Takin it to 'The End of the Moon'

Laurie Anderson
Harbourfront Centre
April 21, 2005
"Who taught you what beauty is?" is the question that prompted the Laurie Anderson's show, The End of the Moon, but it remained unanswered. Beauty notwithstanding, Anderson's work can change your whole idea of what music is about. I admit to having always thought of her as that weird chick from the 80's. Back then she had a big hit with O Superman, from the album Big Science, which is the studio version of songs from a performance art piece (with film, photographs, and other special effects) called United States I-IV. A release they say that makes bad background music, because it demands your attention. Like she does, performing live.

Touching on 911, orange alerts, being a New Yorker, and epiphanies experienced by her dog, the 90 minute concert largely featured her experiences as the first, and last, artist-in-residence of NASA. She is a great story teller and this performance consisted of not only spoken text, but lights, hand gestures, and the dramatic use of a camera affixed to the bow of her hopped up viola. The tracks were often skeletal, sometimes minimalist, but utterly moving, electronic music with an ingenious creativity of sounds. Recognized worldwide as a groundbreaker in the use of technology in the arts, she hopes "that eventually it will all fit in my pocket."

From the early 70's experimental street art scene, where she stood on a block of ice, playing her violin wearing skates, and performing until the ice melted, to the current large-scale theatrical works of today which combine a variety of media - music, storytelling, and projected imagery, Anderson is electrifying. She has published 6 books and released 10 recordings. Called "America's multi-mediatrix" by Wired magazine, she isóas a performance artist, musician, poet, writer, and visual artist-- one of the most important artists of the late 20th century, on earth, or on the moon.

Writer: Kim Logue

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