Dec 28, 2010

Double Treat

"The time in 'Flow' is very odd - instead of bars, you'll wait seven beats until the next phrase and it's kind of, "Woah, what time signature is that in." It's in the time signature of regret or something, sort of flowing."
(Laurie Anderson on her Grammy-nominated violin piece 'Flow')

1. Listen to Mike Ragogna's interview with Laurie Anderson, recorded from KRUU-FM (broadcasting from Fairfield, Iowa):

  • part one (audio length: 13 mins 57 secs, file size: 19.2 MB)

  • part two (audio length: 14 mins 21 secs, file size: 19.7 MB)

[note: songs edited out]

2. Read the transcript in the Huffington Post.

Dec 27, 2010

Apocalyptic Angel in the Palace of Arts

"We do try to help each other. Lou has helped me a lot. Particularly in this show, Homeland - he has come to a lot of rehearsals and made some really great suggestions to the musicians. He's really-really good at that. I really am listening. I'm really listening. Because he knows me... totally."
(Laurie Anderson on her then-husband-to-be, 2007)

Hungarian national tv (MTV - not that one, of course) has made an interview with Laurie Anderson in June 2007, during her stay in Budapest. She was talking about the 'Homeland' concerts, the importance of improvising, mental states and Lou Reed. (The epitheton ornans in the title is taken from a really great Hungarian essay by J. A. Tillmann.)

(Erm.... Mnemosyne is kinda in a spot since the article has been written in such elaborate Hungarian that Google Translator simply gives it up half of the time...)

Dec 25, 2010

Musical Canine Classification

"This summer, a few months ago, I was directing a big music festival in Sydney and I said "okay, we're gonna invite a lot of people, all my favourite musicians from all around the world - Mongolian throat singers, rock bands, symphonies, blues guys" - a crazy mixture. And I said "I wanna do some music for dogs", and they said "okay, fine, fine". We thought maybe couple hundred dogs would show up... thousands of dogs showed up! All on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. [...]
I had the best time of my life. Also the dogs - they had been told for a week "you're going to a show", they were all very excited because they'd been having this preparation from their owners going "it's gonna be music for you and you're gonna love it", so when they got there, their tails were like...


... You know, a lot of people say their dogs like classical music - for the same reason they say their children do because they [fall] asleep and it's very convenient when they're just...


... but there were a lot of rocker dogs that went like...


... Well, a lot of [the music] was frequencies upward, dogs love the high stuff but dog trainers said "don't play the super high stuff because you don't know what's gonna happen with that many dog"... My favourites were the dogs who were in the front row, the droolers, they were just looking up at the stage like...


... they were so sweet! And a lot of people brought their very old dogs... in carriages, dogs with one leg... it was a magic thing for me because I love animals and I love music. What it was it's just a new kind of music and a new kind of event."

[Stills of and quotes from Laurie Anderson, as seen / heard at Garantat 100%]

Laurie at AndrewAndrew Again

If you've ever wondered if Laurie Anderson is a fan of any mainstream hip hop / pop song, the answer is here for ya; hidden in the following hilarious post-Hanukkah / pre-Christmas chat between Laurie and AndrewAndrew on East Village Radio.

You can listen to the whole conversation in one on EVRadio's website, or in three parts, cut / edited by Mnemosyne:


Part one's topics: colored "photographs" from outer space, folding chairs and architecture (São Paulo, Matthew Barney, male architects and phallic symbols, Frank Gehry, Manhattan's 1930s quaintness, etc). A super fun part of the chat was the following:

AA: What'd they say about Lincoln Center? They said it was like a gas station, a fancy gas station.
LA: They said it was something that Mussolini ordered over the phone.
AA: [laughter] Oh, that's fantastic. Mussolini ordered over the phone.
LA: Yeah. Gimme, er, something kind-of boxy and white and, I don't know, glitzy, little bit of sparkles...
AA: It's sort of fascist, when you look at the columns, and the symmetric...
LA: I know, yes, it is.
AA: It's like an Apple store almost.
LA: You are right that Lincoln Center materials are very Mac-like. They're really smooth and slippery, and kind-of little bit of rounded...
AA: It's seductive... and also stand-offish.
LA: Yeah. Exactly.
AA: There's something in that Mac stores are beautiful, they're simple, and you wanna be a part of this culture but you know you're not a part of that culture.
LA: Right. You're wearing the wrong clothes for that.
AA: Yes. It's aspirational. It's kinda like a night club. Like, "no-no, let me in, I'm cool".


Topics of part two: Laurie's first time of getting a non-geek Grammy nomination (i. e. not for producing / engineering an album / song), the chair and the projections in 'Delusion', Himalayan art at Rubin Museumtalking about nothing with Charles Seife, multiple universes and the Quantum Suicide Test, Candide, the most photographed barn in the world (see Don Delillo's 'White Noise'), top popes / co-popes / Poperdose / The Sane Pope / "maybe we're all exactly the same pope"... and 'Flow', Laurie's Grammy-nominated violin piece:

AA: We're gonna play 'Flow', it's off of 'Homeland'.
LA: It's on 'Homeland'. Didn't come off of it. It's still on it.
AA: And this is the particular track... although the whole album is quite good.
LA: [in mock relief] Thank you. It's the afterthought track. I wasn't gonna put that on [the album]... It's kind-of... the encore. It's a quizzical thing. It's gonna be in the new Julian Schnabel film a lot. It's called 'Miral'. It's a movie about four generations of female Palestinian terrorists. Really difficult... fantastic. Really brave movie... tough topic.


Topics in part three: 'Ice Ice Baby', the Secret Vatican Disco, beat poets, alternatives to Wal-Mart, 'Capitalist Realism''Baader-Meinhof Komplex' and terrorists today, Bill Ayers...

LA: A lot of underground people and a lot of radicals from the Sixties and Seventies really did have this idea of freedom and of freeing people and making [the world] a better place. This was not Bin Laden who's just a kind of a madman, really, and somebody whose ideal is not freedom. Ours is. I mean, we're from the Western side of the world, we come from the Greeks, they invented a lot of stuff and we thought those were some really great ideals, like, the individual should be free, so this place is built on [those ideals]. But you wouldn't know it now. You wouldn't recognize it now. It's scary.

... plus Lolabelle's Christmas record, and Laurie's concert for dogs in Sydney. Hint: you can get the record on request via Dogrelations' contact form!

Dec 22, 2010


Flow. Grammy. After-Valentine. Public Library. Delusion. Go. Listen. Read:

This time for real. (?) Along with photos.

Dec 21, 2010

Fenway Bergamot Sleeveface

Fenway Bergamot by Scarydan

... priceless! :) Along with Dan's personal reaction to 'Homeland'.

Dec 19, 2010

Rome Coverage

Click to the picture above for Mauro Fagiani's concert photos of Laurie Anderson's 'Delusion' in Rome, Italy, December 2010.

Plus Italian tv's reportage about Laurie Anderson's and Nina Hagen's recent performances in Rome:

Dec 16, 2010

Laurie Anderson in Garantat 100%

"I don't see any perfect way to tell a story."

"I think it would be good to have an artist-in-residence in the Supreme Court, the Congress, the White House... artists see the world differently than politicians."

"I try to be a good observer and see what's going on, and to mix that with fantasy."

"You're born with anger, too, and real rage, Shakespearean rage. A two-year-old has Shakespearean rage, they just can't express it."

"I'm not the kind of person who's going "please put me on your magazine cover because I want people to look at me". And the reason is that I'm a snob. I don't really care, actually. I came from the art world into the pop culture and I thought it was idiotic. Pop culture in America is made for ten-year-olds. Nothing against ten-year-olds, they should have their stuff. I came from another world where we thought "maybe let's make something for other people than ten[-year-olds]"."

[All quotes by Laurie Anderson, as heard in a conversation with Cătălin Ştefănescu in Romanian cultural talk show 'Garantat 100%']

Dec 13, 2010

"Forget the Message."

"If artists just had messages to deliver in a work of art, you could just write your message down, you wouldn't have to make your symphony, etc... Forget the message. It's just something that makes us go... TAAH!"
(Laurie Anderson, November 2010)

Watch the first video of Mnemosyne's own Youtube channel: it's the trailer for the Romanian cultural talk show 'Garantat 100%'. Laurie Anderson was a guest of the show during her stay in Bucharest, Romania in November 2010.

Concert Photography from Italia

Laurie Anderson in Firenze, Nov 2010
photo by Carlo Valentini

Laurie Anderson in Italy, 1988
Photo by Carlo Valentini

Hint: click to any of the photos for more Laurie Anderson concert portraits from Italy by photographer Carlo Valentini.

Dec 12, 2010

That's It!

By clicking to the picture below, watch a reportage of I in U, Laurie Anderson's retrospective exhibition, and her latest version of 'Duets on Ice' in São Paulo, Brazil...

...and get lost in the beauty of visuals and sounds. Video by Raphael Lupo and Adolfo Borges.

Three Quotes...

"The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) is a nonprofit US based organization founded in 1984 which aims to promote electro-acoustic music."

"The SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award acknowledges the important contributions of its recipients to the field of electro-acoustic music."

"We are pleased to announce that Laurie Anderson is the recipient of the 2011 SEAMUS Achievement Award. We look forward to welcoming her and all conference attendees to Miami soon!"
(The official site of the 26th Annual SEAMUS National Conference)

Möte med Laurie Anderson

"I'm thinking of shows like Oprah. They approach everything like something's wrong with you... Nothing's wrong with you. You're a human being [with] some things to figure out. [...] Fix yourself."
(Laurie Anderson, 2010) 

Click to the picture to (re-)watch Laurie Anderson talking about screaming and personality design, reaching out for help and oprahfication on the sofa of the set of 'Delusion' in Uppsala, Sweden, April 2010.

Dec 7, 2010

But It All Looks the Same.

"Look at all the things I've bought
I can't believe what they cost
Just a lot of plastic and numbers on my credit card"

iPhone-a-string @ Stanford
May 2010

Photo source: Flickr / livelyarts
Lyrics excerpts from 'Dark Angel' by Laurie Anderson

Dec 5, 2010

Now This Is What I Call Blind Luck.

Laurie Anderson at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland,
November 2010
photo source: ASP Katowice

(Hint: click to the picture for more photos.)

UPDATE: it's so digital... on-again, off-again

Endless, Colourful, Oppressive Dreams

Watch the third video from Estoril (this one's got a really great quality); Laurie Anderson talking about 21 years of sleeping, dreaming, Carl Jung, the power of words and the making process of the drawing dream diary 'Night Life'.

Dec 2, 2010

From Rome with Luv

(Auditorium Parco Della Musica in Rome, Italy, December 2010)

Grammy Flashback from 1984

While browsing the Grammy website for any mention of Laurie Anderson's nomination for Grammy 2011 (no success yet, by the way), I bumped into the following eye candy from 1984: along with Ray Davies, Laurie was the announcer for Best New Artist - the winner was Cyndi Lauper.

Grammy Nomination 2011

Nominees for Grammy 2011, Best Pop Instrumental Performance:

  • "Flow" by Laurie Anderson ('Homeland', 2010)
  • "Nessun Dorma" by Jeff Beck
  • "No Mystery" by Stanley Clarke
  • "Orchestral Intro" by Gorillaz
  • "Sleepwalk" by The Brian Setzer Orchestra


Dec 1, 2010

Intervista Laurie Anderson

"When economics goes down, art gets better. Because people improvise. [...] People will not stop making art, no way. They will make it in a different way. And it can be then exciting. [...] It will never disappear."
(Laurie Anderson on RAI TV, November 2010)

Click to the picture to watch a recent web exclusive interview with Laurie Anderson made for RAI TV in Firenze, Italy.

(Some tags for the impatient: Miracle in Milan. Balzac. Political-personal-mental delusion. Motivations. Politics = stories = acts of imagination. Invasion of words / language / music. Crying. Tyranny of the rectangle. The importance of teaching. Economics and art. Capitalist Realism. Inspiration from Lolabelle. Lolabelle's Christmas record. 1,000 chicken waiting for being named. Cows with open stomachs. "Children" with problems.)

Nov 26, 2010

'Transitory Life' in Bilbao

'Transitory Life' in Bilbao, Spain, last night:

(FYI: this video is available in HD, too - if you click to it more than once, it will direct you to the Youtube page)

Nov 25, 2010

I in U in the 'Metropolis'

"[...] To tell a story: this is really my art form, not technology."
(Laurie Anderson)

Brazilian cultural tv show 'Metropolis' featuring I in U / Eu em Tu:

Since the the Portuguese overdub was mixed to the left side and Laurie's voice on the right side in the stereo sound, I luckily managed to "extract" her voice and made a collage of the interview excerpts that had been made it o the show. They are sometimes disjointed, sometimes without end of sentences but, at least, listenable. She talks about how she feels being called a performance artist; making the paintings for the exhibition; Duets on Ice, Lou Reed's help in the making process of 'Homeland', Bob Dylan and politics:

Nov 24, 2010

Vapor. Lawyers. Calcium. Imbrication.

No idea what the heck those words in the title mean? They are part of a list of words that have never been used in a song lyrics so far. In that way, they are also part of Laurie Anderson's Music Therapy in which the therapee's task is to write lyrics using solely words that have never been used in a pop song lyrics before.

"I think failure is probably the thing that's taught me the most about what I want to do, so I really value the moments when things really completely fall apart."
(Laurie Anderson, 2005)

The citations above are from Youtube's latest video of Laurie Anderson (a truly epic one!) - a lecture she did as an artist-in-residence at the New School in New York City, 2005, originally aired as a webcast (hence the fragmented video stream). The lecture touched on subjects like the idea of space, using the right tools; rectangles, mental hospitals, different kinds of therapies for people who have been using too much technology, taboos like sleeping in public; night courts and the 'Institutional Dreams' series, the 'Life' project (where the live webcast image of a prisoner was projected into an art museum), the fake hologram and different points of view, Alexander the Great, turning points in Laurie Anderson's career, pieces of advice for beginner artists, separating art and politics, form and content; voyeurism, hiding in the spotlight on the stage, using the wrong sense, being an artist-in-residence at NASA, and so on.

(FYI: Contrary to the description of the video, it does not contain the screening of 'Hidden Inside Mountains', Laurie's HD movie made for the Japan EXPO.)

Videos from Estoril

(At least try to) watch Laurie Anderson reading an excerpt from Don Delillo's "Point Omega" in Estoril, November 2010:

Part II is a video of questions and answers:

The videos were posted by the blogger of A montanha mágica - by clicking to the url you can find another photo of the reading there.

Nov 22, 2010

Lots and Lots of Photos

... from I in U / Eu em Tu, Laurie Anderson's retrospective in São Paulo, Brazil, on Ana Viaja's blog.

Nov 21, 2010

"Like Fine Wine"

Read Cheryl Martlage's review of 'Delusion' in Florence, Italy (in English), along with a neat description of Laurie Anderson's art,  the specifically Italian atmosphere of the event, plus a stage photo and video.

"I dreamt that I was living in a billboard...

... and I was living there because the city had become so crowded that billboards were the only places left..."

This is the beginning of Laurie Anderson's introduction to the episode on Place of PBS's 'Art in the Twenty-First Century' documentary series where "artists explore the idea of place by questioning commonly held assumptions about land, home and national identity".

Watch the video for more Andersonesque pondering on, for example, how she uses places as jumping-off points in her art or why we fall in love with places.

Nov 20, 2010

Just Because It Was There #2

Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed in Groningen, November 2008
photo source: Reyer Boxem / Redux

Nov 19, 2010

"Anatomical Study of the Soul of Laurie Anderson"

A review of 'Delusion' in Firenze in the Italian Rolling Stone Magazine - thanks to Google, we can read the English translation of it. Also worth checking out the photo gallery along the article.

Nov 17, 2010

Another Unconventional Reading

What a coincidence: I have just found another recording of a public reading by Laurie Anderson - this time from the PEN event 2004 State of Emergency: Unconventional Readings. So, Dearreader, enjoy this old/new eight-minute-long treat, a free podcast from the PEN archive:

Nov 16, 2010

Una meditazione sulle parole e le cose, sulla vita e il linguaggio

Intoscana's report about the Italian premiere of 'Delusion' in Firenze (dubbed in Italian):

Nov 15, 2010

Goodness from Estoril

Last Sunday, Laurie Anderson did a public reading of excerpts of Don Delillo's new book 'Point Omega' in Portugal, as part of the Estoril Film Festival's closing ceremony. Unfortunately there's no audio recording of the event available but Carlos Vargas was so kind as to provide me with his photos from the reading:

Obrigado, Carlos!

(FYI: by clicking to the photos, they'll open big in a new window.)

For the Auditively Inclined

A recent ear candy for those who "would listen, enraptured, to Laurie Anderson read the phone book"*: listen to the podcast of American writer Hannah Tinti's short story "Milestones" read by Laurie Anderson as part of this week's 'Selected Shorts' programme on National Public Radio. The story was inspired by a Miles Davis piece of the same name.

* Yes, the source of the citation is the same as in the previous Delillo blog post: it's from a comment by an enthusiastic viewer named mytmyt, under the Youtube video of Laurie Anderson's part in 2004 Dramatic Reading of the U. S. Constitution. Amen again.

'Delusion' in Firenze

'Delusion' in Firenze, November 2010
photo by giagir / Flickr

For more photos of 'Delusion' in Firenze, click to giagir's album.

Nov 14, 2010

The Consequences of Crucifixion

A remake of a Laurie Anderson joke, told in 'Transitory Life', too:

(P. S.: Having heard this in Chorzów, I could not decide whether the laughter of the Polish audience was genuine or not... nevertheless, I found it hilarious)

Nov 13, 2010

Laurie Anderson Has Become an Internet Meme. Period.

Source: Muaddib734 on cheezburger.

Laurie Anderson in the Vitrine

Brazilian tv's reportage of I in U / Eu em Tu, Laurie Anderson's retrospective exhibition in São Paulo, along with descriptions of various works of art of Laurie by curator Marcello Dantas, plus interview excerpts with Laurie Anderson:

'Transitory Life' in Bucharest

Read here the English translation of Catavencu's blogger's Perfect Night with Laurie Anderson and 'Transitory Life' which left him near to...

'Belfast' and Laurie Anderson in Bucharest, Romania, Nov 2010

... speechless.

'Transitory Life' in Chorzów

Laurie Anderson's 'Transitory Life', Chorzów, Nov 2010
Photo by Adam Jędrysik /

Click here for more concert photos from Chorzów, Poland.

More from Florence

Italy luvs Laurie and that's alright. :)

Laurie Anderson in Florence, Italy, November 2010
Photo by Emanuel Anuvoli,

'Delusion' Debut in Italy: Florence

Laurie Anderson in Florence, November 2010
Photo by Guido Mannucci

Click here for a whole gallery of photos of today from Florence, Italy (source: la Repubblica FIRENZE).

Nov 12, 2010

Playing for the Genius of the Carpathians...

According to the English translation of this article in Romanian, Laurie Anderson once performed 'Duets on Ice' in front of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu. Ha!

Super Cranky Opening Act for Laurie Anderson

Last night in Bucharest, Romania. No comment needed :)

Laurie Anderson in Bucharest

The frantic instrumental beginning of 'Transitory Life' in Bucharest last night (yes, the sound is that overwhelming):

Nov 9, 2010

From Chorzów with Luv

Teatr Rozrywki in Chorzów, Poland

Nov 8, 2010

From Katowice with Luv

ASP Katowice, Poland

Signing off.

Nov 7, 2010

Overlapping Realities: or, Who the Hell Is the Body Artist and Why You Should Experience It

There exists a book titled 'The Body Artist',written by Don DeLillo. But what does this have to do with Files on a String?

  • First, Laurie Anderson herself has got some inclinations for "body art" (see page 109 of the Nerve Bible: 'What Is Body Art?'), mentioning that, in the late '70s, her work was described as (among others) "body art" or "performance art"

  • Amelia Jones writes about Laurie Anderson's body art at length in her book 'Body Art / Performing the Subject', page 32:

  • The body artist in the book's title is named Lauren (Hartke). She lives in New York.

  • In 'Body Time', Lauren's performance piece, there's an "anonymous robotic voice of a tele­phone answering machine delivering a standard announcement" featured prominently, as "sound accom­paniment".

  • Moreover, during the performance above, Lauren dramatically alters her (body and) voice and ends up at speaking in a male voice.

  • Laurie Anderson mentions the writer of the book, Don DeLillo in 'The Cultural Ambassador' (track 17 on 'The Ugly One with the Jewels and Other Stories').

  • Last but not least: in 2001, Laurie Anderson has recorded an unabridged audio version of the book*; it's entirely read by her; which means almost three hours** of pure treat for those who "would listen, enraptured, to Laurie Anderson read the phone book"***.

* Mnemosyne has got her copy from Ebay. Good luck.

** "Three f*cking hours. Why not four? Why not seven? Why not eight? she says" - sorry, I could not resist this citation from 'The Body Artist' by Don DeLillo, page 107.

*** comment by an enthusiastic viewer named mytmyt, under the Youtube video of Laurie Anderson's part in 2004 Dramatic Reading of the U. S. Constitution. Amen.

Oct 31, 2010

"The Real, the Unreal, and the Surreal"

Two fresh reviews of 'Delusion' at the Clarice Smith Performance Center in College Park, Maryland:

  • Woe Man, Woah Man's recent review compares the experience to "watching the unconscious open up and put on a play"

Sorry, I Could Not Resist This One

"This is me in my Halloween costume."

(Laurie Anderson in 'Talk Normal: A Lecture by Laurie Anderson', Tokyo 1987)
(the screen capture is actually from the video for 'Language Is a Virus' / Home of the Brave, 1984)

Making Something Is Really *Daring*

Australian writer / blogger Chris Boyd's interview with Laurie Anderson in three parts, on - amongst others - disembodiment, angels, elephants, the 'Homeland' performances as "back pocket shows" and the beauty of being an artist:
  1. "The lost art of conversation..."
  2. Homeland
  3. "when people say 'I know exactly what you're talking about!"

(Note: for me, the order of the interview parts somehow seems to have been reversed, that's why I put "part three" into the first place and so on.)

Oct 30, 2010

Salvador Espriu's Homeland

Trial Hymn in the Temple

by Salvador Espriu

Oh, how tired I am of my
craven old brutish land,
and how I’d like to get away from it
to the north,
where they say people are clean
and noble, learned, rich, free
wide-awake and happy.
Then, in the congregation, the brothers would say
disapprovingly: “Like a bird who leaves the nest
is that man who forsakes his place,”
while I, now far away, would laugh
at the law and ancient wisdom
of this, my arid village.
But I must never follow my dream
and I’ll stay here till I die.
For I’m craven and brutish too.
And what’s more I love, with a
desperate grief,
this my poor,
dirty, sad, unlucky homeland.

(As read by Laurie Anderson in 2008,
at the KOSMOPOLIS International Literature Fest / Made in CataluNYA.
Translation by Magda Bogin)

  • Read it here - along with the other Catalonian poems read by Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed and Patti Smith.

  • Listen to it - Mnemosyne's improvised piano accompaniment to Laurie Anderson's reading (audio length: 1 min 12 secs, file size: 1.1 MB).

Oct 29, 2010

Paul Klee, Free Association & 'Me'

It was August, summer of 82.
You had a rusty old car

And me

- I had nothing better to do.

We were goin' in circles.

And me

- I was just hanging on.

You did all the talking.

And me

- I didn't make a sound.

Weasel keeps hangin' on
Together forever

And me?

- I'm goin' in circles.

I've floated on an icecap with a white polar bear
I've floated up and down the golden stairs
I've seen whales and caught in sails all twiskeetwee

But me?

I don't say much.


It's your turn to walk along the runway road.

And me?

I sent my better self on ahead.


Some people know exactly where they're going
The pilgrims to Mecca
The climbers to the mountain top

But me,

I'm looking for just a single moment
So I can slip through time


1: Hot Pursuit / Paul Klee, 1939
2: Sinbad the Sailor / Paul Klee, 1923
3: Snake Paths / Paul Klee, 1934
4: Tightrope Walker / Paul Klee, 1923

Lyrics excerpts from
'Speechless (The Eagle and the Weasel)',
'The Island Where I Come From',
'One Beautiful Evening',
and 'Life on a String'
- all written by Laurie Anderson

Beauty of the World

The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize is "awarded to a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's enjoyment and understanding of life through performances on the stage or in films or in any other area of the performing arts, by writing or composing a book, libretto, score, composition or other artistic work to be used in the performing arts, by directing performances, plays or films, by conducting orchestras or recitals or who has designed a stage set, theater, concert hall, opera house or other artistic or architectural creation for use in the performing arts or through other fields of art such as architecture, painting, sculpture, poetry and literature. The recipient should by excelling in his or her field have served as a model and encouragement to all others who would follow in his or her path. It is [Lillian Gish's] desire, by establishing this prize, to give the recipients of the prize the recognition they deserve, to bring attention to their contributions to society and to encourage others to follow in their path".

In 2007, Laurie Anderson was the chosen one.

By clicking to the picture below, you can watch the video of the Gish prize ceremony honoring Laurie Anderson, along with appreciative words and performances from friends and fellow artists Marina Abramović and Philip Glass (among others). The video opens in a new window.

Laurie's acceptance speech starts at 36 minutes into the video. This article at CultureKiosque cites parts of her speech about untrue-but-good stories and NASA's ambitious long-time plans. At 47', there's an after-ceremony interview with the freshly honored Laurie Anderson.

Oct 28, 2010

Anderson Paints

"I have a very strong inner child."
(Laurie Anderson - as translated back from Portuguese)

Oct 27, 2010


I don't have any additional information on this photo, I stumbled upon it at random, photos from those heydays of casual collaborations around Europe seem to pop up so rarely (and, according to the description below, this one must have been pretty interesting), I just needed to share:

"1979 - Truus and Laurie Anderson collaborating at the Vleeshal in Vlissingen, The Netherlands,
at an incredible show organized by Michel Waisvisz that included cheese wheels dropped from planes and exploding manure littered seating for a finale"*
Photo by Dirk Stevesyns

* the source of the quote and the photo is this website

"Bafflingly Powerful Images"

Three random reviews of 'Homeland' from the recent past:

  • Making Contact - a lengthy description of Fenway Bergamot and a few words on the making process of 'Homeland' at Express Night Out

  • "akin to walking around with near-sightedness all your life and then being granted a pair of corrective lenses" - Emmanuel Hapsis at KQED Arts is thrilled by the album

Oct 26, 2010

More 'Delusion' Concert Photos

Laurie Anderson's 'Delusion' in Los Angeles, October 2010
Photo by Sung

... just found even more recent concert photos of 'Delusion', this time from UCLA, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, CA.

More Questions Than Answers

Jeff Moehlis gives quite a detailed description of Laurie Anderson’s Grand ‘Delusion’ in his review of the recent Santa Barbara performance, along with an extensive photo gallery of the event.

Laurie Anderson's 'Delusion' in Santa Barbara, October 2010
Photo by L. Paul Mann

Oct 24, 2010

Idiots Delight with Laurie Anderson

A "quiet, intimate, stimulating" chat between Laurie Anderson and radio host Vin Scelsa from 1995, along with the audio commentary by Vin Scelsa 11 years later. This is 'Idiot's Delight Redux' on WFUV Radio  (formerly on WXRK), nicely preserved in the radio station's internet archive. Back in April 1995, after the closing night of 'Nerve Bible' at the Neil Simon Theatre, Laurie went right into the studio for this conversation.

It's hilarious, it's neat, it's multilayered - a real gem; touching on such a wide range of subjects that it almost seems unuseful to list them here... Nevertheless, I mention just some of them: the pair of animal songs on Bright Red, how it felt to be a five-year-old, the story behind 'Duets on Ice', the Houdini-style photo shoot by Annie Leibowitz, Laurie Anderson as a cheerleader (!), what's worth risking your life for, John Cage, experimenting with silence on the radio, (unlike) Van Gogh, computer animation, 'Angel Fragments' ('Wings of Desire' soundtrack), and 'Hey ah', "another frozen north story" read by Laurie live from the Nerve Bible (originally appeared on United States Live). What more can I say - highly recommended.

Link kindly provided by Timeiswide - thank you, T.

Oct 21, 2010

The Hand in It

Laurie Anderson speaking about the importance of personality in a work of art in this video trailer for photographer Anderw Zuckerman's new album of musicians' portraits: MUSIC. (Andrew Zuckerman was the photographer of, amongst others, Fenway Bergamot's portrait that made it to the album cover of 'Homeland'. Judging from various discernible details, the video might have been made at the time of the shooting of this this photo.)

Oct 18, 2010

A Bunch of Recent Conversations

Eat. Sleep. Read. Enjoy.

  • Dreams and 'Delusions' - Bob Goepfert's interview with "one of the most successful artists most people don’t know" on TroyRecord

  • The Sunday Conversation: Laurie Anderson - Irene Lacher's conversation with the "irrepressible globetrotter" in the LA Times; on 'Delusion', I in U / Eu em Tu, Bob Dylan, pushing buttons, playing music for dogs and more.

Laurie Anderson and Lolabelle
Photo by Carolyn Cole / L. A. Times

Babbleboxing in the Arctic...

What do Grigoriy Mikheev, icebergs and beatboxing have together? (On this blog?) You guessed it. Or, for the answer, listen to this fragment Shlomo's Babelbox podcast:

(You can listen to the whole podcast from Cape Farewell here.)

Oct 15, 2010

Smells Like Some Gaps in the Map...

  • Nov 5-14 2010: Estoril Film Festival (Portugal) - member of the jury along with Lou Reed
  • Nov 6 2010: East Sussex (UK) - Transitory Life
  • Nov 9 2010: Chorzow (Poland) - Transitory Life
  • Nov 11 2010: Bucharest (Romania) - Transitory Life
  • Nov 13 2010: Florence / Firence (Italy) - Delusion
  • Nov 25 2010: Bilbao (Spain) - Transitory Life
  • Dec 2 2010: Rome (Italy) - Delusion

... but hey! Laurie is coming to Europe this fall!!! Go and check out the dates and venues and ticket infos on Angelika's recently updated Spreken website and take a look at the Strange Angel on the Brooklyn Bridge! :)

Drum Dance 2010!

Last night Laurie appeared as a guest on Brazilian talk show 'Programa do Jô'. After a conversation rambling on subjects like Fenway Bergamot, the story of the Singing Table, working at McDonald's and NASA, she even did a new version of her drum dance, too - see it in the second video.

Oct 14, 2010

Dwarfed by Icebergs and the Possibility of a Disappearing Planet

Trailer of 'Burning Ice', Peter Gilbert's documentary on an arctic expedition exploring climate change in 2008 by a Russian ice-breaking ship with 40 scientists and artists of the widest range on board, offering breathtaking footage of icy landscape for those (count Mnemosyne in) who always wanted to get to the North:

Idiosyncratic and Ancestral

"Laurie Anderson created a category for herself, a category that could be defined as a state of permanent mutation."
Marcello Dantas, curator of Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

Read Dharma/Arte blog's description of I in U / Eu em Tu, Laurie's retrospective art exhibition in São Paolo, featuring a photo of a renewed, round Handphone Table, plus another video recording of 'Duets on Ice' at the end of the article.

Oct 13, 2010

Deep, Deep, Deep Illusion

"I think the thing I love best about science is that it's always wrong... it's always changing."

"I'm somebody who believes - not knows, believes - that we're not even here. None of us are even in this room. Much of what we experience is a deep, deep illusion. I trust that more than anything, I have to say."
(Laurie Anderson in São Paolo, Brasil, October 2010)

Physical but Intangible

Fragments of 'Duets on Ice' by Laurie Anderson - the 2010 version:

A Book in Code

"The very key to [Eu em Tu / I in U] is a little book which is a book in code. I used to - and still do - write down a lot of dreams because I find that it's an interesting way to know this certain insane part of yourself, [where] you have the privilege of being quite crazy.

I write them down and I thought, well, I wonder really if there is a code to understand [the dreams]. So I put them in a code. I used a code that's similar to codes that were used in World War Two, encryption, and the way encryption was done was with poems.

The message is in a kind of poetry. I feel that language itself is a kind of coding system. It is very hard to really say what you actually mean - you have to go through so many formalities to try to get to [what you mean to say].

The line of poetry I used to encrypt these dreams was one of my favourite poems, a line from George Herbert, who is a 17th century English metaphysical love-poet. He wrote a poem to music:
"Now I in you / without a body move". And it was just the way music comes into your body and moves around - but not in a tangible way. In a very physical way, but not a tangible way.

I love this poem because it's how I feel about images and music and words - that they have ways that they can invade you that you can't quite describe so well. But it's the physicality of it that I like as an artist."

(Laurie Anderson in São Paolo, Brasil, October 2010)

Oct 7, 2010

"No Oreos Today. Have a Chipwich"

... The line above is an excerpt from the lyrics of 'The Laurie Anderson Song', a dead-on spoof on guesswho, done by the cast members of the comedy sketch tv series 'The State'. The track appears on their new album, 'Comedy for Gracious Living' (actually the album had been recorded back in 1996 but has been shelved since then until very recently). Here you can listen to a fragment of the song (see track 8), which sounds IMHO simply hysterical. :)

Masses of Beautiful Imagery

So she said to me, "I want you to listen to the music." She put me in front of these big windows overlooking the Hudson River, and she said, "I want you to think about clouds."
(Yolanda Cuomo on designing cover art for Laurie Anderson)

Today's random goodness is an interview with Yolanda Cuomo, designer of album covers for 'Bright Red' and 'The Ugly One with the Jewels', the 'In Our Sleep' single and the poster for the 'Moby Dick' performances. She told ArtDesignCafé about the fascinating process of co-operating with Laurie Anderson on her visual image in the 90s. At the end of the article, you can find Laurie's portrait that was created on the basis of Yolanda Cuomo's draft above.