David Cronenberg’s 1991 film inspired by William S. Burroughs’s hallucinatory novel owes a lot of its surrealist mood to its famous score—a collaboration between Howard Shore and Ornette Coleman. In this screening and live performance, saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Henry Threadgill summon Ornette’s spirit in otherworldly riffs and fevered tangents while Ensemble Signal evokes Shore’s shadowy orchestral textures.


Burroughs’s novel—an experimental, nonlinear set of vignettes about a junkie known sometimes as William Lee—was released in 1959, the same year as Coleman’s album The Shape of Jazz to Come, and the two artists both inhabited the same fringes. Listen closely to hear Coleman’s composition “Midnight Sunrise” from the album Dancing in Your Head. Burroughs was at the 1973 recording session.

“A fascinating, demanding, mordantly funny picture.”

Venue and Accessibility

1941 Broadway
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For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact [email protected] or 212.875.5375.

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Naked Lunch

Film with live orchestral accompaniment

Ornette Coleman: Tomorrow is the Question

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 7:30 pm Alice Tully Hall

Add to Calendar America/New_York Naked Lunch with Live Orchestral Accompaniment Lincoln Center Festival - A live performance of Coleman and Shore’s shadowy score brings new dimensions to Cronenberg’s hallucinatory film. Alice Tully Hall, 1941 Broadway, New York, NY 10023 Lincoln Center - Lincoln Center Festival false MM/DD/YYYY aho3e0k00zv7rk56sm4e178

Directed by David Cronenberg

Based on the novel by William S. Burroughs

Score by Howard Shore, Ornette Coleman

Ensemble Signal

Conductor Brad Lubman

Saxophone Ravi ColtraneHenry Threadgill

Bass Charnett Moffett

Drums Denardo Coleman

Performance Details

Runing Time: 2 hours and 5 minutes, with no intermission