Laurie Anderson's Nonesuch Debut Album, "Life on a String," Released 15 Years Ago

Browse by:
Year
Browse by:
Publish date (field_publish_date)
Submitted by nonesuch on Sun, 08/21/2016 - 10:00
Article Type
Publish date
Excerpt

Laurie Anderson released her Nonesuch Records debut album 15 years ago today, August 21, 2001. It's "sparse, haunted, intimate," said Rolling Stone of the album. "Laurie Anderson is a singer-songwriter of crushing poignance." With Life on a String, she turned her view inward, creating one of the most personal recordings of her career; she played violin on a record for the first time since her debut album, Big Science. Guest musicians include Bill Frisell, Lou Reed, and Van Dyke Parks. You can hear the album's title track here.

Copy

Laurie Anderson released her Nonesuch Records debut album, Life on a String, 15 years ago today, August 21, 2001. It's "sparse, haunted, intimate," said Rolling Stone of the album. "Laurie Anderson is a singer-songwriter of crushing poignance." You can hear the title track, which closes the album, below.

Life on a String was Anderson's first recording of new music since Bright Red in 1994. Anderson, certainly the most heralded multimedia artist of her generation, has since released three albums on Nonesuch—Live in New York (2002), Homeland (2010), and the soundtrack to her new film Heart of a Dog (2015)—along with a 25th-anniversary reissue of her famed debut album, Big Science, in 2007.

With Life on a String, she turned her view inward, creating one of the most personal recordings of her career. Musically, the album's intensity is heightened by its spare sound. It draws both on the emotive power of strings—Anderson plays violin on a record for the first time since Big Science—and the rich variety of rhythmic beds she has created. The album, which Anderson co-produced with Hal Willner, includes guest appearances by Bill Frisell, Dr. John, Lou Reed, and Van Dyke Parks, among others.

Laurie Anderson, in describing her lyrical approach to the album, said, "I tried to make the language plain and observational. I tried to be simple. Just to say what I saw. It is dark. But I'm glad about that, because there are plenty of cheerful songs around."

featuredimage
Laurie Anderson: "Life on a String" [cover] sq
  • Monday, August 22, 2016
    Laurie Anderson's Nonesuch Debut Album, "Life on a String," Released 15 Years Ago

    Laurie Anderson released her Nonesuch Records debut album, Life on a String, 15 years ago today, August 21, 2001. It's "sparse, haunted, intimate," said Rolling Stone of the album. "Laurie Anderson is a singer-songwriter of crushing poignance." You can hear the title track, which closes the album, below.

    Life on a String was Anderson's first recording of new music since Bright Red in 1994. Anderson, certainly the most heralded multimedia artist of her generation, has since released three albums on Nonesuch—Live in New York (2002), Homeland (2010), and the soundtrack to her new film Heart of a Dog (2015)—along with a 25th-anniversary reissue of her famed debut album, Big Science, in 2007.

    With Life on a String, she turned her view inward, creating one of the most personal recordings of her career. Musically, the album's intensity is heightened by its spare sound. It draws both on the emotive power of strings—Anderson plays violin on a record for the first time since Big Science—and the rich variety of rhythmic beds she has created. The album, which Anderson co-produced with Hal Willner, includes guest appearances by Bill Frisell, Dr. John, Lou Reed, and Van Dyke Parks, among others.

    Laurie Anderson, in describing her lyrical approach to the album, said, "I tried to make the language plain and observational. I tried to be simple. Just to say what I saw. It is dark. But I'm glad about that, because there are plenty of cheerful songs around."

    Journal Articles:Artist News

Enjoy This Post?

Get weekly updates right in your inbox.
terms

X By submitting my information, I agree to receive personalized updates and marketing messages about Nonesuch based on my information, interests, activities, website visits and device data and in accordance with the Privacy Policy. I understand that I can opt-out at any time by emailing privacypolicy@wmg.com.

Thank you!
x

Welcome to Nonesuch's mailing list!

Customize your notifications for tour dates near your hometown, birthday wishes, or special discounts in our online store!
terms

By submitting my information, I agree to receive personalized updates and marketing messages about Nonesuch based on my information, interests, activities, website visits and device data and in accordance with the Privacy Policy. I understand that I can opt-out at any time by emailing privacypolicy@wmg.com.

Related Posts

  • Friday, February 3, 2023
    Friday, February 3, 2023

    Molly Tuttle was on NPR's All Things Considered as part of its series on first-time Grammy Award nominees. Tuttle is nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best New Artist and, with her band Golden Highway, Best Bluegrass Album for their debut album, Crooked Tree. She talks with host Ailsa Chang from the famed Station Inn in Nashville and performs the title track to the album. You can hear it here.

    Journal Topics: Artist NewsRadio
  • Wednesday, February 1, 2023
    Wednesday, February 1, 2023

    Thomas Adès’ Dante—a ballet score in three acts based on Dante Alighieri’s La Divina Commedia—was recorded by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel in concert at Disney Hall for the premiere recording, due April 21 on Nonesuch Records. Dante was first performed at the Royal Opera House as part of Wayne McGregor’s The Dante Project for the Royal Ballet, with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and with designs by visual artist Tacita Dean. “In any new shortlist of great ballet scores by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Bartók, Ravel, Prokofiev, Britten, and Bernstein, Dante must newly be included for its musical invention alone,” exclaims the Los Angeles Times. “There is not a second in its 88 minutes that doesn’t delight. All of it is unexpected and wanted.” The collectable limited vinyl two-LP edition includes artwork by Dean and photography from the Royal Ballet’s performance.

    Journal Topics: Album ReleaseArtist News