect what it means to be musicians today.”

As journalist Anastasia Tsioulcas writes in Floodplain’s liner note, “Kronos Quartet has always been interested in exploring music of our time—not just work that is aesthetically current, or even necessarily contemporaneous with our era, but music that creates a dialogue with our collective concerns and issues.”


Kronos Quartet:
David Harrington, violin; shruti box (5), solo violin (7), duo dunia (11), gusle (12)
John Sherba, violin; solo violin (9), duo dunia (11), tapan (12)
Hank Dutt, viola; solo viola (5), tambourine (6), kina cha viola (11)
Jeffrey Zeigler, cello; solo cello (10), beguèna maridhia (11)

Jamie Papish, riqq (1), darbukka (9)
Alim Qasimov Ensemble (4): Alim Qasimov, vocal and daf; Fargana Qasimova, vocal and daf; Rafael Asgarov, balaban; Rauf Islamov, kamancha; Ali Asgar Mammadov, tar; Vugar Sharifzadeh, naghara
Terry Riley, tambura (5)
Wu Man, electric sitar (5)

Produced by David Harrington
Co-produced by Scott Fraser
Recorded August 2007–October 2008 at Architecture, Los Angeles, CA
Engineered by Scott Fraser
Track 4 recorded live on September 26, 2008, at the Ramadan Nights festival at the Barbican Centre, London, UK. Festival produced by Serious and the Barbican in collaboration with the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Recording engineered by Adam Withford
Track 5 drone: Cello, electric sitar, shruti box and tambura recorded August 2006 at Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, CA. Produced by Judy Sherman. Engineered by Scott Fraser. Assistant Engineer: Dann Thompson.
Track 11 recorded October 2008 at Whip Records, Berkeley, CA. Assistant engineer: David Landon. Instruments designed and constructed by Walter Kitundu.
Track 12: Tapan provided courtesy of Warren Casey and Wicked Tinkers. Vocal sample from “Ezani Muhammedi” by Ismail Bülbül, from the album Mevlid-i Serif, (P) 1993 Uzelli Kaset San.
Album mixed and mastered by Scott Fraser and David Harrington at Architecture

Art direction and design by Frank Olinsky
Cover: Ingo Gunther
Photograph of Kronos by Jeppe Gudmundsen-Holmgreen

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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