On February 19th in New York and February 27th in Los Angeles, Dirty Projectors will present The Getty Address in full. They will be assisted by the 15-piece contemporary music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, conducted by Alan Pierson in an arrangement by Matt Marks. In addition, they will play a set of material from their most recent album, Bitte Orca.
The New York show will take place at the Lincoln Center as part of the acclaimed American Songbook series. Since it was launched in 1998, American Songbook at Lincoln Center has been dedicated to celebrating the achievements of American popular song from the turn of the 20th century to the present.
In Los Angeles, Dirty Projectors will co-headline the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The concert will be a collaborative endeavor: the first half of the program features the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing Philip Glass’ Prelude from Akhnaten and Maurice Ravel’s Suite from Mother Goose, chosen by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors. The Getty Address will be presented during the second half of the program.
The New York show is sold out; tickets to the Los Angeles show at Disney Hall are still available.
Broad popular acclaim notwithstanding, The Getty Address is kind of like the 36 Chambers of indie rock, or at least of Dirty Projectors’ long, weird back catalog. Its unsettling mix of jokes, high concept and existential urgency plays out over heavy sequenced beats, choirs of women and orchestral arrangements that sound as if they’ve been sourced from a Jodorowsky film. The story it tells — roughly about a guy named Don Henley who falls in love with a girl named Sacagawea — is set in a bed of free association, arcane symbology, and hermetic self-reference. At the time of its release in 2005, it did not garner a great deal of attention, although it has acquired a small cult following in the intervening years.