Music Program

Saturday, February 12, 1977


Presented at:

Artists Tony Conrad, Paul Lemberg, and Robert Longo present a multi-media opera entitled Buffalo Is An Island as part of the Snow Show.

"'We’re coming together because of the weather.' Nothing could be more characteristic of Hallwalls than this deliberately understated rallying of the troops, which was issued in a line of small type on a modest handbill announcing the Snow Show. Hallwalls mounted this exhibition in response to the blizzard of January/February 1977 and its sequel, a protracted deep freeze. While President Carter’s son Chip had to be dispatched to Buffalo in order to pressure the state to pledge emergency aid, a self-consciously banal—but, thanks to its rhyme, somewhat catchy—call to arms was all that Hallwalls needed to make good on its cancelled programme. Fifty-five undeterred artists came together to transform areas of Hallwalls into variations on either the blighted snowed-in home or the tropical paradise, an ostensibly glorious alternative to the alternative space. The show opened with the premiere of a new opera co-created by [Robert] LongoPaul Lemberg, and Tony Conrad, an experimental musician and video artist who taught at UB. Speculating on the piece, which was called Buffalo is an Island, [Charles] Clough deadpanned, 'I expect it will come off as a comic opera…I don’t see how it can’t.’"

~ Sarah Evans, "There's No Place Like Hallwalls: Alternative-space Installations in an Artists' Community," Oxford Art Journal, 32.1, 2009, page 114, Oxford University Press.

[Sarah Evans's source was in turn, Nancy Tobin Willig, ‘Snow Show Blows in at Hallwalls,' Buffalo Courier Express, 12 February 1976.]