Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Laurie Anderson

The Awesome Woman for Wednesday, June 6, 2012 is Laurie Anderson, US performance artist, composer, singer, painter, inventor, born June 5, 1947.

Anderson is quite well known in the NYC art/music world, and she had pretty large commercial successes back in the early 80s with her albums Big Science, Mr. Heartbreak, and Home of the Brave. I saw her on the Mr. Heartbreak tour and was just completely awed by both the depth and breadth of her talents and awareness. Her songs are somehow both strange and relatable, and one reviewer back in the day described them as a travelogue by a space alien writing about the things she has seen with her own three eyes. (Source unknown - I have googled and yahooed and binged and failed.)

She invented, among other things, a violin bow strung with magnetic tape that plays musical samples as you play the violin.

Below the video and links, you can find a blurb and a quote re: her latest record.
The themes Anderson explores with Homeland cover a breadth of contemporary issues, from the war and the media to America’s growing surveillance culture and the environment. In 2004, while making a film commissioned for the World Expo in Japan, Anderson began to contemplate the meaning of place via the short stories she was using in the work. One of the stories touched on losing things, or the feeling of losing things. “‘I knew I had lost something but I just couldn’t put my finger on it,’ was one of the lines in the story,” Anderson explains. “Like when you feel bereft and you don’t know whether it’s because you lost your keys or your job or because your grandfather just died,” she continues. “But I started to think about when I wrote that story and I remembered that it was when we began the invasion of Iraq. And what I’d lost was my country.” Anderson applies that notion to Homeland’s thematic threads.