Laurie Anderson

A free spirit at the Philharmonie

LaurieHeadshotbyTimKnox   Photo : Philharmonie 

LaurieHeadshotbyTimKnox  Photo : Philharmonie 

How do you describe Laurie Anderson? How do you reduce such an indomitable, unclassifiable, ungraspable artist   ̶   in other words, such a free spirit   ̶   to a single label, a single box?

On 19.11., the Philharmonie Luxembourg invites curious minds and fans of the avant-garde alike to make up their own minds at a special concert featuring the American star, who will be crowning the rainy days festival for new music.

With her 45-year career and her tireless work as pioneer, no doubt Laurie Anderson will be able to respond in the most invigorating way to the theme of «memory» chosen for the festival’s 2023 edition. Better still: a quick glance at the rainy days flyer tells us that her show is meant to be a futuristic retrospective.

Do you find this oxymoron shocking? Does the idea of simultaneously looking back and looking forward seem scandalously contradictory? Nothing is impossible to Laurie Anderson!

In the oeuvre of the woman who brought the avant-garde to MTV, we find both synth-pop that smacks of the 80s and contemporary spoken word, classical instruments and defamiliarizing multimedia materials. A lifelong explorer, she seeks music everywhere. A shining light, a Taoist poem, an electronic device buzzing, an empty room, a curve sketched on a canvas, a gesture, a dream... What can be seen can be heard, and what can be heard can be seen. Anything can become compositional material.

But for all her boundless imagination, Laurie Anderson also knows how to keep her feet firmly on the ground, avoiding excessive abstraction to remain connected with her audience. Her performances offer immersive, embodied experiences which can open anyone to stimulating new horizons, where the boundaries between music and other forms of artistic expression are excitingly blurred.

«I tell stories that are sometimes like paintings, sometimes like songs, sometimes like films» she once explained with utmost simplicity, before concluding: «they're just stories». So, let this extraordinary storyteller take you on a memorable journey this 19.11 at the Philharmonie!

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