Local Current Blog

Brian Laidlaw to release unique album/book combination with Nov. 20 show at the Walker Art Center

Local singer-songwriter Brian Laidlaw will release his new album on Nov. 20 at the Walker Art Center in a unique package of music that will also include a poetry book.

For the verse and music celebration, Laidlaw will perform pieces from his new multimedia project Amoritorium. Released by Paper Darts Press, the vinyl LP of songs has a corresponding set of poems in the liner notes. As part of the”Free Verse” series presented by the Walker and Rain Taxi Review of Books, Laidlaw will be joined onstage with Bay Area poet Gillian Conoley for a Q&A and to present a new collaborative piece. Conoley will also share poems and drawings from her new collection of text, Thousand Times Broken.

Inspired by the similarities between Bonnie and Clyde’s depression-era economy and today’s financial situation, Laidlaw began writing the music and poetry for the years-long project in 2008 during his first years in the MFA poetry program at the University of Minnesota. With funding from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board, Laidlaw got the support needed to record the album and create the poetry book, which together are meant to be a true art piece.

“Since the very outset of my writing life it’s been my hope to release these hybrid projects that are half poetry and half music,” Laidlaw said in a video interview about the piece. “This project, Amoritorium, is going to be the first one that actually happened.”

The free music and literary concoction is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20 on the Walker Art Center’s Cinema Stage.

Hailey Colwell is a journalism student at the University of Minnesota. She is a co-director of Theatre Corrobora.