Arthur's Landing is a group of musicians, all of whom worked at various times in various contexts with the late Arthur Russell, a cellist and composer from Iowa who lived on the Lower East Side for most of the later part of his too-short life.
Russell brought together the worlds of dance, pop, and folk with that of downtown's new music, and fused Western and Eastern musical traditions, driven by his engagement with Buddhist thought and practice. He collaborated often with Allen Ginsberg, and Phillip Glass was also an early mentor.
Characteristic of Russell's method was his tendency to work hard and long, and he rarely considered anything finished. What was his unending pursuit of the ineffable becomes a challenge and inspiration for the Arthurs Landing ensemble. It is hard to resist the ambition and humor behind compositions with titles like Temple of Meaning, Terrace of Intelligibility, and Hop on Down to Petland. Russell is the focus of the feature-length 2008 documentary directed by Matt Wolf, Wild Combination. A biography by Tim Lawrence, Hold Onto Your Dreams, is due out in 2009.