“Politicians are essentially storytellers. They describe the world as it is and also as they think it should be. As a fellow storyteller, it seems like a really good time to think about how words can literally create a world.” —Laurie Anderson
Minneapolis, May 4, 2012—As Election Day looms, Laurie Anderson has a few things to tell us—things concerning Darwinism, feminism, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Willie Nelson, alien popes … Infused with her hallucinatory language, Dirtday! is an intimate snapshot of the U.S. shaped as a collection of songs and stories both witty and soulful. Dirtday! will be performed Friday– Saturday, November 2–3, at 8 pm in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater. These performances are a joint presentation between the Walker Art Center and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s new concert series Liquid Music, curated by Kate Nordstrum. Both organizations will announce their full 2012/13 seasons within the next two weeks.
Laurie Anderson looks at politics, theories of evolution, families, history, and animals in this riotous and soulful collection of songs and stories. Set against a detailed and lush sonic landscape, the stories and music create a unique picture of a hallucinatory world made of dreams and reality. The third and last in her series of solo story works, which includes Happiness and The End of the Moon, Dirtday! is the culmination of Anderson’s ground breaking work in this genre. Anderson is one of America’s most renowned – and daring – creative pioneers. Known primarily for her multimedia presentations, she has cast herself in roles as varied as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist.
Anderson is one of America’s most renowned – and daring – creative pioneers. Known primarily for her multimedia presentations, she has cast herself in roles as varied as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist.
O Superman launched Anderson’s recording career in 1980, rising to number two on the British pop charts and subsequently appearing on Big Science, the first of her seven albums on the Warner Brothers label. Other record releases include Mister Heartbreak, United States Live, Strange Angels, Bright Red, and the soundtrack to her feature film Home of the Brave. A deluxe box set of her Warner Brothers output, Talk Normal, was released in the fall of 2000 on Rhino/Warner Archives. In 2001, Anderson released her first record for Nonesuch Records, entitled Life on a String, which was followed by Live in New York, recorded at Town Hall in New York City in September 2001, and released in May 2002.
Anderson has toured the United States and internationally numerous times with shows ranging from simple spoken word performances to elaborate multimedia events. Major works include United States I-V (1983), Empty Places (1990), The Nerve Bible (1995), and Songs and Stories for Moby Dick, a multimedia stage performance based on the novel by Herman Melville. Songs and Stories for Moby Dick toured internationally throughout 1999 and 2000. In the fall of 2001, Anderson toured the United States and Europe with a band, performing music from Life on a String. She has also presented many solo works, including Happiness, which premiered in 2001 and toured internationally through spring 2003.
Anderson has published six books. Text from Anderson’s solo performances appears in the book Extreme Exposure, edited by Jo Bonney. Anderson has also written the entry for New York for the Encyclopedia Britannica and in 2006, Edition 7L published Anderson’s book of dream drawings entitled Night Life.
Laurie Anderson’s visual work has been presented in major museums throughout the United States and Europe. In 2003, The Musée Art Contemporain of Lyon in France produced a touring retrospective of her work, entitled The Record of the Time: Sound in the Work of Laurie Anderson. This retrospective included installation, audio, instruments, video and art objects and spans Anderson’s career from the 1970’s to her most current works. It continued to tour internationally from 2003 to 2005. As a visual artist, Anderson is represented by the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York where her exhibition, The Waters Reglitterized, opened in September 2005. In 2008, the Museum of Modern Art acquired her Self-Playing Violin which was featured in the Making Music exhibition in fall 2008.
As a composer, Anderson has contributed music to films by Wim Wenders and Jonathan Demme; dance pieces by Bill T. Jones, Trisha Brown, Molissa Fenley, and a score for Robert LePage’s theater production, Far Side of the Moon. She has created pieces for National Public Radio, The BBC, and Expo ‘92 in Seville. In 1997 she curated the two-week Meltdown Festival at Royal Festival Hall in London. Her most recent orchestra work, Songs for Amelia Earhart, premiered at Carnegie Hall in February 2000 performed by the American Composers Orchestra and later toured Europe with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies. The piece was performed as part of the Groningen Festival honoring Laurie Anderson in fall 2008 with the Noord Nederlands Orkest.
Recognized worldwide as a groundbreaking leader in the use of technology in the arts, Anderson collaborated with Interval Research Corporation, a research and development laboratory founded by Paul Allen and David Liddle, in the exploration of new creative tools, including the Talking Stick. She created the introduction sequence for the first segment of the PBS special Art 21, a series about Art in the 21st century. Her awards include the 2001 Tenco Prize for Songwriting in San Remo, Italy and the 2001 Deutsche Schallplatten prize for Life On A String as well as grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She recently collaborated with Bran Ferren of Applied Minds, Inc to create an artwork that was displayed in The Third Mind exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in winter 2009.
In 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA, an experience which culminated in her 2004 touring solo performance The End of the Moon. Recent projects include a series of audio-visual installations and a high definition film, Hidden Inside Mountains, created for World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan. In 2007 she received the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for her outstanding contribution to the arts. In 2008 she completed a two-year worldwide tour of her performance piece, Homeland, which was released as an album on Nonesuch Records in June, 2010 to critical acclaim. Anderson’s solo performance Delusion debuted at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in early 2010, recently headlined the BAM Next Wave Festival in New York and continues to tour internationally. In 2010 a retrospective of her visual and installation work opened in Sao Paulo, Brazil and later traveled to Rio de Janeiro. In 2011 her exhibition of all new work titled Forty-Nine Days In the Bardo opened at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. Anderson lives in New York City.
Tickets to Laurie Anderson’s Dirtday! go on sale exclusively to SPCO subscribers and Walker members on Friday, May 4, at 1 pm, and remaining tickets will be available to the general public on Thursday, May 17. Tickets to Dirtday! are $39 ($33 Walker members and SPCO subscribers) and are only available via phone order at 612.375.7600 until May 17.
The Walker Art Center’s 2012-2013 Performing Arts Season
Laurie Anderson’s Dirtday! is a part of the Walker’s upcoming performing arts season. The full season will be announced on Thursday, May 17 on walkerart.org.
SPCO’s 2012-2013 Liquid Music Series
Laurie Anderson’s Dirtday! is a part of the SPCO’s new concert series, Liquid Music, curated by Kate Nordstrum. The full season will be announced on Thursday, May 10 on thespco.org. Liquid Music seeks to expand the world of classical music through innovative new projects, boundary-defying artists, and unique presentation formats. Accessibility is underscored with most tickets at just $10 and season subscriptions starting at $50.