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  • Tuesday, March 3, 2020
    Laurie Anderson, Rhiannon Giddens Perform at New Zealand Festival, Anderson Curates

    Laurie Anderson is a guest curator of the 2020 New Zealand Festival of the Arts, which began on February 21 and takes place at various venues in Wellington through March 15. Anderson, who performs at the festival this week, has programmed a symphonic concert, a virtual-reality experience, an improvisational ensemble, an interactive soundscape, a film screening, and a concert for dogs. Also at the festival are Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, who perform from their album there is no Other at Michael Fowler Centre on Wednesday.

    Among the events Anderson has curated is Lou Reed Drones, which will be at Lower Hutt Events Centre this Wednesday and again on Thursday. The piece, performed by Lou Reed's guitar technician Stewart Hurwood using Reed's electric guitars, creates a soundscape that is both a tribute to Reed and an invitation to audiences to interact with the unique sounds as they like. "Sit, lay, listen, meditate, sleep, cry, dance, chant, perform Tai Chi," says Hurwood, "whatever they get emotionally from the sounds they can react to."

    Also at Lower Hutt Events Centre on Wednesday, Anderson and her string ensemble, Greg Cohen, Eyvind Kang, and Rubin Kodheli, and percussionist Shahzad Ismaily, are joined by New Zealand musicians including Horomona Horo for The Calling, an improvisational performance. The Calling takes Anderson's own writing as well as text from Rebel in the Soul: An Ancient Egyptian Dialogue Between a Man and His Destiny, a translation of an ancient discourse between a person and their soul. 

    Two days later, it all comes together as Anderson, the musicians from The Calling, and drones performed by Hurwood present a concert of the songs and texts of Anderson and her late husband and collaborator Lou Reed in Here Comes the Ocean at Michael Fowler Centre on Friday. The piece, titled after lyrics to the Velvet Underground "Ocean," features songs Anderson and Reed have written about the ocean, interpreted, arranged, and merged by the musicians into a new symphonic work.

    The culminating concert of Anderson's curatorship at the festival is her inimitable Concert for Dogs, a free event in Odlins Plaza on Saturday. "Bring your whole whānau along to hear Laurie Anderson perform a series of melodies, frequencies, and riffs at this outdoor concert crafted especially for our canine friends," says the festival. "All dogs are welcome, as long as they’re on a leash and play well with others. Barking and wagging tails encouraged!" Following the performance, Anderson's 2015 film Heart of a Dog, will be screened in the plaza. The film, for which Nonesuch released the soundtrack, is a personal essay on joy and heartbreak and remembering and forgetting, at the heart of which is a lament for her late beloved dog Lolabelle. The Times of London says it's "a work of mastery: thought-provoking, smart and incredibly moving."

    To the Moon, Anderson's virtual-reality collaboration with Hsin-Chien Huang, opened at the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, on February 15, and will run daily through June 7. Fifty years after man first landed on the moon, the piece takes participants on a voyage of sight and sound navigating an alternative lunar landscape imagined by Anderson, NASA's first artist-in-residence. "The moon has a very inspiring, dreamlike existence," Anderson says. "Secretly, all I want to do is to let people fly."

    For details on all of the events of the 2020 New Zealand Festival and to get tickets, visit festival.nz.

    Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi take their tour to Australia for sets at WOMADelaide, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Blue Mountains Music Festival, and concerts on Tasmania and in Melbourne and Sydney, then on to Japan for two nights at Blue Note Tokyo. For details, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

    Journal Articles:Artist News

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Laurie Anderson, Rhiannon Giddens Perform at New Zealand Festival, Anderson Curates

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on March 3, 2020 - 5:00pm
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Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 17:00
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Laurie Anderson is a guest curator of the 2020 New Zealand Festival. The event began February 21 and continues in Wellington through March 15. Anderson, who performs at the festival this week, has programmed a symphonic concert, a virtual-reality experience, an improvisational ensemble, an interactive soundscape, a film screening, and a concert for dogs. Also at the festival are Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, performing from their album there is no Other.

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Laurie Anderson is a guest curator of the 2020 New Zealand Festival of the Arts, which began on February 21 and takes place at various venues in Wellington through March 15. Anderson, who performs at the festival this week, has programmed a symphonic concert, a virtual-reality experience, an improvisational ensemble, an interactive soundscape, a film screening, and a concert for dogs. Also at the festival are Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, who perform from their album there is no Other at Michael Fowler Centre on Wednesday.

Among the events Anderson has curated is Lou Reed Drones, which will be at Lower Hutt Events Centre this Wednesday and again on Thursday. The piece, performed by Lou Reed's guitar technician Stewart Hurwood using Reed's electric guitars, creates a soundscape that is both a tribute to Reed and an invitation to audiences to interact with the unique sounds as they like. "Sit, lay, listen, meditate, sleep, cry, dance, chant, perform Tai Chi," says Hurwood, "whatever they get emotionally from the sounds they can react to."

Also at Lower Hutt Events Centre on Wednesday, Anderson and her string ensemble, Greg Cohen, Eyvind Kang, and Rubin Kodheli, and percussionist Shahzad Ismaily, are joined by New Zealand musicians including Horomona Horo for The Calling, an improvisational performance. The Calling takes Anderson's own writing as well as text from Rebel in the Soul: An Ancient Egyptian Dialogue Between a Man and His Destiny, a translation of an ancient discourse between a person and their soul. 

Two days later, it all comes together as Anderson, the musicians from The Calling, and drones performed by Hurwood present a concert of the songs and texts of Anderson and her late husband and collaborator Lou Reed in Here Comes the Ocean at Michael Fowler Centre on Friday. The piece, titled after lyrics to the Velvet Underground "Ocean," features songs Anderson and Reed have written about the ocean, interpreted, arranged, and merged by the musicians into a new symphonic work.

The culminating concert of Anderson's curatorship at the festival is her inimitable Concert for Dogs, a free event in Odlins Plaza on Saturday. "Bring your whole whānau along to hear Laurie Anderson perform a series of melodies, frequencies, and riffs at this outdoor concert crafted especially for our canine friends," says the festival. "All dogs are welcome, as long as they’re on a leash and play well with others. Barking and wagging tails encouraged!" Following the performance, Anderson's 2015 film Heart of a Dog, will be screened in the plaza. The film, for which Nonesuch released the soundtrack, is a personal essay on joy and heartbreak and remembering and forgetting, at the heart of which is a lament for her late beloved dog Lolabelle. The Times of London says it's "a work of mastery: thought-provoking, smart and incredibly moving."

To the Moon, Anderson's virtual-reality collaboration with Hsin-Chien Huang, opened at the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, on February 15, and will run daily through June 7. Fifty years after man first landed on the moon, the piece takes participants on a voyage of sight and sound navigating an alternative lunar landscape imagined by Anderson, NASA's first artist-in-residence. "The moon has a very inspiring, dreamlike existence," Anderson says. "Secretly, all I want to do is to let people fly."

For details on all of the events of the 2020 New Zealand Festival and to get tickets, visit festival.nz.

Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi take their tour to Australia for sets at WOMADelaide, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Blue Mountains Music Festival, and concerts on Tasmania and in Melbourne and Sydney, then on to Japan for two nights at Blue Note Tokyo. For details, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

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Laurie Anderson, Rhiannon Giddens, Francesco Turrisi 2020 NZ Fest

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