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Laurie Anderson: Designing + Customizing Instruments for Performance and Recording

  • Location:
    EMPAC, 110 8th Street, Troy, New York, 12180, US

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY announces a free talk by EMPAC distinguished artist-in-residence Laurie Anderson on Designing + Customizing Instruments for Performance and Recording. The event will take place in EMPAC’s Theater on Thursday, February 14 at 7 PM; it will also be streamed live to the Concert Hall.

Laurie Anderson will talk about her ever-evolving development of new instruments and interfaces for her productions and performances, and her “new rig,” which finally allows her to travel with a suitcase of her custom configuration of instruments. Anderson will be joined by her software and hardware collaborators Konrad Kaczmarek, Liubo Borissov, and Shane Koss. She will also discuss her new work with the Kronos Quartet, which premieres in March as part of the inaugural performances of the Bing Concert Hall at Stanford.

Later this spring on Thursday, May 2, Anderson will provide audiences with a unique opportunity to be fully immersed in her films by presenting a screening of many of her works. The evening will include special guest and Rensselaer Arts Department professor Pauline Oliveros, who will join Anderson on stage to perform music together to a silent film. Tickets will be available to the public on Tuesday, March 12.

One of America’s most renowned performance artists, Laurie Anderson’s genre-crossing work encompasses performance, film, music, installation, writing, photography, and sculpture. She is widely known for her multimedia presentations and musical recordings and has numerous major works to her credit, including United States I-V (1983), Empty Places (1990), Stories from the Nerve Bible (1993), Songs and Stories for Moby Dick (1999), and Life on a String (2001), among others. She has had countless collaborations with an array of artists, from Jonathan Demme and Brian Eno to Bill T. Jones and Peter Gabriel.

Anderson has invented several technological devices for use in her recordings and performance art shows, including voice filters, a tape-bow violin, and a talking stick. In 2002, she was appointed NASA’s first artist-in-residence, and she was also part of the team that created the opening ceremony for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She has published six books, produced numerous videos, films, radio pieces, and original scores for dance and film. In 2007, she received the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for her outstanding contribution to the arts. She lives in New York City.

The talk is free and open to the public. The seats in the theater have all been reserved; however, due to overwhelming demand, the event will also be streamed live to the Concert Hall. Reservations are not needed for the Concert Hall.

More information can be found on the EMPAC website: empac.rpi.edu. Questions? Call the EMPAC Box Office: 518.276.3921.

(Photo by Travis Cano)