Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet’s Landfall will be released on Nonesuch Records on February 16, 2018. The piece, which was inspired by Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, is the first collaboration between the iconic storyteller/musician and the groundbreaking string quartet, who perform together on the recording. Landfall juxtaposes lush electronics and strings with Anderson’s powerful descriptions of loss, from water-logged pianos to disappearing animal species to Dutch karaoke bars.
The Washington Post calls it “riveting, gorgeous.” Pre-order to download a track now and get a limited-edition print autographed by Laurie Anderson.
Having traveled to and experienced first hand the rich music landscape of Tennessee last year (Memphis and Nashville) I find it just and fitting that Knoxville is the host community for the innovative Big Ears Festival, 2016.
The Big Ears Festival is a dynamic, interactive experience that explores connections between musicians and artists, crossing all musical genres while interfacing with film, performance and the visual arts.
I think the 2016 festival is quite eclectic. I especially like that Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson are performing together. For those with avant-garde tastes you have Anthony Braxton in attendance as both the Anthony Braxton Trio and the Anthony Braxton Tentet+1.
Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music, composer John Luther Adams will serve as Composer-in-Residence for the 2016 edition of the internationally acclaimed Big Ears Festival, taking place in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.
The memorial took place 50 days after Lou Reed’s death on Oct. 27, Laurie Anderson explained, at the end of the 49 days of what Tibetan Buddhists call the bardo, a transitional state after death.
The memorial gave witness to some of Lou’s notable friends/collaborators singing the songs of the Velvet Underground and his solo career plus reading or performing tributes to him, including Patti Smith and her bandmate Lenny Kaye, Antony Hegarty, Debbie Harry(of Blondie), Paul Simon, John Zorn, Philip Glass, former Velvet Underground drummer Maureen Tucker, and others.
Maureen Tucker read a message from John Cale the keyboardist and violist that said, “Regardless of our differences, we never really drifted too far from what initially brought us together. I guess that’s what real friendship is, and I miss my friend.”
Patti Smith chose “Perfect Day” for what she called “Lou’s most poignant lyric”: “You made me forget myself/I thought I was someone else, someone good.”
Laurie Anderson noted that her husband wrote songs in single bursts. “He would wake up in the middle of the night and just write the song down and it was complete,” she said. “He never changed a word. He thought, ‘First thought, best thought.’
“There was never a single doubt that we loved each other beyond anything else, from the time when we first met until the moment he died,” Laurie Anderson said. “Almost every day we said ‘you are the love of my life,’ or some version of that in one of our many private, and somewhat bizarre languages. We knew exactly what we had, and we were beyond grateful.”
(Pictures courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan and the Lou Reed Website.)
Laurie Anderson continues to break through to new plateaus in the artistic landscape where art meets technology defined by minimalism and expression.
I recall that in the early 80s I was just beginning my 30 year technology career as a programmer/analyst. I was looking for new musical horizons and intellectual influences. Laurie Anderson hit the music scene with “O Superman” and her début recording, Big Science. My music psyche gained a new dimensional level with the sounds and textures she created on our behalf
Her companion project is an art exhibition coördinated with the School of Visual Arts and Vito Schnabel. This will be the first exhibition of the Laurie Anderson’s paintings in New York. On display will be a new series of paintings that bring the scale of the theater onto the canvas. I hope we can get down to NYC to see her visual art on display.
MAY 12 – JUNE 23, 2012
126 LEROY ST NEW YORK, NY 10014
Painting is like improvising in music. Making these big gestures feels like playing the violin. So many of my projects lately have become screen based or extremely theoretical. I wanted the physicality and scale of painting. Making paintings is the closest I’ve come to making songs. Even though they take up a lot of room I love them as unwieldy things. Much of my work comes from the theater world where sets are enormous. In fact, these paintings seem a bit on the small side.
This week also brings another significant recognition of Anderson’s work: she has been named the first-ever distinguished artist-in-residence at EMPAC, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The residency provides Anderson with access to space, technology, and support for creative experimentation and brings her into ongoing dialogue with students and faculty at Rensselaer.
Laurie Anderson first came to EMPAC as a resident artist in 2009 to complete work on Delusion, a complex series of stories about longing, memory, and identity commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Elements of the piece are featured in Anderson’s latest album,Homeland, released on Nonesuch Records in June 2010. At EMPAC, Anderson was able to try new ideas and integrate the diverse, multidisciplinary elements of the work, including music, visuals, altered voices, and electronic puppetry. Based on the success of the extensive working relationship between Anderson and EMPAC, founding Time-Based Arts Curator Kathleen Forde and Director Johannes Goebel proposed this new opportunity.
“It’s such a great honor to be the first distinguished artist-in-residence,” says Anderson. “Working with the crack technical and production teams and having access to EMPAC’s spectacular spaces and resources is such a dream. I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity.”