Laurie Anderson

Last updated

Laurie Anderson
Anderson in 1986
Background information
Birth nameLaurel Philips Anderson
Born (1947-06-05) June 5, 1947 (age 75)
Glen Ellyn, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, performance artist
Instrument(s)Violin, keyboards, percussion, vocals
Years active1969–present
Labels Warner Bros., Nonesuch/Elektra
(m. 2008;died 2013)

Laurel Philips Anderson (born June 5, 1947), [2] known as Laurie Anderson, is an American avant-garde artist, [3] [4] composer, musician, and film director whose work spans performance art, pop music, and multimedia projects. [4] Initially trained in violin and sculpting, [5] Anderson pursued a variety of performance art projects in New York during the 1970s, focusing particularly on language, technology, and visual imagery. [3] She became more widely known outside the art world when her single "O Superman" reached number two on the UK singles chart in 1981. Her debut album Big Science was released the following year. She also starred in and directed the 1986 concert film Home of the Brave . [6]


Anderson is a pioneer in electronic music and has invented several devices that she has used in her recordings and performance art shows. [7] In 1977, she created a tape-bow violin that uses recorded magnetic tape on the bow instead of horsehair and a magnetic tape head in the bridge. [8] In the late 1990s, she collaborated with Interval Research to develop an instrument she called a "talking stick," a six-foot-long (1.8 m) baton-like MIDI controller that can access and replicate sounds. [9]

Anderson met singer-songwriter Lou Reed in 1992, and she was married to him from April 2008 until his death in 2013. [10] [11] [12] [13]

Early life and education

Anderson was born in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, on June 5, 1947, the daughter of Mary Louise (née Rowland) and Arthur T. Anderson. [14] She had seven siblings, and on weekends she studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago and played with the Chicago Youth Symphony. [15]

She graduated from Glenbard West High School. She attended Mills College in California, and after moving to New York in 1966, [15] graduated in 1969 from Barnard College with a B.A. magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, studying art history. In 1972, she obtained an M.F.A. in sculpture from Columbia University. [16]

Her first performance-art piece — a symphony played on automobile horns — was performed in 1969. In 1970, she drew the underground comix Baloney Moccasins, which was published by George DiCaprio. In the early 1970s, she worked as an art instructor, as an art critic for magazines such as Artforum , [17] and illustrated children's books [18] —the first of which was titled The Package, a mystery story in pictures alone. [19]



Anderson performed in New York during the 1970s. One of her most-cited performances, Duets on Ice, which she conducted in New York and other cities around the world, involved her playing the violin along with a recording while wearing ice skates with the blades frozen into a block of ice; the performance ended only when the ice had melted away. Two early pieces, "New York Social Life" and "Time to Go," are included in the 1977 compilation New Music for Electronic and Recorded Media, along with works by Pauline Oliveros and others. [5] Two other pieces were included on Airwaves , a collection of audio pieces by various artists. She also recorded a lecture for Vision , a set of artist's lectures released by Crown Point Press as a set of six LPs.

Many of Anderson's earliest recordings remain unreleased or were issued only in limited quantities, such as her first single, "It's Not the Bullet that Kills You (It's the Hole)." That song, along with "New York Social Life" and about a dozen others, was originally recorded for use in an art installation that consisted of a jukebox that played the different Anderson compositions, at the Holly Solomon Gallery in New York City. Among the musicians on these early recordings are Peter Gordon on saxophone, Scott Johnson on guitar, Ken Deifik on harmonica, and Joe Kos on drums. Photographs and descriptions of many of these early performances were included in Anderson's retrospective book Stories from the Nerve Bible. [20]

During the late 1970s, Anderson made a number of additional recordings that were either released privately or included on compilations of avant-garde music, most notably releases by the Giorno Poetry Systems label run by New York poet John Giorno, an early intimate of Andy Warhol. [21] In 1978, she performed at the Nova Convention, a major conference involving many counter-culture figures and rising avant-garde musical stars, including William S. Burroughs, Philip Glass, Frank Zappa, Timothy Leary, Malcolm Goldstein, John Cage, and Allen Ginsberg. [22] She also worked with comedian Andy Kaufman in the late 1970s. [23]


In 1980, Anderson was awarded an honorary doctorate from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 1982, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts—Film. [16] In 1987, Anderson was awarded an honorary doctorate in the fine arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. [24]

Anderson became widely known outside the art world in 1981 with the single "O Superman," originally released in a limited quantity by B. George's One Ten Records, which ultimately reached number two on the British charts. The sudden influx of orders from the UK (prompted partly by British station BBC Radio 1 playlisting the record) led to Anderson signing a seven-album deal with Warner Bros. Records, which re-released the single. [25]

"O Superman" was part of a larger stage work titled United States and was included on the album Big Science . [26] Prior to the release of Big Science, Anderson returned to Giorno Poetry Systems to record the album You're the Guy I Want to Share My Money With ; Anderson recorded one side of the double-LP set, with William S. Burroughs and John Giorno recording a side each, and the fourth side featured a separate groove for each artist. This was followed by the back-to-back releases of her albums Mister Heartbreak and United States Live , the latter of which was a five-LP (and, later, four-CD) recording of her two-evening stage show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. [14] She also appeared in a television special produced by Nam June Paik broadcast on New Year's Day 1984, titled "Good Morning, Mr. Orwell." [27]

She next starred in and directed the 1986 concert film Home of the Brave and also composed the soundtracks for the Spalding Gray films Swimming to Cambodia and Monster in a Box . During this time, she also contributed music to Robert Wilson's Alcestis at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She also hosted the PBS series Alive from Off Center during 1987, after having produced the short film What You Mean We? for the series the year before. What You Mean We? introduced a new character played by Anderson: "The Clone," a digitally altered masculine counterpart to Anderson who later "co-hosted" with her when she did her presenting stint on Alive from Off Center. Elements of The Clone were later incorporated into the titular "puppet" of her later work, Puppet Motel. In that year, she also appeared on Peter Gabriel's album So , in the song "This is the Picture (Excellent Birds)."

Release of Anderson's first post-Home of the Brave album, 1989's Strange Angels , was delayed for more than a year in order for Anderson to take singing lessons. This was due to the album being more musically inclined (in terms of singing) than her previous works. [28] The single "Babydoll" was a moderate hit on the Modern Rock Charts in 1989.


In 1991, she was a member of the jury at the 41st Berlin International Film Festival. [29] In the same year, Anderson appeared in The Human Face , a feature arts documentary directed by artist-filmmakers Nichola Bruce and Michael Coulson for BBC television. Anderson was the presenter in this documentary on the history of the face in art and science. Her face was transformed using latex masks and digital special effects as she introduced ideas about the relationship between physiognomy and perception. Her varied career in the early 1990s included voice-acting in the animated film The Rugrats Movie . In 1994, she created a CD-ROM titled Puppet Motel , which was followed by Bright Red , co-produced by Brian Eno, and another spoken-word album, The Ugly One with the Jewels . This was followed by an appearance on the 1997 charity single "Perfect Day." [30]

In 1996, Anderson performed with Diego Frenkel (La Portuária) and Aterciopelados for the AIDS benefit album Silencio=Muerte: Red Hot + Latin produced by the Red Hot Organization.

An interval of more than half a decade followed before her next album release. During this time, she wrote a supplemental article on the cultural character of New York City for the Encyclopædia Britannica [31] and created a number of multimedia presentations, most notably one inspired by Moby-Dick (Songs and Stories from Moby Dick, 1999–2000). [32] One of the central themes in Anderson's work is exploring the effects of technology on human relationships and communication.

Starting in the 1990s, Anderson and Lou Reed, whom she had met in 1992, collaborated on a number of recordings together. [33] Reed contributed to the tracks "In Our Sleep" from Anderson's Bright Red , "One Beautiful Evening" from Anderson's Life on a String , and "My Right Eye" and "Only an Expert" from Anderson's Homeland , which Reed also co-produced. Anderson contributed to the tracks "Call on Me" from Reed's collaborative project The Raven, "Rouge" and "Rock Minuet" from Reed's Ecstasy , and "Hang On to Your Emotions" from Reed's Set the Twilight Reeling .


Anderson at a 2007 benefit concert The Kitchen Benefit, Honoring Laurie Anderson.jpg
Anderson at a 2007 benefit concert

Life on a String appeared in 2001, by which time she signed a new contract with another Warner Music label, Nonesuch Records. Life on a String was a mixture of new works (including one song recalling the death of her father) and works from the Moby Dick presentation. [34] In 2001, she recorded the audiobook version of Don DeLillo's novel The Body Artist . Anderson went on tour performing a selection of her best-known musical pieces in 2001. One of these performances was recorded in New York City a week after the September 11, 2001, attacks, and included a performance of "O Superman." This concert was released in early 2002 as the double CD Live in New York. [35]

In 2003, Anderson became NASA's first artist-in-residence, which inspired her performance piece The End of the Moon. [36] [37] She mounted a succession of themed shows and composed a piece for Expo 2005 in Japan. In 2005, Anderson visited Russia's space program—the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre and mission control—with The Arts Catalyst and took part in The Arts Catalyst's Space Soon event at the Roundhouse to reflect on her experiences. She was part of the team that created the opening ceremony for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Later that year, she collaborated with choreographer Trisha Brown and filmmaker Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo on the acclaimed multimedia project O Zlozony/O Composite for the Paris Opera Ballet. The ballet premiered at the Opera Garnier in Paris in December 2004.

Anderson performing Homeland in 2007 Laurie Anderson Homeland 3.jpg
Anderson performing Homeland in 2007

In 2005, her exhibition The Waters Reglitterized opened at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City. According to the press release by Sean Kelly, [38] the work is a diary of dreams and their literal recreation as works of art. This work, created in the process of re-experiencing or re-working her dreams while awake, uses the language of dreams to investigate the dream itself. The resulting pieces include drawings, prints, and high-definition video. The installation ran until October 22, 2005.

In 2006, Anderson was awarded a Residency at the American Academy in Rome. She narrated Ric Burns' Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film , which was first televised in September 2006 as part of the PBS American Masters series. She contributed a song to Plague Songs , a collection of songs related to the 10 Biblical plagues. Anderson also performed in Came So Far for Beauty, the Leonard Cohen tribute event held in the Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland, on October 4–5, 2006. In November 2006, she published a book of drawings based on her dreams, titled Night Life.

Material from Homeland was performed at small work-in-progress shows in New York throughout May 2007, most notably at the Highline Ballroom on May 17–18, supported by a four-piece band with spontaneous lighting and video visuals mixed live throughout the performances by Willie Williams and Mark Coniglio, respectively. A European tour of the Homeland work in progress then took place, including performances on September 28–29, 2007, at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin; on October 17–19 at the Melbourne International Arts Festival; in Russia at the Moscow Dom Muzyky concert hall on April 26, 2008. The work was performed across the Atlantic in Toronto, Canada, on June 14, 2008, with husband Lou Reed, making the "Lost Art of Conversation" a duet with vocals and guitar, with his ambling style contrasting with Anderson's tightly wound performance. Anderson's Homeland Tour performed at several locations across the United States as well, such as at the Ferst Center for the Arts, Atlanta, Georgia; The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City; and Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, co-presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. [39]


In 2015 with Kronos Quartet, after performing Landfall in Chicago's Harris Theater Laurie Anderson amidst the Kronos Quartet in Chicago after performing LANDFALL 2015-03-17 20.53.41 (16851029595).jpg
In 2015 with Kronos Quartet, after performing Landfall in Chicago's Harris Theater

In February 2010, Laurie Anderson premiered a new theatrical work, titled Delusion, at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. This piece was commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad and the Barbican Centre, London. [40] Anderson was honored with the Women's Project Theater Woman of Achievement Award in March 2010. In May/June 2010, Anderson curated the Vivid Live festival in Sydney, Australia, together with Lou Reed. [41] Her new album Homeland was released on June 22. She performed "Only an Expert" on July 15, 2010, on the Late Show with David Letterman , and her song "Gravity's Angel" was featured on the Fox TV show So You Think You Can Dance the same day. She appears as a guest musician on several tracks from experimental jazz musician Colin Stetson's 2011 album New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges .

Anderson developed a theatrical work titled "Another Day in America." The first public showings of this work-in-progress took place in Calgary, Alberta, in January 2012 as part of Theatre Junction Grand's 2011–12 season and One Yellow Rabbit's annual arts festival, the High Performance Rodeo. [42] Anderson was named the Inaugural Distinguished Artist-In-Residence at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, in May 2012. [43] In March 2013, an exhibition of Anderson's work entitled Laurie Anderson: Language of the Future, selected works 1971-2013 at the Samstag Museum was part of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts in Adelaide, South Australia. Anderson performed her Duets on Ice outside the Samstag on opening night. [44]

Anderson received the Honorary Doctor of Arts from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2013. [45] In June/July 2013, Anderson performed "The Language of the Future" and guest curated at the River to River Festival in New York City. [46] In November 2013, she was the featured Guest of Honor at the B3 Biennale of the Moving Image in Frankfurt, Germany. [47] In 2018, Anderson contributed vocals to a re-recording of the David Bowie song "Shining Star (Makin' My Love)," originally from Bowie's 1987 album Never Let Me Down . She was asked to join the production by producer Mario J. McNulty, who knew that Anderson and Bowie had been friends. [48]

On February 10, 2019, at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles, Anderson and Kronos Quartet's Landfall won the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. It was Anderson's first collaboration with Kronos Quartet and her first Grammy award, and was the second Grammy for Kronos. Inspired by her experience of Hurricane Sandy, Nonesuch Records said, "Landfall juxtaposes lush electronics and traditional strings by Kronos with Anderson's powerful descriptions of loss, from water-logged pianos to disappearing animal species to Dutch karaoke bars." [49]

Anderson playing outside at a Times Square performance in 2016 Loz laurie anderson dog 2.png
Anderson playing outside at a Times Square performance in 2016

Chalkroom is a virtual reality work by Laurie Anderson and Taiwanese artist Hsin-Chien Huang in which the reader flies through an enormous structure made of words, drawings, and stories. [50] To the Moon, a collaboration with Hsin-Chien Huang, premiered at the Manchester International Festival on July 12, 2019. A 15-minute virtual reality artwork, To the Moon allows audience members to explore a moon that features donkey rides and rubbish from Earth in a non-narrative structure. [51] Alongside, a film shows the development of the new work. [52]


Laurie Anderson was appointed the 2021 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University and presented a series of six lectures titled Spending the War Without You: Virtual Backgrounds over the course of the spring and fall semesters. [53]

In 2021, Anderson created a show on the second floor of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., titled "The Weather" and described by The New York Times as "a sort of nonretrospective retrospective of one of America’s major, and majorly confounding, modern artists." [15]


Anderson has invented several experimental musical instruments that she has used in her recordings and performances.

Tape-bow violin

The tape-bow violin is an instrument created by Laurie Anderson in 1977. It uses recorded magnetic tape in place of the traditional horsehair in the bow, and a magnetic tape head in the bridge. Anderson has updated and modified this device over the years. She can be seen using a later generation of this device in her film Home of the Brave during the Late Show segment in which she manipulates a sentence recorded by William S. Burroughs. This version of the violin used MIDI-based audio samples, triggered by contact with the bow.

Talking stick

The talking stick is a six-foot-long baton-like MIDI controller. It was used in the Moby-Dick tour in 1999–2000. She described it in program notes as follows: [9]

The Talking Stick is a new instrument that I designed in collaboration with a team from Interval Research and Bob Bielecki. It is a wireless instrument that can access and replicate any sound. It works on the principle of granular synthesis. This is the technique of breaking sound into tiny segments, called grains, and then playing them back in different ways. The computer rearranges the sound fragments into continuous strings or random clusters that are played back in overlapping sequences to create new textures. The grains are very short, a few hundredths of a second. Granular synthesis can sound smooth or choppy depending on the size of the grain and the rate at which they're played. The grains are like film frames. If you slow them down enough, you begin to hear them separately.

Voice filters

A recurring motif in Anderson's work is the use of an electric pitch-shifting voice filter that deepens her voice into a masculine register, a technique that Anderson has referred to as "audio drag." [54] Anderson has long used the resulting character in her work as a "voice of authority" or conscience, [54] although she later decided that the voice had lost much of its authority and instead began using the voice to provide historical or sociopolitical commentary, [55] as it is used on "Another Day in America," a piece from her 2010 album Homeland .

For much of Anderson's career, the voice was nameless or called the Voice of Authority, although as early as 2009 [56] it was dubbed Fenway Bergamot at Lou Reed's suggestion. [55] The cover of Homeland depicts Anderson in character as Bergamot, with streaks of black makeup to give her a moustache and thick, masculine eyebrows.

In "The Cultural Ambassador," a piece on her album The Ugly One with the Jewels , Anderson explained some of her perspective on the character:

(Anderson:) I was carrying a lot of electronics so I had to keep unpacking everything and plugging it in and demonstrating how it all worked, and I guess I did seem a little fishy—a lot of this stuff wakes up displaying LED program readouts that have names like Atom Smasher, and so it took a while to convince them that they weren't some kind of portable espionage system. So I've done quite a few of these sort of impromptu new music concerts for small groups of detectives and customs agents and I'd have to keep setting all this stuff up and they'd listen for a while and they'd say: So um, what's this? And I'd pull out something like
(Bergamot:) this filter, and say, now this is what I like to think of as the voice of authority. And it would take me a while to tell them how I used it for songs that were, you know, about various forms of control, and they would say, now why would you want to talk like that? And I'd look around at the SWAT teams, and the undercover agents, and the dogs, and the radio in the corner, tuned to the Super Bowl coverage of the war. And I'd say, take a wild guess.


Studio albums

Album and detailsPeak positions
Big Science
  • Date released: 1982
  • Record label: Warner Bros.
124     8 29 [58]  
Mister Heartbreak
  • Date released: 1984
  • Record label: Warner Bros.
60 19  23124693 [58] 41 [59]
Home of the Brave
  • Date released: 1986
  • Record label: Warner Bros.
14574    1434 84 [60]
Strange Angels
  • Date released: 1989
  • Record label: Warner Bros.
Bright Red
  • Date released: 1994
  • Record label: Warner Bros.
Life on a String
  • Date released: 2001
  • Record label: Nonesuch/Elektra Records
  • Date released: 2010
  • Record label: Nonesuch/Elektra Records
   62 [61] 41 [61]      

Spoken word albums

Live albums

Compilation albums

Audio book



The single "Sharkey's Day" was for many years the theme song of Lifetime Television. Anderson also recorded a number of limited-release singles in the late 1970s (many issued from the Holly Soloman Gallery), songs from which were included on a number of compilations, including Giorno Poetry Systems' The Nova Convention and You're the Guy I Want to Share My Money With. Over the years she has performed on recordings by other musicians such as Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, and Jean Michel Jarre. She also contributed lyrics to the Philip Glass album Songs from Liquid Days , and contributed a spoken-word piece to a tribute album in honor of John Cage.

Music videos

Anderson at a 2012 show Laura Anderson at Donaufestival, Krems, Austria (9450538781).jpg
Anderson at a 2012 show

Formal music videos have been produced for:

In addition, in lieu of making another music video for her Strange Angels album, Anderson taped a series of one- to two-minute "Personal Service Announcements" in which she spoke about issues such as the U.S. national debt and the arts scene. Some of the music used in these productions came from her soundtrack of Swimming to Cambodia. The PSAs were frequently shown between music videos on VH-1 in early 1990.


Digital media


In 2013, Dale Eisinger of Complex ranked United States as the third greatest work of performance art ever, with the writer arguing that Anderson is "able to ascertain just exactly the climate of life in the United States, without being so punctuated that it causes a standoff. Perhaps the zenith of this configuration was her multimedia performance, 'United States I – IV.' [...] [Anderson displays] her vast, incisive range of talents on the 'United States Live' recordings." [64]

Awards and nominations

Adelaide Film Festival 2015 Heart of a Dog Best DocumentaryWon [65]
Chicago International Film Festival 2015Won
Cinema Eye Honors Awards 2016Outstanding Achievement in Original Music ScoreWon
Outstanding Achievement in DirectionNominated
Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or AnimationNominated
Deutsche Schallplatten Prize 2001 Life on a String Deutsche Schallplatten PrizeWon [66]
Faro Island Film Festival2015 Heart of a Dog Best DocumentaryNominated [65]
Film Independent Spirit Awards 2016 Best Documentary Feature Nominated
Edison Awards 1983 Big Science Extra InternationalWon [67]
Grammy Awards 1985 "Gravity's Angel" Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s) Nominated [68]
1991 Strange Angels Best Alternative Music Performance Nominated
2011 "Flow" Best Pop Instrumental Performance Nominated
2019 "Landfall" Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance Won
2021 Songs from the Bardo Best New Age Album Nominated
Gotham Awards 2015 Heart of a Dog Best Documentary Nominated [65]
Audience AwardNominated
La Roche-sur-Yon International Film Festival 2015Prix Nouvelles Vagues AcuitisNominated
Locarno International Film Festival 2005Hidden Inside MountainsGolden Leopard - VideoNominated
2015HerselfLifetime Achievement AwardWon [69]
2022 HerselfVision Award TicinomodaWon [70]
Tenco Prize2001HerselfTenco Prize for SongwritingWon [66]
Tribeca Film Festival 2006Hidden Inside MountainsBest Narrative ShortNominated [65]
Tromsø International Film Festival 2016 Heart of a Dog Aurora AwardWon
Venice Film Festival 2015 Lina Mangiacapre AwardWon
Golden Lion Nominated
Green Drop AwardNominated
Wolf Prize 2017HerselfAward for ArtWon [71]




Personal life

She moved to New York in 1966 and now lives in Tribeca. [75] [15] Anderson was the romantic partner of fellow musician Lou Reed for 21 years. They were married in 2008 and remained together for the following five years until his death of liver cancer.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Terry Riley</span> American composer and performing musician

Terrence Mitchell "Terry" Riley is an American composer and performing musician best known as a pioneer of the minimalist school of composition. Influenced by jazz and Indian classical music, his music became notable for its innovative use of repetition, tape music techniques, and delay systems. His best known works are the 1964 composition In C and the 1969 LP A Rainbow in Curved Air, both considered landmarks of minimalism and important influences on experimental music, rock, and contemporary electronic music.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lou Reed</span> American musician (1942–2013)

Lewis Allan Reed was an American musician, songwriter, and poet. He was the guitarist, singer, and principal songwriter for the rock band the Velvet Underground and had a solo career that spanned five decades. Although not commercially successful during its existence, the Velvet Underground became regarded as one of the most influential bands in the history of underground and alternative rock music. Reed's distinctive deadpan voice, poetic and transgressive lyrics, and experimental guitar playing were trademarks throughout his long career.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kronos Quartet</span> American string quartet

The Kronos Quartet is an American string quartet based in San Francisco. It has been in existence with a rotating membership of musicians for almost 50 years. The quartet covers a very broad range of musical genres, including contemporary classical music. More than 900 works have been written for it.

Ellen Fullman is an American composer, instrument builder, and performer. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is known for her 70-foot (21-meter) Long String instrument, tuned in just intonation and played with rosin-coated fingers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Meredith Monk</span> American composer, director, filmmaker, and choreographer

Meredith Jane Monk is an American composer, performer, director, vocalist, filmmaker, and choreographer. From the 1960s onwards, Monk has created multi-disciplinary works which combine music, theatre, and dance, recording extensively for ECM Records. In 1991, Monk composed Atlas, an opera, commissioned and produced by the Houston Opera and the American Music Theater Festival. Her music has been used in films by the Coen Brothers and Jean-Luc Godard. Trip hop musician DJ Shadow sampled Monk's "Dolmen Music" on the song "Midnight in a Perfect World". In 2015, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Barack Obama.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Perfect Day (Lou Reed song)</span> 1972 song by Lou Reed

"Perfect Day" is a song written by American musician Lou Reed in 1972. It was originally featured on Transformer, Reed's second post–Velvet Underground solo album, and as a double A-side with his major hit, "Walk on the Wild Side". Its fame was given a boost in the 1990s when it was featured in the 1996 film Trainspotting and after a star-studded version was released as a BBC charity single in 1997, reaching number one in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Norway. Reed re-recorded the song for his 2003 album The Raven.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nonesuch Records</span> American record label company

Nonesuch Records is an American record company and label owned by Warner Music Group, distributed by Warner Records, and based in New York City. Founded by Jac Holzman in 1964 as a budget classical label, Nonesuch has developed into a label that records critically acclaimed music from a wide range of genres. Robert Hurwitz was president of the company from 1984 to 2017.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Giorno</span> American poet and performance artist (1936–2019)

John Giorno was an American poet and performance artist. He founded the not-for-profit production company Giorno Poetry Systems and organized a number of early multimedia poetry experiments and events, including Dial-A-Poem. He became prominent as the subject of Andy Warhol's film Sleep (1964). He was also an AIDS activist and fundraiser, and a long-time practitioner of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">O Superman</span> 1981 single by Laurie Anderson

"O Superman", also known as "O Superman (For Massenet)", is a 1981 song by performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson. The song became a surprise hit in the United Kingdom after it was championed by DJ John Peel, rising to #2 on the UK Singles Charts in 1981. Prior to the success of this song, Anderson was little known outside the art world. First released as a single, the song also appeared on her debut album Big Science (1982) and as part of her live album United States Live (1984).

<i>Big Science</i> (Laurie Anderson album) 1982 studio album by Laurie Anderson

Big Science is the debut studio album by avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson. It was the first of a seven-album deal Anderson signed with Warner Bros. Records. It is best known for the single "O Superman", which unexpectedly reached No. 2 in the UK. The work is a selection of highlights from her eight-hour production United States Live, which was itself released as a 5-LP boxed set and book in 1984. United States Live was originally a performance piece, in which music was only one element. After Big Science, music played a larger role in Anderson's work.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anohni</span> British singer

Anohni, styled as ANOHNI, is an English-born singer, songwriter, and visual artist. She was formerly the lead singer of the band Antony and the Johnsons.

<i>Live in New York</i> (Laurie Anderson album) 2002 live album by Laurie Anderson

Live in New York is a live album by performance artist Laurie Anderson released as a double-CD by Nonesuch Records in 2002. The album cover reads Laurie Anderson Live at Town Hall New York City September 19–20, 2001.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shara Nova</span> American musician

Shara Nova is the lead singer and songwriter for My Brightest Diamond. As a composer she is most recognized for her choral compositions and the baroque chamber opera "You Us We All". New music composers Sarah Kirkland Snider, David Lang, Steve Mackey and Bryce Dessner have composed pieces for Nova's voice. She has recorded as a guest vocalist with David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, Jedi Mind Tricks, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Stateless as well as extensive collaborations with visual artists Matthew Ritchie and Matthew Barney. She was formerly the frontwoman of AwRY. On March 3, 2016, Shara legally changed her last name from Worden to Nova after divorcing her husband, to whom she had been married most of her adult life.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ólöf Arnalds</span> Icelandic singer/songwriter and musician

Ólöf Arnalds is an Icelandic singer/songwriter and indie musician who has been active within the Icelandic music scene since the early 2000s. She was a touring member of múm for five years from 2003 before launching her solo career and has released three albums to date. She has collaborated with bands and artists such as Björk, Stórsveit Nix Noltes, Mugison, Slowblow and Skúli Sverrisson. Between 1988 and 2002, Ólöf studied violin and classical singing, and from 2002 to 2006 she studied composition and new media at Iceland Academy of the Arts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Velvet Underground</span> American rock band

The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in New York City in 1964. The original line-up consisted of singer/guitarist Lou Reed, multi-instrumentalist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Angus MacLise. MacLise was replaced by Moe Tucker in 1965, who played on most of the band's recordings. Their integration of rock and the avant-garde achieved little commercial success during the group's existence, but they are now recognized as one of the most influential bands in rock, underground, experimental, and alternative music. The group's provocative subject matter, musical experiments, and often nihilistic attitudes also proved influential in the development of punk rock and new wave music.

<i>Homeland</i> (Laurie Anderson album) 2010 studio album by Laurie Anderson

Homeland is the seventh studio album by Laurie Anderson, released in 2010. A loose concept album about life in the United States. It was her first album of new material since 2001's Life on a String.

Marc Urselli is an Italian-Swiss freelance New York City & London-based audio engineer, music producer, mixing engineer, live sound engineer, remixer, sound designer, composer, musician, contributor, and blogger.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vivid Live</span>

Vivid LIVE is an annual contemporary music festival held by Sydney Opera House as part of Vivid Sydney. Taking place across all six venues at the Opera House, it features a bill of local and international artists, specially commissioned works and the hallmark Lighting of the Sails. It stands as the centrepiece of the Sydney Opera House's contemporary music program.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tomeka Reid</span> American jazz musician

Tomeka Reid is an American composer, improviser, cellist, curator, and teacher.

<i>Heart of a Dog</i> (2015 film) 2015 film

Heart of a Dog is a 2015 American documentary film directed by visual artist and composer Laurie Anderson.


  1. Holden, Stephen (February 28, 1999). "Music; They're Recording, but Are They Artists?". The New York Times . Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  2. "Artists:Laurie Anderson". The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  3. 1 2 Ankeny, Jason. "Laurie Anderson Biography". AllMusic . Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  4. 1 2 Fletcher, Kenneth R. "Anderson: The celebrated performance artist discusses Andy Warhol, NASA and her work at McDonald's". Smithsonian . Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  5. 1 2 Amirkhanian, Charles. "Women in Electronic Music – 1977". Liner note essay. New World Records.
  6. "AE160D Unit 11: Laurie Anderson". Archived from the original on December 1, 2007.
  7. Sachs, Ben (November 11, 2015). "Electronic musician Laurie Anderson takes to the big screen". Chicago Reader . Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  8. Shewey, Don. "The Performing Artistry of Laurie Anderson". Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  9. 1 2 "University Musical Society: 1999 Fall Season (concert program, September 30  October 8, 1999)". University Musical Society, University of Michigan Ann Arbor. September 1999.
  10. "Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson Wed – Weddings, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed". People . April 25, 2008. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  11. Aleksander, Irina (April 23, 2008). "Morning Memo: Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson Make it Legal". Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  12. "6 Music – Laurie & Lou's big day". BBC. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  13. "Laurie Anderson Says Final Farewell to Lou Reed". Yahoo Music. October 6, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  14. 1 2 "Laurie Anderson biography". Film Reference. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  15. 1 2 3 4 Anderson, Sam (October 6, 2021). "Laurie Anderson Has a Message for Us Humans". The New York Times . Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  16. 1 2 Handy, Amy (1989). "Artist's Biographies – Laurie Anderson". In Randy Rosen; Catherine C. Brower (eds.). Making Their Mark. Women Artists Move into the Mainstream, 1970–1985. Abbeville Press. pp.  237–238. ISBN   0-89659-959-0.
  17. "Music Article 0026". Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  18. "Art:21 . Laurie Anderson . Biography . Documentary Film". PBS. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  19. Papageorge, John. "Interview with Laurie Anderson". Silicon Valley Radio. Web Networks, Inc. Archived from the original on October 12, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  20. "Laurie Anderson". Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  21. "Laurie Anderson profile at". June 5, 1947. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  22. "UbuWeb Sound – The Dial-A-Poem Poets: The Nova Convention". Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  23. Laurie Anderson, Stories from the Nerve Bible.
  24. "Laurie Anderson at 1987 [UArts] commencement". UArts Libraries Digital Collections. Philadelphia, PA. May 16, 1987. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  25. Harvey, James M. (2009). Singularia: Being at an Edge in Time: a Meditation and Thought Experiment While Crossing the Galactic Core. Alchemica Productions. p. 187. ISBN   978-0-9807574-1-5.
  26. "Laurie Anderson official web site". Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  27. Feng, Emily (September 5, 2014). "'Good Morning Mr. Orwell': A Look Back at the Nam June Paik Video That Greeted 1984". Asia Society. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  28. Christgau, Robert. "CG: Laurie Anderson" . Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  29. "Berlinale: 1991 Juries". Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  30. "Laurie Anderson". IMDb. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  31. "Encyclopaedia Anderson", The New Yorker , July 16, 2001
  32. "Review: Laurie Anderson's 'Moby' – the big blubber". CNN. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  33. "Interview With Laurie Anderson". Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  34. "Laurie Anderson: Life on a String". Rolling Stone . Archived from the original on January 14, 2009.
  35. May, Krista L. "Laurie Anderson: Live in New York – PopMatters Music Review". Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  36. Stamberg, Susan (July 3, 2004). "NASA Gives Space to Artist in Residence". NPR. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  37. "Moon and Stars Align for Performance Artist". The Washington Post. June 30, 2004. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  38. "Sean Kelly : Laurie Anderson : The Waters Reglitterized" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 3, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  39. "Calendar". Laurie Anderson. Archived from the original on September 7, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  40. "Delusion: A new work by Laurie Anderson". Archived from the original on March 12, 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
  41. "Vivid Live". Archived from the original on July 22, 2010.
  42. "HPR: Another Day in America – Laurie Anderson – The High Performance Rodeo: Calgary's International Festival of the Arts". Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  43. Janairo, M. (May 12, 2012). Brief: EMPAC names Laurie Anderson distinguished artist in residence. Times Union (Albany, NY).
  44. "2019 Adelaide//International" (PDF). University of South Australia. Samstag Museum. Retrieved August 21, 2019.{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  45. "Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture to award eight honorary doctorates". Aalto University. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  46. "Laurie Anderson". Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  47. "Laurie Anderson". Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  48. David Bowie Loving The Alien (1983–1988) due October, July 18, 2018, retrieved July 18, 2018
  49. "Punch Brothers, Laurie Anderson, Kronos Quartet Win Grammy Awards". Nonesuch Records . Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  50. "Chalkroom". Laurie Anderson. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  51. Still, John (June 13, 2019). "Laurie Anderson: 'It's a great time to be creating new realities'". The Guardian. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  52. "Laurie Anderson's To the Moon Will Make UK Premiere". Broadway World. July 9, 2019. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  53. "Norton Lectures". Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  54. 1 2 "Vancouver 2010: Highlights of the Games". Archived from the original on July 21, 2010. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  55. 1 2 "Use your delusion". Archived from the original on February 21, 2010.
  56. Rogovoy, Seth (January 14, 2009). "Weekend Cultural Highlights 1.15-1.18". The Rogovoy Report. Retrieved August 24, 2021. ...historian and social commentator Fenway Bergamot
  57. 1 2 3 Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 17. ISBN   0-646-11917-6.
  58. 1 2 3 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 23. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  59. "RPM Top 100 Albums - May 5, 1984" (PDF).
  60. "RPM Top 100 Albums - May 17, 1986" (PDF).
  61. 1 2 Hung, Steffen (2015). "Laurie Anderson – Homeland (album)". Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  62. "Only an Expert by Laurie Anderson". October 2, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  63. "Laurie Anderson: On Performance: ART/new york No. 54". ART/ Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  64. Eisinger, Dale (April 9, 2013). "The 25 Best Performance Art Pieces of All Time". Complex. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  65. 1 2 3 4 "Laurie Anderson". IMDb .
  66. 1 2 "Laurie Anderson | the Dorothy & Lillian Gish Prize".
  67. "1983".
  68. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 19, 2022. Retrieved May 19, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  69. "Locarno to Celebrate Laurie Anderson with Lifetime Achievement Award". Variety. April 26, 2022.
  70. Francesca Pierleoni (August 10, 2022). "Laurie Anderson, troppe armi in Usa, temo sorta di guerra civile" [Laurie Anderson, too many weapons in the US, I fear a kind of civil war]. Ansa (in Italian).
  71. "Lawrence Weiner and Laurie Anderson awarded Wolf Prize".
  72. "Laurie Anderson – Musical Guest Appearance". Saturday Night Live Archives. April 19, 1986. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  73. "Episode 32 – "Art Show"". December 18, 1996. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  74. Laurie Anderson – Only An Expert (Live Letterman) 2010, YouTube , retrieved October 4, 2015
  75. Leland, John. "Laurie Anderson’s Glorious, Chaotic New York From performances for 'six people in a loft' to O Superman, MTV fame, and her time with Lou Reed, the artist reflects on her many years in New York.", The New York Times , April 21, 2017. Accessed February 25, 2019. "Ms. Anderson with her dog Willie near her home in TriBeCa."

Further reading